10 (plus) Favourite Wildflowers

Urban Meadows Wildflowers Wild. Here.

Oh wow, I've been wanting to do this for awhile but as Rosemary Moco says from Bird and Moon (great cartoons you HAVE to check them out!) my list of "favourites" just keeps expanding!!

I was great to be able to go out and share some of the lovely flora that is still around in the fall that I saw on my Autumn Walk last year.

Every time I go out it's like meeting old friends (am I crazy to say this out loud?) and it just brings such joy to encounter them on walks.  It's starting to get a bit easier to identify some of them out of bloom (Jewelweed, Goldenrod, Celadine, Evening Primrose) but some seem so hidden until it's "their" season (like Asters, Blue Vervain, Yarrow, Cardinal Flower and almost all blooming shrubs!).

I think it's also just fun to "recognize" plants after you've learned their identification.  "Hey!  I've seen you before!"  I find that went I go on nature walks with an expert, afterwards these plants seem to pop up and are more easily "seen" than before.  Hackberry was *everywhere* after I could distinguish it's lighter green leaves.  :  )

Happiness!

I'm wondering if this list should be ten favourites for each season... it could just go on and on and on... and I feel like I should let you know that there are quite a few "naturalized" plants that I am fond of (you have been forewarned!)

Spring Ephemeral Flower Urban Nature Ottawa

Spring Ephemerals (native) - These can all count as one plant, right??  Walking in the woods at this time is such a lovely outing as there are so many spring flowers such as Trillium, Trout Lilies, Bloodroot and others!

Wildflower Perennial Ontario Native Plant Wild. Here.

Canada Anemone (native) - What I love about this plant is it's long lasting white bloom and the unique seed that forms afterwards. (I definitely want to invite this one into my garden!)

Beautiful Urban Nature Setting Lowers Stress

Dame's Rocket - I know, I know, I know, it's invasive.  But I really have to say that I was smitten when we saw it at Macoun Marsh blooming en mass under the trees (it was like an experience out of Avatar!).  What do you think?  We were told that it provided shelter/cover for small rabbits - who can say no to that?

Urban Wildflower in Backyard

Annual Fleabane (native) - This flower looks like an aster (but blooms in the spring).  This is another that gets a bad rap sometimes (as it can spread in sunny areas) but I have added it to my shaded backyard.  Illinois Wildflower notes that fleabanes have an "important role in the functioning of the ecological system" as they are beneficial to many small insects.

Small Meadow Rue in Ottawa Wild. Here.

Meadow Rue (native) - Oh the happiness of finding this plant when I'm out in the woods. It's unique leaves stand out (especially in the fall when they turn red) but when not in bloom, it can be mistaken for Columbine.  (Its flowers are not as showy or colourful as the Columbine.) There is a tall version that can allow for a definite identification.

Pickerelweed Urban Nature Marsh Aquatic Plant

Pickerelweed (native) - The name makes me laugh and seeing it in streams and ponds thrills me to no bits as I know it provides much needed sustenance to so much wildlife.  I like hangout out with it at dusk to see who visits from herons to muskrat to ducks or beavers.

The Florescence of Blueflower Wild. Here. Meadowflowers

Viper's Bugloss (naturalized) - This one, I'm told, can be a bit of a bully in certain areas, but in my neck of the woods, I haven't seen this as of yet.  This plant had me learning new flower terminology ("inflorescence" + types of inflorescence -wikipedia-) as it had such a unique bloom that all sprouts from one stalk.  And I was happy to see some winged creatures on this wildflower (and it's known to attract bees).


Wildflower Ontario Common Mullein

Mullein (naturalized) - You can think of this plant as the wild version of Lamb's Quarters - soft enough to pet.  It grows a large stalk on which small yellow flowers grow (spike inflorescence - don't you like how I'm working this word in now?), but it's the basal (lower) leaves that offer this pleasure. The other benefit of this plant with its large basal leaves is as a shelter and shade for invertebrates and insects.  I found a toad under one in a friend's garden once!


