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.


March on Yonge & Yorkmills – blasted and depressing

March on Yonge & Yorkmills – blasted and depressing

Not all photographs should document the lovely and pretty.  Sometimes, there isn’t anything to be done about a view, but they should still be taken.  Certain sections along Yonge St in Toronto can be bleak at best; concrete wastelands at their worse. I pad all over the city and periodically I’m taken by the view – not because it’s breathtakingly lovely, but because it’s shockingly grey and grim.

A small section on Yonge, just north of York Mills is one of those stretches. If you’re driving, you likely don’t notice because you zip by so quickly. But I take public transit or walk everywhere so I see a lot. I’m up there about 20 times each year and even in the summer, it’s shockingly boring.  Here’s the view as you walk up the little hill:

Toronto March 2016 Yonge & York Mills photographIt’s just all concrete and traffic. Nothing breaks it up. If you go south of the TTC station, it’s a different view – lots of green and quite lovely. Swivel north and you see the opposite. I’ve taken about 20 or 30 pictures of the area, at various times of the year and they all have the same urban wasteland feel. Even the park on the west side doesn’t help.

I was amused to see a pair of Canada geese wandering around a deralick parking lot (just past the building on the right in the photo).  They were standing around looking like bewildered tourists – “I swear Mable, Google Maps said there was a shopping mall here”. Canada geese photograph

They stood there watching me, occassionally peck at the pavement, letting out soft honks.  I stood watching them for a few minutes and realised, I see Canada Geese all the time, but have never taken a single photo of them. I just take them for granted. They posed for quite a few pictures, the big hams:

Canada Goose
When I came back through the parking lot an hour later, they had both left. I think they were as bored of the scenery as I was.