Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Trails of Oakville

Kevin & I and our friends had a wonderful time at the Freeman Patterson presentation on Saturday night.  It was the Oakville Horticultural Society's fund raiser for a new garden at the Anderson Bridge Parkette.  With 500 tickets sold - looks like we did very well.

Freeman's photos were magical & his ideas about how to garden with what you have (Freeman has 25 acres by the house, and a couple extra hundred around him) were excellent.  He combines natives with plant purchases & seeds.  He makes his paths with lawn mowers through his fields.  In his bog, he uses the humps abandoned by old ferns and amends them for rhodos (lifting them slightly higher than the water line to protect their roots)

Aside from his obvious artist's eye - he impressed upon us how important it is to live with our property to see what we have, to learn to appreciate and celebrate those natives and special gifts we're given rather than raze it all without consideration of what might be destroyed in the process.

Freeman lives in New Brunswick - but took several days to visit Oakville before his presentation.  He spoke about how he's spend days on our trails.  Who knew Oakville had 141 kilometers (almost 90 miles) of trails?  So, I went online and couldn't find any maps - but knew there was a trail head near one of Kevin's listings on Bayshire.  Well, it was wonderful - Bart and I walked for 90 minutes - actually Bart stopped and demanded we return - or we would have walked much further.  Here's what we saw:

Considering the pathways travel beside the homes for a good part of the trail - it was amazing that we only saw 5 people the whole time we were out.

 This is a storm water management area - you can see how the ducks have made themselves right at home.

 I love the lumpy bumps of the grass.  You can see how colours are melting into the landscape.

I don't think folks realize what great views some of the newer areas have.  And, I can't believe that the place wasn't crawling with children - heck, it's a blast to run through head high fields.

Even as the Queen Anne's Lace finishes up there's beauty.  And, look at how good this 'grouping' looks.

Just to give you an idea of where we are - that's the Ford plant off in the background.

Obviously the patch in the centre is a later blooming & fading Solidago.

I'm getting better & better with my new camera - just wanted to say how well the stabilizer works - this is what Bart was doing with my left hand, when I was trying to focus, zoom and frame the pictures with my right.
 Here I am in a mass of the Queen skeletons.

Learned last night from someone with large property, that this is a bit of a beast as far as taking over.  I think it's gorgeous none the less.

I'm falling in love with beige and brown.  Look how cool the upsidedown rasberry cane looks - wonderful silver green.

And after the white berries, there are little red/pink bits.  How can you not like this plant?  Below, the last of the rasberries.

As you continue on through this trail - it changes - becoming a bit hilly and forested. 

These black berries are everywhere - had no idea that the leaves turned this gorgeous colour contrasting with the berries.

Don't you just love it when folks move into an area because they like nature, just as long as it doesn't touch their chain-link fence.  Weed whacking at its finest.

Crouched down to Bart + 5 level to take this shot.

Not as much milkweed as I would have suspected - but those pods that were there were so pretty.

 And this marks Bart's turnaround point.

So, 7 kilometers down and 130 k more to find and discover.  Bart and I can hardly wait!


Susanne said...

i love how your photos express the nature! <3

Gail said...

Barbara, What a treasure! Love this park~I am always amazed how kids are too scheduled to play outdoors! You are doing fantastic with your new camera~it seems to me that the two of you are very good friends. Bart is adorable. gail

GardenJoy4Me said...

That is one gorgeous area !
I love the pictures and how wild it looks even though it isn't that far from civilization .. we have some wonderful walkways here in Kingston too. I love seeing the skeletons of the wild flowers .. great pictures !
Joy : )