Thursday, July 18, 2013

Adventures in Ottawa, Part 3: Mer Bleue Bog

For my last bit of wildlife exploration in the Ottawa area, I headed out early last Thursday morning to the Mer Bleue Bog, at the eastern edge of the city. I have very little experience with bogs, and I had a lot of fun exploring this strange new environment! A nice sturdy boardwalk let me venture out onto the bog and still keep my feet dry:

The landscape was quite stunning, and very different from the forests and lakes I'd seen the day before:

Several flying creatures flitted around near the path as I made my way through the bog. I was happy to get to see White-throated Sparrows, since they've been away from Connecticut since the spring:

A few Cedar Waxwings were hanging around as well, including this spunky fellow:

I saw tons of these pretty little dragonflies, Frosted Whitefaces (Leucorrhinia frigida) I think:

Of course, it wouldn't be a bog without some weird plants. I didn't find any orchids (I looked pretty hard), but I did see a few Round-leaved Sundews (Drosera rotundifolia) -- tiny carnivorous plants that look a bit like spiny aliens -- tucked in among the sphagnum moss:

It looks like that plant on the top right may have caught a meal! (Also, huh, I just noticed what might very well be an out-of-focus flower spike in the foreground.... Oops!)

The swamp next to the bog had blooming Bladderworts (I'm not sure of the exact species), another carnivorous plant that catches aquatic creatures with little underwater traps (weird!):

So many things to like about this place! I even got to snack my way through the bog, with sweet treats bordering pretty much the entire path:

After leaving the bog, the boardwalk took me through a cattail-thick swamp that resounded with the calls of Red-winged Blackbirds and Swamp Sparrows (I had to raise my camera over my head to take this picture):

When I got back to the parking lot, I had one final treat -- an Eastern Phoebe had a nest with fluffy babies under the restroom's eaves! (I just missed the parent's visit in this next picture.)

So yes, it was an amazing trip, and I'm very glad I got to explore some incredibly diverse habitats within just a few miles of downtown Ottawa! And now I'm back in Connecticut, sweltering in the current hot/muggy weather, and dreaming of the infinitely more pleasant temperatures I left behind.... Ah well! It was a lovely break, and it's good to know that Canada is up there, just waiting to host more adventures someday in the future.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard of Mer Bleue for years but never had the chance to visit. Glad you got to see such interesting habitat.