Looking for something to do in Vancouver this weekend that’s entirely satisfying, but you don’t have tons of time? Well, there’s good news in town if you love murky wetlands, especially ones that never look the same no matter how many times you visit.
The Camosun Bog must be in the running as one of the greatest of this city’s underestimated small-scale treasures. Whenever I’m inclined to feeling discontented with the Vancouver scene, the bog is one of the things that bring me back to a mindful perception of what I’d lose in moving elsewhere. It’s an ever-changing tapestry of reds, golds and chartreuse, a nest of sphagnum moss within the darker Pacific Spirit fir forest, with a soundtrack of bird calls and occasional frog ribbits.
Until this point, whenever you wanted to have an exploratory stroll or do a walking meditation there – and I’ve done both – you’d encircle the bog by staying on its perimeter boardwalk, which is several feet above water level with wooden guardrails on both sides.
Now, as I realized quite by accident on a bog walk with a friend, a new little extension through the southeastern grove takes you to an unrailed deck right at the water’s surface, bringing you into more direct engagement with what’s growing or living there. The idea is to allow closer observation of “plants such as arctic starflower [and] sundew,” offering more accessibility so that you can “see, smell and touch the bog,” in the words of the Camosun Blog Restoration Group.
The extension gives you the feeling of moving slowly into a more secluded zone by the edge of a pool, as if you were in a Japanese garden. The kids will like it.
Oh, just a heads-up: there’s a no-dog rule on the extension.