The Big Reveal

12 December 2015 – Foliage drops away, nature’s bones are revealed: trunks, branches, seed pods, berries.

Without its boring leaves, weedy old Symphoricarpos albus reveals its fruit, glows like a candelabra, & justifies its common name: Snowberry. (The background greenery is ground cover, not on the bush.)

Snowberry bush at Mount Pleasant Cemetery

We admire it as we enter the north-west corner of Mount Pleasant Cemetery. The Tuesday Walking Society has decided to cut through the cemetery (also a significant arboretum), follow Moore Park Ravine south to Evergreen Brick Works, then cross the river to take the Lower Don Trail on down to …well, to wherever.

Numerous conifers in the cemetery, but plenty of deciduous giants as well. Tree structure imposes itself: the elegance of branch symmetry, the texture of bark, the ochre tint — all play against the muted ground cover & the worn white bench.

in Mount Pleasant Cemetery

(Now, if only I’d taken time to read the identifying tag on the tree!)

We cross Moore Av., drop into Moore Park Ravine.

“It’s so open!” cries Phyllis, looking around. It is quite a narrow ravine, in fact, but I know what she means. Leaves have fallen & we can see far & wide among the trees. We also see pink splashes on a distressing number of the trees, marking ones lost to the Emerald Ash Borer & soon to be felled.

Mud Creek in Moore Park Ravine

That’s Mud Creek, snaking through the depth of the ravine.

Just a slender little creek, a minor tributary of the Don River, not terribly important …

muddy dog is happy dog

But such a source of joy to wading dogs!

His owner shakes her head. “My other dog” — she gestures at a dark brown pooch, sitting politely in the path — “is already mud-coloured, but he won’t go in the water. Only this guy!”

Soon after, we pass a white cat.

under RR bridge across Moore Park Ravine

Oh all right, that’s a bit of a cheat. He’s just a street-art white cat hat on a lemon-yellow child’s head on a railway bridge trestle. But he sure is white!

We get an unobstructed view of the quarry-pond side of Evergreen Brick Works as we approach, its big red Muskoka chairs still in place, but its trees stripped for winter.

northern trail entrance to EBW

We see a sequence of signs, urging owners to leash their dogs. (The first, in case you can’t quite read it from this angle, is: “You love your dog.”) We admire how cheerful the signs are, the friendly way they issue their instructions.

dog-leashing signs, EBW

Then we read the fine print on the final sign, & burst out laughing.

fine print, re leashing your dog

For perhaps the first time ever, we do not stop for coffee: too early in the walk, we decide.

Instead, after a brief & tempting cruise through the retail shop, we — along with Mud Creek, & in our respective over- and underground ways — cross Bayview Avenue and join the Don River.

The Lower Don Trail is sandwiched between the east side of the river & the Don Valley Parkway. Sometimes the DVP is very close (and without screening foliage, it can feel even closer), sometimes the trail dips below expressway level & you regain your sense of dropping out of the city, into pure nature.

Prickly bushes scratch their silhouettes against the sky.

along the Lower Don Trail

Bare branches frame the repaired & repainted underside of the Prince Edward (aka Bloor) Viaduct. Still pristine, but surely not for long; savour the moment.

Prince Edward (Bloor) Viaduct from Lower Don Trail

Wonderful seed pods, or thistle heads, or whatever they are — I enjoy their lines without worrying much about their identity. (Though if you care to inform me, I will pass on the information.)

mystery pods, so shapely!

Back across the Don at Riverdale Park, one last look downstream between pedestrian bridge railings …

view south along the Don, from Riverdale Pedestrian Bridge

south to the bridges at Gerrard, at Dundas, at (hidden from view) Queen, on & on to the lake.

But not today! My eye travels on south, but my boots head west & home.

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. I wonder if Frosty likes snowberry pie?

    Reply
  2. I take my dog on walks in the Don valley trail Gerrard to about pottery road then back, it’s a lovely walk. I cross that bridge a many times.

    Reply
    • It’s a great trail, going farther on up the Don & right down to the lake

      Reply
      • If you end up going further down to the lake, shortly after king St you will encounter the bala underpass. I just painted a mural there. It’s not the underpass park. It’s on the Don trail.

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