Friday, May 6, 2011

Toronto Islands - Getting Off The Mainland For A Bit

On Friday, Alex took the day off and was able to join us on a ferry ride to the Toronto Islands.  There was a threat of rain, but it held off until lunchtime, so we were able to enjoy a nice ramble around the island.  The Amusement Park located there was not yet open for the season, so we got most of the place all to ourselves.
A shot of the Ferry coming to pick us up.  This early morning one carried a number of island residents with their bicycles and various carts, etc., for their shopping.  If you read the link to the Wikipedia entry on the Toronto Islands, you can learn a bit about their history.  Mom remembers back in the 70's when the City made a grab for the land on which peoples' homes were located and the islanders' decades-long fight to keep their homes being reported in the papers - trying to win public opinion by urging folks to come visit and see how friendly their community was.  (Reminds me of the sad story of Sir Henry Pellatt I learned about while touring Casa Loma . . . also brings to mind recent struggles of various individuals against various government entities trying to take U.S. homes and businesses away: the Kelo decision, the Annexation fights in Wake county, the current attempts to pass an amendment on Eminent Domain to the NC constitution.  Even recent history makes it all seem as if we're in an endless cycle of the strong versus the weak . . .   If you have something nice, there are always others with their own opinions about what should be done with that nice thing.  I'll have to check on the status of the amendment to see if there's any sign of progress . . .  Hmmmmm . . . mind wandering.  I'll get back to the point of this particular post.)

A touch chilly on the Lake that Spring morning.

View back towards the city from the Ferry.

Lots of Spring flowers doing their thing.  Emily dashed about on the grass like a new lamb.

We particularly liked the attitude of the park authorities, as demonstrated by this sign.

I was completely unable to capture the magical and soothing ambiance that the yellow/green color of all the new willow tree leaves created.

We were walking across this bridge and noticed a Swan on her next right under our noses.  Took a few photos and then tip-toed away.

Here's the daddy Swan, we think.

The birds here seemed to be very much at home in the Amusement park.

There were very, very loud peacocks, looking in vain for the peahens.  (We we told by a volunteer on the farm that the hens were caged, so that the male birds would stick around.)
Here's the side of a peacock that most do not see in photographs.
This poor fellow was trying his very best to impress the barnyard ducks and geese; but they ignored him.  We didn't; but our admiration just wasn't going to do it for him.

Emily taking a little rest.
Alas, we hadn't figured out the setting on our new camera for flower close-ups by this trip.
A very impressive ship that Alex spotted from the Ferry.

I was so totally in love with the grand old trees on this island.  What a juxtaposition of urban and countryside here!

Emily is not pleased about being asked to stop running about to pose for a family photo here . . . this will probably be the aspect most commented on someday if people of the future find our snapshots and wonder for a brief second over the family shown here who lived so many hundreds of years ago . . .

Like some of the urban squirrels, the ducks here were the least wild of any wild ducks we've ever seen.  We had nothing to give them on that day, though.

A sizable portion of the island is still residential, and there are no cars allowed there (according to Wikipedia, it's the largest urban car-free community in North America.)  I just had to get a shot of this cart, modified to be hitched to the back of a bicycle.  Pretty cool.  I'd hazard to guess that a lower percentage of the islanders have a weight problem than mainland populations . . .
My photogenic husband.
Our darling daughter, again refusing to cooperate with my suggestion that she and her daddy pose for a nice portrait.

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