The Colours of OH!

20 November 2020 – Right from my first visit in July, I’ve known that the Camosun Bog deserves a big, fat, exclamatory OH! of delight. What I didn’t know — until two dear friends (you know who you are) set me straight — is that the exclamation resides in the name as well as the location.

I’d been saying, “Cam-oh-sun,” equal stress each syllable.

But it’s “Cam-OH!-sun. ” Jump on the middle syllable, and pass for local.

I’m still ridiculously pleased with my new knowledge as I walk up that first stretch of boardwalk this morning, say good-bye to the last hydro poles I’ll see for a while, and enter the Bog.

It’s a misty, drizzly day — a bog’s idea of bliss. You can practically feel everything expanding into all that delicious moisture, and you can see how everything gleams.

I start noticing colour, and shine.

The silver gloss of surface water …

red twigs…

white tree fungus …

purple seed pods …

even turquoise fencing looks good. (Oh, come on. Make room for it in your heart.)

And then there’s emerald.

The emerald of mad moss, flinging itself onto every surface that doesn’t actively fight back.

Spiralling up tree trunks …

and carpet-bombing the ground.

(There is also the emerald green of a little boy’s rain cape, which he twirls for me with great panache.)

One last glance, backward over my shoulder:

green needles/silver droplets/russet shrubbery.


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  1. In spite of the month, a visual richness in so many ways. Lovely. 🙂

  2. I’ve been longing for wetlands: your bog will do me nicely! Especially with all those astonishing colours. Especially especially the red twigs and the purple seed pods. Hope all’s well in your Covid world.

    • So happy to have provided your wetlands moment – yes, my own family/friends world is Covid-free, so I am grateful, but we’re clearly in a 2nd wave here and must be vigilant for a long time yet – I hope you and yours are all well, and safe

  3. such beauty and so green…enjoy Penny ~ sending joy hedy 💫

  4. Oh! The moss carpet bomb is amazing 🤩

  5. So how did a bog not get paved over in such a big city? Inquiring minds want to know. I love “mad moss, flinging itself onto every surface” and “carpetbombing the ground.” Yeah, my heart agrees that the turquoise was an inspired choice. How nice to have the boardwalk wandering through there.

    • Inquiring Mind asks good questions. The bog survived as an undeveloped location because it is located within the much larger Pacific Spirit Regional Park, but as a bog it was almost completely destroyed anyway — development outside the park drove down the water table causing the bog to dry up and invasive dryland species to move in; only a small part was saved and redeveloped as open bog – the link to my earlier post tells you more, and the Camosun website even more than that: – it’s an inspiring story and a calm lovely place to visit, and what could be more important than that, these days?

    • ?? thought I’d replied, so apologies if this is a repeat: the bog exists within Pacific Spirit Regional Park but almost disappeared anyway, when development outside the park drove down the water table, and dryland species began moving in on the bog. Volunteer + public/private sector support turned it around.

      • I think I remember Pacific Regional Spirit Park – at least seeing it on maps. Water tables, invasive species, development…and yet, and yet…

      • Sometimes the necessary elements come together, at the right time. Then, as Camosun Bog (or Toronto’s Leslie Spit, another e,g, I know) demonstrates, a small urban miracle takes place. But launching it isn’t enough; the necessary trick is to get it truly embedded in the city’s fabric so a change of adinistration (or financial fortunes) doesn’t wash it away.

      • Good points. Seattle has some great parks that are pretty natural. I think they’ll last. But any kind of wetland is probably the most vulnerable. It’s hard for people to see the beauty and value of low, wet ground.

      • All the infill that has taken place — all those creeks “sewered” and the history, both Toronto and here, of filling in waterfront. But there is also painstaking work to restore natural, soft edges to rivers, and greater appreciation of the need for the filtering done by wetlands, so there is some hope.

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    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

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