The wet bogs
Large, expansive bogs are not so common in Gränslandet. The reason is the stony ground, low precipitation and cold winters.
But there are a few bogs after all!
The largest are found on Juttulslätten in the eastern parts of Långfjället Nature Reserve. Idreflöten on the northern slope of Mount Fjätervålen and the extensive bogs in Småsjödalen, north of Lake Stora Harundsjön are other examples. In an elevated location on the bare mountain between Elgåhogna and Salsfjället is a bog called Litlegrøvelsjøfloane. There are also a large number of small marshes and fens in connection with Gränslandet’s many lakes and streams.
Bog hay-making – hard but vital work
In the past, hay was cut on the bogs as winter fodder for the animals. It was hard work. Older people who were there can tell you how they sweated under the sun, stood in water up to the waist, all the time surrounded by swarms of mosquitoes, gnats and horseflies. But bog hay was vital for the cattle, and therefore also for the people in Gränslandet. You can still distinguish former hay bogs as they are open, species-rich, and close to old settlements. There may even be a few hay-drying poles left in the ground or a hay barn nearby.
Rich fens occur in areas where the ground is high in calcium. They have a rich flora, sometimes with orchids. Other typical species include broad-leaved cottongrass, grass-of-Parnassus and different species of rare sedges. Rich fens are rare in Gränslandet but can be found for example at Langtjønna, Røvollen, Djupsjøen and Båthusberget.
Desolate bogs – a wet dream for birds
The bogs in Gränslandet have a rich bird life. In early summer, you can hear the melancholy call of cranes, and great numbers of waders walk around on their long legs. There is plenty of food by way of insects and small animals. But it’s not only the food that attracts them. On the open bogs, many birds actually feel safer than in the forest. It’s easy to keep a look out for danger, and it’s far to the nearest forest edge where predators may lurk.
... wetlands that accumulate peat. Peat is formed from dead plant material that is stored and densely packed in the oxygen deficient environment. Bogs are divided into mires and fens.
Mires get their water...
... from rain and snow falling on them. They are nutrient-poor and acidic habitats dominated by peat moss, sedge and brushwood.
Fens get their water...
... from streams, lakes or groundwater. Minerals from the ground can give fens a rich flora. Most fens in Gränslandet, however, are fairly nutrient-poor.