Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Place with No Name?

Some have called it a hidden lake. At some point in time, this wetland received the name Lake Jojo, likely named by the developer who built the surrounding neighbourhood. There's something about the name Jojo that just makes me feel sorry for a place saddled with that pronoun. Maybe it relates to teen singer JoJo, who my kids used to listen to:

Regardless of the name, there is a feature of hiddenness to this body of water, tucked away out of view from major roads except for glimpses from York Road. At one edge a steep ravine drops from the road to the marsh. Hydro towers connect parallel to the north shore. 

For some it is behind the Community Recycling Centre, or accessed by a trail through Martino Memorial Park. Others have access from the Sleepy Hollow subdivision. 

It's a tight spot with the roads and ravines eating at the edges and leaving little space for paths. The existing unofficial trails aren't strictly coherent in a way that an official trail would be. That is, the trail starts strong at the Martino Park, and then gets lost in a small maze of bike tracks and deer paths. There isn't enough space to have a path that would allow for a path around the entire body of water. 

The small wetland area connects to the larger Cootes Paradise and includes the Delsey Wetland, the soon to be improved/naturalized Desjardin's Canal lands now controlled by the Hamilton Conservation Authority, and Volunteer Marsh. It's a beautiful spot, even with the ugly CRC, and a lowprofile waste water treatment plant.

As we scrounged through the scrub, having started on a deer path, we came across a burrow, still in use, with a small animal skull atop the dug out entrance hole. It wasn't until later, further along the trail that we saw a coyote bolt up a hill about 30 metres from us that we figured out it was a coyote den.

Hidden "lakes" - hidden wildlife homes, this is the complexity of urban nature.