Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bin Day!

Where do you go to flex some muscle in the city?  Try an urban bog: the wilderness in the heart of the city  12 students from Prince of Wales Secondary came out to join the crazy boggers for an energetic "Bin Day"
blackberry, salal, and ouch, holly branches were removed!
before (clean and eager to work)

After (triumphant, tired and muddy).  Some PW students are in the bin throwing salal bits at each other.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sig Techy, 1924 - 2011

Sig Techy, 2007

I am saddened to report that Sig passed away on October 15 at the age of 87.

He was a good friend of the bog. As one of the original “Crazy Boggers” he helped develop our test bog in 1997  He was responsible for the first area to be fully restored, the area we now call Sig's Site. He put in many hours of work on the bog right up till 2007 when ill health forced him to stop. He continued to visit the bog when he could and I know he found peace and solace in it
test bog, 1997

Sig was a friendly and outgoing person and really enjoyed talking to visitors to the bog. He loved nature and one of his passions was planting trees. He planted many conifers throughout Pacific Spirit Park, often without official permission! He was a director of the Pacific Spirit Park Society and was renowned for giving away trees to everybody attending Night Quest. He enjoyed working with young people and this was one of his particular pleasures in the bog. He was heavily involved with the Evans Lake Forestry Camp at Squamish which combined his love of trees and of young people.

His last few years were difficult as he developed Altzheimers Disease. His devoted wife, Pearl, continued to look after him at home. However she passed away this year and last month his sister Margaret also passed away.

We have a lot to thank Sig for. Without his untiring work our restoration would be at an earlier stage today

Farewell old friend – we will miss you

Friday, October 21, 2011

Teachers in Camosun bog

Despite unrelenting rain, 26 educators gathered for our second annual October Pro-D.  Our bog hats off to these teachers and youth leaders who were undeterred by damp weather.  We were out for 4 hours after which, Issaku brought hot tea and treats for everyone to warm up with!  This Pro-D was a potluck collaboration of CBRG, Metro Vancouver Regional Park Interpreters,  VSB teachers and The Co-Design Group.  We thank all the participants for coming!
Jennifer Swanton, a Metro Vancouver Regional Park Interpreter shared activities such as "bog in a bowl".  Jennifer gave out a useful package of outdoor resources, which she demonstrated, This resource is published by Metro Vancouver.  
Jennifer also showed examples of animals in the bog, such as this owl skull

and owl wing
Susan, CBRG, and VSB teacher,  enabled participants to learn 10 bog species in just 10 minutes, using silly memory tricks, one participant is being a little teapot and holding labrador tea.  A list of common bog species here.

Laurence Brown , CBRG and Pat Wilson, retired VSB elementary teacher and CBRG,  showed bog artifacts such as the hockey puck and jughead hat.  Later, Pat shared lesson strategies from her many years of taking young children into the bog.

Stanley King, Co-Design Group,  led a City on the Wall activity to demonstrate the effect of urbanization on a pristine wilderness setting

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Come out to help on Bin Day on October 22, 9AM

Come one, come all, bring your own gloves and haul the big pile of invasives into the rented bin.  The more the merrier and the faster it'll go!  Twice a year, CBRG rents a bin and remove a pile of tree stumps, blackberry bushes (ouch!), huckleberries, salal that builds up over months of restoration work.  An uber-work party followed by snacks and tea.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The mushroom season is upon us!

I stepped into the bog today, since I haven't been there in a while and since I'm unable to come to any work parties this month. I'd like to share some mushrooms I saw. Both of these mushrooms are have beneficial symbiotic relationships with the roots of coniferous trees:

Lactarius rufus

These were under the lodgepole pines in the western part of the bog near the 21st ave entrance. The genus Lactarius is characterized by a trait of exuding 'milk' when they get cut. That's right, they lactate! The milk is white in this species, but it can be red or clear in other species. The specific epithet 'rufus' refers to the red colour of the mushroom.

Russula fragilis

This one was on the far side of the bog, but I saw some old one's in amongst the Lactarius too. Russulas are known to have white gills (almost all have white stems) and they are known to be fragile and shatter easily.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Two solitary bees, labrador tea, and jumping on a bog

We thinned the labrador tea bushes this Thanksgiving weekend, as they were getting very thick.  Planted sphagnum in flattened areas.  As we worked we heard tree frogs singing.  Crisp fall air.
we found two solitary bees  buzzing under the sphagnum and digging in the peat.  Here's the first one.  We need an ID
Second bee, looks to be the same species, dorsal side
Second bee, ventral side
Peat had to be flattened by jumping on plywood prior to planting sphagnum moss (below)