The gold and orange leaves are vivid in the ravines and streets of Toronto right now. They led me to these photos I took in 2012 at Arrowhead Provincial Park near Huntsville, Ontario. It’s a small park, but that didn’t dim its beauty when we were there a few Octobers ago.
We had a surprising and humorous encounter with a cormorant on a recent visit to the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario. Shortly after pulling out of a parking spot in the town of Lion’s Head, we heard a loud sound coming from the back of the car. We couldn’t figure out what this was and thought that perhaps something was rolling around in the trunk. However, when the sound returned 2 or 3 more times, I turned around in the passenger seat to see if the trunk was unlatched. There, looking back at me from the rear of the car, was a cormorant. We quickly pulled over to the side of the street and got out, hoping the bird wasn’t injured in some way. S/he seemed fine–no wings held at odd angles or other obvious problems that might explain why s/he had landed on the car. So this remains a mystery to us. After looking at us for a few seconds, the cormorant hopped onto the side of the road. A man heading the other way stopped to tell us he’d been amazed to see the bird land on our car. Thankfully, Lion’s Head is a small place where other vehicles had a chance to slow down or stop to make sure they didn’t hit the bird.
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.
Last year, in February, I photographed the fresh snow on this walkway at the Kortright Centre for Conservation, around an hour north of Toronto.
Last week we had some warmer days and on a sunny afternoon, Wednesday the 19th, I walked to Todmorden Mills Heritage Site just off the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto. I knew it was my chance to see the wooded wildflower preserve while the snow was still on the ground, ahead of predicted above-freezing temperatures and rain. As always, my mood improved greatly walking in this beautiful setting. I heard chickadees and, I believe, a cardinal above the traffic. And I loved seeing the late sunlight on the snow, trees and rail fences. Here’s some photos from that day.
I’m taking a break from the cold and going to Larkwhistle Garden in my mind. Larkwhistle is a terrific garden on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario that has been created and gardened by Patrick Lima and John Scanlan. For decades, they have opened the garden to visitors in the summer. But last year, they decided to end those public visiting days.
We have gone to this place of beauty for years since travelling to the peninsula and it remains with me in memories of flowers, birds and grace. And with thanks to Patrick and John for what they have created and generously shared.
Back to winter in Toronto. Here’s 2 more photos I took of Grange Park on January 5th while I was in the Art Gallery of Ontario.
I thought I’d take a break from the cold and show you photos from the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada in Guelph, Ontario. I first learned about the Donkey Sanctuary from a friend a few years ago and have been visiting the Sanctuary ever since. There, donkeys, mules and hinnies that are neglected, abused or unable to be looked after are cared for. Meeting the animals on this beautiful farmland has been a wonderful experience. It has taken me away from my own initial ignorance that donkeys might need a sanctuary.
At the Sanctuary are a number of signs with inspiring quotes about humans’ relationships with other animals. I’ve included a photo of one here, in addition to a pair of donkeys, plus the young Ruby who was just a few months old when we saw her in September.