Brewer Pond’s mysterious root wads a sign of maturity
Our little pond is growing up.
This spring, residents in Old Ottawa South have noticed mysterious logs and root wads rising out of Brewer Pond – something they've never witnessed since the RVCA and its partners restored the pond to a functioning wetland in 2014.
While the Brewer buzz is louder than its many bees right now, there's a simple explanation: the pond is evolving. This spring's ice melt and freshet created the perfect conditions to lift some of the hundreds of submerged stumps, root wads, log jams and branches to the surface - a totally normal and natural process.
Some of this wood material was cast ashore; others are now poking out of the water in the middle of the pond, creating an odd-looking landscape locals aren't used to. The good news, according to RVCA aquatic biologist Jennifer Lamoureux, is that now these exposed stumps will simply switch from helping fish to helping birds.
"Birds will use them to build their nests, or to perch in search of food in the water," Lamoureux said. "Turtles will use them for basking as well. As for the logs washed up on shore – now the community has some nice, new sitting logs."
Lamoureux said there are still dozens of other wood structures under the water continuing to provide shade, hiding spots and nesting sites for the pond's aquatic creatures.
As one of her many restoration "babies," Lamoureux said Brewer Pond is simply growing up, and this year's somewhat awkward appearance is a sign it's maturing into a truly natural area. Leaving it alone will allow it to evolve and change as nature intends.
"This is why we do this work: to restore an area back to a more natural state, to lay the groundwork for the area to become an independent, thriving habitat for a rich bounty of diverse plants and creatures," said Lamoureux.
Lamoureux said she's thrilled the community has shown so much interest in and support for Brewer Pond. She plans to host a wetland ecology community day this fall, including an opportunity for kids and adults to pull a net through the water to see who lives in the pond.
Follow RVCA on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to get the details when they're available, or sign up for our City Stream Watch mailing list at https://www.rvca.ca/volunteer/city-stream-watch.
When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.
To tell the truth, our nature is full of undiscovered and unusual things which can sometimes just blow your mind. I think that these mysterious logs and root wads are a direct confirmation of this, but, of course, it is wonderful that they are the consequences of the pond's development because it will open more opportunities for aquatic inhabitants. I think that it is important to contribute to improving the state of this pond and to providing it with more opportunities for development. Of course, it is wonderful that the community has shown so much interest in and support for Brewer Pond because each contribution is appreciable and can both benefit or be devastating. I really like Lamoureux's way of thinking because such an approach can lead to global positive changes in the area and to its prosperity. It is really important to make the area a thriving habitat for a rich bounty of diverse plants and creatures because there are so many endangered species in our world and we need to reduce this number in any way we can.