PHOTOGRAPHER STEVEN EVANS & HIS WIFE, CYNDI, SPENT SOME TIME EXPLORING ‘THE LESLIE ST. SPIT’

Toronto is a city with many awesome places that some of us don’t take the time to explore. Not so with Steven and Cyndi. Over several years they’ve been out hiking and photographing Hidden Toronto.  The Leslie Street Spit is an ‘artificial-natural’ habitat, extending 5 kilometres into Lake Ontario at the foot of Leslie Street.The Spit was originally created largely from construction excavations, and is now home to numerous wild animals, birds and butterflies, as well as weekend joggers, cyclists and hikers.No dogs are allowed because there’s so much animal, bird and plant life on the Spit – over 400 plant species, 300 bird species, reptiles, foxes, otters, coyotes and beaver.Trails are paved and well maintained, and there are several off-trail areas as well.To see more work by Steven Evans go to this address – http://www.stevenevansphotography.com/

2020 IS PROVING TO BE A SEASON FOR OWLS – A BIG BARRED HAS PAID 4 VISITS TO ROSEDALE SOUTH

NANCY KENNEDY’ s garden in Rosedale South has been a touchdown site for one well-fed owl. The surroundings must be A+ since it has dropped by four times already. Barred Owls are large and stocky with rounded heads, no ear tufts and medium length rounded tails. Distribution is wide in North America, mostly along the eastern half from Florida to southern Canada. <PHOTO ABOVE by Nancy Kennedy>The population is increasing, so it seems this is a healthy species. When they’re nesting Barred Owls are known to sweep down on people. They’re also known for loud, nighttime screeching. <PHOTO ABOVE from the National Aububon Society>

THE LESLIE STREET SPIT – AN INNER CITY NATURE RESERVE ON LAKE ONTARIO

At the foot of Leslie Street, a 5 kilometre-long peninsula juts out into Lake Ontario.  Weekends, year round, the Leslie Street Spit (Tommy Thompson Park) is open to bikers, hikers, picnickers, birdwatchers, wildflower afficionados – anyone wanting to spend quality time with Mother Nature.  No dogs are allowed because there’s so much animal, bird and plant life on the Spit – over 400 plant species, 300 bird species, reptiles, butterflies, foxes, otters, coyotes and beaver.  Trails are paved and well maintained, and there are several off-trail areas as well.

TWO RED PANDA CUBS ARRIVED AT TORONTO’S ZOO OVER A MONTH AGO. THEY’RE GROWING QUICKLY

    They’re being well looked after by the Zoo’s dedicated team.  The Keeper Team wrote “As the cubs gain weight and strength we remain optimistic.”The Red Panda mother gave birth to them in the afternoon of Tuesday, July 14th.This is the first Red Panda pregnancy at the Zoo since 1996, and it’s the first offspring for mother ILA with father SUVA. <PHOTO – An adult Red Panda>

TORONTO’S TREES – SOME OF US TAKE 10.2-MILLION OF THEM FOR GRANTED

TORONTO’s 10.2 million trees occupy – surprisingly – only 20% of the urban landscape.  Half of them are in excellent or good condition; countless others suffocate in concrete boxes along urban spillways and city streets.A study, “Every Tree Counts”, tells us that “the structural value of our urban forest represents a staggering $7 billion.  Furthermore, the environmental and social services provided by the urban forest greatly exceed the annual investment in its management.The urban forest provides over $60 million annually in ecological services, including climate change and air pollution mitigation and energy conservation benefits, plus additional storm water management services.”TORONTO plants about 84,000 trees every year.  Approximately 54% of new trees in the city are regenerated naturally.  The remaining 46% are planted.  Spring and fall are spectacular seasons here, when our tree population looks its very best.

‘THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON’ – THE 100 WORKERS’ MONUMENT IN SIMCOE PARK

The 100 Workers Monument in Simcoe Park, Front Street West, consists of two long, low red granite walls.  On top are 100 bronze plaques, each naming a worker who died while on the job. There is one name for each year from 1901 until 1999. The plaque for the year 2000 is blank. 100 Workers is by John Scott & Stewart H. Pollock.  The second part of the monument, The Anonymity of Prevention, is a bronze sculpture of a worker wearing full safety gear, appearing to chisel into the wall of 100 Workers. This sculpture was done by Derek Lo and Lana Winkler.

LATEST MEMBER OF THE TORONTO ZOO FAMILY, A MASSAI GIRAFFE, HAS SAFELY ARRIVED

Named for now Baby Long Legs, the calf was born to Mstari, a six-year-old Massai giraffe, and Kiko, a seven-year-old. The little one is not camera-shy and has been making appearances all over the internet.TORONTO Zoo’s CEO, Dolf DeJong, in a news release, said “This birth is an important contribution to a genetically healthy Masai giraffe population. They are the most genetically valuable giraffes in North America.” There are now only 35,000 of them left in the wild. Over the last 30 years there has been a 50% decline in the numbers of Masai.The Zoo, which is in COVID-19 lockdown at this time, has established a new campaign to help support the giraffe family. The goal is to raise $70,000 to help finance these rare mammals. Since the 1980’s the Toronto Zoo has birthed 19 giraffe, including Mstari and her mother, Twiga.