Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Travelling Through the Upper East Don

Last Sunday I led a hike through parts of the upper east Don River. Since this isn't on my regular travel route I decided to take a look at the route prior to the hike. The trip up to the hike starting point at Don Mills Rd and McNicoll Ave. was eventful only with respect to the bus ride. I wanted to take my bicycle but I wasn't looking forward to the bike ride up to North York. So I decided to take the bus from Pape Station. Taking the bus with a bike is a little different than usual because I used the bike racks on the front of the bus for the first time. I was a little apprehensive but putting the bike on the bus was a snap and once in the rack it hardly moved at all.

But I digress. The trip along the path through the East Don Parklands was largely uneventful except for my discoveries at the new wetland. I will tell the rest of the trip through the photos I took along the way.

Sign at the trailhead. The sign tells the history of the area including a little bit about the early settlements of Oriole, Flynntown and German Mills.

German Mills Creek

Interpretive sign at the mouth of German Mills Creek. Some idiot placed the sign on the wrong side of the creek because it actually faces the East Don, not German Mills Creek. If you look closely, someone else has helpfully pencilled in a correction.

Mouth of German Mills Creek where it meets the East Don River. Note the muddier waters of the Don can be seen meeting the clearer waters of German Mills Creek.

A Black Cherry tree (Prunus serotina) in flower at Cummer Avenue

The Black Cherry flowers up close

A messy cluster in the tree denotes the lair of the Forest Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria)

New wetland just south of Cummer. Created last fall, it has been the site of plantings and other restoration work this year. A good place to visit.

Tadpoles in the pond. As a boy I called them pollywogs. Zoopolis has also blogged about these critters.

As I was looking at the tadpoles, I flushed a Killdeer out of some tall grass. I stopped to investigate and found its nest containing four speckled eggs. I left quickly after taking the pictures to minimize my disturbance.

A new bridge was built this year to connect the Don River path with Newtonbrook Creek. A very useful connection.

An old pond near Newtonbrook Creek. Note the non-native Yellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus) growing beside the pond.

The very native Canada Anemone (Anemone canadensis) growing beside the path.


Marnie said...

Lovely new wetland, and not a scrap of knotweed in sight. The eggs were a great find!

Unknown said...

I think this is about the first coverage of the middle reaches of the east Don River Valley south of Steeles Ave that I have seen in photographs. I often visit this section and do a fair bit of field naturalist and fish and wildlife survey's on a yearly basis. Everything is a working environment except for the water quality which is the worst in 50 years. I will be looking for the root source of the problems up in York Region in July 2009 if I can find them. JPB Toronto.