Continuing from my earlier post; On the north side of Old Kingston road, just a short drive East off Manse road is the other part of Col. Danforth Park. There is a proper road that takes you to the sports facilities and has ample parking inside. The other route is through a small paved road where vehicles are not allowed. This small paved road is adjacent to the parking lot that is flanked on the West by a leash free dog park and North by Greenery.
During rainy days, I prefer to drive up the main road and park near the Miller Lash house and walk Ruffy and Corrie from there. On bright sunny days, I prefer the smaller road. As we proceed North-West ward into the park, the familiar Highland creek flows alongside rushing South Eastward to the lake. After 5 minutes of walking, you can see the tennis courts bounded by high fences. On the right is a metal bridge that offers an alternate path and goes over the Highland Creek.
Walking over the bridge takes us to a higher elevation and once again, the paved road traces the flow of the Highland Creek to its left and wooded area to its right. Due to erosion from the creek, the Landscape is repaired every couple of years. The last repair was done during the special Olympics and at the same time, a few more tennis courts were added. Signs were put up guiding visitors to the University Campus that is on top of the elevation to the right of the road.
In this stretch, one would find name plates on trees indicating their species and scientific name. During summer, students rest in the shade and pass time. Cyclists love to bike across from Old Kingston road well into the Morning side park. The track is challenging as it bends around and raises and falls. The best way to describe the length of the road is that it would be able to accommodate the needs of the fittest athlete either on foot or on a bike.
Spring sees a lot of clean up work being done. As mentioned in my earlier post, the trees here compete for sunlight and grow tall and thin. During winter the weaker trees snap under the pressure of ice and snow. Spring clean up consists of removing these debris as well as pruning trees that seem likely to crash. The city does an excellent job of creating grassy areas and wooded areas and maintaining them all year long.
For the photographers, there are lot of interesting subjects to work on. You could fill up your camera with the fall pictures, focus on the birds or for those interested in capturing unusual perspectives of regular objects, a macro lens would show up a multitude of opportunities.
There are shrubs, berries and flowers that look elegant as well as complicated and colorful. These would make excellent close up photography subjects.
Littering in this track is one thing does bother me from time to time. There is the discarded fast food boxes and plastic bottles mostly in the parking area and some more inside the trail. The city has provided bins at intervals but it seems some people can’t be bothered. Like wise, I get upset when I see that people have not picked up after their dogs. It makes it bad for those of us who do pick up. This park is visited by foxes, Coyotes, deer and rabbits. Leaving rubbish behind could probably hurt some of the species. Overall, the menace of littering is not that much. There are volunteers who clean the trail from time to time on the inside to ensure that the natural balance remains intact.
There is a bit of history in this park and I will share it with you along with some pictures in part 3.