Up and Down the Don River: Late May 2020

As rain was predicted (and arrived) at 11 am, I went out early to the Don Valley near Beechwood Drive. I headed north along the east bank of the Don, crossed the river around Seton Park and returned by the dirt trails that follow the west bank.

long-jawed orbweaver

This is the week for Honeysuckle blossoms and they were everywhere. Honeysuckle flowers are deeply lobed and irregular.

Morrow Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)
Morrow Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)
Morrow Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)
Morrow Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)
Morrow Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)

Our common honeysuckle shrubs are introduced from elsewhere. Morrow Honeysuckle is from Japan and has white blossoms:

Morrow Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)

Tartarian Honeysuckle is native to Eurasia and has pink blossoms:

Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)

These two honeysuckles hybridize to create Lonicera x bella and that is what most of our honeysuckles are.

Other botany:

White Elm (Ulmus americana)
Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila)
Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
Sweet-cicely (Osmorhiza longistylis)
Sweet-cicely (Osmorhiza longistylis)
Celandine (Chelidonium majus)
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis)
Orchard Grass (Dactylus glomerata)
Philadelphia Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus)
Philadelphia Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Barberry (Berberis vulgaris)
Yellow Rocket (Barbarea vulgaris)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Salsify (Tagopogon)
Privet (Ligustrum vulgare)
Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)
Common Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)
Common Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)

The Rough-winged Swallow loves the low cut banks of small streams.

Rough-winged Swallow den
Rough-winged Swallow
Rough-winged Swallow
Rough-winged Swallow
Rough-winged Swallow
Rough-winged Swallow
Rough-winged Swallow

I was hearing and catching short glimpses of Indigo Buntings, Baltimore Orioles, Mourning and Yellow Warblers, American Redstarts and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers but the heavy tree foliage makes it almost impossible to photograph them.

Here are some birds that were seen in the open:

American Goldfinch (male)
Spotted Sandpiper
Mallards (male)
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Downy Woodpecker (male)
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Belted Kingfisher (female)
Belted Kingfisher (female)
Belted Kingfisher (female)

NATURE POETRY

In the great gardens, after bright spring rain,
We find sweet innocence come once again,
White periwinkles, little pensionnaires
With muslin gowns and shy and candid airs.     – Dame Edith Sitwell (1887–1964)

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Up and Down the Don River: Late May 2020

  1. George

    OK call me “picky” but I believe it’s Common English name is “Northern Rough-winged Swallow.” True?

    Reply
  2. Lisa Volkov

    God, how I miss this place! Thank you, Miles, for doing the hike for me (and so many others). And such beautiful pictures!

    Reply
  3. Pina

    I really like rainy day photos a lot. They have a special feel to them.
    Good job!
    Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

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