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Keeping with the Berry theme,  this is the bloom of the cranberry (Genus: Vaccinium).  Legend has it that early european settlers saw the blooms and thought it resembled the head and neck of a crane (double click on the above photo for a larger image).  Over time, it went from craneberry to cranberry.  Native Americans used it in their pemmican, while it is said that early settlers survived their first Thanksgiving by being shown by Native Americans how to harvest and prepare them.

Just like low bush blueberries, cranberry bushes are a very low shrub.  They thrive in cool, damp to wet locations.  Although they’re best known for being cultivated on the south shore of Massachusetts and Cape Cod,  there are wild cranberries growing in many locales in Massachusetts, especially in bogs.  One such bog is Burt’s Pit Bog (Brookwood Marsh Conservation Area) at the end of Ellington Road in Florence, Mass.  The bog itself has been preserved by the city but the essential important land around it has not.  The cranberries grow on a floating peat mat, drawing nutrients from the sunlight and bog.  In the fall and winter, animals travel to the bog for a great treat.  To learn more about the bog, take a look at the video I made:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz3syASnT4M

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