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


Cyprus Lake Trail

On the Cyprus Lake Trail

On the Cyprus Lake Trail, June 2013

On our second day at Bruce Peninsula National Park, we hiked 5.2 km around Cyprus Lake.  We went through woods by the water and I photographed many wild flowers that I’ll be posting soon.  The walking was easy and the day cool, great for a hike.

On the Cyprus Lake Trail

On the Cyprus Lake Trail in June 2013

On the Cyprus Lake Trail

On the Cyprus Lake Trail, June 2013

By the Cyprus Lake Trail

By the Cyprus Lake Trail a mallard has a cool drink, 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


Kortright Centre in Spring

Kortright May

By a stream at Kortright Centre for Conservation, May 2013

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. 

Kortright May

Green Kortright, May 2013

Kortright May

Ferns by the stream at Kortright Centre, May 2013

I photographed the woods and stream in colour and when I wanted to emphasize patterns, I moved to black and white.

Kortright May

In the woods at Kortright Centre, May 2013

 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.

Kortright May

At Kortright Centre, May 2013


At the Edge of the Brick Works

Brick Works

By the Brick Works, Toronto, May 16/13

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.

Brick Works

Path just above the Brick Works, Victoria Day, 2013

Brick Works

Willow Tresses over a path above the Brick Works, Victoria Day 2013, Toronto


While in Charlottesville

Woods

Woods and stream in Charlottesville, Virginia, April 2013

Last week when I was in Virginia, I stopped in Charlottesville.  Off the main roads, we walked in a wooded area accompanied by the melodies of song birds.  The trees and plants had put forth spring yellow-green foliage.  This was wonderful to see after travelling south from Toronto where only the first buds had begun to show.  Not that those hadn’t been welcome too, just that spring was at a more abundant stage in Virginia.

Irises

Dwarf irises in the woods, Charlottesville, Virginia, April 2013

 In the woods, I came upon wild violets and pale lavender dwarf irises arising through last autumn’s leaves.   A small stream flowed nearby and the temperature was in the upper 70s.

Redbud

Redbud tree in Charlottesville, Virginia, April 2013

 To and from the woods, we walked across landscaped ground.  Redbud trees were in bloom with tulips and azaleas in a garden plus another pale green flower I have not identified. The dogwood in flower is from a nearby location.

Dogwood

Dogwood tree in Charlottesville, Virginia, April, 2013