Parallel WorldsPosted: August 22, 2012 Filed under: Animal Life, Ontario, Plant Life, Toronto | Tags: birds, Brick Works, Canada, cicadas, expressway, milkweed, natural setting, natural space, nature, shrubs, thistles, Toronto, trees, wildflowers Leave a comment
I went for more walks on the weekend and mid week to the Brick Works in Toronto, Canada to be in a natural setting. Each time, I took the usual route down a hill, then beside railway tracks. This part of town is very close to the Don Valley Parkway, a busy expressway. Yet there are natural settings all around: trees, parkland and shrubs.
I love seeing the flowers and grasses that grow wild along the edges of railway tracks–those discarded places reclaimed by nature. The wildflowers here were profuse, with the yellows and whites now joined by purples. I could hear birds singing above the din of cars and the buzzing of cicadas. I was struck by what seemed to be the parallel worlds I was walking through: the thundering traffic where we are insulated in cars and trucks and the natural setting of plants, birds and insects. This is not a new observation; many people must feel this. However, it struck me more dramatically than it had before. I felt I was walking in a corridor between two worlds.
At the Brick WorksPosted: August 7, 2012 Filed under: Ontario, Plant Life, Toronto | Tags: Evergreen Brick Works, green, humanature, nature, ponds, shrubs, Toronto, trees Leave a comment
In Toronto, Canada, there’s a green space we love to visit on the site of an old brick works quarry and factory. This place has developed, through a national charity called Evergreen and the work of people in the community, into a life giving area that attracts many visitors. There’s a farmer’s market every Saturday, a restaurant, gift shops, a garden centre, places for workshops and, most importantly, trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers, ponds and wildlife.
Yesterday, we went for an afternoon ramble on a holiday Monday in Ontario. We walked down the hill and onto a path by a seldom used railroad track alongside Queen Anne’s Lace, hearty yellow wildflowers whose name I forget and the husks of thistles. At the Brick Works, we walked around the ponds, seeing a small turtle, reeds and many water lily pads with white flowers, then up onto a shady path along the edge of a wooded ravine. Here we looked down on the ponds we’d just passed and stopped to see a goldfinch and hummingbird on nearby trees and a chipmunk on fallen logs. Other walkers passed us. We came to a willow tree overhanging the path and stood under its tresses in a protected cave-like enclosure. This was a restorative humanature afternoon.
The photos I’ve posted here are from a previous year in the early autumn. Often I take my camera and binoculars along, but I wanted to be free to be in the setting without these filters. I do love photographing nature, but have to be careful that the process doesn’t take me away from the actual experience of being there. I’ve taken to stopping and being still after I take a photograph and this helps me be present.