Spring is Coming to Todmorden Mills

Buds on tree

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.

Fern and moss

 

Woods at Todmorden Mills

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.

Buds on trees


Todmorden Mills in Winter

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.

Todmorden Mills Feb. 2014

Todmorden Mills Feb. 2014

Todmorden Mills Feb. 2014

Todmorden Mills Feb. 2014

Todmorden Mills Feb. 2014


A Past Winter–2

 

After a snowfall, I took this photo at Todmorden Mills on New Year’s Day 2008. It was a day of extreme beauty.

Jan 1 2008

Fresh snow at Todmorden Mills on Jan 1, 2008, Toronto


Black Locust

Black Locust

Black locust blossoms, Toronto, June 2013

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.

Black Locust

Black Locust tree in bloom, Todmorden Mills, June 2013


Ferns in the Wildflower Preserve

Fern

June 2013

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.

Fern

June 2013

Fern

June 2013


Todmorden Mills on a Cool June Evening

Todmorden Mills in June

At Todmorden Mills, June 5, 2013.

I went to Todmorden Mills in Toronto in the early evening yesterday.  It was cool and sunny and my preoccupations of the day left me as I got closer to the trees, freshly mown grass, birds and flowers in this bit of preserved nature. The irony of its being so close to the Don Valley Expressway is never far from consciousness.  

Todmorden Mills in June

Todmorden Mills, June 5, 2013

There’s a wildflower preserve at the site—a short trail through forest by ponds.  There I saw yellow and violet irises growing by the water, plus many wild phlox.  I came upon a man and his beloved dog having a walk as well as a jogger.  Many robins, sparrows, red winged blackbirds and cardinals were with me.

Todmorden Mills in June

Yellow irises by the pond at Todmorden Mills, June 5, 2013

Todmorden Mills in June

Iris by a pond at Todmorden Mills, June 5, 2013

In that short hour my mood went from preoccupied and low to extremely peaceful. 

Todmorden Mills in June

Wild phlox in the wildflower preserve at Todmorden Mills, June 5, 2013


Abundance

Pink Tree

Spring in Toronto, May 2013

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.

Garden

Toronto garden, May 2013

Tulips

Tulips after rain, Toronto, May 2013

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.

Todmorden Mills

Todmorden Mills, Toronto, May 2013.