A Walk at Cottonwood Flats: August 2020

Cottonwood Flats is a 7-hectare site with a rich and varied history, including use as a City snow dump until 1999. This, of course, was a terrible idea with polluting elements of the melting snow entering the Don River.

After much flooding here during Hurricane Hazel in 1954, many fragments from buildings being torn down were placed here to bolster the river banks.

Nowadays, ecological restoration has transformed the area into natural parkland.

Recently some ponds have been added:

Orange Sulphur Butterfly
Orange Sulphur Butterfly
Cabbage White Butterfly

This now being perfect habitat for the Eastern Cottonwood Tree, the area is dominated by them.

Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)

Nearby views:

No birds singing today. A cicada drawing should be substituted.
Song Sparrow

Some botany:

Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
Highbush-cranberry (Viburnum opulus)
Joe-pye-weed (Eutrochium maculatum)
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisifolia)
Spotted Spurge (Milk Purslane) Euphorbia maculata
Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare)
Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare)
White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)
Field Sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis)
Pinkweed (Persicaria pensylvanica)
Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)
Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens grandulifera)
Bird Vetch (Vicia cracca)
Creeping Bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum)
White Campion (Silene latifolia)
Evening Primrose (Oenothera)
Crown Vetch (Securigera varia)
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Birdfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatis)
Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)


And from the hot field’s farthest edge
The cricket’s soft refrain
With mellow accent tells the tale
That August’s here again.                   – Helen Maria Winslow (1851ā€“1938) 

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “A Walk at Cottonwood Flats: August 2020

  1. Lisa Volkov

    I love this familiar place. The last time I saw it was from then top of a hill (past winter), since they were doing work at the bottom, and it was partially fenced off. I was able to see a pond being developed. Now I see that some flat tops on concrete pieces I have stood on to see the river before have been painted in primary colours! Hmm. I have seen hawks standing on top of these “rocks”. I can live with these primary colours there, I suppose, I don’t even mind a bit of art or asphalt trail decoration (I got used to it), but hey, Evergreen and ravine renovators/caretakers,don’t turn this place into an overly manicured/decorated theme park!
    P.S. Thanks, Miles!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *