Scarborough Bluff Dawn (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.)

22 October finds us looking up at the Scarborough Bluff freshly illuminated by the sunrise, from the east end of the parking lot of Bluffer's Park in Scarborough, east of Toronto.  My back is to the lake and the breeze is brisk and cold. The cloudy sky protected us from frost last night but now the cloud is clearing and the rising sun picks out the pale clay bluffs and burnishes the autumn red trees and bushes.

At the base of the bluff is a veritable sea of Phragmites, in shadow now except for the fluffy plumed seed heads. An invasive reed introduced from Europe, Phragmites, is also climbing the bluffs in places and Fred is keeping track of its progress, and measures three of the tall stems to be 392 cm, 452 cm, and 451 cm - the tallest is four and a half metres! The Phragmites rhizomes as well as the roots of the constantly spreading Coltsfoot, also an European introduction, will stabilize the clay which is constantly eroding so that woods, yards and gardens at the crest of the bluffs are being undercut.

A little to the west of the view I have chosen, a strange wasp-nest-like structure with a gaping hole in it poises, exposed, at the top edge of the pale clay wall, high above the rows of autumn-empty Bank Swallow holes. Binoculars reveal it to be a brick lined well. Through the big hole in its side we can see the wooden planks of its cover. A hump of long-grassed sod covers the well.

Last night we saw a Fox at the foot of the bluffs, and heard wild howling and yapping of nearby Coyotes.

This painting is available for purchase at $275. Please contact Aleta


  1. It's beautiful, Aleta. People in Western Canada so seldom see those red trees in autumn. We get bright bright yellows, but very little red. This is gorgeous.
    Interesting about the well.
    I don't know if I've ever seen a fox. Lots of coyotes, however.

    Kay, Alberta


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