Blog Entry 6 - July 9
On July 18th I will be going down to the bog with Ruth Foster from Wetlands LIVE, because they are doing some scouting for a video they will be shooting later in the fall. Wetlands LIVE is based in the USA. I am going to take some photos, and post shortly after I go down on the 18th!
My part of the project is ending, but the restoration of The Secret Beaver Lake Bog is still ongoing with SPES. If you would like to volunteer down at the bog contact Brian Titaro email@example.com or Robyn Worcester firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blog Entry 5 - October 1
On October 1st I hosted a bog walk in Stanley Psrk as one of the YNC Stanley Park monthly explorer days. We started out at the nature house, and looked at all of the cool educational tools that SPES has in their nature house. Shelly, the YNC Stanley Park Volunteer Club Leader introduced me, and I said a few words.
On the walk to the bog I asked some people what they thought a bog would be like, and one person said there would be fish swimming, and another thought it would be like the forest. It was interesting hearing that people thought it would be like a lake teeming with fish, or a forest bursting with bugs.
At the bog we shot "smoke spores" out of a can with cardboard, and a hole on one end, and a balloon on the other. I also gave all of the child attendees a picture, and they found the plant on the card. We also tested the acidity of the bog, and found it was super acidic. Thankfully there were still some standing sundews, so the kids, (and adults) got to see them.
I had a great time on the walk, and I think the kids did too. If you want to read general facts about my project, please click here.
Blog Entry 4 - August 10
On August 10th I went to the bog with only Brian, and my mom as adults. Although there was the most volunteers there. we had a total of 6 kids + me!
As usual we first got vests, gloves, the tools, cookies, iced tea, and new wagon, and took a photo of the team.
When we got to the bog Brian, and I talked to the group about the peat moss and plants. We split into two groups - Brian led one and I led the other. We cleared A LOT of salal and Brian's group found a patch of sundews!
We stopped for snack part way through the day and ate our snack, drank iced tea, and I showed every one how to measure the ground water levels.
We all smeared some mud on the wood path that is at the beginning of the trail so they would blend in and not stick out. Hopefully no-one will find the bog.
I can't wait to go with some more kids!
Blog Entry 3 - July 25
On July 25th I went to the bog with Robyn, Brian, Laurence Brown, my mom, Kristine Webber, and three other kids.
The first thing we did was group together at the Nature house, and get vests, and gloves. We got a group shot of everyone. Then headed down to the bog.
We determined what areas we would work on, split into two groups, and started.
We opened up two areas just like last time, but found a HUGE area of peat moss. I was in the other groupd, but Brian, Laurence, and two helpers helped that bunch of Peat moss take, at last, a breath of unhampered air.
We all had snack a couple of hours into the restoration then went back to work for about 30 mins.
I had so much fun! :)
Blog Entry 2 - June 21st
On June 21st I went to the bog again, but luckily for me, both Brian, and Robyn were there, and Laurence Browne also came to the bog! Wow! He was such an inspiration, and just a little background story on Laurence;
He played,and still does, a large role in the restoration of camosun bog. They've been working on it for over ten years, and still aren't done!
The very first thing we did was meausure the water levels using, you guessed it, the piezometer! We found that the levels had stayed around the same, and therefore moved on.
The next thing on our agenda was to actually do some restoration work. Laurence is an expert so he showed us the ropes.
He had a few tool, and they were:
-A Polanski's axe
-A regular axe
-A regular dinner knife
-A small wooden bar with a long piece of metal, curved at the end
We started by lopping off all of the salal on the top using the big, and small choppers. Then we found a section of peat moss, sphagnum to be exact. That was like gold. We spent the whole time carfully pulling roots out from around it, and under it, so that we could plant plugs of it.
The term 'plugs' when used in the way I did means small sections of moss that we plant in the soil so that it will start to grow.
I learned that when you get far enough into the soil you reach a layer that is all old sphagnum, and it is nutrient poor. Yes, I said nutrient poor, you see in bogs we want the ground to be nutrient poor, because that is what the plants are used to. If the ground was nutrient rich we would not have carnivourus sundews.
I can't wait to go back, and the next time I will be going back with some other kids, maybe some of you. If you are 10+, and you would like to volunteer please click here, and fill out the application form.
Blog Entry 1 - June 1st
This is my first entry in the "bog blog", but I can already tell it is going to be fun. I went to Beaver Lake Bog on Wednesday, June 1st. I went with two adults, Robyn, and Brian, and the first thing we did was measure the ground-water levels using a wierd thing called a piezometer (peh-ZOHM-ee-TER). It is a big long tube with holes poked in the sides, and you put it in the ground. One of the funny things about the contraption is that it doesnt just measure the level of water, like in a lake, the water from the ground seeps in, and thats what we measure.
The way you measure the groud-water levels is very simple. You put a stick in through the top of the tube, then measure from where on the stick the top of the tube was, to the water shows up.
We left the piezometer in to see if it would fill up any more, and went to look at the delicate areas in the bog. One of the most fasinating plants there were the sundews (picture on right). Sundews are a plant, but oddly enough, they are carnivorous! That means they eat bugs! They trap bugs on their brightly coloured "leaves", and then slowly close their mouth on the bug. Sundews are flat, with the sticky "leaves" sticking out, and it is about the height of a needle! The head of a sundew is no larger than a nail on one of your toes, if it is a BIG sundew! Imagine that, such a small carnivore.
After seeing the sundews i learned the difference between regular moss, and sphagnum moss. Regular moss is flat, and not very squishy, but sphagnum moss is like a small, wet, sponge! It can be red, and green. Peat mossis buildup of dead sphagnum.
I also learned, when I wrongly called a sedge, grass, that rushes are round,sedges have edges, and grass is hollow with nodes. Rushes ar often seen in still lakes or ponds, and have a squishy inside, while grass is actually hollow! Also, you know how you see little, long leaves coming off of grass, well those are the nodes. Finally sedges have edges, or are flat. WOW, I never thought I could learn SO much in three hours!
Finally after checking out pete moss, sundews, and learning a rhyme, Robyn, Brian, and I started mapping the bog. We created a map the same way Robyn's older sister did a long time ago. Robyn stood in one spot while Brian, and I walked out in different degrees using our compass, marking some major landmarks with a GPS. The landmarks included where salal turned into labradore tea mixed with salal, and the large section of Western Red Cedars. Where Hardhack ended, and bog began, and where an Ash Tree stood. I can't believe Robyn's sister hand-drew a map, after mapping, and measuring with a tape measure, and compass!
Some of the major species of plants we saw were;
Western Red Cedar
Yellow Flag Iris
Crab Apple Tree
Some animals were;
Black Throated Grey Warbler
Pacific Slope Flycatcher
Black Headed Grosbeak.
Those were just the plants, and animals I saw on the one day I went, and I'm sure many more are in Beaver Lake bog, just waiting to be discovered. I can't wait to go again, see you then!