Curly Dock (naturalized) - To me this seems as such an unloved plant as it has no showy flowers of which people can take note.  So I appreciate seeing it popping up in fields (it is sometimes taller than many other wildflowers) and enjoy its long wavy-edged leaves.  Songbirds and larger gamebirds enjoy the seeds.

Closeup of Wildflower Ottawa Canada

Queen Anne's Lace  (naturalized) - As I mentioned before, this one really surprised me, when I learned it wasn't native.  Especially as I've seen it on many Pollinator Garden lists as it is an attractive flower for butterflies.  I grew up with Queen Anne's Lace and enjoy it's delicate umbrella-like flower.  It's a signal of summer for me!

Naturalized Urban Meadow Grasses Wild Here

Foxtail grass (naturalized) - There are different species that all fall under the common name of Foxtail Grass as their inflorescence (seed head) all looks similar.  Another soft to pet wildflower that is bushy just like a fox tail.  I'd really like to see this one in my backyard garden also. (But if you do go seek this out on a dog walk - avoid the Wild Barley version (Hordeum jubatum) which can be very dangerous to animals - acting like a porcupine quill once it attaches to the animal.)

Wild. Here. Wildflowers Urban Nature

Blue-eyed Grass (native) - Last but not least (for now) is a very coy, shy flower that I am trying to entice into my garden.  I was just told by a friend that it is blooming right now outside the city.  What's not to be smitten by, with this winky-eyed delicate bloom?

July Blooms of Sweet Clover Amazing Summer Scent

Oh man... I forgot White Sweet Clover... (naturalized)... when it starts popping up in fields... the smell alone...such summer bliss....

And of course many more to come!





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Podcasts to listen to on a park bench

Listen to Urban Nature Podcasts Outdoors Wild. Here.

My friend and I were talking about the brilliance of podcasts and how they can liven up a walk to work or make a bus commute feel much shorter.  My partner and I listen to "books on tapes" - you know... that old version of podcasts :  )  on long road trips.  And it got me thinking, if there are podcast lovers out there - maybe it would be an easy thing to get your dose of nature by listening to your podcast outside?

Especially with these long warm evenings that our summer offers!
Bonus points if it is under a few trees (both the scenery and scent boost moods!
Extra bonus points if it near a water body (maybe a dock?
Especially if that water body is a waterfall (remember - negative ions?)!!
Relaxing in Nature your Vitamin N Wild. Here.


Obviously it can be any type of podcast - which ever ones are your favourite.  There is even a great list of Ottawa podcasts here collected by JP Davidson of Pop-Up Podcasting which includes the podcast "Small Machine Talks" create by a.m. kozak (from the Rout/e footpress & CSArt Poetry Event) and Amanda Earl.

But just in case you are are looking for same urban nature themed podcasts here are a few recommendations:

Urban Nature Podcasts to Listen to

Interviews & Discussions (one-offs):

99% Invisible's interview with Nathanael Johnson, author of "Unseen City"

Root Simple podcast talking to Lyanda Lynn Haupt about urban wildlife

WBEZ 91.5 Chicago Morning Shift's discussion with Seth Magle from the Urban Wildlife Institute

For the Wild's chat with Diana Beresford-Kroeger, author of "The Call of the Forest"

Or if you want to be inspired by some music and photos - listen to the "Urban Nature Motion Soundscape" music episode that inspired Nex Millen's Urban Nature photography exhibit (2012) and scroll through his shots at the same time!  (Nex Millen: Asheville/Philadelphia)


Top Four Nature Wildlife Podcasts

Specific Podcasts on Wildlife and Urban Nature:

Darwin's Dolls (U.K.) - 14 episodes so far (link to episodes)

Urban Wildlife podcast (link to episodes) Season Two is currently playing!

In Defense of Plants (link to episodes)  (Some that I have bookmarked: 80 - lichens, 78 - bees, 67 - moss, 55 - Ferns, 51 - cemetery prairies, 48 - coffee ecology, 36 - lawns, 14 - urban ecology and native plants)

Nature's Past - 55 episodes so far (link to episodes)
(Check out these episodes: Stanley Park (39) Wildlife (11) Hamilton Waterfront (4) Don River (1) and others!)

