Miles Hearn leads third annual nature walk

On Sunday 10th July, well-known naturalist Miles Hearn led a group of us on another of his very knowledgeable nature walks through Cedarvale ravine. Luckily, the weather could not have been better. Here is some of the group at the start (there were about 18 of us in total):

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During the two hour walk, Miles noted numerous species of trees and plants, and 15 birds. I will append a partial list of trees and plants at the end. The ones I mention here are just a small sample. Not far along the path, we came upon a crab-apple tree, the only native North American apple:

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Here is fringed loosestrife. We also saw plenty of purple loosestrife.

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Unfortunately, we also noted several examples of this plant close to the path:

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It is water hemlock, which looks rather like Queen Anne’s lace. It is described as highly poisonous when ingested: so keep away from it! Below, Miles is pointing to a dying red ash tree. We found a few healthy ash trees in isolated spots, but nearly all of the ash trees in the park have now been cut down, as they were killed by the emerald ash borer.

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Further north, beside the dog park, we saw viper’s bugloss:

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In the same area, we saw this purple flowering raspberry, planted about two years ago by Friends of Cedarvale in conjunction with Parks, Forestry & Recreation:

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Here Miles is explaining that this counts as only one leaf. I think it is a walnut.

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This plant is near the Bathurst St bridge and is called fowl manna grass:

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Right under  the bridge is this plant, called foxtail, or squirreltail, barley.

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Here Miles is holding up an invasive species which rejoices in the name of dog strangling vine:

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Here is the group at the end of the hike:

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We also saw/heard the following birds (from Miles’ web site report): American robin, American goldfinch, Baltimore oriole, black-capped chickadee, common grackle, downy woodpecker, gray cat bird, house sparrow, indigo bunting, Northern cardinal, red eyed vireo, red-winged blackbird, rock pigeon, song sparrow and white breasted nuthatch (15 species).

This was a most enjoyable and informative walk. We are very grateful to Miles for volunteering his time for this effort.

Our next event will be a tree/bush planting on Saturday 1st October at 10 am with Parks, Forestry & Recreation. Watch the web site for more details.

John Cummings

Appendix: partial list of trees and plants seen on hike (Miles has photos of some of these on his web site report):

Balsam poplar
Barber pole bulrush
Broadleaf plantain
Brome grass
Common burdock
Crab apple
Curled dock
Deptford pine
Dog strangling vine
Fowl manna grass
Fox/squirrel tail barley
Fringed loosestrife
Gelder rose or high bush cranberry
Glossy (European) buckthorn
Greater something ragweed
Grey dogwood
Indian hemp
Jewel weed
Missouri willow
Nanny berry
Nipple wort
Orchard grass
Path rush
Purple deadly nightshade
Purple flowering raspberry
Quack grass
Queen Anne’s lace
Red ash
Redtop grass
Reed canary grass
Riverbank grape
Sow thistle
St John’s wort
Viper’s bugloss
Water hemlock
White ash
White clover
White mulberry
Willow herb
Wych elm