A Virtual Tour of The National Capital RegionThe Mer Bleue Bog
The Mer Bleue Bog is a Provincial Conservation Area situated in the eastern portion of the National Capital Region less than 10km from Ottawa. Approximately 50% of Mer Bleue is a raised boreal peat dome Sphagnum bog, an ecological community usually found much further north in Canada (in the northern boreal forest). Peat deposits in the bog proper are up to six metres thick. Aside from northern type mosses there are black spurce stands and lots of tamarack (these kind of look like fir trees but turn golden yellow and drop their thin leaves each fall). Drainage in the bog is poor due to underlying clay deposits as well as numerous beaver dams surrounding the bog. Water eventually drains slowly via adjacent creeks. It's this slow drainage that often make wetlands valuable. In the Mer Bleue, water levels remain at or near the surface of the bog for most of the year. Land uses inside the site include recreation (wildlife observation, nature trails, berry-picking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing), and research (by universities, government agencies and conservation groups).
A quick look at this image of the Mer Bleue Bog helps to illustrate the different vegetation communities within the bog. The different shades of greens are indicative of changes in type and relative abundance of mosses, shrubs and trees. You really have to take a hike along the boardwalk and you'll realize you're in a different world, (or at least feel like you should be in a different part of the world!) Remember to stay on the boardwalk though, this is a sensitive plant community. If I recall correctly, the bog was named Mer Bleue (Blue Sea) because some mornings when there's a covering of ground fog it looks as if your looking over the sea. Well, we've enjoyed a bit of the countryside, time to go check out downtown Ottawa-Hull for a nice place to eat and some cool site-seeing!