Tag Archives: Butterflies

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

Information on Dragonflies,Oiling of eggs Hamilton

Information on Dragonflies Hamilton

Thursday July 12 2012

Dragon Flies so colourful

Wildlife This year at Harbour-front Trail, Cootes Paradise and the great lakes are few and far between.The lack of snow-pack , Spring rains has left the water level three feet less than last year, therefore less wildlife and fewer Images. Last year there was over 12 Signets born in Hamilton Harbour, this year due to the City of Hamilton Oiling Swan eggs and Canadian geese eggs there was only one signet born, all because they say the swans are causing e-Coli Bacteria and making it dangerous for people to swim in the water. I am against the oiling of eggs because the swans sit on the eggs for three Months without any offspring. People complain to the city that there is too much Canadian geese  droppings where they walk. The wildlife was here before us, please leave Mother Nature alone, Humans think they can control everything they come in contact with. Now look at the world we live in, nothing for children too be amazed and nothing to learn, It is like a Silent Spring-Shame- Shame

eight eggs and only one signet-city oils eggs Hamilton

Readers at pics4twitts send me images quite often, Lois McNaught also walks the Harbour-front trail  Daily and has the same observations as most regulars, “where have all the wildlife gone?”

Morning Hamilton Harbour

Doug Worrall

Information on dragonflies. Did you know that they eat mosquitoes, have over 20,000 eyes, have been the subject of an old wives tale, and have even been mistaken for fairies? Find out many more interesting fact…

Dragonflies

Usually living near water, the dragonfly is one of earth’s creatures that are not only very useful, but also beautiful. They belong to thee insect group Odonata. Dragonflies come in varied colors; their bodies often blue, green, purple, and even bronze. Their wings seem to shimmer as if made of silver, especially when under the moonlight.

Dragon Fly

Starting out life as small nymphs underwater, they grow to be approximately three inches long, with a wingspan averaging two to five inches in width. While this may seem large for an insect, keep in mind that as they have evolved from pre-historic times, they have gotten considerably smaller. Evidence shows that at one point in time they may have had a wingspan of over two “˜feet’! One very interesting fact of the dragonfly is his six legs. Each of the legs is covered in short bristles. Using their bristle-covered legs to form an oval shaped basket allows them to scoop insects, such as mosquitoes, right out of the air. Dragonflies not only eat mosquitoes; they also keep the fly population and other flying insects under control.

Eastern-Tiger-swallowtail
Eastern-Tiger-swallowtail

Surprisingly, dragonflies will spend only a very short part of their life span as actual dragonflies. They will live as nymphs for up to four years, shedding their skin up to fifteen times, yet when they finally mature into adults, the dragonfly stage, they will survive only a few months.

Gray catbird

Dragonflies have fascinated modern man for years. They have become the basis of both legends and old wives tales. One such old wives tale refers to a dragonfly as a “˜darning needle’. An old legend tells of people who would wake up after falling asleep outside to find their ears and eyes sewn shut by these crafty insects. If dragonflies were seen swarming over a doorway, it was said to foretell of heavy rains on the way.

Mangrove Tree Nymph

For as long as man and dragonflies have coexisted, people have mistaken dragonflies for fairies. “˜Fairy tales’ have been told of little people fluttering about worldwide. Upon closer inspection, the fairies are found to be groups of dragonflies.

Painted Lady Butterfly on Coneflower
Painted butterfly.

Facts about Dragonflies

Question Mark Butterfly

 

How fast can dragonflies fly? In excess of sixty miles and hour!

How many eyes does a dragonfly have? They have two main eyes, but each of these eyes are made up of approximately 20,000 to 25,000 tinier eyes, allowing them to zero in on the flying insects that are their daily meals.

Post and image Doug Worrall

Doug Worrall

Photos by Lois McNaught