This week's Wednesday Walk took us to Osborne Bay Park, an off-leash area just a five minute drive from my home. It is a beautiful park of over sixty acres, an old farmstead which still harbours many fruit and ornamental trees. The first section of the park is rolling fields, which is followed by a trail winding through tall trees and bushes, leading down to a wide expanse of pebbly beach just teaming with marine life.
I have had a love affair with the ocean ever since I can remember. Family photos show me playing on the beaches in England as a toddler, and later in the then-small seaside resort town of White Rock where I grew up. In my adult years, I have made a point of exploring isolated stretches of beach every chance I get. The tidal pools teeming with marine life, the soothing rhythm of the waves as they crash on the shore, the sense of wide-open spaces as one gazes at miles of sand and water - fascination, education, relaxation all rolled into one.
Osborne Bay is resplendent in sand dollars and shells of every colour:
Purple Sand Dollar
Golden Sand Dollar
Tidal pool of dollars - riches of a different kind
In the pools, shells and sanddollars and seaweed formed a patchwork quilt for the tiny crabs and other sealife who resided there:
Shells and Sand Dollars
Sand Dollars in Water
Sand Dollars in Seaweed
Small Shells in Seaweed
Evidence of the circle of life is all around:
Crab Starfish on the beach and under rocks add another splash of colour to the already brilliant palette:
Starfish under Rock
Higher on the beach, abandoned boathouses and old stairways to nowhere attest to the history of the area:
Biodiversity, that interdependency of living things, is well represented here. A tree, long ago fallen from the cliff to the beach below, has become a home for the thousands of mussels that cling to its branches:
Mussels cover the branches
I love this shot of the wall-to-wall shells on the beach. It reminds me of one of those very-hard-to-solve jigsaw puzzles I used to love to do (It looks a lot more striking when you click to enlarge it!):
Sadie and Tarben resting for the climb back up
Charley and Sadie, Osborne Bay Park
Seaweed, shells and sand dollars - a beautiful setting for some friends and their dogs. Life doesn't get any better than this.