John Routh leads another nature walk in Cedarvale

On Sunday 21st June, John Routh led a group of some 13 people on a nature walk in the ravine. We started from the Tichester/Heath St entrance, where new exercise equipment had recently been installed. John gave a short history of the ravine since the cancellation of the Spadina Expressway and the building of the subway in the early 1970s: no planting was done because a faction continued to hope that the expressway would be built; as a result, virtually all of the plants and trees in the bottom of the ravine seeded themselves from the surrounding area and many are non-native.

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Above you can see John (second from left) talking to the group. Below is another shot of him with the group:

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Here he is explaining the difference between two different types of leaf:

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We learned the names of many plants in the ravine, including bittersweet nightshade, beggar’s tick and Canada anemone (shown below):

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Here John and Susan are discussing something:

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As an example of the use of natural predators to control invasive plants rather than herbicides or eradication, John told us that purple loosestrife was brought under control by the introduction from Europe of a beetle that likes to eat it – Galerucella calmeriensis. We actually found one of these beetles on some purple loosestrife and could get a good look at it.

This was a “third annual” walk by John. I just wish I could remember half the stuff he tells us. Next year maybe we will start at the Ava Rd (north) end of the park.

Next up on the blog will be a photo of the mural that Leo Baeck pupils have painted on the Glen Cedar footbridge; and a report on our table at our MP Carolyn Bennett’s Canada Day celebration at Wells Hill park (complete with photo of us with mountie).

John Cummings