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Posts Tagged ‘autumn’

The unseasonably warm and ideal walking weather prompted me to get out and enjoy nature and it’s autumn splendor once again. On Thursday I ventured westward over to High Park.

This is the park of my childhood. I grew up a couple blocks away and even though I had a large backyard I still spent considerable time in the park. It was where I caught tadpoles, went toboganning and socialized.

The last time I lived in Toronto I also lived in this area. As an adult I appreciated High Park for its natural and landscaped areas, serenity, restaurant and farmer’s market. The park has a zoo, sports facilities, an off-leash dog park, playgrounds, picnics areas, trails and ponds. In days gone by you could skate on Grenadier Pond in the winter and rent paddle boats in the summer. Ecological rehabilitation takes priority now. This park is a treasure!

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Toronto is having an atypically warm first week of November with temperatures around 20C. Add sunshine into the mix and what better than to spend the afternoon over on the islands. Many others had the same idea. A few people were swimming, paddling, kayaking, boarding and sailing. In Toronto, in November!

What a lovely place to spend an off season afternoon! I had forgotten about this past weekend’s time change and was surprised by how early and quickly it became dark. While there were many cyclists on the ferry when I set out for Ward’s the passengers on the 5:45pm return trip were mostly on foot.

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One of several sculptures commemorating the 38,000 Irish famine victims who arrived on Toronto's shores in 1847

One of several sculptures at Ireland Park commemorating the 38,000 Irish famine victims who arrived on Toronto’s shores in 1847.

It felt like a day for wandering along the waterfront. I appreciated my encounters with art, nature, coffee and other things on this day after Halloween, this Day of the Dead.

Part of Meryl McMaster's In-Between Worlds series

Part of Meryl McMaster’s In-Between Worlds series

Squirrel

Squirrel

Cutie-pie dog

Cutie-pie dog

It’s difficult to participate in life fully, i.e., have meaning, work and an income when the world doesn’t see you. So, even though I’m wearing the fall coat that I have on all the time I’m still linking up with Patti’s Visibles over at Not Dead Yet Style. I need another dozen years of visibility.

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Autumn walk at Riverdale Farm

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On Sunday afternoon Todmorden Mills was the site of a precarious convergence of history, nature and thrifting.

The Northern Hemisphere’s cooler temperatures and vivid fall foliage induces people to get outside and, optionally, take photos. I really needed a nature fix. The Don Valley is the closest nature oasis to me. I had scored at the thrift shop on Saturday and also wanted an outfit of the day venue. My humble little Nikon Coolpix is such a sad camera but I put it to the task at Todmorden Mills.

Todmorden Mills currently functions as a museum, art centre and wildflower preserve. The site has experienced several adaptations. In 1795 two brothers were granted land to build the mill. A brewery was built in 1820. The mill was converted to a riding stable in the 1920s. It served as a German prisoner of war camp in the early 1940s. The site was modified and lost direct river access with the construction of the Don Valley Parkway. Jean Gertrude “True” Davidson, former mayor of East York, proposed it as a centennial project and it became a historical site in 1967.

I checked out the Watercolour Society’s art show in the Papermill Theatre and Gallery space. As often happens when I visit a smaller gallery I think back to how I assumed creating would be an essential part of my life and wonder why it isn’t. Flux. A poster reminded me that this space houses a community theatre group. Years ago I had been a member of a community theatre club in York Region and a few members were also involved with this club, The East Side Players.

I was meandering the grounds in several new to me pieces. I had purchased three items at the thrift store the day before. My eye was drawn to a rust and gray tones print blouse. It’s by Sandwich, a Dutch company, and I’ve had and currently have other items in this brand. It’s somewhat too big but the fabric is lightweight and semi-sheer so I can deal with it. I also spotted a black and white houndstooth scarf. I was surprised by the Burberry label and wonder if it’s fake. I was also quite pleased to take a black Tignanello clutch with removable strap home with me. I have a white Tignanello cross-body bag and I love the quality and design excellence of this Italian brand.

Also new are my Laundry by Shelly Segal black leggings. I picked these up a couple weeks ago at Winners (TJX Max). This is actually the first time I’ve worn leggings as pants. Yes, I’m late to the party. And, yes, I’m aware that there are very impassioned arguments for and against. I’ve worn them for yoga and fitness and with dress length tunics and skirts before but never with just a blouse. This is a long length blouse and I’m short so it’s more tunic length; nonetheless, I’d be comfortable wearing these leggings as pants with a shorter top. They also work with my riding boots (Franco Sarto, old, purchased on clearance). Change is a constant; flux is the norm!

In hindsight, I should have removed my jacket while taking at least some of photos.

I’m linking up with Patti’s Visible Monday party over at Not Dead Yet Style.

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Fishers

Fishers

I noticed a number of tweets highlighting fall walks for this Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend. I decided to head over to Tommy Thompson Park to take advantage of one of the volunteer guided walks. We went for a leisurely and informative walk over to the Bird Research Station. Along the way we met a few birders who were kind enough to share their binoculars with us. At the station we chatted a bit with the conservation staff person. He and the volunteers were busy banding birds. Our guide, I didn’t catch his name but he’s originally an oceanographer from Uruguay who met a Canadian woman and is now an environmental student here, mentioned that the cormorants in the park nest in the cottonwood trees. It’s unusual as cormorants normally nest on the ground and it’s killing the trees.

Bird banding at the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station

Bird banding at the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station

Cormorant nests in Cottonwood trees

Cormorant nests in Cottonwood trees

As I was already at the park and it was such a lovely day I decided to continue walking on my own after the guided excursion. I made it over to the lighthouse and had meant to look for the turtles at the pond on the way back but forgot about it.

Lighthouse at Tommy Thompson Park

Lighthouse at Tommy Thompson Park

When I left home this morning it was a chilly 6 degrees Celsius but by afternoon it had definitely reached the anticipated 15 degrees, or more likely warmer as I no longer needed to wear my jacket. I’m loving this weather!

Have you been out enjoying nature this holiday weekend?

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I’ve had my eye out for a fall jacket/coat. A few weeks ago I noticed Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Vizela jacket and its 56% clearance price reduction. Temperatures dropped this past week with a few early mornings in the single digit Celsius territory so I returned to MEC to make the coat mine. The colour, according to MEC’s website, is sleet but I’ll probably forget that and just think of it as pale gray. So far, I’m as pleased as can be with it.

The cooler weather had me wanting to make soup. I picked up the veggies at the market but couldn’t find celery. I don’t recall ever not being able to find celery before and put it down to shopping at the market stalls rather than a large grocery retailer. I made a delicious vegetable rendition with wonderful spicy notes of cumin and smoked paprika.

The missing celery reminded me that it is apple season. Aside from purchasing the usual local varieties I was thinking that maybe I should pick some crab apples and try making a jam or something with them. With seasonal harvest thoughts on my mind what do I see while walking through the park – chestnuts! A Google search reveals that chestnuts were almost entirely wiped out by a blight in North America during the last century. I didn’t know this at the time of my sighting but was still delighted to see the chestnuts on the ground. It reminded me of vendors selling roasted chestnuts from their carts when I was a child. Most chestnuts are cultivated in Europe (Italy and Portugal), China and Japan. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a chestnut but now I’d like to taste them. Simple pleasures.

I read my horoscope today. It suggested I seek out people and situations that inspire me and that I remind the world that I exist. Seriously! I’ll follow through on that by linking up with the Visible’s at Patti’s Not Dead Yet Style party.

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