September 14 – The Turtle Pond! …I think

18 Sep

Did you know … that lichens are the dominant vegetation over 8% of the earth’s land surface

This morning is a bit overcast, sun and clouds – cool but not cold.  Took a short trek in search for mosses, lichens and fungus.  I headed off in the direction of a pond that Dad shows on his hand-drawn, half-burnt map.  I had never wandered over that way.

Could this be it?  This pond-like area is nestled between a rock wall and hidden in a


small pond

There appears to be 3 kinds of vegetation that completely dominate the pond – here they are;


Mermaid weed?

turtle pond veg 3

turtle pond veg 4

Any guesses on what these are?  Finding out will tell us if the Turtle pond is a SWAMP, a MARSH, a BOG or a FEN.

SWAMPS – are the most diverse type of wetland in Ontario; wooded wetlands, often flooded in spring and without surface water later in summer; dominated by trees and shrubs, coniferous trees (white cedar, tamarack, black spruce), deciduous trees (silver maple, red maple, black ash) and tall shrubs (willow, dogwood, alder). Water flows through swamps, although the movement can sometimes be imperceptible.

MARSHES – common throughout southern Ontario; periodically or permanently flooded with water; vegetation is mostly emergent non-woody plants (cattails, rushes, reeds, grasses, sedges); in open water, floating-leafed plants (water lilies) and submerged plants (coontail, pondweeds) are common; in drier areas, low shrubs (sweetgale, red osier dogwood, winterberry) may occur. They are a relatively productive wetland.

FEN – are rare in southern Ontario, common in Northern Ontario; peatlands located in areas where groundwater discharges to surface; vegetation mostly sedges and/or mosses, some grasses, reeds and low shrubs; less acidic than bogs; if trees present, they are usually stunted, scattered tamarack or white cedar; more plant species than in bogs.

BOG – are very rare in southern Ontario, common in Northern Ontario; peat-filled depressions; main source of water is rainfall, little surface runoff or groundwater from surrounding soils, strongly acidic; usually covered with a carpet of sphagnum mosses, some sedges, low shrubs of heath family (cranberries, blueberries); if trees present, usually black spruce and some tamarack.

Bogs may be very rare in Southern Ontario – but I think the Turtle Pond is a BOG!


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