Tag Archives: Biodiversity

The Sifton Bog

The Sifton Bog

London Canada

2016/06/24

Dragon Fly
Dragon Fly
Sifton Bog Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) is located on the south side of Oxford Street, west of Hyde Park Road. The map on the reverse shows the access points and trails.
Parking is available at the main entrance on Oxford Street.
The main feature of this 41.6-hectare public site is the floating acid peat bog and associated boreal plant life. Deciduous swamp and upland forest surround the bog, providing a sharp contrast between the northern (boreal) and southern (Carolinian) vegetation types.
Pitcher Plant
Pitcher Plant

Trails

There is a variety of trails within this site, totaling 2.7 km (see map on reverse). A 370-metre long boardwalk leads from the parking lot at Oxford Street to Redmond’s Pond at the centre of the bog, where there is a viewing platform. Most of the trails are easy to walk, but there are a couple of short hills. The managed trails are marked with yellow blazes.

History

Since the bog’s “discovery” by local naturalists in the 1870s, it has been a site of fascination and some controversy. In the 20th century, drainage was attempted to grow celery, layers of peat were harvested, and Black Spruce trees were sold for Christmas trees.

In 1957 a movement to preserve the bog was initiated by Dr. W.W. Judd of the University of Western Ontario. The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority acquired the site in 1967 from the Sifton Construction Company. The City of London later purchased additional lands.

Dragon Fly
Dragon Fly

Bog Formation

The bog is a product of glaciation. As the last ice sheet melted 13,000 years ago, a large block of ice broke off and settled in the glacial till (sand and gravel). When the block melted it left a kettle lake, cut off from any watercourses. Sedges, mosses and other plants gradually colonized the margins of the lake. Due to the cool, oxygen-poor conditions, when dead plants sank to the bottom, they did not break down fully, but became compressed as peat.

In time, the accumulating peat formed a semi-floating mat that crept from the outer edges of the bog towards the open water at the centre. As the mat became consolidated, Sphagnum mosses, heath plants and spruce trees grew on the drier hummocks.

Wild flowers
Wild flowers

Plant Communities

The bog’s most fascinating plant life is found near Redmond’s Pond, where colourful Sphagnum mosses grow on the surface of a quaking mat of partly decayed mosses. Other common plants include Leatherleaf, Small Cranberry, Black Huckleberry and Highbush Blueberry. Carnivorous plants such as Pitcher Plant and Round-leaved Sundew grow amongst the mosses. Orchids, including Rose Pogonia and Grass Pink, brighten the mat in early summer. In the fall, a profusion of Cotton Grass, a kind of sedge, may be seen. Towards the outer edges of the bog, Black Spruce and Tamarack trees grow.

Redmond’s Pond supports Southern Pond Lily, identified by its attractive yellow flowers and upright leaves.

Surrounding the peat bog is a swamp of Red and Silver Maple, White Pine and White Birch. There are also several small pockets of Silver Maple swamp in the southwest corner of the ESA near Naomee Place.

On the higher, drier ground surrounding the bog are trees and shrubs typical of southern Ontario’s hardwood forest. Stately White and Red Oak, Black Cherry, and Sugar Maple stand tall, overlooking the bog.

Morning refections
Morning refections

Wildlife

Numerous species of warblers, sparrows and other migrants stop over during spring and fall migration. In some years, the Black Spruce and Tamarack cones attract the winter finches.

Painted Turtles
Painted Turtles

Green Frog and Grey Treefrog are often heard in the spring. Midland Painted Turtle frequent Redmond’s Pond.

Raccoon, Grey Squirrel, Eastern Chipmunk and other mammals typical of urban natural areas can be found in the drier habitats. White-tailed Deer live in and around the ESA. The herd’s intense browsing pressure is known to result in the loss of young trees, which has a long-term impact on forest regeneration. Coyotes have also been seen and heard in the ESA.

Baby Frog
Baby Frog
FROG
FROG

Sifton Bog is home to uncommon butterflies, including the Bog Copper, whose larvae feed on cranberry plants, and the Bog Elfin, which relies on blueberry plants. Many brightly coloured dragonflies and damselflies can be seen around the pond in summer.

