Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Toronto swans and a little history

Went for a bike ride along the lakeshore on Tuesday. It was plus 8 and seemed a shame to miss out on the warm weather, especially since they were forecasting another storm on its way for Wednesday. I remembered to bring my camera this time, I'm getting better at that.

Got some pictures of the Whistling Swan family and a Mute Swan.

There are lots of the Mute Swans along the lakeshore and one family of Whistling Swans. Mute Swans are imports from Europe but the Whistling Swan is native.

You can see the differences between them in these photos, the orange bill and curved neck of the Mute Swan (above)...

...and the black bill and straight neck of the Whistling Swan (right).

The two darker swans in the family photo are the youngsters. One of them always bites my shoe when I come by, today was no exception. I guess I had salty slush on my shoe today, he (or she) chewed on it a couple of times.

Here's the best I could do in photographing a pair of Buffleheads. The Mallards and the Swans are happy to come up close but the Buffleheads keep their distance.

This building is Sunnyside Pool. Or it used to be. Today the pool is beside this building, which now houses the change rooms and a restaurant. It was very popular in my parents time.

The beach in front of it is Sunnyside Beach, where the Americans landed in 1813 to attack Fort York. They miscalculated, the fort was actually several miles to the east of here. But this didn't stop them from looting and burning the parliament buildings of Upper Canada, such as they were.

In retaliation the British burned the city of Washington, thus causing the White House.

And that's the history lesson for today.

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