17th April: The signs of spring are everywhere now. I took the photos below about 10 days ago. This is one of the earliest flowers to appear:
It is coltsfoot (tussilago farfara) underneath the Bathurst St bridge. It is part of the aster family, as is the dandelion, and is non-native. Its common name refers to the supposed resemblance of its leaf to a colt’s foot. The “tussis” of its Latin name means “cough” and refers to the plant’s reputation as a cure for coughs.
I am waiting for my favourite spring ephemeral: the trout lily. Many tree buds are appearing; I am not sure what this pink one is:
The red of dogwood red osier is apparent everywhere, and the willows are starting to show their green:
My wife has contributed this poem for the blog:
Somewhere between sidewalk above
ravine pathway below
lies a curious boundary
where city selves are shed.
Filtering green, narrowing path–
the first steps remain city
blank faces, avoidant eyes,
about half way down valley slope
trees spread out their shade,
and eyes meet, a smile,
a muttered “hi”.
Still further down
conversations with strangers,
about dogs, red-winged blackbirds,
the old guy picking up garbage.
The sheltering ravine
makes villagers of us all.