Tag Archives: LONDON

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

Drainage Pipe Thames River Leaking Toxins

Drainage Pipe Thames River Leaking Toxins

Wednesday October 5th 2010

Acidic smell at drainage pipe

Re-visiting the old fishing spot in London was not what I was expecting.
The Thames river in London has a great Large and small-mouth Bass Population.Gar Pike, trout, yearly sucker, Walleye and  Salmon Runs.
And have caught many in this area of the Thames.Remembering the drainage pipe and the oily
substance that comes out of it, I was suprised to still see-it there even worse 20 years later.
Strangely enough the only source would be below my feet,
the Land-fill that had been filled-in over 50 years ago.I have seen this at many sites in London’s industrial
areas that are next to eco sensitive areas. Only 2 Miles down River just before the Pollution control plant
is a BIG Paint Manufacturer of House and Business Paints. Behind there property  is a 4 acre
area  that is encrusted with dried-up water and oil base paints. Mixed within are pools of liquid multi coloured oils from many years
of Weathering and flooding. I did not have time to make-it to that fishing area where the Paint-is.
Hopefully next time I head to London will be able to obtain the use-of or Rental of a car to check to see if it has been cleaned-up yet.
The PCB’s in Potters-burg creek affected many people as well with this writer. Living amongst Toxic waste for years
takes its toll on Wildlife and Humans.

By

Doug Worrall

Wildlife in the city

The Thames flows 273 km through southern Ontario, meandering quietly past the cities of London and Chatham to Lake St. Clair. Along much of its length, it is flanked by rich Carolinean forest. The names of the trees here have a definite southern accent – tulip, pawpaw, Kentucky coffee tree, sassafras… Wildlife and fish species also have a southern flavour, and include many that are rarely found elsewhere in Canada, such as the eastern spiny softshell turtle, queen snake, southern flying squirrel, and Virginia opossum. The diversity of species is reflected in the rich cultural heritage of the Thames. Its fertile valley has been home to people for over 11,000 years. Wars have been fought here, and commercial farming in Canada had its roots here. Much of the Thames valley still appears as it did 200 years ago, and many early buildings are still standing. From a recreational viewpoint, the Thames is also a most diverse watershed. Explore Canada’s deep south by canoe or along hiking trails that crisscross the watershed.

The Thames River watershed is nestled in the agricultural heartland of southwestern Ontario in close proximity to Lakes Huron, St. Clair and Erie. The river is 273 km long and drains some 5,825 square kilometres of land, making it the second largest watershed in southwestern Ontario. The river is easily accessible to the half million people who reside in its watershed.

The river’s long and rich cultural heritage and diverse recreational opportunities formed the basis for its designation to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System in 2000. The Thames River represents an important addition to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System.

Doug Worrall Photography