Spring blossoms in Toronto. The colours oh my!

Spring blossoms in Toronto. The colours oh my!

A few warm days and suddenly Toronto looks like a new city. Blossoms popping up all over.  Photo taken Apr 28 2017 at gates to Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Photo of blossoms on a tree Toronto Spring 2017

Spring in Toronto – a riot of green & colour

Spring in Toronto – a riot of green & colour

Spring in Toronto brings a riot of colour. After the relentless dull grey of winter, everything seems so bright:
 Riot of Colour May blossoms in Toronto 2016

I picked photos I took the last 5 days that needed no adjustment.

No tweaking  required and the colours were fabulous. Switching over to manual on my smart phone has solved a host of issues with focus and colour balance.  The above is from the tree in front of my building. It seemed to have exploded into blossoms yesterday.

This one is from St Clair – just west of Yonge:

 Riot of Colour May blossoms in Toronto 2016

But the greens are oh so soft and vibrant. Can’t post photos of spring without at least one shot of sunlight dancing on the maple leafs along the Beltway path:

Maple leaves on the Beltline path Toronto May 2016


Spring flowers on St. Clair Ave Toronto – Timothy Eaton Church

Spring flowers on St. Clair Ave Toronto – Timothy Eaton Church

See, I told you all we needed were a couple of bright sunny days and the blooms would be in overdrive:

Lilac May 2016 in Toronto

On a good day, when I spend time fussing with settings, my little smartphone does an admirable job of taking snaps. About the only thing I did to any of these photos was a bit of cropping and reducing the size for the web. I used OneShot app and tweaked the settings for sunshine, macro and white balance to avoid the white washed effect that often happens. After pissing about I found I could grab both bright flower colours and the brilliant blue sky.

I was walking home along St Clair Ave Friday afternoon and went right past these lilacs.  I stopped and backed up and couldn’t believe they were so far ahead of the ones in my neighbourhood. I stopped and sniffed them for a bit … yea I really do stop on random streets to smell flowers. I pulled out my camera and started taking shots. The photos came out far better than I thought they would.

Lilacs in blook Toronto May 2016

Just up a bit is the venerable Timothy Eaton Memorial Church:

Timothy Eaton Church Toronto, Ontario May 2016

For a change, I didn’t end up with a washed out background. I still can’t believe the blue came out so vibrant. This was achieved by being careful where  I focused the camera, fixing the white balance and turning off autofocus. Once I switched auto off, I had far more control over the final product. The photos came out crisper than they usually do. I took about 10 photos on the same spot, focusing on different parts of the church. This was the best balanced of the lot.  Quite impressed with the final product.

Not sure what tree it is, I just call it the Tulip Tree. It sits in front of the church, petals floating off into the breeze all day. Lovely close-up using OneShot’s macro feature.  Came out with a excellent and natural colour balance.

Flowers in front of the Timothy Eaton Church

Looking forward to a summer of green and colour.

Behold – the mighty dandelion, slayer of lawns

Behold – the mighty dandelion, slayer of lawns

Ah spring is here in all it’s hay fever inducing glory! Robins be damned – it isn’t spring until the ubiquitous dandelion pops up and terrifies lovers of bowling green style lawns. I love dandelions and don’t quite get the obsession some have with eradicating them. I know people who go out with their bottle of weed killer and spray, spray, spray away trying to kill them all off. Not sure how much Round Up they use, but they are  successful in killing off the bees and not the tough little dandelion. I figure when the apocalypse hits all that will be left will be cockroaches and dandelions.

If I had a lawn, I’d dig it up and seed it with wildflowers. I’d also let the dandelions grow too. Yea, I’d be a neighbourhood pariah … “quick get the kids inside, here comes that crazy dandelion lady”. Maybe I’d make dandelion necklaces and wear them when I stroll around the neighbourhood, inviting people in to drink some dandelion wine and really scare the jeebers out of everyone. That would be fun.

So if you look out your window and spot the evil little yellow flowers appearing on your lawn, take a deep breath and keep telling yourself “they are only daisies… little yellow daisies” and leave the sprays in the cupboard.


Your week is a true success when you end it by rescuing a #toad

Your week is a true success when you end it by rescuing a #toad

I was up along the nasty stretch of Yonge, just above York Mills this morning. On my way to my appointment I spotted a lone blooming tulip:

Tulip apr 2016 - Toronto

Lots of tulips leaves are visible, but this was the lone brave bloomer. On my way back to the subway I spotted two young women waving at the ledge along the pavement. Now, I often see slightly odd things, but to see to office workers, on their way back from lunch waving at the grass, I just have to stop. They were desperately trying to stop this lovely fellow from jumping onto the road:

American Toad Apr 2016

A real beauty, isn’t he. An Anaxyrus americanus or American Toad for the rest of us. He was stuck on a ledge and was trying to leap down from there. Unfortunately that path would have led to one of the busiest stretches of Yonge and he would have been a toad patty in minutes. He was disregarding their leaf waving and was determined to go forward. I gently picked him up and moved him off the ledge to a safe spot up top where he originally came.  He posed for a few shots and then leapt off into the ground cover. I’d forgotten how soft and silky toads feel to the touch. Not that I go around fondling amphibians .. I don’t … no seriously… I don’t. But as a kid we used to go frog and toad catching in the creek near where we lived.

If you didn’t know he was there, you’d walk right by him. Here’s his (her? How do you tell the difference?) beauty shot:

American Toad Apr 2016b

It’s definitely spring when you see tulips and rescue toads.