9th July: On Sunday 2nd July, well-known naturalist Miles Hearn led another of his interesting nature walks, starting as usual from the St Clair W subway entrance on Heath St. There were about 20 of us in the group. The weather was warm and sunny – at the start. Halfway through the walk there was a heavy shower; some of us sheltered under the Bathurst St bridge and others under some trees; some people gave up at this point. Unfortunately, the only photo I took of the group did not turn out well, so you will have to imagine us (after the rain, we looked pretty bedraggled). Miles’ knowledge is so encyclopedic that I can only give you a few samples of the plants he identified for us. Here he is, holding a wych elm leaf (ulmus glabra), a European species:
Of the many varieties of flower he pointed out, here are three: the first is common nipplewort (lapsana communis) not yet fully unfurled:
Here is Deptford pink (dianthus armeria), a European import, presumably named after Deptford, the suburb of London:
This is common cinquefoil (potentilla simplex), a native flower, so-called because of its five petals:
Miles also showed us several different trees and bushes. Staghorn sumac (rhus typhina), one of the many types of sumac, is plentiful in the park:
And this is silky dogwood (cornus obliqua), one of the many types of dogwood, of which we have several in the park.
Apparently, there are hundreds of types of grasses. Miles said that five of them account for the majority of those seen. Here are two of them: reed canary grass (phalaris arundinacea), classified by the Ontario Invasive Plant Council as an invasive species. It is the whitish plant in the middle. There is a lot of this in the park:
This one is one of the types of bromegrass (bromus):
For a change of pace, here is an English garden snail, somehow translated from its English garden to the depths of Cedarvale:
And here is another plant very familiar to the English countryside: stinging nettle (urtica dioica):
Finally, here is Miles holding a sample of another invasive plant, unfortunately found on our walk: Japanese knotweed (fallopia japonica):
Correction to my previous posting about poison ivy: Contrary to the information in the federal government document I quoted, Miles said merely brushing up against a poison ivy leaf can give you a rash; others in the group agreed with him.
Once again, many thanks to Miles for giving up his time on a Sunday afternoon to educate us about the many plants we have in our ravine!
I have posted a revized list of birds to the “Flora and Fauna” section of the web site (drop down under “Cedarvale Park”) compiled by avid birder Ken Morin.