I seem to be getting farther and farther behind on posting to my blog. But I guess each year has its own rhythm.
A favourite spot of mine is Parc-des-Rapides which juts out into the St. Lawrence River beside the Lachine Rapids. This is also a favourite spot for a variety of birds. Even on a hot day there are usually cool breezes. Though once I made the mistake of going there on a cold winter day and my camera battery and my fingers did not last long!
This egret was patiently fishing, oblivious to the many gawkers who watched, some behind long lenses.
This heron was well camouflaged. It took me a while to spot it across the water from me.
Despite the raucous cries of the red winged blackbirds, there is something very peaceful about walking amidst nature, listening not just to the birds but also the rush of the water of the rapids. The city disappears and there is a sense of really being in the moment.
Was fishing any better here? I'm not sure - but I couldn't resist one more photo.
Friday, June 1, 2018
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
What a difference a week makes. I went back to Bois de Liesse (May 13) and was greeted by a carpet of trilliums. The dog toothed violets have mainly vanished. The red trilliums looked tired. But it was glorious in the woods with white trilliums popping up everywhere.
They, too, will not last long as the leafy canopy spreads and will soon cast shadows on the forest floor. For now all is the bright green of spring.
The ferns, which last week were slowly uncurling, are now upright and plentiful.
Some poke their fronds above the riot of trilliums.
Each year I feel I need to go on this pilgrimage to pay hommage to these flowers. Their time here is short yet their presence seems to announce spring for me. Each year I aim my lens looking for the perfect shot.
of the perfect trillium.
This park is home to wildlife from birds to squirrels and this raccoon who eyed me warily as I stopped to admire him. There are signs, too, warning of coyotes in the area. They are a fairly recent addition to our urban landscape.
He stopped for a drink after checking us out and then warily moved on. We continued our walk refreshed by just being in the forest.
Monday, May 14, 2018
The air says spring. The gardens say spring. Each day Mother Nature adds dabs of paint to her canvas, filling out the spaces. Blossoms appear where days before there were just bare branches.
Gardens become lush with flowers. It is all so transient as spring flowers make their short appearances.
Each year the magnolias take my breath away. Stop and admire. They too, display their splendour for just a short time before the leaves take over. Everything in its own time...
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Spring is a parade of delights as each day brings new changes. Each flower takes its turn, some lasting only days while others linger. I walked up in Summit Woods on May 5. The woods were full of dog-toothed violets (aka trout lily or erythronium americanum). Their splotchy leaves and bright yellow flowers were easy to spot.
We also spotted some sanguinaria canadensis. The trilliums were still reluctant - some leaves but no sign of flowers.
On May 6 a friend and I went to Bois-de-Liesse where the trilliums were starting to open. In most spots, it was still only and occasional flower that revealed itself.
Ferns were starting to unfurl.
And Sanguinaria reached for the sunlight.
Some interesting fungus was growing near a dead log. Anyone know what it is?
A cluster of dogtoothed violets grew near a tree trunk.
I always search out the red trilliums which open before the white ones. They are far less plentiful than their white cousins and so each one seems precious. Did you know that trilliums take 7 - 10 years to go from seed to flower?
Here is a variety of flowers together. Enjoy as they won't last long.
Sunday, April 22, 2018
I started to see a few flowers on March 30. I always love to catch the first blooms - such a sign of rebirth. But spring in Montreal takes time to take hold.
There are microclimates. Just a slight rise in elevation and there were no flowers to be seen. Mont-Royal still had quite a bit of snow in the woods (April 2).
On April 6 I spotted these flowers growing in a fairly protected spot. These hardy snow drops and scylla are always among the first to appear. April has been quite grey and rainy. Any colour I see is a feast for the eyes.
This year spring has been particularly reluctant to appear with below average temperatures and some downright nasty weather. On April 16 we had ice pellets, freezing rain and eventually rain.
Each day I would think it was the last time I would wear my heavy winter coat and each day I would realize it was the best for the weather.
Finally winter is receding. Seasonable temperatures (above 10°C / 50°F) have finally arrived. While snow is still spotted, most of the ground is free of it.
In the forest in Bois de Liesse, where I was walking with a friend, there is new growth beginning. This is a favourite spot for seeing trilliums, but there was no sign of even the sprouts.
Even without spring green, it was peaceful to be in the woods. We could hear birds, glimpsed a couple of woodpeckers and saw both grey and little red squirrels scampering in the dried leaves.
Soon these tenacious dry leaves will be pushed off to make way for this year's leaves.
With a few days of sun and warmer weather, spring will jump into action. Flowers seem to grow before your eyes. Each day the changes bring new delights.
Friday, March 2, 2018
Outdoors spring-like temperatures have come early with day time highs over freezing. The landscape is dirty. As snow melts the residue of winter filth is concentrated leaving a black coating over what is left of the snow. Sidewalks still have the gravel and sand that was spread to prevent falls on ice. I dream of tulips.
On my last trip to the market, I picked up a bunch. Indoors, at least, I enjoy hints of spring. I do like winter - when there is actual winter weather - cold, fresh snow, and a blazing blue sky. But grey is just that - grey skies, grey on the snow, a leaching of brightness from everything around.
These flowers make me slow down, to stop and take in each detail, to enjoy their transience. This year, I have vowed, there will be a succession of tulips to chase away the greys and enjoy the coming of spring.
Friday, February 9, 2018
Saturday, February 3, 2018
I was walking through the park when I heard the loud cawing of crows. Just outside the park hundreds of crows were gathering in the trees. I've seen swarms of crows like this before. Why do they do this? I know they return to an area to roost each evening but this is not their usual roosting spot.
Whatever the reason, it is quite a site to behold. I was just sorry I only had my phone camera with me. My walk was not a planned photo walk.
Friday, January 12, 2018
Some days are absolutely glorious. The sun shines. The temperature is at the perfect spot of being cold enough to feel crisp but not so cold that you huddle into your coat. It invigorates and puts a smile on my face.
The sun sparkles on icy surfaces. When I was a child we used to like to break off icicles and suck on the. Now, armed with more knowledge, I shudder at the idea - the pollutants we ingested, the dirt...
And then overnight the mood changes as the temperature rose above the freezing point. Rain fell and a mist rose. A temporary winter reprieve.
I like the mystery of mist - the silence that seems to descend and the feeling of the unknown as vistas shrink.
Even the dogs in the dog park seemed more subdued - sitting as if adjusting to this silent landscape.
Winter will be back in full force tonight. Here is the forecast (temperatures are in Celsius) :
Mother Nature plans a lot of activity for Montreal to transform, yet again, our city.
Sunday, January 7, 2018
We have hit a spate of frigid weather. Each morning I get a new delightful piece of art painted on my windows.
I have to stop and admire each detail - lines and textures, painstakingly created.
The sun, despite the outdoor temperature of -23°C (-10°F) is washing it all away, cleaning the canvas leaving space for a new creation tomorrow.
Some days it is like an icy garden, others like fairies dancing.
A fleeting moment of beauty.