Today’s nature walk with Miles Hearn was at one of my fave places for a walk, Sunnybrook Park. There are actually two large parks side by side, Sunnybrook Park and Wilket Creek Park, where we’ll visit next week. There are beautiful trails along the West Don River nestled between York University’s Glendon College and the wealthy Bridle Path area.
It was rainy this morning and I expected it to be a somewhat soggy walk, but the rain stopped and conditions were quite cool but otherwise great. There was water on some of the trails but not excessive.
We saw a number of bird species, including the white-throated sparrow, above, and a yellow-rumped warbler, but today was really all about learning some plants.
We saw quite a lot of bloodroot this morning. Mostly the flowers on these lovely plants had not opened up yet.
Colt’s Foot is one of the easiest to identify spring flowers. It’s a yellow flower that appears without any leaves. After the flowers die away, the distinctive leaves appear.
Cut-leaved Toothwort is a new plant for me. It’s a native wildflower, scientific name: Cardamine concatenata.
Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant in our area. When it’s little, it looks pretty, but it is aggressive and will crowd out other plants.
One interesting surprise in this forest is the presence of ramps, or wild leeks. These are delicious edible plants, but in some areas, they are becoming rarer and rarer because people dig them out faster than they can spread.
There are two types of false Solomon Seal, as well as the genuine variety. We saw plenty of the Star-flower False Solomon’s Seal this morning.
We only had a small group today. I think the weather had some folks thinking twice about a nature walk. Next week we visit Wilket Creek, Sunnybrook’s sister park.