This is the Nature of Cities podcast (link to episodes) 2015 - 2016

The Wild Life - 28 episodes (link to episodes) 2015

Discover Wildlife (U.K.) (link to episodes) 2010 - 2014

So here's to the warmer weather, opportunities to be outdoors and the pleasure of a lazy late spring's evening out in your favourite park with your top podcast!

Get Outdoors Do What You Love

What's your favourite podcast?

Do you listen while going for a walk or take a podcast break on a park bench?


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Introducing... Wild. Here.'s first Collaboration


As mentioned before, we are excited to be working with Chris Turnbull of Rout/e Footpress - who plants poetry in wild spaces.  This month she is planting poetry in Ottawa as part of CSArt Ottawa's inaugural first season of art and this weekend the CSArt Ottawa supporters and members will check out a couple of the planted poems (in situ) and will enjoy a poetry reading at GCTC in Westboro.

So for now, here's just a little tease...

(we will release more after the vernisage this weekend!)










Take a look at some write-ups and features about Chris Turnbull and Rout/e Footpress:

Ottawa Poetry Blogspot

Electric Ruckus Wordpress

Chris Turnbull's Vimeo Account

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Crabapples: The Flowering Tree Everyone Loves to Hate (Not!)

Crabtree Orchard in Ottawa Wild Here

Is this true?  What do you think?  Perhaps it's only those who have to walk on fallen crabapples or those who have to clean up their yards in the fall.  It does seem that Crabapple trees can get a bad rap!  They are incredibly beautiful in the spring when they bloom but after that what gives?  I was at a meeting this winter discussing the benefits of certain plants and trees in the city and this one person wanted to get rid of all Crabapple trees because they didn't benefit humans.  Sure insects find the trees valuable due to all the pollen and nectar and wildlife eat some of the fruit BUT in this person's eyes, since we couldn't really eat crabapples ourselves and they just "made a mess of sidewalks" why should we be planting them?  What is the purpose of Crabapples in a city?

I looked up some information about Crabapple Trees and found these lovely nuggets:

  • The Crabapple (a member of the Rose (Rosaceae) plant family) is the ONLY apple native to North America.  The apple tree that provides such a harvest for us was brought over by settlers from Europe and it is originally from Asia.
  • Crabapples are tolerant of drought conditions (which is great for these unpredictable weather that we are experiencing more and more of these days) and are adaptable to many conditions offering shade, shelter, nutrients and oxygen to so many species including us.
  • These small apples offer nutrients to migrating birds that return in the spring (by lasting through the winter) and of course attract many pollinators also (over 90 insect species according to RSPB) including native bee species.

Detail of Crabapple Blossom - Pink Bloom Ottawa

Here's a list from Wild Birds Unlimited of birds that benefit from crabapple trees (from their fruit, flowers and sap):
American Robin, Blue Jay, Northern Bobwhite, Northern Cardinal, Cedar Waxwing, American Crow, Common Grackle, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern bluebird, Eastern Towhee, European Starling, Grosbeaks, Gray catbird, Hairy woodpecker, House Finch, Northern Mockingbird, Orioles, Purple Finch, Red-bellied woodpecker, Red-headed woodpecker, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and Tufted Titmouse.
I would say as city dwellers, we get a lot of pleasure out of seeing and hearing birds in the city.  The ecological value to pollinators who in turn pollinate food crops that we can eat should be accounted for also.  And even many mammals enjoy crabapples including squirrels, chipmunks, porcupines, raccoons, skunks and others.  I've even seen rabbits munching on fallen serviceberries so possibly they could enjoy crabapples as well?  And personally I enjoy a city animated by wildlife so there's an indirect benefit for us if wildlife can find food in the city.  (I know also that there are many urban dwellers who may find it difficult to live with wildlife especially if they are making damage to their property - so there are always pros and cons.)  In the end I am on the "yea" side - or should I say "yay!".  How about you?

