So who is this guy Arvo that gets his pictures posted on the Wild Bluffs all the time?
I am a full time resident of Scarborough and have lived my entire 56 years here as well as living in the same house since birth. We are a very short drive from the Scarborough Bluffs and as a kid it was an adventurous walk. As kids it was our adventure location. And, as kids we occasionally swam in the lake but mostly we were just climbing the cliffs and spires fearlessly. In the winter on those snowless days we would skate endlessly on the lagoons. Even in the snowy winters we would shovel a spot to play a true game of pond hockey. On Labour Day weekend we would climb out onto the peaks and watch the airplanes fly along the lakeshore on their way to the CNE and, if we were lucky, a plane would occasionally do some practice loops and move out over the lake in front of us.
I was always interested in photography, working my way through the Kodak Instamatics, the 110 formats and even the odd Polaroid camera until finally getting my first 35mm camera at age 18 and never looking back. Today I shoot with a Nikon D7000 DSLR. A lot more convenient than film and a lot less expensive with the great feature of instant view. The first year having a DSLR I took some 35,900 photographs–something I could never afford to do with a film camera. I belong to the Metro Toronto Zoo as a yearly member and contribute to Facebook pages of the Trumpeter Swan Society & the Canadian Peregrine Foundation reporting and photographing Swans & Peregrines when I sight them. And of course the Wild Bluffs web and Facebook pages. In the fall I help out with the Rosetta McClain Raptor watch. In the winter months I manage an elite women’s ice hockey team. But almost everyday I walk the Bluffs checking out the wildlife and nature that occurs there every day.
The diversity of the Bluffs is amazing in what you see in the water, on the water, on land and in the skies above. A large variety of wild flowers, trees and bushes can also be found there. Not to mention the geological features of the Bluffs themselves. It has changed so much from when I started to go to the Bluffs. There were no marinas or even an official park for that matter. The cliffs were bare of vegetation and looked far more interesting than their current state of cover. Two of the Bluffs chain of parks I include in my walks are Rosetta McClain Gardens to the west, where the gardens and the variety of plants and flowers is a hidden gem along the waterfront and The Doris McCarthy trail to the east–a challenging walk but well worth the hike down to the lakefront. The trail is along side a small stream that cascades down to the lake.
The Bluffs offer a diverse range of birds & animals that migrate or travel through the area, and those that eventually live and settle in the area I am not a activist (nor a writer) but would hope that perhaps some of you that are and are fighting for the preservation and conservation of the area. I hope that my photographs can be used in some manner to demonstrate what lives and uses the park on any given day and that any dramatic change to the area can and will change the habitat of these creatures forever. Thanks for reading my story and I hope you enjoy the pictures already posted and for those that are surely to continue. I also hope to see and meet some of you out on these walks someday.