Raven by a Railway Tressel: July 2020

In my youth, if I heard or saw a Raven, I knew that I must be north of North Bay. In the last few years, they have been moving south and it is not unusual to encounter one in our area in any of the four seasons.

Ravens have an incredible variety of croaks, squawks, whistles, grunts, bell notes and other sounds. It was this loud “singing” that brought an adult and its chick to my attention near a railway tressel by the Don River:

The adult was harvesting something from under some tree bark and presenting it to the chick.

Common Raven
Common Raven
Common Raven
Common Raven chick
Common Raven chick

Sometimes people are kind enough to alert me to interesting natural locales. Here is a note I got and followed up on:

Hi Miles
You may already know about this but I found a neat cut-through from Vanderhoof Ave (off of Laird) down into the valley – E.T. Seton Park. The entrance off of Vanderhoof is totally unmarked but it’s a well-trodden path, complete with abandoned homeless camp, lovingly homemade direction signs, and impressively dense forest canopy.

path entrance
Tent community
Don River

Some botany:

Staghorn Sumac male flowers
White Avens (Geum canadense)
Honeysuckle (Lonicera)
Honeysuckle (Lonicera)
Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
St. John’s-wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
White-cedar (Thuja occidentalis)
Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea)
Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)
Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria)
Birdfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatis)
White Clover (Trifolium repens)
Privet (Ligustrum obtusifolium)
Nipplewort (Lapsana communis)
Fringed Loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata)
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Bitter Dock (Rumex obtusifolius)
Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium)
Indian-hemp (Apocynumcannabinum)
Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
Wall Rocket (Diplotaxis muralis)
False Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Enchanter’s-nightshade (Circaea canadensis)
Wood-sorrel (Oxalis stricta)
Common Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)
Buttercup with 6 petals instead of usual 5

Other life:

American Robin
American Redstart (female)
Cabbage White Butterfly
Silver-spotted Skipper
Silver-spotted Skipper
Ebony Jewelwing (female – white on wing)
Ebony Jewelwing (male)


Very good in the grass to lie
And see the network ‘gainst the sky,
A living lace of blue and green,
And boughs that let the gold between.  – Katharine Tynan Hinkson (1861–1931)

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “Raven by a Railway Tressel: July 2020

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Amazing, the places one can find! There was one access/entry point (in fact, it looked like this one does) for which my hiking buddy and I decided to fasten a rope to the trees (not generally recommended, but it caused no harm to anything, we made sure of that, and greatly helped us get down safely). It stayed there for quite some time. Thanks, Miles!


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