The park in my community has undergone a few changes over the past couple of years. Most are for the better and some have had a positive affect on this natural habitat for so many creatures, which either reside here or visit along their migration route. Most notable is a small butterfly garden which contains numerous flowering plants that attract the lovely winged creatures.
These photos were taken in November - long after the blooming season.
Ornamental cabbage is really quite a deep purple colour but the sunlight was so brilliant on this particular day, its leaves appear to be bright pink.
Coneflowers typically show off their own beautiful pink petals through the summer but this one had long passed its prime. Still, I thought it looked beautiful just as it is.
The broad leafed plant part of the ornamental cabbage displaying its pretty purple-pink vein.
The park surrounding our pond, has indeed been enhanced by the placement of many new benches, information boards about the local plant and wildlife, murals along the walls of tunnels which pass under busy streets, and beautiful animal designs carved into the trunk of a dead tree near the park entrance.
One of the new benches overlooking the pond on a foggy morning.
What used to be a graffiti-filled underpass is now a canvas for some colourful artwork painted by various volunteers, depicting our local birdlife. On this morning when I snapped these photos, I had just seen a lovely red-shoulded hawk perched on a tree in the park. I didn't have the right lens for its distance so you'll just have to imagine that it looked a little bit like this one.
More regulars at our pond - among them the great blue heron, the kingfisher and the night heron.
Cardinals, jays and gulls - we see or hear them at least daily.
Along with the Canada goose there's a colourful wood duck. He used to visit our pond toward the end of each autumn but I've not seen him for a couple of years now. I still remember Woodrow fondly.
The wood carving artist is Jim Menken. He was commissioned by the city of Mississauga to create his beautiful art in several of our parks. Here are a few photos depicting his fine work on what was once a tree in our local park.
The great blue heron stands out at the base of the tree.
Much like the real thing, he keeps a close, watchful eye on those who pass by.
Just above him, a young raccoon playfully peeks out from a cubby hole in the tree. I was glad to see that the artist included my favourite wild creature.
Around the other side of the tree, a black crowned night heron stands guard, and you can just make out the back of a downy woodpecker on the left.
This guy always give me pause when he makes an appearance at the dam. It's usually with duckling dumplings or gosling goulash in mind. But the mink is very much part of the animal kingdom in our little piece of wilderness in the city and I'm glad that the artist (whose name is carved into this one) included him.
Now you know what's been happening at our park recently. More photos coming up soon.