Photo of new members exploring the bog

We lazily walked in to a place we know as “Rock-wall Pond” at Pakenham, finding a Spring Peeper, Wood Frog, and Leopard Frog, and many American Toads beside the trail, and passing pale asters as we went. We ate lunch on flowing steps of thick moss on a rocky hilltop, and resumed our ambling.

When we reached our destination, a floating bog, we found that high water levels had tripled the width of the moat to about 10 feet, which gave us pause. In past years we have been able to jump across with a single leap, but the unusually warm temperatures eventually encouraged us to wade out and climb up onto the bog mat. It wobbled and bubbled as it sank underfoot. Jumping up and down made waves of moss ripple out. Some of the sphagnum mosses were rich red colours, rivaling the early-changing Red Maples around the shore.

The bog was dotted at knee- to waist-level with tufts of cotton grass, and peppered underfoot with plump (but unripe) cranberries. Macoun members noted these things, but were drawn by the mysterious openings in the floating mat, and one after another slipped, sank, or jumped into the cool, dark water. They found a baby Water Snake in such a place.