Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Culture: Okay, It's Spring

What appeared to be some kind of blue-eyed grass was found in the Lambton Woods area of Toronto, Ontario on 14-April-2010

TORONTO, ONTARIO - Officially, it's been spring for almost a month now. However, until very recently, it pretty much looked like winter to me. I didn't see much green, and only a few very precocious trees looked like they were even thinking about blooming. There were no flowers noted along the Humber River when I took a walk last Sunday. I mostly stayed inside as spring showers and clouds seemed to dominate the weather.

As the clouds cleared again today, I decided to head down to the Humber River and was surprised by how many signs of spring had appeared since Sunday. My first official flower picture of 2010 presented itself with some sort of blue-eyed grass or a related species was found in the Lambton Woods. Several trees that looked pretty gray on Sunday were later found to have sprouted white blooms.

A male Northern Cardinal was found along the Humber River Trail on 14-April-2010

The red-winged blackbirds have been out in large numbers for some weeks now, but some stay here essentially year-round so that wasn't terribly interesting. What surprised me is that a few paces from the flowers, I saw a male Northern Cardinal not far away. While I have seen males before, and gotten pictures of females, this was my first real chance at a photograph of a male. It didn't turn out well as he rapidly took off, but it was a sure sign of spring that the Cardinals are back.

The final Milton Line GO train of the day crossed the Humber River in Toronto, Ontario near sunset on 14-April-2010

One of my purposes in walking this part of the Humber is to take railroad pictures, and throughout the winter many of the Milton Line GO trains go by in the dark. Traditionally, the day that I can photograph the final train, which passes about 19:12, marks the real beginning of spring in my mind. Today, the train passed right as the sun shone directly on the Humber River bridge.

Canadian Pacific "Expressway" train #124 crossed the Humber River on 14-April-2010, its first recorded crossing in daylight of the year

I started thinking that the only sign of spring I hadn't seen was the eastbound Canadian Pacific Expressway train which only reliably passes in the daylight during the longest days of the year. As I walked out after seeing the GO train, I noted an eastbound signal lit at Humber on the north track. I went back to my old favorite photo location, and what showed up but an early-running Expressway.

There's no question about it--all the signs are there. It's spring.

1 comment:

rudy said...

the blue flowers are called scilla

i took a picture three weeks ago when they first popped in the ravines near the don river...