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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Quiet Walk Through Eagle Hill Bog

What we hadn’t done in a long time was doing a walk through the bog. The bog walk is a feature of the Roosevelt Park Natural Area. The park has built a wonderful boardwalk so nobody gets wet feet. Of course April 22 was too early to see all those wonderful flowers one can see in July and August, but with yesterday’s cold wind it offers nice protection from the nasty cold. The sun was standing low in the west, but was still shining over top of the trees in the bog. There are nice moss patches and rare plants like the pitcher plant, which wasn’t really so far out as the picture below to the left shows.

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Pitcher Plant                               …and just breaking through..     

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  1-DSC_0388                                           The trees show that the bog has a lack of nutrients.

A bog is a mire that accumulates peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses, and in a majority of cases, Sphagnum moss. It is one of the four main types of wetlands. Other names for bogs include mire, quagmire and muskeg. Frequently, as the illustration on the right shows, they are covered in Ericaceous shrubs rooted in the Sphagnum moss and peat.

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Below: Lichens called “British Soldiers

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Bogs occur where the water at the ground surface is acidic and low in nutrients. In some cases, the water is derived entirely from precipitation, in which case they are termed ombrotrophic (rain-fed). Water flowing out of bogs has a characteristic brown colour, which comes from dissolved peat tannins. In general the low fertility and cool climate results in relatively slow plant growth,  but decay is even slower owing to the saturated soil. Hence peat accumulates.

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Informative panels are helping the visitor understand the biodiversity of the Eagle Hill Bog. Nice solid wooden benches invite to sit down and relax. It’s a pure pleasure to walk the bog.

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Afterwards we went a bit farther down the road to the beach. But it was cold out there so we didn’t stay long. Just long enough for a few shots.

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Thanks for stopping by!

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