Wednesday, May 11, 2005

the lupins are out

at Mud Bay Park!

These are actually pictures from last year, but it looks exactly like this now, with these meadows especially pretty because the lupins that bloom here are variegated.

At least once a week we do the seven minute drive through a posh Panorama Ridge neighborhood, down the hill past the Unicorn Stable, onto Colbrook Road, right at the tracks and left and down a pot holey gravel road to the parking lot at Mud Bay Park. The walk is actually along dikes which were built years ago to reclaim farmland from the ocean.

The ocean here is particularly tame, though. You never hear the surf pounding or any of that romantic stuff. In fact the beach is so shallow that when the tide is out, the water glistens way off in the distance, across the lengths and lengths of muddy sand.

It’s a lovely place to walk. You see the big sky (something that I, who grew up in the big-sky prairies, miss), and drink in the ocean breeze – often heavy with the smells of salt and kelp.

Beside the gravel path grow the flowers – the lupins, phlox, wild roses and water parsnip (to name just a few), blooming in their season. In summer, the path will be lined with golden tansy, as high and thick as a hedge. Come August, we’ll snack on blackberries that grow fat and plentiful.

Overhead, herons flap their lazy way across the bay, and the place is also a sanctuary for eagles and hawks. In the winter, the tide seems to bring the water up higher and we see families of ducks – mallards, widgeons, pin tails and green winged teal – bobbing on the gentle surf. Once, we saw a whole multitude of Caspian terns – but that was in a different season. Now, most of the water birds are in the family way, I think – because the place is empty of them, but alive with land types – red-wing blackbirds, yellow finches, and little brown birds that don’t look special at all but have a heavenly song.


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