3 August 2016
RIM Park, located in the northeast quadrant of the City of Waterloo, is a mixed use park with a substantial trail network for naturalists, meandering along the Grand River. It is named RIM Park because much of the initial funding was provided by Research in Motion (RIM), creators of the Blackberry and a Waterloo-based company.
This Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias seemed totally unconcerned with passers-by and didn't fly away despite people walking quite close to it. We had to look down on it from above and couldn't quite get the whole bird in the shot, but it's an interesting perspective.
Elecampane Inula helenium was in full bloom throughout the park, towering above most other plants and providing a vivid panoply of colour.
Caspian Terns Hydroprogne caspia were patrolling up and down the river in search of a meal.
Japanese Beetles Papilla japonica, have been present in North America for a century, but increasingly they are becoming a major pest, destroying the leaf tissue and ripening fruit of more than two hundred plants. This pair seemed intent on expanding the population.
RIM Park is home to a wide variety of thistles, none more handsome than Bull Thistle Cisium vulgare.
Thistles are not looked on with great favour by humans but their seeds form
a plentiful and nutritious source of food for numerous finches. This handsome male American Goldfinch Spinus tristis would consider a field of thistle a fine banquet indeed.
Here are a few more illustrations of the diversity of RIM Park.
Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus was frequently seen sallying out from a favourite perch to snag passing insects. There was nothing unusual about this but we were delighted to photograph an individual showing its red crown patch, a feature so seldom observed that this is the first time either Miriam or I have seen it.
Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa, a member of the milkweed family, is as the name implies a magnet for butterflies.
We cut our walk short a little because of the threat of imminent rain, but it held off and when we returned to the car bright sunshine had returned.
We'll have to go back again soon to see what other treasures we can share with you.