Without a doubt, walking in Toronto's ravines is one of my favourite past-times. In fact, I go out everyday to have a short stroll on the same trail in hopes of spotting new exciting stuff that I missed the day before. And boy does it not disappoint. Toronto ravines rapidly change. Year-to-year, and even day-to-day, there are minuscule changes. Rainfall clearing debris, new plants and fungi, everyday is a thrilling adventure. Wielding only an iPhone SE and a small, pocket sketchbook is all I need. And when Pokémon Go comes around, I reckon that I'll tote it with m in other ravines around the city.
First thing I've spotted on my walk was this nicely grown dandelion. I've always wondered what the purpose of the jagged leaves were, but looking at this, it's kinda easy to figure out. Also, young leaves of a dandelion plant is great in salads, and the root can be roasted and steeped to make tea/coffee.
Next thing I came across was this tree. It's a chestnut tree -- and not the horse-variety, to boot. It's growing relatively well in the semi-wilderness. There are even some fruits forming, though the leaves show some sort of infection (blight?). It looks like an American chestnut, but my chestnut identification skillz are kinda shoddy.
Continuing on my stroll, I came across a large number of wild raspberry bushes. most of them are bare of fruits (shows how popular they are). But going deeper into the wooded area, I found some relatively untouched specimens. Great stuff!
In the wooded areas of the ravine, there are quite a few felled trees. Some of the decomposing trees has varieties of fungus growing on them. It's July, so apparently much of the morels and other fungi is out of season. The few exceptions include this: polyporus squamosus or dryad's saddle (or pheasant's back).
Finishing my walk, I passed through a somewhat decently kept garden. By no means are these plants wild in any sense of the word, but I've gotta include it for honourable mention. These big-leaved plants are probably taro -- specifically, the dasheen variety. They're the purple corms that are famously sold as desserts in the Asian parts of town. The petiole (stalk) and leaves can also be eaten, by the way.
At this time, the mosquitos are getting to be a bit of nuisance, so I wanted to vamos outta the outdoors. On the ground, I noticed a red speck. Lo and behold -- Strawberries. There's a nice coverage of the plants in the garden. They're small, so they're likely the wild variety.
And that concludes my stroll for that day. I've also found some raspberries, mulberry, shadbush, purslane, common plantain, shepherd's purse, as well as invasive species such as hogweed and dog-strangling vines. I might add them in later or just put some sketches of 'em in the future.