There are some gorgeous murals by artist Phillip Cote along the paths in King's Mill Park . This public art was commissioned for the Pan Am Path, an 80 km trail meant to connect walking and cycling paths across the city. Come out and have a look at them on this week's Saturday Morning Ramble! For details: http://www.torontowalking.com/additional-hikes/
The trails have really been beautiful this year. There have been so many winters in this city in the recent past where the ravines for the most part were a mixture of slush and mud. With a combination of cold weather and fairly constant snowfall in 2018, the conditions have been near perfect for hiking, trekking, walking and even cross country skiing. Fresh white softly packed snow is the norm and the half frozen waterways like the Don River have really been pretty. Come along for Saturday Morning Rambles Feb 17 – March 24. For details and to register visit http://www.torontowalking.com/additional-hikes/
Both Punxsutawney Phil and Wiarton Willie saw their shadows pointing to another six weeks of winter, however, Shubenacadie Sam was shadow free, predicting an early spring. German settlers who settled in Pennsylvania associated the shadows of animals, including hibernating hedgehogs, with an extended winter. Groundhogs are native to North America and they first pop out of their burrows early in February, quite similar to Hedgehogs, so the folklore conveniently passed itself over to this species.
“This is the most widespread and familiar large hawk in North America, bulky and broad-winged, designed for effortless soaring. An inhabitant of open country, it is commonly seen perched on roadside poles or sailing over fields and woods. Although adults usually can be recognized by the trademark reddish-brown tail, the rest of their plumage can be quite variable, especially west of the Mississippi: Western Red-tails can range from blackish to rufous-brown to nearly white.”
“A duck of cold northern waters. Often the most abundant bird in the high Arctic. Large flocks are often far out at sea; many spend the winter on such northern waters as Bering Sea, Hudson Bay, and Great Lakes. Flocks fly low over sea, with stiff shallow wingbeats, often tilting from side to side. Far more vocal than most ducks, and loud melodious calls of flocks can be heard from some distance. It was formerly called "Oldsquaw," not politically correct by any measure, a reference to this "talkative" behavior -- although it is the male of this species that makes most of the noise.”