Posts Tagged ‘blossoms’

Happy Victoria Day!
Happy 2 4 long weekend.
More correctly, I hope that you had a good weekend!

close up of street art on a wall, that someone has written in black marker, I feel good.

This blog post is the result of a walk through Mt. Pleasant cemetery, down the ravine behind Yonge Street that goes under St. Clair East and the Summerhill railway bridge.   After crossing Mt. Pleasant Road, take the right at the fork in the path to go uphill on Milkman Lane.  This brings you out of the ravine close to Glen Road.  Follow Glen Road south to Sherbourne subway station.

below: Lots of shades of red, green, and yellow in the cemetery.

Small red maple (or Japanese maple) tree in the cemtery, also a forsythia bush and other green leafed trees.

I will dedicate this post to the man that I met on the path near the St. Clair bridge.  He had many questions about the path and where it went.  He was in awe that such a place existed in the city and was so excited to find it.  He couldn’t linger though because he was on a break from work.

below: Blossoms on an Arnolds crab apple tree,  Malus X Arnoldiana  (the tree had a label, cemetery)

pink crab apple blossoms

below: Dense clusters of fragile pink and white petals on a Japanese Flowering Cherry Prunus Serrulata.

dense cluster of pink and white cherry blossoms

red maple leaves in contrast with the blue sky

below: The chains of humankind?  Or something creepier?  Please don’t put anything like this on my tombstone regardless of what they symbolism might be!

relief sculpture on a tombstone at mt pleasant cemetery, person with arms folded over top of head.

below: It was very quiet and surprisingly green on the path.  I had procrastinated about walking in the ravines because I didn’t think that spring was far enough along.  Surprise!  Spring has sprung very quickly – the leaves have been popping out all over the place.   May is a fantastic month – everything comes alive so quickly.

path through the woods with a wooden rail on the left side

below: Walking on Park Drive, under Glen Road, following the Yellow Creek.

path through the woods in a Toronto ravine, green trees, above is a bridge

below: It looks like a throne under the bridge!

an old stuffed arm chair on a stone pillar under a bridge with graffiti on the bridge supports

a chipmunk on a wood rail

below: Yellow Creek, near St. Clair.

an old tree has fallen across a creek, small amount of water in the creek

path through the woods, ots of trees of differing sizes

below: Wildlife!

a fly on a leaf

below: Fungi growing out of a rotting log on the forest floor.

brown fungi mushrooms growing out of a dead log on the forest floor. flat topped, dark brown spots,

below: Mushrooms of a more colourful variety

street art painting on a concrete pillar on a bridge, pink and blue mushrooms, tall and skinny

below: Under St. Clair.

street art under a bridge with names pansr and use spray painted on

below: I didn’t see any real ones that day.  You can spot this one close to Sherbourne subway station.

street art painting of a blue jay

Bring on summer!

A trip to Toronto Islands on a sunny spring day.
Photos and stories – an eclectic mix of history and nature that resulted from wandering around the eastern portion of the islands.

below: From the ferry, looking toward the glass and steel of the city.

sail boats in Inner Harbour of Lake Ontario, in front of the Toronto skyline with highrises and skyscrapers also ship moored at Redpath Sugar refinery

Toronto Islands is a collection of at least 12 small islands.  In the early years the island archipelago was really a peninsula of sandbars and ponds; it was connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of sandy shoreline. This landform was created over centuries by the action of waves, winds and lake currents – washing away portions of the Scarborough Bluffs and depositing this material to the west in a five-mile-long hooked shape. This process of natural “landscaping” continued until the spring of 1858, when a particularly powerful hurricane created a channel four to five feet deep through the peninsula.  By June of that year, the Eastern Gap was a waterway, and the Toronto Islands came into being.

below: On the ferry between the city and Centre Island.

people lined up along the front railing of a ferry from Centre Island to the city of Toronto, looking at skyline and taking picture of it. Toronto is in the background.

The first buildings on the islands were the Blockhouse Bay garrison built in the 1794 by the British at Gibraltar Point – it included a blockhouse and storage structures.  A second blockhouse and a guard house were built soon after, only to be destroyed by the Americans in the Battle of York in April 1813.   The lighthouse at Gibraltar Point built in 1809 still stands (sorry, no photo).

In 1833 Michael O’Connor built a hotel on one the islands.  He used a horse-drawn boat to ferry customers across from the mainland to his hotel.  At that time, there was still access by road but it was a toll road.  In 1836 it cost sixpence for every four-wheeled carriage drawn by two horses.  Smaller ‘vehicles’ paid less.   In 1858 the hotel (now Quinns Hotel) was destroyed during the same hurricane that turned the peninsula into an island.  The hotels were destroyed but the islands remained popular.  With no road access, ferries were needed and many people ran private ferry services until they were bought out or amalgamated into the Toronto Ferry Company in 1892.  It was privately owned until 1926 when it was purchased by the City of Toronto for $337,500.

ferry, ceiling is full of orange life jackets, railings along edge, Lake Ontario, benches to sit on but no people

blue abstract from two blue doors with cut out where handle should be

Many houses and businesses, (hotels, restaurants, bowling alley, laundry, theatre etc) were established over the years from Hanlon’s Point in the west to Wards Island in the east.   Today, residences are only in the eastern section of Wards Island and on Algonquin Island.

