Another informative nature walk with Miles Hearn

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:

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Of the many varieties of flower he pointed out, here are three: the first is common nipplewort (lapsana communis) not yet fully unfurled:

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Here is Deptford pink (dianthus armeria), a European import, presumably named after Deptford, the suburb of London:Cedarvale Miles Hearn walk July 2 2017 042

This is common cinquefoil (potentilla simplex), a native flower, so-called because of its five petals:

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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:

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And this is silky dogwood (cornus obliqua), one of the many types of dogwood, of which we have several in the park.

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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:

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This one is one of the types of bromegrass (bromus):

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For a change of pace, here is an English garden snail, somehow translated from its English garden to the depths of Cedarvale:

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And here is another plant very familiar to the English countryside: stinging nettle (urtica dioica):

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Finally, here is Miles holding a sample of another invasive plant, unfortunately found on our walk: Japanese knotweed (fallopia japonica):

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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.

John Cummings

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