A few months ago, my neighbour and friend Steve, a life-long Londoner, suggested we take a tour of Sifton Bog, a huge, multi-acre wetland smack dap in the middle of London Ontario. In early spring, the bog plays host to millions of trilliums, Canada’s national flower, a spectacle Steve thought I would enjoy.
Unfortunately we didn’t see any trilliums, so we decided to check out Redmond Pond, so named after the Redmond Family, who owned part of the land there.
Sifton Bog was created millennia ago by receding glaciers. The receding waters had nowhere to drain, creating the bog and the flora more commonly seen in North Canada. A boardwalk meanders through the acreage for its human visitors, while deer, coyote, and other critters take their chances on the swishy, bouncy, moss that forms the bog floor.
It was hotter than Haiti today when we went. I had my Tilly hat and shades, but no water. Steve only had his walking stick. We knew we weren’t walking far and I was glad. A recommendation for vistors who might want to visit the bog in summer is to bring water and bug spray–and a map, if they plan to go far.
The entrance to the bog is off Oxford St. West, in the heart of Northwest London. The guy with the stick is Steve, sans hat and shades.
“Do not release fish”, the sign on the bottom left reads. Apparently people who think that disposing of gold fish down the toilet is mean go the Redmond Pond and release them there. The fish last about a nanosecond before the snapping turtles eat them. Notice the ubiquitous coyote warning sign, to the right. We see those all over Ontario.
Truth be told I didn’t linger long by the information boards because it was too damn hot. Bet they were chock-a-block full of interesting information though–Steve seemed to think so. 🙂
Ah….shade. we made our way to Redmond Pond and I noticed that the boardwalk was engraved with the names of benefactors who donated time and/or money to the bog. Ducks Unlimited gets special mention.
As you make your way into the bog, you’re struck by the silence so close to the city. The landscape is a bit of Northern Canada, right in the heart of Southern Ontario. Below, Steve demonstrated how bouncy and squishy the bog floor is. (I suggested he jump on it for a real demo, but for some reason he declined. Can’t imagine why–he did have the stick, after all.)
A snapping turtle in the bog–man, they were HUGE.
And last but not least, Steve and I take a quick look around Redmond Pond. Nature is pretty awesome, especially in the heart of the city. Encroaching moss is shrinking its size, and soon it will be gone.