Ducks in a Waterfall at Edwards Gardens: July 2020

Over 150 years ago this location was the home and location of a mill owned by William Milne. The property passed through several hands until bought in 1944 by businessman Rupert E. Edwards who turned the 27 acres of overgrown land into his summer place.

In 1955 he sold the property to the city and it became “Edwards Gardens” a park for everyone to enjoy. Edwards Gardens and Toronto Botanical Garden now act as a natural and cultural oasis for plants, people and wildlife in the city.

Song Sparrow
Weeping Willow

When I arrived, a fellow photographer alerted me to the presence of an “eagle.”

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

There was an overly friendly raccoon who kept charging towards me.

Raccoon

I kept clapping my hands and shouting for it to keep away which reminded me of my Antarctic cruise ship naturalist days. In certain locations there, fur seals run towards people at a quick pace (flippers can move pretty quickly!). Part of my job was to make loud noises to keep them at bay.

male Fur Seals
Raccoon
Raccoon
Raccoon
Raccoon
Raccoon

There was an interesting sight at the little waterfall:

A mother mallard was sitting on top:

Splashing below were several almost adult ducklings.

There was clearly a game going on and this photo shows what it was:

None of the literature that I have seen mentions mallards including fish in their diet. This was “catch and discard” and they were having a ball doing it.

Some insects:

Eastern Bumble Bee
Carolina Grasshopper
Carolina Grasshopper
Carolina Grasshopper
Cabbage White Butterfly
Cabbage White Butterfly
 Duskywing
 Duskywing
Ebony Jewelwing (male)
Ebony Jewelwing (female)
Ebony Jewelwing (female)
Ebony Jewelwing (female)
Ebony Jewelwing (male)
Ebony Jewelwing (male)
Acadian Hairstreak butterfly:
Acadian Hairstreak butterfly:
Bee on Field Sow-thistle
Water Strider
Carrot Seed moth
Carrot Seed moth
Silver-spotted Skipper

Thank-you to Ken Sproule for assistance in identification.

NATURE POETRY

Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots, and gillyflowers.              – Sara Coleridge (1802–52)

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “Ducks in a Waterfall at Edwards Gardens: July 2020

  1. Lisa Volkov

    What a riot, those ducks. (If poor fish!) Who would have ever imagined (not me!) they would come up with such a game? As for the raccoon–a lot of overly “friendly” critters in this gorgeous place, people and children feed them a lot–I’ve encountered some pretty bold chipmunks there! Of course, you did the right thing–what if it had been rabid or aggressive?
    Beautiful pictures–I love the insects “set off” by flowers (Yeah, I know–they aren’t there to pose for us, but it sure is aesthetically pleasing!) Thanks, Miles (and Ken)!

    Reply
  2. Pina

    Gorgeous photos.
    Interesting post.
    Beautiful spot.
    That raccoon wanted to be your friend.
    (Take a look at the “Racoon Whisperer” on you tube. I can’t decide if he is doing the right thing or not, but I can see myself feeding wild animals.)

    Reply

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