The last couple of weeks have been bitterly cold in Toronto, and I haven’t been able to get out much with my camera. My warmest gloves are not well-designed for using a camera (I hit all the buttons at once) and anything less than my warmest gloves … NO.
To keep myself from reaching the deepest depths of frustration, I console myself with photos taken this past summer. I love to go into the river valleys that cut through Toronto. Ever since the devastation of Hurricane Hazel in 1954, when the valleys flooded and the rushing water destroyed anything and everything built in the floodplain, the city has forbidden almost all development in the valleys. They have become parkland, and they are full of wildlife.
The Humber Valley, on the west side of Toronto, plays host to a flock of egrets every summer. Egrets are usually associated with places farther south. We’re basically the ultimate northern edge of their range – even the bird books only indicate the area with a dotted line instead of shading on their range maps. This little flock comes back every year, and by the end of the summer they’re quite habituated to people. I have seen them fishing side by side with the fly-fishermen who stand hip-deep in the Humber first thing in the morning. This one had finished his morning fishing and graciously agreed to pose for me by the river bank.