|Heron at the water's edge|
Maggie and I have a new favourite place to go while the beaches are closed to dogs for the Brant Geese migration. It is Craig Bay heritage lands - a protected area of which 12 acres is designated parkland. It is at the other end of Parksville from our usual beach and home, so necessitates a short drive to the trailhead, but there we can wend our way down a short pretty trail to open fields and lightly wooded landscape that follows the low beach coastline. It's not a long walk - about an hour return at Maggie-pace (ie, dawdling, with many photo stops), but it is a perfect length for Maggie, and gives us both what we need - sea air, light open spaces, mountain views, and a good dose of Mother Nature's flora and fauna.
There are no signs indicating dogs are prohibited from this beach at the moment, but Craig Bay is a bit rockier and muckier than our usual haunts, so while we might sit on a rock or a log at its edge, we don't head out across the sand. At low tide, that sand spreads a good half mile out, and I do see people out there. Perhaps in summer, when heat and lower high tides pervade, it will be more tempting for Maggie.
|Ootgoing tide - by no means the lowest we've seen recently|
But for now, we watch the herons fishing the water's edge. There are several benches to rest on and very few people about - it is peaceful and calming and good for the soul.
|Good benches fer dogs too, Mama!|
The area is full of signs of spring - we have watched snowdrops and crocuses come and go, little pools of daffodils appear in the meadows, some small blue flowers like periwinkle but with the wrong leaves, spreading widely along the trail, and trees of unknown species (unknown to me) blossoming throughout.
|Beautiful crocuses bloomed here a month ago|
|Maggie among little blue flowers|
The eagles are busy mating, the crows are busy cawing, the Brants Geese are busy swimming, and the little Bewick's wren is busy flitting through bushes and peeking at us from tree trunks.
|Crow in tree|
|Migrating Brant Geese|
Herons are in the grass too - this one was so still, and at exactly the same spot two days in a row, that I had to watch for nearly half an hour for a sign of movement to ensure he was real!
Amid the brush, I spy two eyes spying on me - a raccoon! We have seen him a few times now, feeding from a bird feeder on a neighbouring property. He is young - likely last year's brood - and cheeky, playing peek-a-boo from behind a tree trunk.
There are bunnies also - we see them hop across the trail and into the underbrush on numerous occasions, but too quick for the camera to catch. However, Maggie 'volunteered' to impersonate them in their locales. What a good sport she is! Who knew there were Easter Shelties in the park?
When we return home, there is another little Easter Dog. This is Bailey, and he has been staying with us for the past three weeks while his mama is dealing with health issues.
Bailey is 13, and gets lots (lots and lots and lots) of walks in the neighbourhood, but doesn't care for car travel. So Craig Bay heritage lands are just for Mags and me - our one-on-one time - with the herons, racoons and bunnies and birds...and the seasonal Easter Sheltie. I hope you had as nice an Easter weekend as we did!!