But first, about last week:
A TTC trip and then a ten-minute walk south on Leslie Street took us to the gates of Tommy Thompson Park. Known somewhat irreverently as The Leslie Spit, this walkers’ paradise juts jauntily out into the lake (in several directions) and provides a wonderful place to seek wildlife, beautiful views, quick-growing trees, and… ah! peace. Four of us, quick-steppers all, walked and looked, all the way out to the lighthouse and back. With a picnic and a four-minute siesta in a little cul-de-sac, at the halfway point. What an excellent morning! (And early afternoon!) An excellent challenge, and a beautiful day for it. Glad we finally made this trip.
Have a look:
Skylar and Sally on old commercial tracks to lower Leslie Street
Kathy, Skylar and Sally, heading for the fork in the tracks. Heading for Private Property. (Oops.)
Pretty tithonia – a great annual, on lower Leslie Street, near the Allotment Gardens.
Lots of caterpillars and a few snails spotted. And more! (Stay tuned!) Kathy saved this fuzzy caterpillar from the road.
A view of two towers: the CN in the distance, and the Hearn Generating Station chimney, nearby.
A view of downtown skyline from the east, across the Leslie Spit marina (Hearn on the right, with chimney).
Looking southeast, out over the lake.
Much of the spit was made of landfill and reclaimed construction waste (started in the 1950s, and continuing today). So… eventually bricks wash clean and re-bar pokes through, making the “shore” areas a bit dangerous. On the other hand, these materials make nifty site-specific sculptures! (More, later… )
Looking south/southwest – a gorgeous morning. So far, low clouds and clear skies…
A rubble shore area. Nothing like a little construction waste to give a place some weight.
Bessemer, Youngstown, Ohio Block – an old brick, perhaps. Used in many regional buildings and roads.
Skylar catches a milkweed seed. This must mean good luck.
Kathy shows us knapweed – a particularly “hardy” (haha – we decide not to say “invasive” anymore… maybe) indigenous plant.
Another rubble beach, with some stacking sculptures.
Another view of that “beach” with sun on the water.
A closer view of some of the stacked structures.
The pathways that include rubble and construction waste break down… eventually! This area had plenty of bits of former granite counters or floors.
At one of the lagoons, designed to attract migrating birds, and called “cells” on the park’s maps. These small bodies of water are naturalized in different ways, with wetlands and little islets and more. In the distance, just right of centre, we spot a white egret (or heron – a bit too far to tell… and had neglected to bring binoculars).
Kathy, Sally and Skylar watch the egret (or??) and we also see a few ducks on the waters of this “cell.”
Totally over my fear of snakes. Small garter snakes, anyway. This delightful one was about 14″ long and slithered gracefully across our path.
By noon, the sky was full of contrasting cloud types and bright sun. Gorgeous!
Panorama of sky, lake, road, Skylar, Sally, Kathy. (And some chap on his bike. If you go to visit, a bike is a good way to go!)
Another one of the ponds, with cormorant nests in the distant trees.
City skyline beyond a lagoon with a sailboat. So, this area is an “embayment” – a bay created, accessible to the lake.
Clouds. Directly overhead. Irresistible texture.
Here’s that brief siesta I mentioned! This little cul-de-sac looked towards the distant city, and gave us some shade for a lunch break… and nap! (A very short nap!)
Meanwhile, city-side, the Goodyear Blimp is cruising near the CN Tower.
Sally on one of the bridges crossing over a fish-weir, between a “pond” and the lake.
Can anyone tell us what these are? Nuts? Fruit? We’ve seen them before. I even encountered them in Nova Scotia. No idea what they are. I’ll bet Elizabeth knows!
These, on the other hand, I wasn’t so keen on! Quite the infestations of red and black beetles (“milkweed bugs” – really their name!), on the milkweed pods. Not everywhere, but certainly on many of the pods in this small area. They looked… carnivorous. But are, apparently just feasting on the pods, and not harmful. On the other hand, they can limit the pods use to nesting Monarch butterflies. The case for them seems mixed.
We arrive at the southwest point’s hilltop lighthouse, circle around it, and head back.
Looking east from the tip of The Spit. (Which, by the way, is not technically a “spit” at all!) (But we Torontonians love our nicknames!)
Love this photo! Sally, Kathy and Skylar at the point, looking out at all the sailboats. It looks dark because I’m looking towards the sun, but it was around 1:00 p.m. Very beautiful day!
Another lovely silhouetted mid-day lakeside photo of great walkers!
More interesting rubble sculptures, near the point of The Spit. Of course, landfill arrives often, and so the Tommy Thompson Park continues to grow. Who knows what shape it will eventually take?
Bricks break down in the waves, sometimes leaving just a “donut” shape. Perfect for making these lakeside re-bar sculptures.
Panorama of city and lighthouse, looking north.
Kathy, Sally, me and Skylar – with TO behind us. Pretty happy with this walk!
Walking feet and shadows… no walk would be complete without one of these photos!
And Skylar found us another apple tree. This was the best one, so far.
Crisp, sour, and a little bit bumpy. We’re okay with that!
Click on any image for larger files, in carousel slide-show.
Last year, I visited The Spit alone, and followed a different path, along the incomplete construction area. A few different photos, here! And guess what? The week after that past Spit-walk… we took a great Island Thanksgiving walk. Who remembers such things? (Not I.) Anyway, we’re certainly doing that again, too!
Sunday, October 2, 2016:
Meet at the Y at 9:00, as usual. We’re going by TTC to the ferry docks, and over to the Islands for ANOTHER PICNIC!
There’s no formal plan for this island stroll. We’ll grab whichever ferry leaves first and start walking. RAIN or SHINE! Our wonderful Island friend, Tony, will meet us for lunch, and a bit more walking. There are departing ferries, often, at all three docks on the Island, so you can head home whenever you like, if you have afternoon plans.
- TTC fares
- Ferry fare (it’s return: $7.50 adult/$5.00 senior)
- Water, sunscreen, shades, hat, umbrella…
- A picnic! Bring something you’ll look forward to eating! We’ll stop and sit by a lagoon or on the beach, to enjoy an excellent lunch view. Let’s wing it, and just decide when we find the right spot.
This walk will get us back to the Y (or wherever you need to go, in town) by early to mid-afternoon. If that suits you, or if you want to join us for a bit, and then grab a ferry back before the rest, that’s fine. C’mon along!
COMING RIGHT UP:
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, next week (the official date, that is!). We’re taking our picnic (this week) a week early, to try to include more folks. So, let’s take a St. Lawrence Market area/antique market walk next Sunday. That should be terrific.
Lots of great walks ahead. Leaves will start to change colour soon. Fall really is the best season for walking!
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Feel free to bring a friend along to share our walks. That has always turned out well! We’ll see you soon.
You’re just finding WestWalking for the first time?!
Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you Sunday!
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