NumeratiNg Nighthawks - .view even more photos at october 2013 13 NumeratiNg Nighthawks at high Park
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view even more photos at www.snapbloorwest.com october 2013 13
NumeratiNg Nighthawks at high Park
Alex, Valerie and Adam
At the end of August, bird enthusiasts of all ages joined Jon and Zoe from High Park Nature Centre for the first Toronto Nighthawk Migration Count in conjunction with Bird Studies Canada. With binoculars at the ready, the group gathered at Hawk Hill, just north of Grenadier Restaurant, for their evening adventure. Their aim was to spot the large, graceful birds as they began their epic migration to their southern wintering grounds. It was fun and educational way to spend the eve-ning outdoors with family and friends. To learn more about upcoming events hosted by High Park Nature Centre, visit highparknature.org
Event by Zolen Georgievska Website code: pej35r
Rob keeps his eyes on the skies while Angie stops to get snapd
Look, up in the sky!
Baxter shares some information about Bird Studies Canada
Andy, Christine, Don and Gloria have their binoculars ready to hunt for hawks
Submitted by High Park Nature Centre
All Family Nature Walks are sponsored by Toronto Field Naturalists. For more information, visit highparknaturecentre.ca
Keep your Eyes on the SkyAs the leaves begin to change colour we tend to slow down. That is not the case for many of the animals in and around High Park. For them, fall is an exciting time full of activity. You will see squirrels actively collecting acorns, chipmunks preparing a warm place for their winter hibernation and, if you keep your eyes peeled, you might even notice the hawks overhead as they take part in their seasonal migration.
Some species will journey thousands of miles. Bird watchers will often make trips to hot hawk spots to see birds that they would not normally get the chance to see. These large birds of prey have huge wingspans to help them coast on updrafts. Locations that support these updrafts such as around mountain ranges or coastlines are typically good spots to see for these birds. Luckily, we have one such hot spot right here in High Park. High Park is one of the rare urban locations for monitoring hawks during their mi-gration. The aptly named Hawk Hill is the located in the centre of the park just north of Grenadier Caf. This has become a prime location to observe the birds due to the rich surrounding parkland. The high ele-vation of Hawk Hill provides an ideal vantage point to monitor and count the birds.
The High Park Nature Centre hosts a yearly Hawk Watch Hike. During this hike families learn about the different species of hawks they may see, their habitats around the park, compare wingspan and head to Hawk Hill to participate in the hawk count.
While the focus of the event is always to enjoy the fascinating fall migration the Greater Toronto Hawk Watch will also be on site to help families take part in the spotting, identification and counting of hawks passing over the park. The data they have collected from High Park is available on their website at torontobirding.ca. The information they collect tells a fascinating story of the hawks journey but the data also helps keep track of the well-being of each species and can be used to help conserve species at risk. The prime viewing time for the hawk migration at High Park is September through November so grab your binoculars and keep your eyes on the sky!
Missed the Hawk Watch? There are still plenty of family hikes to take part in during the fall.
What Trees Are These? Saturday, October 26th, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
We love trees. Come learn how to identify High Parks most interest-ing trees by leaf shape, bark texture, twig and smell. We will explore why some trees lose their leaves and how they survive year after year.
Know Your Nature! Saturday, November 9th, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Learn about the plants and animals in High Park from the young natu-ralists of the High Park Rangers group! We will explore the wood-lands and black oak savannah to learn fascinating facts and connect with nature around us.
