a word about walking on ice and an American Robin at High Park: February 19, 2020

On frequently used walking trails, snow often turns to slush and then to ice when the temperature descends.

Although I will not lead groups onto shear ice, it can be difficult to avoid slippery sections. For this reason Ice Grippers are very useful at this time of year.

These can be purchased for a little over $30 at Mark’s Work Warehouse and come in different sizes. They are less expensive at Canadian Tire but I have had a few break.

It was good to see a Robin this morning (-3 degrees and overcast) though it has likely spent the winter here living off Buckthorn berries and other fruit and is not a spring migrant.

American Robin
American Robin
American Robin

Species list: Canada goose, mallard, American black duck, pekin duck, red-tailed hawk, ring-billed gull, hairy woodpecker,  downy woodpecker, white-breasted nuthatch, red-breasted nuthatch, black-capped chickadee, American robin, house sparrow, northern cardinal. (14 species)

Hundreds of gulls likely being chased by a Peregrine Falcon
Canada Geese
White-breasted Nuthatch
Mallards
Mallard (female)
Mallard (female)
Black Duck (female)
Pekin Duck

Some botany:

London Plane (Platanus x hybrida)
Black Oak (Quercus velutina)
Barberry (Berberis)

It was interesting to find Holly in the woods. Holly usually does not survive in this climate.

Holly (Ilex)
Phragmites (Phragmites australis)
Douglas-fir cones (Psuedotsuga menziesii)
Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)
Common Burdock (Arctium minus)

Park scenes:

This morning’s group:

NATURE POETRY

Winter for a moment takes the mind; the snow
Falls past the arc-light; icicles guard a wall;
The wind moans through a crack in the window;
A keen sparkle of frost is on the sill.     – Conrad Aiken (1889–1973)

Miles Hearn

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