What's your favourite flowering tree?  

Is it the Crabapple or is it another lovely spring blossom?  

What is your vote - yea or nay for Crabapples?

Where is the best place in your city to find your favourite spring blooms?

Orchard by Lincoln Fields Ottawa Ontario Wild Here

Here in Ottawa, the blooming Crabapples can be enjoyed by the middle of the month of May as a lovely backdrop to the tulips in many areas of the city.  There are some in the orchard at Lincoln Fields - see if you can tell the difference between Cherry and Crabapples in bloom!  Also check out two small collections of Crabapples in the Dominion Arboretum - one just north of Building 72 (near Prince of Wales Drive) and the other along the Rideau Canal between the small island and the canal pathway (Link to Friends of the Farm Map).

And just in case my friend from the meeting last winter is reading - here are eight recipes for delicious treats and tasty desserts using native crabapples (not the ornamental ones - mind you!) so that they too can enjoy the bloom and harvest of these valuable city trees!
Crabapple and Port Jelly (SBS - Australian website)
Sweet Pickled Crabapples (Nip It In the Bud blog)
Crabapple Crisp (Conscious Movements)
Canned Crabapples two ways: Spiced + Honey Cinnamon (Common Sense Homesteading)
Crabapple Schnapps (Urban Huntress)
Crabapple Chutney (Weaver's Orchard)
Poached Crabapples in Chardonnay (via The Kitchn)
Dark Chocolate Crabapple Cake (Kim Sunée)

Here's the start of some help in identifying features that are distinct between the two fruit trees from the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival organization!  (They should know, right?!)


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rainy days and gratitude for nature, connections and more!

Mer Blue Bog Summer Photo by Viliam Glazduri
-- Mer Bleue Bog - Photo by Viliam Glazduri --

It's a quiet rainy day in early May.  Am enjoying seeing and hearing all the appreciation for rain and how it nourishes the earth.  Everything has its own time and we do well when we move with the ebbs and flows.  Many things have been going on in the background here at Wild. Here. HQ and I'm looking forward to a more steady rhythm for the blog posts this summer.  I appreciate you sticking with me, during some of these growing pains.

So much gratitude here. xo


GUEST BLOG POSTS

We've hooked up with Eva Barrows (writer extraordinaire in California) this year, contributing a guest blog post at each other's blogs.  It was so wonderful for her to reach out and suggest it and it's been a lovely collaboration that grew out of Britt Bravo's Juicy Blogging course (if you are a new blogger - I can't recommend it enough!)  Eva shared with us this amazing site in San Diego, the type of park that gets us excited (here at Wild. Here. headquarters) - one that has been transformed from a type of "brownfield" (per se) and that now offers not only this amazing green space but also a unique experience that can bring delight and joy to each visitor.  Outdoor sculptures are a wonderful addition to any green space and that the ones that Eva explored were kinetic just blew my mind.  I just loved her write-up and that she also shared with us the sound journey experience also.  (And those blue skies!  Can't say enough about those blue skies!)

So this month we were able to share with Eva our love for our own city by highlighting some of the not to be missed natural sites in Canada's capital.  Ones that really can give people a sense of the Canadian landscape and geological experience - from boreal bogs to the Canadian Shield to incredible waterfalls that have such rich historical significance.  You need to visit in person though to really experience it - although we must say that Viliam Glazduri's photos do an amazing job immersing you into the natural features.  Do check out our post on her site:

Scenic Nature Spots are a Must Do When Visiting Ottawa for the 150th Celebrations

And if you are going down to the San Diego area (or are from California) check out her blog for amazing reviews and write-ups of historic places, lovely urban green spots and other natural areas (including the beach!): Eva Barrows BlogBay Area Writer – Local Traveler – World Adventurer


52 WEEKS OF NEARBY NATURE

It's been five weeks since we launched our online initiative 52 Weeks of Nearby Nature and the support has been wonderful!  Thank you so much for sharing our initiative with others and being so kind about this new offering!  It's a labour of love and was a spontaneous decision and we are looking forward to exploring how it can help and how we can support others in their efforts to get outdoors.

