Words and photography by Ann Ivy Male

“In the woods in a winter afternoon one will see as readily the origin of the stained glass window, with which Gothic cathedrals are adorned, in the colors of the western sky seen through the bare and crossing branches of the forest.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reflecting upon my visit to Mississauga’s Kariya Park in the spring of last year, I remember the pale pink petals dropping from the cherry trees, filling the air like the delicate snowflakes of winter.

And speaking of winter, it certainly has been a challenging one thus far. The polar vortex continues to bring frigid temperatures and the now-infamous ice storm of December caused power outages and tremendous damage to our city’s trees. Nevertheless, if you take these inconvenient realities out of our Canadian winter and come to appreciate the sheer beauty of this season, then you might revel in the calm, serene surroundings that Kariya Park has to offer.

With this in mind, I bundled up and went back to the park to capture its splendour, now blanketed under snow and ice. It was evident to me that Emerson was so insightful with his descriptive words of winter being a “stained glass window” on the sky. The snow on the ponds, pathways and bridges was the perfect backdrop for the shadows cast by “the bare and crossing branches of the forest.”

There was noticeable damage to the trees but no doubt with time, nature will put the pieces back together. Kariya Park was quiet, almost lonely—a far cry from that spring day with families walking along the paths, taking pictures and feeding the ducks. I must admit though, it felt good to walk around in solitude knowing with certainty that in a few short months, the snow in the form of cherry blossoms will return once again. If you are looking for an outing this winter, dress warm, grab a tea or hot chocolate and head to Kariya Park to experience our city’s natural “stained glass.”

Check out Ann’s winter/spring Kariya Park photos below!

Kariya Park winter AIM pic1

Kariya Park winter AIM pic3

Kariya Park winter AIM pic4

Kariya Park winter AIM pic5

Kariya Park winter AIM pic6

Kariya Park winter AIM pic7