From the trail leading into downtown London. View is of Ivey Park from the forks of the Thames branching north and south to provide companion pathways for recreation to all points in the city
Our first long ride of the year began in Byron where we live and after a testy rules oriented scramble from sidewalk to garden path we were able to kick into high gear on the gentle springbank river trail.
I had been limbering up my rusty legs for over a month before todays’ ride and was constantly reminded of my promise to take Haley 9 and Alyssa 7 with me on a ride that didn’t require them to be within earshot of their mother. So today became “the day” and we readied ourselves for our first kilometer+ adventure.
The girls were fuelled by dounuts and muffins from Tim Hortons and were anxious to get pedalling.
We were almost alone at the top of the trail.
This gave us lots of flexibility for the girls to understand the etiquette of bike riding on public paths. Keep right, eyes ahead, voice your intentions and respect for everything walking was the chant for the first 2 kilometers.
The paths are gentle and wind through the great old Carolinian forest with magnificent stands of Beech, Oak and Maples with great towering knobby willows and Locust trees by the waters edge. There is a clinical feel to parts of the trail with long sweeping grassy fields and pruned edges but that would be to accommodate the hordes of soccer teams and picnickers from almost every nation in the world throughout the summer season. It is still possible here in the center of London city to hike up the tree covered hills from the edge of the trail and find a quiet spot on an old stump and listen for the songs and chirps of a variety of birds well known to south western Ontario, Cardinal, Robin, Nuthatches, Chicadee and Oriole and many others.
During the 4th kilometer of our trip there was a desperate need for water and power bars, so taking our time to keep a good thing going we stopped and had our halfway rest. Actually we did travel a little farther along the Terry Fox pathway to a large playground near Greenway Park where I was able to be convinced we had gone far enough for one day.
These great gnarled willows hang over the rivers edge and give all the birds in the vicinity a chance to hide from prying binoculars.
Dancing in the shade.
Orchid like blooms on a tree that blooms after all else has finshed. The locust tree is different.
My favourite tree on the trail is this Carolinian Beech which shows as much of its’ stability in the roots system as it does power and strength in the branches.
I am prepared to commit to Garden Loosestrife here but welcome any opinions.
Although not entirely sure but this appears to be Flax, a slender and delicate wildflower with 5 petals which overlap slightly. The light served these blooms well.
The run off rain gathers on the leaf lined basin of the slew and nary a cloud of mud is formed. Crystal clear water magnifies the myriad of life forms that are beginning to scurry about.
The Kingly Columbine hangs naked from its’ spindly stalk.
Such a welcoming playground in the early years as the spruce and the maple playfully jockey for the light.
Emerges as a solitary bloom. No brothers or sisters.
This would be yer common Linden which is usually found beside a sidewalk in your subdivision, but this persistent fellah fights for his life in the tangle around him. He may fall prey to the growth around him.
The stuffy that got left behind. When your sad and lonely and sitting in a corner eating worms always remember there is somebody out there that feels the same way.
In the spring even the ruthless swath of the 14th fairway brings light to the forest floor highlighting the unfurling leaves.
Near the springbank dam, the Thames is flowing out of the city to the southwest.
Dame’s Rocket is such a pretty wildflower when in bloom that many gardeners cultivate this wildflower.
The flaplike leaf is green when young, later changing to a purplish brown. It is often striped and curves over the club shaped spadix thus the Jack in his pulpit.
The periwinkle always looks to be missing petals.
Hundred of flats of common blooms away the good weather and will find a home in a basket or municipal flower bed somewhere in the city.
Must have missed the early show of Trilliums as this lonely bloom waved at me from quite a distance. As Ontario provinces’ native flower they have quite a range but finding the pulsing purple variety is rare.