14 october 2013 submit upcoming events at www.snapbloorwest.com
Submitted by Anny Fyreagle
To donate to the High Park Labyrinth fund, go to torontoparksandtrees.org/labyrinth. Information about the labyrinth can be found at highpark.org/labyrinth
High Park Labyrinth One would think that being a guardian of a labyrinth is a simple, volunteer task, but the truth is anything you do with a labyrinth becomes a journey in itself. One and half years into journey of a simple repair of concrete has become a legacy project. It has been a gathering space for people since the early 1920s when it was part of the original restaurant and even when that burned down, this left over circle has been recycled over and over to be a place where people gather. The stories are vast and colourful. A focus of hu-man intention. This is what makes space sacred in very simple terms. This sacred space is nestled into the very center of the fourth largest city in North America, holding quietly and serenely in an endangered black oak savannah, much like a secret garden where you can go and leave all of your deepest longings and overwhelming fears. A labyrinth, a path that leads you to your inner self is the most perfect fit for such a place. Creating one that will stand the test of time and our harsh climate in what is our fractured humanity is truly what this honoured space deserves. The space itself is greatly worthy of a legacy.
The concrete circle where the labyrinth sits was in good condition when the original labyrinth was created. That means that from the 1920s until 2001 it was holding up well. When the labyrinth was installed it became more uti-lized and now in 2013 it is showing some major signs of wear and disrepair. A simple repaint job wasnt going to do it this time. With repair and clearing the canvas comes the opportunity to create a new labyrinth, designed to adapt
to the newer, larger footprint with new benches. Working with a slightly larger space in the same circle we can widen the paths with a modified Chartres. Us-ing the art of place with in depth research, the new labyrinth will be enhanced with features that pay tribute to High Parks black oak savannah, home of the expirated Karner Blue butterfly. We hope that in holding this space for the Karner butterfly will supply some little magic to bring it back. It will be a legacy that will last for generations to come.
The High Park Labyrinth has become a tool for a variety of different groups including:
quarterly seasonal walks.
individual therapists bring their clients to the labyrinth.
nature walkers enjoy a moment of contemplation.
individuals who are going through treatment and rehabilitation.
Facilitated group walks, meditations and weddings.
park visitors who happen across its mystery.
labyrinth walkers come from far and wide.
FuN iN the high Park Nursery
Sarah and Pat in the nursery Janise and Joe Corey and Donna beat the cold weather blues with bright jackets
On a chilly Sunday morning in late September, our photographer was able to get a bit more than a glimpse into one the most beautiful places in High Park that is typically off-limits to the public - the native plant nursery. Volunteers and community members had gathered to do a bit of everything, from seed collecting to weeding to planting. They collected seeds from a number of plants, such as Cardinal Flower, Blue Lobelia, harebell, milkweed, and bottlebrush and Indian grasses. Black-eyed Susan, cup plant, woodland sunflower, Verbena along with many others plants are still blooming and the bumblebees were enjoying goldenrod and a wide variety of asters. For details on happenings in High Park, visit highpark.org
Event by Blair Woodward Website code: pejntb
Leslie and Mary are ready to pick some seeds Matt, A.J. and Scott are regulars at the nursery
view even more photos at www.snapbloorwest.com october 2013 15
CelebratiNg graNdPareNts day at high Park Zoo
Janice and Virginia love volunteering at the zoo
On Sunday, September 8th, Friends of High Park Zoo invited nanas and papas from across the GTA and their families to celebrate Grandparents Day at High Park Zoo. Visitors were encouraged to come and see the zoos wonderful animals like Honey the llama, Zoomer the wallaby and the rest of the High Park Zoo gang. Now celebrating the zoos 120th year, Friends of High Park Zoo had special activities includ-ing a fire truck and storyteller for kids of all ages at the family-friendly event. Also on hand were repre-sentatives from CARP who offered tips and informa-tion to those interested. Dont forget, Friends of High Park Zoo still needs the publics help to support the zoo. Currently, their initiative is to raise $120,000. To donate or to learn more, visit highparkzoo.ca
Event by Ryan Ramos Website code: pejxdy
A family says hello to a baby peacock
Chris and Councillor Sarah Doucette
Kyle hanging out with the chickens Liz decides to revisit her childhood and gets a llama tattoo
Eitan, Elise and Charlie from CARP
Yana and the Wallaby hanging out
A busy day at the zoo
Learning about working at the zoo
Virginia with Chiquita the llama Liz and Anna hand out sweets from Redpath