Sunday, July 22, 2018

A Walk in the Woods

At least once a week, my friend Pat and I take the dogs for an adventure - a trip to a beach or a park.  In summer, we choose places that provide a break from the heat, and we head out early.  Last week we headed to Hemer Provincial Park, south of Nanaimo, which is one of our favourite places.

The day wasn't oppressively hot, thanks to a few fluffy clouds and a light breeze,  but even if it had been warmer, the lush green forest provides a refreshing oasis of tranquility in a too-crazy world.

We started up the centre trail, alongside a large swamp where we have often seen swans and many varieties of ducks.  There were few waterfowl on it this time, though a kingfisher revealed its presence with its unique rattle call as he darted from tree to tree.  He moved too quickly to capture with the lens, though the swamp alone made for lovely images.

The newly formed bulrushes, or cattails as they are often called,  stood tall among the reeds and grasses, waiting until fall to pop their skins and release the fluffy seed head that will blow across the swamp.

This is what those cattails will look like in a couple more months! 

Hidden along the edge of the swamp, or in the swamp (in the case of water lilies) or at the side of the trail, were various flowers, adding splashes of colour to the green of of the forest:

And while it may be butterflies that Ponce Denis Ecouchard Lebrun called 'flying flowers', this lovely dragonfly - in unusual shades of grey, black, white and opaque rather than our more common but beautiful blue - could easily fit the metaphor.

About two thirds of the way along the centre trail, we took a cross trail to the right, one that links to the most westerly of the longer trails, enjoying the easy duff trail amid the trees and blanket of swordferns.

A stop for treats is a mandatory part of any walk with the dogs:

After heading up the perimeter trail for a bit, we hit another cross trail to take us back to the middle and then the lake trails, and headed back alongside Holden Lake.

As I've mentioned in previous posts,  Lexi, one of the poms, doesn't like walking, so we try to choose really easy terrain where Pat can use a stroller.  There's nothing wrong with Lexi (at least, not that we know) and she is not quite four years old, but she just isn't into walks.  Still, all dogs need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise, and at least on these outings she gets to experience new sights and smells and sounds.  The lakeside trail, however, is a bit less than 'smooth' due to tree roots that reach out for a drink of lake water:

Princess Lexi thinks it is all quite amusing, and her bright eyes and happy face tell us the extra work is all worthwhile:

I'm worth it! 

Maggie and I take a few short little trails through the brush to the water, where Maggie checks for ducks or maybe just looks at her reflection or poses for a picture:

Whozat in the water, Mama?

A picnic on a lakeside bench, a walk across a short bridge, a short walk up a hill and down, and we're back to the parking lot after our walk in the woods.  Thanks for joining us!


CarolineA said...

It is so beautiful there. I can almost smell the forest and hear all the sounds of birds. Thanks for taking us along!

Marie said...

Another lovely walk in the forest, seems like when I'm in your area, all I see are cement sidewalks! Now Pat has true devotion to her little girl pom, pushing her in a stroller! Sure hope that Maggie doesn't get the same idea!
Lovely cooling pictures, particularly of the ferns.
Thanks for the posting, Jean, Hi Maggie!