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2007 04 21
Strut: Spring in High Park
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Midmorning yesterday I cycled to High Park intending to take some pictures of the prescribed burn occurring as part of the City's program to restore the park's black oak woodlands and savannahs. However, cruising through the park toward one of the burn sites, I was lured off course by the High Park Zoo and never did manage to get any photos of the flames. Instead, I took pictures of animals basking, preening, and scratching themselves in the warm air.

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The animals in High Park, both within and beyond the zoo, seem quite accustomed to human visitors, and this goose hissed desultorily at me but did not shift footing. Despite the number of visitors on a warm weekday, there are plenty of places to repose in silence, and I soon left this creature in solitude.

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I find llamas sweet, and this one leaned against the fence toward the camera, before sniffing and chewing at the nylon panniers on my bike (wherein lay fresh apples I was forbidden to share). I was reminded of a passage from Don Lyons' Toronto novel, Yorkville Diaries (Elephant Press, 1984), in which the narrator describes a nighttime visit to the High Park zoo in which a buffalo ends up in the swan pond. He writes, "Buffalos are bigger than you think, and they look at you funny." Perhaps only if you're in their pen.

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[email this story] Posted by Amy Lavender Harris on 04/21 at 10:18 AM

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