Sunday, being the last day of September, spurred my longing to get outside. The clouds hung low, threatening to drop their contents at any moment, but I didn’t care. We’ve been in our new town for two months now, and have had little time for exploring.
A river flows through the village, and there are trails either side, as well as other walking paths through forested areas. It seems that every road off of the main street leads to a park or path.
Ric was not dressed appropriately for the weather – autumn chill having decided to dominate the day – so he picked up a coffee and sat in the warm car listening to sports.
We started down by the train station – a quaint, old-fashioned, one story building with a small parking lot, indicative of the volume of traffic. Just downhill from the station there is a park with a pedestrian bridge over the water, and it seemed like a squirrel and I were the only living souls in sight.
Further down the road, we pulled into another area, where four gravel parking spots designated a trail. Here, canopies of trees lined a paved path in either direction. The foliage hung heavy with dew, the branches releasing the first few amber leaves as squirrels trapezed across tree tops. Three squirrels, all carrying prize finds, captured my attention.
The birds were busy too. The sharp caw of a crow drew my attention to a grouping of trees where smaller birds flit back and forth. A family of robins assembled in one tree, and on the ground. Blue jays would cry out then fly just out of my range, as if taunting me. A family of Downy woodpeckers were also busy in the trees, and I laughed out loud to see a young one who kept falling from her perch. With tenacity, though, she kept reappearing.
The centrepiece of our town is a bridge that spans the river just where a small waterfall occurs. The bird traffic on this waterway matches the human activity in the small town core next door. A municipal parking lot accesses the walkway to the falls, and this is where we ended our outing. From the moment I stepped out of the car, there was so much to see and photograph. Ric called to me and gestured towards the falls. I nodded my head even though I wasn’t sure what he was referring to, but knowing I would work my way along.
Even though it was overcast, the day was still and the river provided a mirror-like tranquility so that each shot was memorable. Canada geese gathered at the top of the falls, and below, on the rocks gulls and families of ducks loitered. I thrilled to this find,
knowing this will be a place I’ll return to over and over again.
As I turned to head back to the waiting car, my eye caught a hulking presence in a dead tree, just across the river – a heron. I realized this is what Ric had pointed out, and I’d almost missed it! As I raised my camera to focus, I noticed another Great Blue approaching from the left. He flew past the tree and up the river out of sight and then doubled back and with his massive wing span swooped up into the tree sending the other heron packing. I’m afraid I was too excited to capture the fleeing bird – these birds in flight are so magnificent. I will try again.
To be in nature, attention focused on the sensory offerings, is to feel at one with a harmonious existence. This was just a slice of what the area has to offer. I am very grateful to be here.
(This week’s challenge is attention. To participate click on the link.)