I went to the Brickworks last Sunday. The air was awash with the calls of red-wing blackbirds and soaring and diving swallows. I came upon mallards and cormorants in the ponds, plus a mournful and patient dog awaiting the return of his human companions.
Last June, as I was walking through the wild flowers beside the railroad tracks to go to the Brickworks in Toronto, I came upon this rabbit or hare late in the afternoon. If anyone can identify this animal, I’d be happy to know which creature it is.
On Sunday, I went again to Todmorden Mills in Toronto. It was sunny and relatively mild–around 8 or 9 Celsius. I walked on the little wildflower path through trees and by a pond and streams. On the way, I’d seen a cardinal atop a naked tree–pointed out to me by a young couple passing by. In the woods, I heard chickadees and a red winged blackbird. And a woman walking her dogs pointed out a woodpecker–I think it was a downy–on a nearby tree that she was photographing. I searched the ground for tiny green shoots, leaves and moss, looked in the trees and shrubs for buds and came upon a squirrel looking down at me while munching a nut.
I was thinking about the latest climate change report that came out several days earlier warning again about the changes to the climate that are already here and that will be coming. I thought about what we gain and lose when nature is protected or harmed. When I am in a natural setting, urban or more wild, I feel a link to something larger than myself. I am a living being among others in nature. I know my experience is not unique and that the companionship of humans and non is vitally important for my, and others, well-being.
It’s very windy and hovering around freezing today. Back to dreams of spring. This is another photo from last year, soon to arrive in Toronto, believe it or not.
The temperature goes up and down as we make our way to warmer weather. I found the following photograph of crocuses that I took in mid April last year. Crocuses have even entered my dreams–I came upon a scene the other night very much like what’s pictured in the photo.
You’ve likely heard that bees are dying in alarming numbers. Much of this has been traced to Neonicitinoid pesticides. Here’s a satirical look at a very serious problem that affects not only the bees but all animals who eat. Put out yesterday by the Sierra Club of Canada: Finally! Some good news for the bees… | Sierra Club Canada
We went to the McMichael Gallery this weekend to see an exhibit of Mary Pratt’s work . The gallery, which is surrounded by trees, is 45 minutes to an hour north and west of Toronto, near the town of Kleinburg. We walked around a bit at the end of the day and saw that many branches were down. I wondered if this was part of the aftermath of December’s ice storm and the harsh winter we had. Despite that, the melt is on and spring is gradually arriving.
It’s been a grey day in Toronto. We’re moving slowly toward spring, but it’s not here yet. The trees’ bare branches will be with us for a while longer. In January, I saw this peach coloured cloud sitting in the arms of a tree in the neighbourhood.
Another discovery on my walk last week on a warmer than usual day: this wonderfully textured tree trunk.
It’s been a hard season for waterfowl. The extreme cold has frozen most of the Great Lakes for the first time in around 20 years. Around Toronto and north of here, there are reports of many swans and ducks being found dead because of the lack of open water that they can land on and find food in.
So on a warm day (10° C) last week when I took a long walk, I looked out over Riverdale Park off of Broadview Avenue onto melting snow. I soon realized that the specks on a sizable flooded area were actually ducks. And I wondered if they have come here because they are having trouble finding open water on Lake Ontario.