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Morning walk at Humber Bay

I enjoyed morning walk at Humber Bay today. It’s a beautiful spot on the west side of the city. There was hardly anyone around when I was there, except for a couple naturalist/birder types, who can be easily ID’d by the binoculars or cameras hanging from their neck.

The highlight of this morning’s walk was a beautiful juvenile black-crowned night heron, which I was able to see from about 20 feet away.

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There are spots at Humber Bay which seem quite wild and isolated….DSC08645.jpg

and also places where you get a great view of downtown Toronto….

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There were quite a few ducks around, including several hooded mergansers.

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Here are a few other highlights from the walk.

I met a nature enthusiast there who volunteers with Toronto Field Naturalists. I was only vaguely aware this organization existed. This fellow provided me with a bookmark with the website. When I got home, I went online and got us a family membership. Their mission is to connect people with nature in the Toronto area. It’s a volunteer-driven non-profit organization. They do over 100 guided nature walks each year + host many other talks and events. They also have some properties in the Uxbridge area which they operate as nature reserves.

I’ve long been connected to nature. I credit my father for instilling in me a love for the outdoors from an early age. For many years I fly fished extensively, then with the help of my brother, I got involved with foraging for mushrooms for the table. This year I’ve been going on weekly organized nature walks as well as walks on my own in which I can test my knowledge of the plants and birds I’ve learned about. Bit by bit I’m improving my ability to identify plants and birds.

One of the things I’ve learned this year is to enjoy the natural treasures right here in the city. We live in a great spot for this with Sam Smith Park to the east and Marie Curtis Park to the west, both destinations on the weekly organized walks. There are so many other Toronto treasures, including  the Don Valley, Leslie St. Spit, Rouge Urban National Park, Wilket Creek/Sunnybrook Park, Lambton Woods, Humber Arboretum, Clairville, and many more.

Before the spring bird migration, I hope to upgrade my camera. I’d like to concentrate on improving my photography skills next year.

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