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Nature Walk in the Don Valley

The fall nature walks with Miles Hearn have begun. I’ll be going each Wednesday. Today we accessed the Don Valley at Beechwood Ave. Much of our walk was in the area known as Crothers’ Woods.

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Miles Hearn pointing out a hickory tree (the big one) and a Hop-Hornbeam (Ironwood) beside it

It was early spring the last time we walked this area. This time of year asters are the stars of the show.

Here’s something I learned about red oak. When they are young, the bark is flattish. When they get larger, some flat areas of bark remain as seen in this photo.

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Red oak bark


I’m used to seeing Canada goldenrod, which is very common.

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Canada goldenrod

There are other varieties as well, such as Grass-leaved goldenrod

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Grass-leaved goldenrod

….and Zigzag goldenrod

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Zigzag goldenrod

Two plants which often grow together in exposed areas around here are Teasel and Tansy.





This area of the Don Valley was once home to a paper mill. The paper used for the Globe and Mail came from this mill. When it closed in 1989, significant work was done to clean up the area and regenerate plant life. These days it’s a really nice area for a nature walk or a bike ride. Here’s a remnant of the mill.remnants.jpg

When we were up in the woods, walking a narrow trail, I noticed a very interesting mushroom, which I believe is the Eastern cauliflower mushroom. cauliflower mushroom.jpg

This is a choice edible, although I’m not sure I want to eat mushrooms growing on the site of a paper mill. I settled for a photo.

Next week, we’re at Rouge Valley park in the far east end of the GTA. It’s a beautiful spot and I’m looking forward to going back there. We might even see some salmon going upriver.






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