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions are incredibly welcome as we are continually open to inspiration to fine-tune, expand and/or make it into the most useful tool for others.  Currently we are only promoting it on instagram as twitter has such limited text capacity but we are exploring ways to get around that (considering the current resources we have!).

This will really be shaped by the Wild. Here. community and offered as a free resource.  We have been so inspired by the amazing photography online and the incredible #naturelover IG community.  If you haven't yet, join us with the tags: #52WksofNearbyNature #52WksNN and feel free to weave in and out and participate when you can and/or when you are called to do so.  This online initiative is here for you when you need it!


EARTH DAY LAUNCH

For Earth Day, Wild. Here. launched a list of local volunteer opportunities for those in Ottawa who may want to get out and volunteer to help out nature and/or wildlife.  (Ottawa Nature Volunteer List Here!)  While there are many not for profits who need office help, the opportunity to volunteer AND connect with nature is so valuable and enriching for both the volunteers and the organizations.  If you know of more please share and/or if you've made lists for your own cities, let me know and I'll retweet them!  I have included a few gardening opportunities when they are focused on wildlife-support - whether it's pollinator, birds or other creatures and beautification of the city.  Hopefully this list will grow!  (I've already realized some orgs that I've missed like Eco-Talent, the Duck Club and others - stay tuned!)

Thank you also to the organizations who shared this list including Green Living Ottawa, Ottawa Start, Kind Village and so many others!  We really hope that this will inspire people to volunteer more!  The commitment doesn't have to be BIG to make an impact - even a couple of hours a year is much better than none!

P.S. Mark Your calendars as the next big global events for nature and the environment are: International Biological Diversity Day on May 22nd and then World Environment Day in June (on the 5th)!


WILD. HERE. "The City" PAGE

We're also updated the City page with some of this history of the region and are working on a First Nation's post in terms of honouring those whose land we are living on and whose history we (settlers) need to educate ourselves more about (now complete!).  First Nation's have been the caretakers of these lands for over 8000 years.  This is what we should be celebrating this year and all years!  (Link to Ottawa "The City" page of Wild. Here.)  By the way - speaking about educating ourselves - did you know that Kairos is holding one of the largest Blanket Exercises on Parliament Hill in June?)

And the plan is to create a couple more lists for The City page including Nature - Wildlife events (or other local favourite events where you can enjoy the outdoors) + learning opportunities about nature and wildlife.  Stay Tuned!


LOCAL COLLABORATIONS

When my friend Chris Turnbull told me about her collaboration with CSArt last spring, I was thrilled first to find out about this new type of "membership" for art but also that her Rout/e initiative was being featured.  We had collaborated before when I was working at Petrie Island and planted some poetry there.  She suggested that I help identify some great sites for planting poetry in the city for this Rout/e project and I am very happy to have a small part in this great project!

We'll be going out to plant the poetry this weekend (and possibly even with some of the poets and the CSArt director heself so it's going to be a fun day - even IF it rains!)  So we'll be letting you in on this outdoor poetry nature project once it's planted and you are going to LOVE the poets work!  I got a sneak peak at the actual poems to be planted and they are just delicious.  So incredible!  And what an incredible delight for all who will stumble upon this creative initiative outdoors!  I just love everything about this!

(More reason to always be an outdoor urban explorer also - you never know what you will find!)

And in June Wild. Here. will be collaborating with Capital Vélo Fest and Sustainable Enterprise Alliance on an outdoor activity for the Loving Our Local summer campaign (weekend of June 9 - 11th)  So stay tuned for more on that soon!


And just one more housekeeping thing:

Check out our "Where's the Wild this Weekend?" event list to find out about nature events in your neighbourhood.  This will be updated as time permits and we'll let you know via Twitter when it's been updated!  Big upcoming events include Nature Canada's Bird Day at Brewer Park on May 13th and of course this weekend's Jane's Walks.  And also if you are a big appreciator of the green space out in the west end, we were notified by Nicole Amanda regarding the LRT construction out at Lincoln Fields and how it will impact the green space (and the crabtree/cherry tree orchard) there.  If you want to help them out - reach out via their Facebook page!



