Saturday, October 03, 2009

Riverwood Wood Carvings Chappell House ~ Mississauga Ontario Park

Today I toured Riverwood Conservancy, a City of Mississauga (Ontario) park, and I couldn't have found a better tour guide than Dr. Nina Barabas, co-author of Wildflowers of Riverwood, a four-year labour of love to identify and photograph the wildflowers in this city park.

Riverwood Park Sign - Parking Lot

Riverwood Park is located northeast of Burnhamthorpe Road and the Credit River. Turn north at the traffic light, follow the winding drive up the hill, and park in the lot. This sign will orient you to the various trails. See map link at bottom of page. Note: Click on photo for larger image, then click Back button to return to this page.

Dr. Nina Barabas, co-author of Wildflowers of Riverwood

Nina took our small but feisty group on a tour of the late fall wildflowers and seed pods, stopping often to pick, smell, identify and admire the natural habitat around the marshy pond (below). Nina is one of many volunteers at Riverwood who help make this garden grow.

Pond and Marsh - Riverwood Conservancy Park

Nestled in the undergrowth just west of the main park drive and lot, this small pond makes a pretty tableau. Note the brown shapes, bottom center. These, says Nina, are teasel flowers, likely named as it can be used like a comb or brush to 'tease' wool.

Old Wood Wagon Near Chappell House Mississauga

Riverwood is a large park (60 hectares - 150 acres), with some trees 350 years old. Before it became Riverwood, this area was a film location for (the late) David Carradine's Kung Fu The Legend Continues series in 1994.

Stone Steps Riverwood - Mississauga City Park

From a trail down along the Credit River, look up the hillside and you'll find these lovely old stone steps leading up to the back yard of the Chappell House. According to the web site, Riverwood is co-owned by the City of Mississauga and Credit Valley Conservation.

Down the Lane to Chappell House ~ Riverwood

Wide roadway and bridge over MacEwan Creek leads to Chappell House past marsh lands and rushes.

Approaching Chappell House

Built in the Arts and Crafts Style, Chappell House is set among flower gardens and old growth trees. Walk around to the back garden overlooking the ravine.

Tree Trunks get new life at Riverwood and beyond

Wood sculptor Jim Menken carved the birds in this tree trunk near Chappell House, and the owls in the photo below. His wood carvings are simply wonderful!

Owls in the Tree Trunk Riverwood

Sculptor Jim Menken turns dead trees into art. These owls at Riverwood seem to be admiring the fall colors. If you drive Missisisauga Road about one kilometer north of the QEW, you will see another of his carvings on the north side.

Koi Pond - Chappell House Grounds

Flagstones and flowers edge this lovely pond sited in the front garden of Chappell House.

Riverwood Boardwalk Trail Credit River Lands Mississauga

New boardwalk protects fragile low lands along the Credit River, while providing a firm surface for walkers. More information, including how to get a copy of the wildflower book and how to volunteeer at Riverwood Conservancy.

Mississauga resident Jo-Anne from Meadowvale knows many of these city green spaces, and is a keen wildlife observer in the city and beyond. Jo-Anne writes:

Over the past few weeks, I've seen an adult Bald Eagle by 403 / QEW and a female Hairy Woodpecker yesterday here at Lake Aquitaine. Lots of Black-capped Chickadees and Red-breasted Nuthatches around Meadowvale as well.

Earlier this week on the way to Kitchener-Waterloo, I saw 3 White-tailed Deer running close to Hwy. 401 westbound just before a sign for Guelph. On the way home, I saw about 30 Turkey Vultures soaring above Lake Kelso and very low above Hwy. 401 eastbound.

I plan to visit Riverwood Park and Erindale Park soon to see the changing tree leaf colours along the Credit River.

Both Erindale Park, northeast of Mississauga Road and Dundas, and Riverwood Park are part of the Culham Trail walking cycling trail that continues north to Streetsville. See Googlemap Riverwood Park and Googlemap Erindale Park (Entrance to parking lot is across from Piatto Restaurant).

Do try to get out to these city parks to take in the fall colors! They'll be gone, and snow covered soon enough!