This is the fourth instalment of this series.
May is by far the most beautiful time of the year in Toronto in my opinion. It was a balmy 17 degrees Celsius (63 Fahrenheit) according to my weather app when I visited this month. The sky was bright blue and there was a warm, gentle breeze in the air.
The restrictions on park usage are slowly beginning to be lifted here. We are now allowed to use picnic tables, basketball courts, tennis courts, and soccer fields so long as everyone you use them with belongs to the same household and you maintain at least six feet of distance from other folks. Going to the park to walk, jog, or sit on a bench is still permitted as well.
It was quite busy there during my visit this month, so you’ll see some strangers in the distance in a few photos. Keeping all of them out of my shots simply wasn’t possible.
This is the time of year when you don’t have to look closely for signs of spring. They’re everywhere. While not every tree is obviously green yet, I’ll get into that later on in this post.
Look! The bushes in front of the monument are turning green now. There are also plenty of wild plants like dandelions growing between them.
The jogging trail is firm and dry once again. (It tends to become muddy after spring and summer thunderstorms, although generally not at much as it is in late winter and early spring). This summer it will be a dusty place to exercise if we go through long dry spells, but the trees lining it will provide some relief from the hot sun for determined joggers.
This trail was once again in heavy use due to the gorgeous weather and the fact that the majority of our stores and other destinations are still closed to help contain the spread of Covid-19. I’m glad I was able to get a clear shot of this area of the park for all of you.
As I hinted at earlier, about ten percent of the trees don’t have leaves yet. This isn’t due to sickness or injury. If you look closely at them you’ll see the buds of their future flowers and leaves.
I’ve often wondered if these are the same trees that hold onto their leaves in November when most other trees are bare. Let’s see if that’s true in six months!
Every winter I yearn for moments like this. There’s nothing like standing underneath a thick canopy of leaves from multiple tree species and hearing them rustle in the breeze.
I’ll indulge all of us with a similar shot. If there’s anything more peaceful than moments like these, I couldn’t tell you what they are.
One thing I haven’t covered yet in this series is the size of the trees we’re talking about. Some of them are saplings that have roughly the same circumference I do as a slim, petite adult woman.
But we also have trees that are much larger than that. It’s amazing to feel the difference in the air temperature immediately below the biggest trees in the park when compared to standing in direct sunlight on a warm day. I’d bet it makes the temperature feel ten degrees cooler on warm days…and more than that on the hottest ones!
There were two marvellous surprises at the park this month. Do you remember those two trees I blogged earlier about that were severely damaged in a winter storm? They’re somehow still alive.
This is the tree I photographed over the last few months. About half of its branches were ripped off in that storm, and its trunk was badly damaged as well.
Here’s another shot of it so you can see just how serious that damage was. I have no idea what its longterm chances of survival might be, but I was thrilled to see it growing leaves again. May it live to see many more springs.
There was another, much larger tree that suffered a similar injury in that storm as well. I’d estimate that it lost about a third of its branches.
It’s looking quite healthy…
…especially when you consider just how badly it was damaged. This photo captures most, but not all, of the dead branches from it. If any arborists read this, I’d love to get your opinions on the chances of these trees healing from their injuries.
And, yes, it’s odd for gigantic branches like these to remain in the park months after a violent storm. As I mentioned back in February, branches this large and potentially dangerous for folks who may climb on them would typically be cleared away within days in non-pandemic conditions.
I’ll end this post with a lovely shot of a sun-dappled sidewalk. A month or so from now we’ll all be quite grateful for the shade these trees provide on hot, humid summer days!