A Photo Essay of Toronto in August

Pink flowers growing right next to a brick building.

Each month I share photos from one of the parks in Toronto to show my readers what our landscape looks like throughout the year. This is the eighth instalment of this series.

Click on February, MarchAprilMayJune, and July to read the earlier posts. It was a balmy 22 Celcius (72 Fahrenheit) on the morning I took this month’s photos.

August has been peculiar this year like that. Our hottest days so far this month haven’t been much more than 35 C (95 F), and we’ve even had a few days that were only about 28C (84F) at their peak. That’s about 10-15 degrees cooler than it was for much of July which is a welcome relief if also pretty unexpected.

This makes me wonder what autumn will be like. Will it be hot like it was last year, or are we in for a quick descent into winter? Only time will tell.

Here’s one big difference between last month and this one – it took me a few tries to get a clear shot of the front of the park due to the increase in vehicular and foot traffic. I ended up needing to go back at a different time to try again. That hasn’t happened since this photo project began. People must be working from home less and travelling more now.

Lanscape photo of a forest, World War I monument, and a crosswalk.

Once again, everything is green and growing so quickly you can practically see it sprout up taller. Okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but the vegetation in Ontario does grow very quickly at this time of the year.

A World War I statue in a park. The statute is surrounded by stone steps.

Winter is coming soon despite the heat of August. All of those seeds need to be dispersed and those roots grown deep and true before then.

A dirt running trail shaded by trees in a park.

The running trail was well used this month. Thanks to all of the thunderstorms we’ve been getting, it’s not very dusty at all either which is also out of the ordinary for August.

This next photo might alarm you all just a tad, but let us all clasp hands virtually and get through this fluffy menace together.

Green trees and a grass clearing in a park. There are white clouds peeking up over the trees in the background.
Actual footage of autumn sneaking up on us.

Yes, the sky was only 90% blue on this month’s visit! There were white clouds peeking out in just about every direction I looked.

A park lamp, several green trees against a blue sky filled with some puffy, white clouds.

Contrary to what this series might have lead you to believe, Toronto doesn’t always have blue skies. In fact, we spend half or more of the year with a permanently overcast sky. It generally happens in the autumn and winter regardless of whether there are storms in the forecast for that particular day, and it is a big reason why I love my light therapy lamp so much. Ha!

Keep an eye out for a dark, cloudy sky that seems to last forever soon. I’m guessing it will return in October this year, but it could be a little sooner or later than that.

Skyward shot of thick tree branches filled with green leaves.

But summer remains for now. I wish you all could hear the rustle of the leaves here. Like I’ve said before, it’s one of the most soothing sounds I know. You can hear it everywhere if there isn’t too much background noise.

A tree that lost half of it's leaves and branches in a winter storm last winter. The remaining half are green and lush.

Our tree friend who lost half of its branches continues to do well. There was a tent* and people nearby that I needed to avoid photographing, but the shorn-off section looks like it healed nicely.

*Some people who are homeless have set up tents to live in this park this year. From what I understand, shelters in Toronto don’t have enough space for everyone, there are many Covid-19 cases in them, and there are long waitlists for housing for folks from this demographic group. I’m not ethically comfortable photographing people in such precarious circumstances. If only I had the funds to get apartments for all of them. A tree that lost a third of its branches last winter. There is lots of damage in the trunk.

The much larger tree that lost a third of it’s branches and leaves is still around. I noticed what appeared to be some cracks in its trunk. I’m not an arborist, but I do wonder how it will fare with our next ice storm.

Hopefully, it has repaired itself enough to make it through this upcoming winter (or even the next bad thunderstorm), but I think I’ll avoid standing underneath all of those large, heavy branches in the meantime.

A sapling with dead leaves on it.

Some of the saplings that were planted earlier this year have developed brown leaves on them. It’s a couple of months too early for trees to start changing colour, so this isn’t a good sign. I hope these little trees do better in the future.

 

A green, leafy, shaded, area in a park.

In happier news, the vast majority of the trees in the park seem to be doing well. This is the time of year when it feels wonderful to stand in the shady areas this urban forest provides. It’s amazing to see how much of a difference it makes to experience August under a thick canopy of leaves versus standing in direct sunlight.

Young black squirrels sitting on a patch of grass in a park looking for food.

Even the baby squirrels agree! They’re hard to photograph because of how small and easily spooked they are, but these little guys were about half the size of a regular squirrel.

One of my goals for this autumn is to get some better squirrel photos for you. Sometimes they’re friendlier in the autumn when they’re gathering up last-minute food before winter. (No, I will not be feeding them, only hopefully photographing them).

A cobblestone-like sidewalk in a park. The sidewalk is heavily shaded by large oak trees.

This is the time of year when the park is best enjoyed from a quiet, seated position. Luckily, there are plenty of places to sit there.

And this is where I’ll leave our monthly visits of the park until September. Stay safe out there, everyone!

8 Responses to A Photo Essay of Toronto in August

  1. I am watching squirrels scamper about on my roof as I type this. We have lots of them that live in or around our condo complex — which makes sense, as we have lots of trees onsite and two parks nearby.

    I hope your tree friends grow strong and healthy enough to survive the coming storms!

  2. Love the actual footage of autumn sneaking up *LOL*

    Great photos, as always, especially of the trees. Fingers crossed, the one with the crack in the trunk continues to survive. Shame about the brown leaves on the saplings, hope that doesn’t hinder their growth.

    I think summer is on its way out for us. We’ve had some hefty storms the past week and its been noticeably cooler.

    I think I’ve said it before but I do like the paving in that last photo, so pretty.

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