Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cherry Trees in Bloom Mississauga Road, Robin Commentary

UPDATE April 27, 2010 : Yesterday, the white trees were in full bloom, and the pink (cherry) were about to pop. The cherry trees are blooming early this year, as are the rhododendrons and azaleas in Port Credit.
Each year, right around the May 2-4 weekend (May 24th), the cherry trees lining Mississauga Road, just north of Eglinton, burst forth in a dazzling display, so I drove up to try to get a picture.

The third weekend in May, in Canada, is a long weekend that traditionally kicks off the summer season. The holiday Monday is in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday, so it's also known as the Victoria Day weekend. It gets its slang name -- the May Two-Four weekend -- from the 2-dozen case size of beer (a 24-pack) that Canadians, especially the younger ones, buy in copious amounts to celebrate Victoria's birthday.

Now, the best way to get the full effect of the cherry trees in bloom (there are also trees that have white blossoms at this same time, but I don't know their name), is to drive along Mississauga Road north from Eglinton into Streetsville, as shown in the photo, then turn around and retrace your route. In early evening, especially, the colors are amazing!

I cannot begin to do them justice here. I parked my car on a side street just south of Eglinton, then walked across. But with steady traffic along Mississauga Road, I could not get a picture from the centre of the road, which is the view you get in a car, and the best way to see them.

Here's a close look at one of the trees. They line the road for several blocks, almost to the railway tracks, and every year I try to get a picture that does them justice. And every year, I miss the mark.

As I walked up to get the close up of the blossoms, I noticed that tent caterpillars had set up camp on one of the lower branches. I hope they are an isolated tribe, and don't spread.

Funny Story: When I parked on a narrow side street, an older gentleman came out from one of the houses, and began spraying window cleaner on his car windows. As I approached, he pointed to the white polka dots covering most of his car.
I said, " Oh -- robins!"
He said, "Yes - and I didn't even park under a tree."

Then he continued talking, spray cleaner in one hand, paper towels in the other gesturing expansively to take in the lovely sunny spring morning on this peaceful, dead-end, side street, where birds were singing, flowers blooming, and we could almost ignore the traffic noise along Mississauga Road.
"I love it here," he said. "It's so peaceful, like being in the country. My back yard (facing Eglinton) is noisy, but I love my front yard. I sit out here and have coffee with my son in the evenings. It's not like being in the city at all."

I agreed it was a very lovely location, explained I was taking pictures and would be back to move my car in a few minutes, and left him happily spraying window cleaner and wiping off robin poop.

As I walked along his side yard, I noticed this sign, below: A proposal for not just ONE mid-rise condo, but TWO! And several existing properties on the north side of this street -- including his -- were ones that the new apartments would replace.

I thought I'd ask the robin-attacked car owner who had waxed rhapsodic about the cottage atmosphere of his home why on earth he'd agreed to sell to a property developer if he loved it so much. But when I got back, he was long gone. That robin had already made a number of comments of its own, in the only way it knew how.

This location is just north of the Church of the Croatian Martyrs and park, and on a GO bus route and only a few blocks from the Streetsville GO train, and a short bus ride from UTM - University of Toronto Mississauga. It's also just over a section of the Culham Trail (See pictures at Canada Streetsville page on my site). It's not hard to see why it's a desirable location for condos. But there's a part of me that agrees with that robin.