The place where I like to find nature in the city is not exactly hidden. In fact, it is a very well-travelled path that I use from Constable Ezio Faraone Park just west of 109th street to Victoria Park Road. Why do I like this busy place so much? Well, in part because it is busy! There are always people walking, running, or cycling on this pathway. It reminds me that my appreciation for Edmonton’s river valley is shared by many. The main reason I like this path, though, is that it is a great place to find birds! In the winter, above the crunch, crunch, crunch of my boots on the snow and ice, I hear the nasal chickadee-dee-dee call of the Black-capped Chickadee. I think to myself, if the Chickadee can endure Edmonton’s long winter, surely I can too! In the spring, when the American Robins return you can find them along this path. Sometimes I spot a Nuthatch. Today,
I spotted a Gray Catbird, a pair of Cedar Waxwings, and several Black-capped Chickadees, in addition to House Sparrows and Magpies, while walking along the trail. This place is not very hidden, and the abundance of non-native plants like smooth brome and alfalfa along the pathway tells me that this place is not exactly pristine, but being here reminds me that we share this place with all sorts of plants and animals that also call Edmonton home.
Michelle Morris, Edmonton Master Naturalist 2015