Thanks so much for being on this journey with us!!  

It means so much to be able to share our love of "nearby" nature and for myself (the writer aka Katherine) to be connecting with so many urban nature lovers!  Your support means so much!!  And if by writing and blogging and tweeting and sharing great images of nature just helps one more person get inspired to get outdoors and find their own way to connect with nature then we feel blessed to be of service to our community.  

Nature is right there, outside your doorstep!  

Happy wilding!

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Places to Get Up Close to Wildlife in Ottawa (Spring & early Summer edition)


This series started last winter as I thought of ways for people to be able to get outdoors and enjoy some wildlife - during those months when it feels like every creature is hibernating and the cold season continues endlessly.

As mentioned April is a busy month for wildlife as migrating birds start moving through our area and other creatures are stirring from their long slumbers and deep sleeps underground.

1. Spring Frog Chorus

Were you able to hear some of the spring frog chorus, either the ubiquitous spring peepers that provide a vibrato accent to the auditory backdrop of our homes or perhaps you were out int he woods and were greeted with the Wood Frogs cacophony of mating calls?  While these frogs may not be as co-operative as chickadees who are content to eat out of our hands, there is still the opportunity to visit your local pond or vernal pool and see what might be visiting!

2. Innis Point Bird Observatory (Kanata)

While this one is not in an urban setting, Innis Point Bird Observatory provides those who want to volunteer an opportunity to see birds up close as they migrate through and nest in our area.  The bird observatory does scientific data gathering on these birds both for the Spring Migration Monitoring Program which starts in mid April and for the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program which starts in June.  This is a great opportunity to help collect data and see birds up close.  Learn more on their Facebook page.

3. Petrie Island (Orleans)

Starting with the Jane's Walk in early May, Petrie Island offers opportunities to see its "famous" turtles - who bask on rocks and logs in the various ponds and bays of this island complex.  You will also find many frogs (especially if you go early in the morning) and probably spot a heron or two due to its long narrow shape that provides access to both the larger Ottawa river and the quiet and shallower bays and inlets on the southern side.  The Friends of Petrie Island keep the trails clear and provide lots of natural history educational signage, so there is a lot to see and do here!

4. Macoun Marsh 

Macoun Marsh is well known among the nature lovers of this fair city, but many others, would be surprised to learn about this small marsh at the back end of the Beechwood Cemetery and the fact that the students of St. Laurent Academy have found over 1400 species of flora and fauna here - from the microscopic to the surprising visits of larger mammals and raptors.  There is even a Virginia Rail that nests here (a very shy bird species that stays hidden behind marsh plants for the most part).  Take a visit and see what you can spot here!

5. Purple Martin Colony

Also mentioned on the Wild. Here. Urban Nature Bucket List is the Purple Martin colony at the Nepean Sailing Club.  This is a wonderful opportunity to get up close and see the Purple Martin young as the Innis Point Bird Observatory volunteers band these new birds in late June, early July.  Check out the IPBO events page to find out specific dates and consider donating to this great organization!



That's it for now - enjoy your spring! 

Tell us where else you go to get up close to wildlife and stay tuned - I have at least five more spots to share with you later this year for summer and fall!




Getting Up Close To Wildlife Series 2017

PART ONEThree Places to Get Up Close To Wildlife in Ottawa



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A Walk Along the Thames River in London Ontario - Part Two

Downtown London Thames River by Viliam Glazduri

This is Part Two of our Spring Walk in London Ontario along the Thames River.  Part One is here!

We really lucked out with the day and the river hadn't flooded as much as the year before when we visited around the same time.  There were so many plants blossoming and lots of tiny details to spot and enjoy.  Lots of geese and ducks and a couple of other fun sightings of wildlife.  Check them out!

