My Weekly Dose of Wild (2015): an urban green spot worth exploring


There are some places that are good for urban wild exploration.  There are some places that are great to watch sunrises and some others that will set the stage for sunsets.  Some urban woods have a great mix of biodiversity in trees and plants and some others are known more to be the maple stand or the ash woods.  The city that I live in offers all of these.  It has the only urban sugarbush in North America.  It has a threatened ash lot in a restored wildlife ecological area.  It also has this unique green space close to big box stores and busy 4 lane regional roads.

A couple of years ago, my partner and I checked out this area to see if it had enough of a mixed woods to support an evening "nature walk" to see urban moths and we were impressed to find a mix of trees including maple, cedar, ash, ironwood and others.  This location is also a favorite for birders, especially as at one point there were some large undeveloped fields that would provide a great location for owls to both hunt mice and then rest in wooded areas.  This area was also a local ski hill in decades past and you can still see one of the old ski lift poles.

There was a small field of Viper's Bugloss and a big climb to the top of the "ski hill" where great vistas would offer amazing sunset photos.  I was enthralled to see all the Mullein reaching skyward, so easy to pick out on the hill as it towered over other wildflowers. There are bike paths that crisscross and offer great connections for those further east and west.  We enjoyed walking through the shaded wood lot and noticed transitions between the mixed-deciduous giving way to a more dense cedar area.

It would be great to go back and explore at other times: to see a sunset, to discover where the bike paths led, to see it in the autumn as the leaves turn colours.  The thing I keep forgetting is that these urban green spots are constantly changing and provide adventures in all seasons.

Can't wait to get back another time!

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