Year of 2017

Ķemeri National Park, Latvia

There’s a lot going on below the surface of this beautiful bog in the Baltic country of Latvia. In a bog—a wetland also called a quagmire or a muskeg—the landscape is so saturated that it restricts the flow of oxygen from the atmosphere, which causes plant matter to slowly decay, eventually forming peat. It may not sound pleasant, but this mucky terrain is certainly useful. As peat accumulates in the spongey, wet environment, it serves as a carbon sink, absorbing harmful carbon dioxide. Once harvested, peat proves its worth as a fuel source and lends that smoky taste to scotch whisky. In recent years, peat bogs have become the, er, grounds for the sport of bog snorkeling. Let’s hope the brave competitors have good goggles.

Ķemeri National Park is a national park west of the city of Jūrmala, Latvia. Established in 1997, Ķemeri is the third largest national park in the country by area, covering an area of 381.65 km². The territory of the park is mostly occupied by forests and mires, the most significant of them being The Great Ķemeri Bog. There are also several lakes, that are former lagoons of the Littorina Sea. Lake Kaņieris is a Ramsar site. The park also protects the famous natural mineral-springs and muds, used for centuries because of their therapeutic nature. The springs led to development of many resorts, spas, and sanitariums in the 19th century.
Great Kemeri Bog
The Great Ķemeri Bog