The guy who built my house, one Louis Ontek, also dug the pond, where Fowler's toads breed, which is what sold me on the property. My first spring there, a couple of toads bred in a puddle left by the previous day's rainstorm, and I put the eggs in the pond, since they would have died left up on what was then a driveway around the pond. I wanted to help the toads out, since the pond has pesky fish in it, so I started digging a little pool where the toads had bred, and about 40 cm down I discovered some 6 inch plastic pipe buried. I then checked a topo map from 1971 and realized that Ontek had changed a cranberry bog into a pond and a road. I got angry, and decided to dig out a lot more than a little pool. At about 80 cm I hit a thin layer of peat, which was the original bog's bottom. The water plants grow a lot better in it than in the big pond, which is pure sand. I also found the skeleton of an old flat bottomed boat by the shore of the existing pond. This shot is the New Bog as it was in summer 2005. It's bigger now and we curl on it when it's cold enough to freeze, which so far has been one or two weeks in February. (That's February, not Feb-yoo-ary.)

In an age where wetlands are disappearing by acres a minute, I'm doing my little part to bring some back.