Spring Tree Blossoms Urban Nature Observations
-- Some Other Spring Tree Blossoms --

Urban Wildlife Hawk Sighting Wild Here
-- Lucky Enough to Spot an Urban Hawk --

Detail of Urban Hawk London Ontario May 2017
-- Wish I had had some binoculars to see more detail! --

Outdoor Mural Art Installation Jamie Q London Ontario
-- A great urban mural I love visiting each time we are downtown! --

Tiny Spring Flowers in the Grass Southern Ontario Wild Here
-- Tiny Flowers in the Grass --

Squirrel Nibbling on Spring Blossoms Urban Wildlife
-- Fun Seeing this Squirrel Nibbling on Spring Blossoms! --

Veteran Trees in London Ontario
-- Veteran Trees in London Ontario --

Geese Nesting by Thames River photo by Viliam Glazduri
-- Two Geese Nesting - Photo by Viliam Glazduri --

Spring View of Downtown London photo by Viliam Glazduri
-- Great View of Downtown London, Photo by Viliam Glazduri --

Downtown Park in London Ontario Viliam Glazduri
-- I loved this View of the Buildings in the Park, Photo by Viliam Glazduri --

Title image above by Viliam Glazduri also.  We spent an hour or so by the water and had a great time.  There was a small (vernal?) pond here beside the two large trees (shown above in the last photo) and I wish I had brought my boots to get closer to check out what was there!  We are really enjoying exploring other cities (like we did in Vancouver) and happy to bring you along also.  And it's always great to have encounters with wildlife and observe any new characteristics (such as the squirrel nibbling on the buds and blossoms!) Have you done any urban wild exploring lately?  

So next time you find yourself in London, Ontario we recommend that you check out the trails along the Thames River!  There are lots of urban nature spots to explore in this Southern Ontario city!

If you are from London, what urban wild spots do you enjoy the most?




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A Walk Along the Thames River in London Ontario - Part One

Spring Blossoms in London Ontario Wild Here Blog

We were lucky enough to get a boost of an early spring this year by going down to London, Ontario.  It's always about a week or two ahead of us in terms of seasons and the extra bonus was a warm sunny day during out April visit!  So Viliam and I went to one of our favourite spots downtown along the Thames River.  Yes, London Ontario also has a Thames River and it has this incredible 40 kilometre multi-use trail along much of its riverfront called the Thames Valley Parkway.

We've enjoyed quite a few walks and jogs along the path from Springbank Park to the downtown.

When we go downtown, we like to park on Becher Street to be able to enjoy Ivey Park and River Forks Park and the water feature from various sides of the river.  We find that Harris Park can get flooded in the spring so it's a great short loop if you cross on Riverside Drive and you get to enjoy some wilder and some more formal parts of the riverfront.

Here is what we saw this April:

Pink Tree Blooms Against Blue Sky Wild Here Blog
-- Spring Blooms against a Blue Sky --

Katherine Forster Capturing Spring Details by Viliam Glazduri
-- Trying to Capture the Pink Blossom Details, photo by V. Glazduri --

Sunny Blue Day in Urban Nature Wild Here Blog
-- The Lovely Citrine Green Hue that Graces Spring Trees --

Trees Like Cotton Candy in London Ontario Wild Here Blog
-- The Cotton Candy Trees Caught My Eye! --

Beautiful Landscaping by Urban Trail Wild Here Blog
-- Pretty Landscaping Beside the Pedestrian Bridge --

-- An Aspiring Photographer that We Met! --

Downtown London Ontario Sunny April Day
-- London (Ontario) Square Along the Thames --

Large Willow Tree in Downtown London with Ducks
-- Two Ducks, One Willow and a Long Multi-Use Path --

Details of Moss and Seeds Urban Nature Wild Here

Part Two is Here - Check out the Wildlife we Saw Also!

It's so much fun to really observe and see the detail.  I'm finding myself fascinated by moss and all the spring blossoms this year.  You've probably seen them popping up on my instagram feed!  And so many of these early season blooms are ephemeral - gone so quickly.  So am enjoying it all while I can.  I'm also trying to note where these trees are in my own city so that I can come back and check them out in a different season.

What are you Enjoying about the Spring this year?













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