Wild City

dragonflies and damselflies

Farewell to Dragonflies and Damselflies

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Fall is a time for farewells – or at least, “See ya laters!” Kids go back to school, plants start to drop their leaves, birds and insects migrate south. This year my eldest son Ray started grade one. His school has a wonderful outdoor play area. Last year his kindergarten playground was a lovely little yard… Read More »

K.I.W.I.

K.I.W.I. = Kids In The Woods

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I was a lucky kid. I grew up hiking and biking the Highland Creek Ravine with my dad and brother. Each time we entered the ravine – as the city sounds faded and the shadows under the trees deepened – I’d feel a thrill of excitement. “I am an adventurer!” I would think as we… Read More »

View of Toronto skyline from Crothers Woods

Escape to the Lower Don: Crothers Woods

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Sometimes you just need more vacation. This has just been one of those summers. There have been unforeseen stresses that – for a family already at capacity – left us a bit exhausted. We are lucky; we got a vacation. The kids, their grandpa (my dad) and I spent a week in Muskoka while poor… Read More »

Just me and my bike.

Miracle on Leslie Street: Escape to ‘The Spit’

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Do you ever feel like you need a mental health break? Like you might explode if someone asks you for one more thing the minute your butt hits a chair or the minute you raise a forkful of food to your mouth? When I feel this way, I sometimes have the luxury of escaping by… Read More »

PRK

The P in PRK is for Parenting (and Patience)

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 “Where are your glasses, Mami?” Lucas asked as he peered into my face. “I see your eyes!” It was my first few hours home after laser PRK surgery and both Lucas and I were marvelling at my face – without glasses. It was the first time in a decade that I’d been able to see… Read More »

CORKTOWN COMMON

Toronto’s Brand New Park: Corktown Common

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UPDATE: Corktown Commons is staying open until Thanksgiving weekend! Don’t miss out — after that it’ll be closed for a few months in order to complete it. Did you know Toronto has a brand new park? Located at the base of River St. (where lower River meets Bayview), the latest place to play is Corktown Common. It opened last Friday,… Read More »

Rouge Park

Wild Homes and Invaders in Rouge Park

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“The robins are feeding babies, Mami!” Ray reported this to me a few days ago. He has been keeping tabs on the American Robins we saw building their nest at his school while “swifting” a few weeks ago. He and Lucas also watch the Starling and House Sparrow parents feeding their babies at the feeder outside our… Read More »

Chimney Swift Watching with Kids

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Cartoon by Mary Mosco That bird just flew into a chimney! “Is that a swift, Mami? It looks like a flying sausage and it flies funny.” This was 5-year-old Ray’s first impression of a chimney swift. We were standing outside his school at dusk watching two small birds. Their erratic way of flying made them… Read More »

photo by Deborah M. Buehler

Spring Migration: Birding in the Big City

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I sometimes feel like I am living in two worlds. The whole “work-home balance” thing is more like a teeter-totter. I shift back and forth between work and home, investing my resources where they are most needed. When a deadline looms or I have to travel, my resources are dedicated to work. The week before… Read More »

ROUGE PARK

Nature Hike in Rouge Park

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Look, Mami. SNOW!” Spoken in Lucas’s lispy two-year-old voice, this announcement was far cuter than what it referred to. When I signed up for a kid-friendly scavenger hunt in Rouge Park in late April, I was not expecting snow. Rouge Park is on its way to becoming Canada’s first urban national park and they offer wonderful… Read More »

Earth Day

Watching Little Things Grow

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This year, as an Earth Day act for the planet, our family decided to reconnect with nature. We decided to do it through small actions, right here in the big city. We registered our participation in the EcoKids Earth Day Canada initiative and are sharing with Bunch community our ideas about connecting with nature in the… Read More »

Silver Maple Seed Flowers - photo by Jon Hayes

Signs of Spring (No, Really!)

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Technically, it is spring. But I just saw snow falling and the wind feels more February-like. The line between the seasons can be wonderfully elusive, but we have been noticing indicators of coming warmth here in High Park. Robins returning is one of the most familiar signs of spring, but many of these Robins never… Read More »

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