Today’s walk with naturalist Miles Hearn was at Lambton Woods, near the Humber River. This is a Toronto treasure. There’s lots of parking in the James Gardens parking lot and trails both along the river and through the woods.
We saw and heard quite a few birds today. Miles identified 21 species. You can see his full list in the nature walk report he published on his website.
This is the best time of year for asters and over the past couple weeks we’ve been seeing lots of them.
There are a couple varieties of euonymus which are known as burning bush, the Winged euonymus and the Spindle tree.
There were a number of mushrooms fruiting today, including these puffballs. Most people are familiar with the giant puffballs but there are varieties of small puffballs which grow on wood. Most are edible as long as they are still pure white. Once they start changing colour like the ones in the picture below, don’t eat them.
The birch polypore below is growing on a yellow birch tree. These are reputed to be excellent fire-starters.
What are these slimy mushrooms?
Speaking of slime, we saw quite a bit of slime mould today. It is such weird but colourful stuff.
Many people refer to cattails as bull rushes but that is not correct. Here are some Barber pole bullrushes we saw today.
What’s the most muscular tree you know? My pick is the blue beech. Sometimes it’s known as musclewood or ironwood. It gets confusing to use ironwood though, because another tree, the Hop hornbeam is also known as ironwood.
Each week Miles identifies a mind-bending number of plants. I’m trying to learn as many as I can. On each walk I write down the name of every plant I photograph then later match the photos and the names and look up quite a few of them on the internet to increase my learning about these plants. Even with this effort, I forget a lot of them, but I’ve been going on these nature walks since early spring and I’ve learned to identify quite a number of plants and trees and flowers. Repetition helps. The challenge is that many plants change through the season and in the spring look much different than in the fall.
Here’s a few more photos I shot today. Each of them are labeled.
Next week, we’ll be in High Park.