Much to our surprise, our visit in Toronto, coincided with the Monarch Butterflies’ last sojourn in early September before migrating south to Mexico.
Monarch Abundance Not Far from Skyscrapers
Quite frankly, I had no idea in advance, the number of monarch butterflies we would see in the city in several parks, with the city traffic beating away only a few blocks off. It is amazing how important little preserved park areas of flowers, tall grasses and some shade with the right warmth and sun, keeps the butterflies happy there.
Until then, I always found it difficult to photograph butterflies up close because usually I didn’t see many of them in one spot.
Butterflies and Sculptures- Toronto Botanical Gardens
At Toronto Botanical Gardens, a non-profit separate entity which is inside Edwards Gardens, a city of Toronto park, there were rock sculptures from Zimbabwe displayed amongst the botanical garden areas. It quickly became obvious to me, the sculptures and fluttering butterflies were competing for my attention.
I would photo-shoot a sculpture and when walk only a few steps, to swing my camera to several butterflies flitting among flowers. It was great –man-made art and natural beauty of butterflies.
Down in the Don River Valley
Then a few days later, in the Evergreen Brickworks, a historic former brick manufacturing site, now enviromental education centre in the
Don River Valley, a few more butterflies were lighting here and there among the tall grasses by the pond where a huge turtle was submerged lazyily in the sun-flecked waters. I was there nearly a decade ago and didn’t notice any butterflies at the time.
Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat
On the second last day of my trip in Toronto, we biked west along the Waterfront bike trail by Lake Ontario and past the white arches of the Humber bike-pedestrian Bridge. We were hunting for the Butterfly Garden, recently reshaped by the City of Toronto. Again one of these places, that flies into the old stereotype of Toronto as just skyscrapers, people and car-clogged roads.
Unfortunately newly paved walking/bike paths were still being cured and roped off from people. So we deeked onto a hard packed path to scout out more butterflies which we did capture some on camera with Jack doing a better job than I.
These butterfly surprises now reveals to me why there are butterfly city murals in the city of Toronto…which will be another story soon.