Hi people. I’m still alive after my recent break from posting. The old computer suddenly ceased functioning with an electrical short and a puff of the scary scent of electrical burning filling the rooms. Since then I’ve been learning a new system. These dwarf irises are from a Toronto garden in May. Since then great blossoming has taken place. We’ve had daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, redbud trees, magnolias, crabapples and cherry blossoms. These have all gone and now we’re awash with the fading, but still romantic scent of lilacs, lilies of the valley and peonies.
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.
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 week, black locust trees were in bloom in Toronto. Their sweet perfume filled the air at Todmorden Mills where I’d walked. I love their profuse, cascading blossoms.
I saw what I believe are ostrich ferns on a recent walk in the Wildflower Preserve at Todmorden Mills. If I’ve misidentified the ferns, do let me know. The day was moderate–around 18 degrees Celsius, with a mixture of sun and cloud. The ferns seem very much at home in this moist forested area in the Don Valley in Toronto. I find their shapes very beautiful.
Last weekend I went to Kortright Centre for Conservation for a walk in the woods. The day was cool and sunny—perfect weather for hiking in comfort. The woods were a vibrant green, a little deeper in hue than the first yellow green of spring.
I photographed the woods and stream in colour and when I wanted to emphasize patterns, I moved to black and white.
As always, when I am at Kortright, I felt a great sense of peacefulness to be in those welcoming woods, so close to Toronto and yet in a world so different.
Several days ago and today, Victoria Day in Canada, I went to one of my favourite haunts–the Evergreen Brick Works. Sometimes the textures and shapes of the landscape call out to me to be photographed in black and white. These were from wooded paths around the perimeter of the Brick Works, some of which lead to ravines that wind through the city.
We’ve had a week of sunshine and warm weather in Toronto–like a dream of love. This has given way to rain and cooler temperatures which will make the plants quite happy.
The gardens have been bursting with flowers. Magnolias, redbud trees, flowering plums, tulips, daffodils, grape hyacinths, forget me nots, periwinkles and violets have greeted me throughout the neighbourhood. Two days ago, the yellow green maple flowers began dusting the sidewalks and lawns. And at the Brick Works and Todmorden Mills, the sun and leaves of budding trees have formed canopies of light.
These have been joyful days to be alive amidst birdsong and the return of vibrant colour.