Category Archives: Nature Walk Reports

Leaskdale, Ontario: April 1, 2020

I will admit to having read every one of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novels. As a musician I performed in the orchestra for several different productions of the musical “Anne of Green Gables.” Naturally I was interested to see the hamlet where she lived with her clergyman husband from 1911 to 1926.

The church is no longer used as a church:

former St. Paul’s
former St. Paul’s
statue of L.M. Montgomery

The manse is located across the street and is now a musiem.

Manse

 In her journals, Montgomery wrote that she enjoyed the rural environment of Leaskdale, but complained of the house’s “ugly” design and its lack of a bathroom and toilet.

Manse

My favourite chip wagon is located in Leaskdale:

Rooster’s

There still is a St. Paul’s here but it is now a “megachurch”.

St. Paul’s

Other sights here:

Uxbridge Creek

Just north is a property owned by the Toronto Field Naturalists:

I have visited here many times and taken many photos:

https://mileshearn.com/2019/05/29/jim-baillie-nature-reserve-may-2019/

My next stop was a visit to a nearby forest:

I was greeted in the small parking lot by 5 enthusiastically singing Song Sparrows:

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow

Other birds:

Mourning Dove
Mourning Doves
Red-winged Blackbird (male)

In the woods, the loudest sound was the slow beating of my heart interrupted on occasion by a drumming Ruffed Grouse.

Trail views:

Ice
Stones cleared by early farmers

My first butterfly of the season:

Painted Lady

Some botany:

White Ash (Fraxinus americana)
Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosum
White Pine (Pinus stobus)
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
White Spruce (Picea glauca)
Thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)
Ground-hemlock (Taxus canadensis)
Moss
Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris)
Bottlebrush Shield Lichen

NATURE POETRY

We’re cleaning up the Leaskdale Manse
we’re sweeping floors,
dusting furniture and
straightening everything out.
We’re mending bedticks,
sewing on buttons and patching clothes.
We’re prying secrets out of walls,
gathering dreams from gardens and
pulling tales out of floorboards.
We’re bringing the Manse back to life.
Come see how we’ve restored
Lucy Maud Montgomery’s home.
Come uncover stories of a gifted story-teller
her dreams, her angst, her sensitivity.
Saved within these walls.
Waiting to be discovered.
Wanting to be told. *

* Adapted from Rainbow Valley by L. M. Montgomery.

Miles Hearn