The Ward’s Island community began in the 1880s as a settlement of tents. Up until then, that eastern end of the islands was mostly wetlands.  The first summer colony on Ward’s in 1899 consisted of just eight tenants, each of whom had paid a fee of $10 rent for the season. The number of tents grew each year.  In 1913, the city felt it necessary to organize the community into streets. The evolution from tents to cottage structures progressed in stages with the building of floors, the addition of kitchens and then porches, resulting in the creation of the homes.

two houses on Wards Island, small wood housses, one bright blue and the other is white

grey wood siding on house with white door and small porch. Two yellow and metal chairs on the porch

In 1953 the municipal government changed their policy toward the Toronto Islands landscape and its residents. Businesses were removed and the systematic demolition and burning of homes began.  More of the islands became parkland.    There are 262 houses on Wards and Algonquin Islands today, down from about 630 residences on all the islands.  The last of the Lakeshore houses was removed in 1968 but traces of them still remain.

wood boardwalk along the foreground of the photo with a concrete path leading away from it, into an overgrown area

part of old concrete breakwater, once there was house here, number 170 embedded in the concrete

below: The pier on the Lake Ontario side.

metal fence in the foreground, beach, pier and Lake Ontario in the middle and background

below: Sandbags along the shore.  Last spring there was a lot of flooding here and the island was closed to visitors – sort of.  Ferries didn’t run and the park facilities were closed.  The islands are very flat and low so it doesn’t take much extra water to flood.

large white sandbags along the shore, beach on the other side, Lake Ontario in background with a row of rocks as breakwater a short distance from the shore, sign on the beach

sign fallen over and under water, surrounded by rocks, Lake Ontario

below: There is a small amusement park, Centreville, on Centre Island.

CN tower in the background, people on the Skyline ride at Centre Island passing over water, with large boats docked farther up the river

below: Island transport that can be rented if you don’t want to walk.

people cycling in 2 quadricycles, a four wheeled bicycle like vehicle, on paths,

the orange and white wall tile pattern of Pizza Pizza with a red bike parked in front of it.

below: Boats moored QCYC (Queen City Yacht Club), one of the three yacht clubs on the islands.

sailboats moored at a wood dock, QCYC

below: Sakura trees in bloom.   The trees were donated by the Sakura Project.  The aim of this project was to strengthen Japanese Canadian relations by planting cherry trees in visible locations across Ontario.   Between 2000 and 2012,  3,082 trees were planted at 58 locations.  The trees on Centre Island were planted in 2011.

path, sakura (cherry) trees on either side with their pink and white blossoms, other large trees around them with pale green of new leaves

below: Catkins from a red alder tree.  They almost look like raspberries packed tight together.

red fuzzy blossoms droop from the end of a tree branch

new yellowish green flowers on a tree, also leaf buds just opening,

ants in the bud on a tree

below: An early family of Canada geese.

family of Canada geese, 2 adults and 7 or 8 fluffy little goslings swimming in the water

below: The pier at the eastern end of Wards Island is bad need of repair.  To the right is the entry into the Eastern Channel (or Eastern Gap).

broken concrete pier into Inner Harbour of Lake Ontario, with Toronto skyline and CN Tower in the distance

below: Looking over to Algonquin Island.  Once upon a time this island was just a sandbar.

waterway, orange life ring and ladder on one side of the river, houses and docks, and boats on the other. r

two people standing on the shore of Center Island, looking at the Toronto skyline and taking pictures of it.

and back to the mainland.

people exiting a ferry, from above

Well, this May 2 4 weekend has been splendidly sunny and fabulously warm!  I hope you’ve had the chance to take advantage of it, whether sitting on a patio with a cold drink and friends, or out enjoying the the greenness that has bloomed all around us.   It’s been a great few days to get up close and take a good look at nature.

looking down at a piece of concrete at water's edge, in the concrete is a cut off hollow pole, there are pebble and water in the hole.

below: Old moss covered metal seems to reach out of Lake Ontario like claws.

old bent metal embedded in concrete but partially inderwater. Moss is growing over it and making it look green

below: Reflections in the Yellow Creek, Beltline trail.

reflections of trees and blue sky in a creek, blue water, dark brown tree trunks and mottled greens of the leaves, in a ravine, in the city

below: Wet pebbles with the beginnings of green moss growing on them shine in the morning sun.

pebbles in greys and browns in the water near the shoreline of Lake Ontario. The pebbles closest to the shore are bright green with the beginnings of moss growth

below: Greater celandine, a yellow flowering plant, blooms along the railing of Milkmans Lane.

yellow flowers in bloom in the ravine, against a railing post, with shadows cast on the wood, large green leaves

below: New growth unfolds in the sunshine.

small maple tree with lots of new red leaves that have just come out. Grey rocks blurry in the background

below: The dark pink blossoms were at their peak this week.

 many pink blossoms on the branch of a tree

below: Green and brown mosses sway with the water currents along the shore of Lake Ontario.

looking in the water beside some rocks. There is moss and algae in green, yellow, rust and brown swirling in the water of Lake Ontario

the end of a shovel is in the ground, behind a chainlink fence. The sun is shining and making reflections. The reflection of the chainlink fence is on the shovel.

below: The snow fences have been bundled up and put away for the summer.

rolls of wood slat snow fences bundled away for the summer in large rolls. 4 rolls viewed from the end.

There is time between winter and spring that is a dreary time of greyness and dullness.  It is a time when the the snow is gone but nature hasn’t come out of hibernation.  It is also a time best forgotten.

between winter and spring, the snow has melted, there are no leaves on the trees, the weather is grey, looking down a path that comes to an end in front of a bench. Behind the bench are trees, dead leaves on the ground, and a grey stone fence. dreary, grey

Luckily we don’t have to wait long.

A man sits on the edge of a large planter with trees and shrubs in it in front of Roy Thomson Hall. There are no leaves on the tree yet.

… just a little longer ….

Two red Muskoka chairs sit on the Wave Deck at the waterfront in Toronto. Boats in the harbour are in the background, some with plastic wrap still on them from winter storage.

or if you can’t wait, there’s always plastic!

a garden full of fake flowers, colourful plastic flowers instead of real flowers.

From the time the first spring flowers start to show

A small white fence with some empty planters in front of it. Old vines are on it (no leaves). There is a frame for plants to cling to in the shape of a lyre that is attached to the fence

until the time they are in full bloom is usually only a matter of days.

A group of bright yellow daffodils in the sunshine in full bloom with the front of Osgoode Hall on a warm sunny spring day. Blue sky.

Trees too soon show their colours.  The yellows of the willow trees usually appear first.

downtown Toronto, the white curved roof of the Rogers Centre with the CN Tower beside it. WIllow trees and grassy park are in front.
Almost daily the trees are greener…

Budding leaves - The light yellowish green new spring growth on a tree that is growing beside a greenish blue tinted window. Some tree reflections in the window too.

… or full of flowers.

looking upwards from below the branches of a magnolia tree in full bloom. Lots of pink and white flowers, no leaves, on the tree. Bright blue sky in the background. A sunny spring day.

And for another year we forget the last grey days of winter

A rack of geraniums in bloom for sale sitting outside a store. The sidewalk by the store is shaded with white, green and red umbrellas.

 

 

This week all the flowering trees and shrubs have come to life.  Also, a number of times I have looked out the subway window as the train passed Mount Pleasant cemetery and noticed the blossoms on the trees there.  Past experience says that the pinks and whites of these trees may not last long.  So I took my camera and macro lens to Mount Pleasant cemetery and played.

There were lilacs and forsythia and many others that I don’t now the name of.

little pink buds on the end of a branch of a tree

clusters of white blossoms on a branch of a tree with a brownish marble tombstone in the background

close up of the flowers of a horse chestnut tree.  Small white petals with pink and yellow markings, and large green seed pods.

close up a cluster of lilac buds, with one flower already open that is partially obscured by buds

bright pink flower on a blossoming tree

branches from a tree laden with pink blossoms in the foreground, a cemetery tombstone in the background

two white flowers in full bloom on a flowering tree

flowers partially open.  One bud is still closed and it is pink, when the flowers open they are white as the petals are white with pink tinges on the edges.

pinkish purple little flowers on a branch along with some dried brown pods left over from autumn.

chestnut tree in bloom in a cemetery.

A branch of a forsythia bush with many little yellow flowers on it

close up of new growth, new leaves, on a branch of a flowering tree

below: Apparently this tree is called a Moose Maple.

new growth on a moose maple tree, little dangling green parts and new leaves that are a pinkish colour
new growth on a moose maple tree, little dangling green parts and new leaves that are a pinkish colour - a slightly out of focus ant is climbing on the stem of one of the leaves.

 

The Sakura Project

The Sakura Project was started in the year 2000 with the objective of planting 3000 Japanese flowering cherry (Sakura) trees in Ontario as a symbol of Japan-Canada friendship.  By the time the project came to an end in the autumn of 2012, 3,082 trees had been planted at 58 locations across Ontario.  One of the locations was the St. George campus of the University of Toronto.  Here, at the corner of Harbord and Huron streets, 70 trees were planted in 2005.

Today, 4 May, the trees were in full bloom.  Perfect.   (Well, almost perfect – a little blue sky instead of the cloud cover would have been an added bonus)

 

rows of cherry trees in blossom in front of the Robarts library, a large concrete building

sakura, cherry blossoms, in full bloom - a branch laden with white flowers

sakura, cherry blossoms, in full bloom - a number of trees in a row.  A woman is using a smartphone to take photos of the blossoms.  she is just visible at the bottom of the picture

sakura, cherry blossoms, in full bloom - a pathway with a row of cherry trees on both sides.  The branches of the trees almost meet at the top to forma canopy of blossoms.

sakura, cherry blossoms, in full bloom  - close up of a cluster of blossoms

A couple sitting on a bench that is just behind a row of blossoming cherry trees.