Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Walk in the Sunshine

This evening I strolled along the "Mountain Brow" to take in the sunshine.

Hamilton's 'Mountain' is only 120 m (394 ft) above the harbour but it offers grand vistas, even if they do include the (in)famous steel companies that once employed the greatest portion of the city's residents.

"The Mountain", as Hamiltonians call it, is part of the Niagara Escarpment, which is composed of sedimentary rocks dating back over 400 million years ago (in the Ordovician and Silurian periods). The cliffs of the escarpment are in fact the exposed floor of an ancient sea. Perhaps because, as kids, our family hiked along the escarpment's Bruce Trail, this shale formation feels like a part of my being.

Back in 1990, the UN designated the Niagara Escapment as a World Biosphere Reserve. Unfortunately this designation hasn't stopped urban development over-running the "Niagara Fruit Belt" but the escarpment itself provides lots of vegetation for the migrating Monarch butterflies. Here a female has alit upon a Flowering Dogwood tree.

Can you image the riot of colour if she landed among the psychedelic groundcover nearby? So much to see in a short walk!

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