Colage
Colage

INFORMATION:Upper Thames Valley Conservation Authority

WIKIPEDIA

Doug Worrall Photography

DW PHOTOGRAPHY

London , Canada

Georgia Road

905 865 4034

Great Lakes Ecosystem-Shame Hamilton-poor water Quality

31/08/14

Great Lakes Literacy, Principles Four & Five – Water makes Earth habitable

Heron
Heron

The Great Lakes contain approximately 20% of Earth’s surface fresh water, and fresh water has many unique properties. Water is essential for life, and all living processes occur in an aqueous environment. Every aquatic and terrestrial organism in the Great Lakes basin requires a source of fresh water to survive.

Baltimore oriole
Baltimore oriole

Life in the Great Lakes ranges in size from the smallest blue-green bacteria to the largest animal that lives in the Great Lakes, the lake sturgeon. Most life in the Great Lakes exists as microorganisms. Microorganisms, such as phytoplankton and cyanobacteria, are the most important primary producers in the lakes.

The Great Lakes’ watershed supports organisms from every kingdom on Earth and Great Lakes biology provides many examples of life cycles, adaptations, and important relationships among organisms, such as symbionts, predator-prey dynamics, and energy transfer.

Blue heron Flight
Blue heron Flight

Blue heron flight2 (2)

The Great Lakes ecosystem provides habitat for both terrestrial and aquatic species. The Great Lakes are three-dimensional, offering vast living space and diverse habitats from the shoreline and surface down

Goldfinch
Goldfinch

through the water column to the lake floor. Great Lakes’ habitats are defined by environmental factors.  As

a result of interactions involving abiotic factors such as temperature, clarity, depth, oxygen, light, pressure, substrate type and circulation, life in the Great Lakes is not evenly distributed. Abiotic factors can change daily, seasonally or annually due to natural and human influences.

Gosling
Gosling
juevenileblackcrownedheron (2)
Black crowned night heron

Ecosystem processes influence the distribution and diversity of organisms from surface to bottom and nearshore to offshore. Wetlands, including coastal marshes and freshwater estuaries, provide important and productive nursery areas for many species that rely on these habitats for protective structure, hunting grounds, migration stops and raising offspring.

Life cycles, behaviors, habitats and the abundance of organisms in the Great Lakes have all been altered, in some cases to the good and others to the bad, by intentional and unintentional introduction of non-native plant and animal species.

Osprey
Osprey

Osprey2

 

This year I have noticed a large decline in the wildlife also vegetation and water quality. Therefore all Summer images are in the “one post”

Last year Hamilton did not know what to do with a huge deposit of coal tar from years of Foundry work going on in Hamilton Harbour.Last year they covered the poison with a big Metal Dome, I think

this has upset the balance and has made this area,s water poor quality.(DEADLY)And deadly too wildlife-sadly enough, Last year I saw maybe 100 Black crowned herons same as Blue Herons and maybe 4 Green herons-this year not “one” all Summer long.I say stop making our public trails cement covered and stop selling french fries and using pesticides on plants on the trail Hamilton “SHAME”

 

Hope things change

Canadian Beaver
Canadian Beaver

 

Doug Worrall Photography

Walk for our Wildlife

Walk for our Wildlife

March 4 2004

enjoy the mildness
enjoy the mildness
Tiffany Falls
Tiffany Falls

There’s no question that we lead busy lives, but how much of what we do involves physical activity? We tend to be on the go just to keep up, with grocery shopping, picking up the kids, tidying the house—and with all that hustle and bustle there doesn’t seem to be enough time left over to get outside. Walk for Wildlife -go for a walk in the cold, it feels good to get warm again.

City of waterfalls
City of waterfalls
edge
edge

The United Nations declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. Biological diversity—or biodiversity—means the variety of life on earth.

Flow
Flow

 

This year, countries across the globe will join together to increase their understanding of and commitment to safeguarding the world’s biodiversity.

stroll
stroll

Canadian wildlife and wildlife habitats are feeling the impact of biodiversity loss. Climate change, habitat loss and degradation, and pollution are just some of the factors affecting our world. The woodland caribou, polar

bear and lynx are a few of our native species that are experiencing the challenges of adapting to or surviving the impacts of environmental change.

The big melt
The big melt

Now Winter is nearly over-Summer , myself cold is a difficult obstacle too overcome without a car.

Winter Stroll
Winter Stroll

 

There was a “melt” last week, here are some images-first of this year—enjoy.

 

Doug Worrall Photographer