Saturday, March 31, 2012

Four Parks in Three Days

Come along with me!

No wonder my knees are sore and my limbs ache.  This week, I explored two parks on Wednesday with the Elder College group (albeit small parks, my continual squats for 'that perfect shot' give the knees a bit more of a workout than the average trailwanderer), one on Thursday with  Eddie, Gail and Gail's dog Sadie, and another on Friday with Eddie, Liz and Liz's dog Sasha.  Add to that the 4-6 km total we do in our morning and evening walks, and several hours of shovelling crushed gravel and hauling rocks as I begin some landscaping on the south and east sides of the house and I think I know why I hurt.  My chiropractor will love me.

But back to the parks. 

On Wednesday, the Elder College group started with Diana, Princess of Wales Wilderness Park in Saltair, just north of Chemainus.  (Take Chemainus Road north, and turn right onto Olson Rd at the colourful Jarid's B&B. The park is just a short ways along, with a small parking lot on the right). I visited this little thirty-acre park once a couple of years ago, but the trail I took ended just minutes later.  This time, we chose different forks in the trails and had quite a decent half hour walk through this beautiful forested area. 

Because of the chilly weather this March and the many grey days, spring has been slow to come alive in the forests, but little signs are popping up for those who seek them:

Trillium begin to blossom
Bright yellow skunk cabbage emerges everywhere
No flowers yet, but the bleeding hearts are waking up!

And, of course, everywhere in this rainforest environment are mosses and lichens of all shapes, sizes and colours. My favourites are the lacy ones that look like little feathers:

Old blackberry canes in feather boas

From there we headed back south a bit to Askew Park, on Oak Street in Chemainus. Askew Park was named after the first child of European ancestry to be born in Chemainus. Again a very small park (only 7.5 acres), but  with  huge trees, some over five hundred years old, as well as little brooks and ponds,  many ferns and mosses and wildflowers that make this a lovely place to explore.

Woodpecker holes in trees
Tasetefully built bridges over little streams
Tall, tall trees everywhere
Little ponds, ferns clinging to their banks
and skunk cabbage reflected in their waters
A fallen tree - I should have asked someone to stand in front of it. 
It was well over twice my height!
The base of another huge tree.
Picture three people with arms outstretched in front of it.
Old stumps nurture new trees.  I believe this is called
a "nursing tree".
Delicate little fungi (mushrooms? toadstools?) decorate
rotten logs.

And that's all for Wednesday's walk.

Thursday's walk was to Stocking Creek Park in Saltair, which I have mentioned here before while searching for lost dogs.  It is a lovely park with developed and rustic trails and a beautiful waterful.   Eddie and Gail's Sadie got along well on this second meeting - primarily ignoring each, with the occasional sniffy overture to say 'you're okay, we might be friends!'. We got a little off the beaten track and Eddie was soon slopping through big mud puddles while I tried to not-so-gracefully skirt around them. A bit more off leash time proved Eddie to be responsive to staying close and coming when called - he is turning into a wonderful walking companion.
Gail's incredibly smart and obedient Sadie poses on the trail.
Off into the bush we go.
Water drips from a rotten stump while ferns old and new adorn it.
Are we going, mom, are we?
Off leash Eddie moseying along the trail home.

Yesterday's hike was my first to the beautiful Eves Park, and netted over 150 photos which I still need to edit. So I'll save that series for tomorrow. Right now it's time to walk dogs and shovel gravel. Enjoy the weekend!


Caroline said...

oh WOW! Both adventures are full of breathtaking scenery!

EvenSong said...

Much as I dislike walking (that's why I let the horses do most of my wandering), I think I would much prefer joining you in those lovely, treed parks, than in shoveling gravel (that's why I have Babe the Blue Tractor!).

Black Jack's Carol said...

I'm glad to know Eddie and Gail's Sadie are considering friendship, and it's lovely to see that Eddie is becoming such a great walking companion. There are lots of wonderful photos in this post. I think the first was my favourite, with the light filtering through the trees and landing on the path. And, those woodpecker holes. Oh my goodness, they're huge! Sounds to me like a few aches and pains are definitely worth all the quality outdoor time, but shovelling crushed gravel and hauling rocks may be overkill. Only your chiropractor knows for sure :)

georgia little pea said...

Nice walks. Yes, I wish you'd put some people in front of those trees. I tried to imagine the 3 with arms stretched out and they seemed really tiny next to the trunk! The skunk cabbages look pretty. And what are those things that look like plastic bags on sticks? Our parks look so mundane next to your forest trails.

Watch the back! Hugs x

Jean said...

GLP - Plastic bags on sticks - that made me laugh, and at first I couldn't figure out what you were seeing. But if you are referring to the blobs of white in the picture of the pond, I think it is people in light-coloured jackets walking along the trail behind the pond! :)