Living on the Edge

A walk along the cliff edge at East Point Park
Excuse the overly dramatic subheading, but in reality, the walk I took on the East Point Park trail did come very close to the cliff edge on more than one occasion. And while I chose the safety of staying on the right side of the railing, there were more than a couple people who did not, and many blazed foot trails leading into the bushes indicated this was a common practice.
According to the City of Toronto Parks department, East Point Park is one of Toronto's largest parkland areas along the City's east waterfront. It is a migratory staging area for monarch butterflies and over 178 species of birds.


The Parks site goes on to say that "the park is an ecological gem due to its proximity to Lake Ontario and a moderate climate. East Point Park features meadow, bluff, beach, shrub thicket, forest and wetland - all with a diversity of plant life due to the imperfectly drained, fertile top soil on the glacial deposits which form the Scarborough Bluffs." While this is true, I couldn't help but be disappointed and angered by the sheer amount of garbage I found at the Beechgrove Park entrance I used. 
There are a couple beautiful bird blind metal sculptures near the Beechgrove entrance that reflect the importance of the area for birds. 
It was an overcast and unusually mild day in late January when I took to the trail. All in all, I probably spent about 90 minutes on the trail and throughly enjoyed the walk as well as the challenge of making pictures on a fairly dreary, "no-snow" winter's day. Along the trail, there were some gorgeous views of Lake Ontario. I have a feelling there could be some good sunrise opportunities as well. I must keep that in mind. 

Even on an overcast day, the combination of shooting in RAW format and Lightroom post-processing enabled me to bring out detail in the thick cloud cover.
There was a predominance of browns and yellows, but every once in a while there was a pop of red from a dogwood shrub, a few berries or a brilliant cardinal.
There were several feeders in close proximity to the trail, and the chickadees were quick to return after people walked by, followed by the sparrows and the more cautious cardinals.
I could (and will) definitely spend more time at this location. There were many side trails I didn't take, and I also didn't get to the western-most edge of the park. I did, however, make it down to the beach on a previous trip. Here are a couple shots from that trip.

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