Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Walk in the Park

I live in what most would refer to as the suburbs of a fairly large city. We don't have a huge downtown core the way that more established cities might. Ours is less obvious because of its sprawling nature. Wikipedia tells me that it has doubled its population in the last two decades, which is almost as long as I have lived here, having moved from Montreal in the 1980's.

Despite the cold, concrete surroundings that city life might imply, I am lucky to have settled into an area that is rich with greenspace and water. There's a lovely walking path that winds its way around a small body of water, located in the park just across the street from my home. I have always been inclined to call it a lake, mostly because the sign in the park which is named after it, refers to it that way. I have however been snickered at for doing so. My pond is is no more a lake to small town and country folk, than their block or two of village space can be called "downtown" to a city girl.

Pond or lake, this small body of water with its surrounding green offers a hospitable location for a variety of plant life, and it attracts several different species of mammals and birds, including the often-seen, above-referenced Small Town Bearded Kvetch.

I am grateful for my surroundings as they provide a calming escape from the sights and sounds of the enveloping city. It takes less than ten minutes to walk around the lake once (of the usual three tours) for exercise, but these days I tend to walk with my newly-acquired camera so that I can pause and snap images of any number of flora or fauna which can be found in these environs.

The photos below were taken on different days but were all captured at my local park.

Most any lake or pond in the area will attract ducks, geese, gulls and the occasional heron, and ours is no exception. Here, a mallard stretches lazily, showing off his lovely colours. The feathers on his head can change from brilliant emerald to a rich, royal purple depending on how the sunlight strikes him.

Early this summer, we were treated to the sight of a paddling of ducklings. There were seven of these downy little cuties, all of which appeared to have survived the local coyote population.

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A mourning dove sits on a low branch, reflecting the golden colours of the late day sun.

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While strolling around the pathway one evening, I came across this bold little rabbit who stood his ground quite bravely as the camera lens and I inched closer and closer to him. I hope he would be a little less courageous should he encounter a coyote or dog at close range.

As summer evolves, plant life changes along with it. The pastel colours of early spring and summer are different than the deep purples and oranges that are common in late summer and early autumn. These flowers were enjoying the early morning sunshine of July.

There's a particular spot along the path where I like to stop and absorb the sights from time to time. It's located just before a bit of a bend in the lake and offers one of the more appealing visuals in the park. The low branch of a tree extends out over the water to meet its reflection on the surface.

A view of the sky above the houses shows a distant airplane cutting a streak across the sky at dusk.

Thanks for joining me on this walk in the park.


Frank Baron said...

Why, those are pretty as a picture! I mean those pictures sure are pretty!

But I gotta say, I was especially impressed with that kvetch. :)

Hilary said...

Like looking in a mirror.. wasn't it?

Thanks for stopping by. :)