From my home I can access the Transcona Trail at Day Street, which is a couple of blocks away.
The trail is getting good usage and has much to offer. I often see others rollerblading, skateboarding, riding scooters, cycling, running, and walking. Sometimes whole families travel along it with kids in carriages. To the north and west there are wide open spaces and it’s a treat to be able to see the ever changing cloud formations. On the south side, houses back onto the trail and some homeowners have planted flowers both in beds and in containers.
That’s very nice, but for me the best are the wildflowers which grow in profusion along the trail.
Along the trail you can find white, pink, red, yellow, and purple clover, as well as wild roses. White daisies stand out against the green background and a beautiful little yellow flower grows in clusters the size of a large dinner plate.
There are tall, attractive dandelion-like flowers, wild sunflowers, and eye-catching purple ones that stretch well above the surrounding grasses to kiss the sun, as well as common dandelions and many more with which I am not familiar. In places there are thick clusters of Russian thistle. Gorgeous when in bloom but rather shabby when gone to seed.
However, to compensate, beautiful finches are attracted to the thistle for its seeds. As a complement to the flowers we are serenaded by meadowlarks, blackbirds, and unknown and unseen warblers from the tall grasses. In the ditches, cattails are at work soaking up phosphates and other harmful pollutants.
I stop to talk to a young mother and her daughter, who are hunched down along the trail getting a close look at the wildflowers. Mother is conducting a nature study session for her four-year-old, giving her a head start on the wonders of nature.
We have a nice chat and I explain how I as a young child spent time at a fresh air camp and developed a lasting love of nature. On occasion I have seen mother and daughter picking and arranging wildflowers side by side to show the contrasting colours. Later, the people are gone but sometime the tiny, colourful floral arrangement remains.
Looking at that colourful work of art, love and innocence, I have an increased appreciation for the wonders around us.
Ron Buffie is a community correspondent for Transcona.