My Youngest Son and I went on a little day trip which took us through my childhood home town and through some country roads. The pot of gold at the end of our drive was a 'National Wildlife Area' and bird sanctuary.
Okay. Sit still with me for a moment and what do you picture when you hear the words - national wildlife area and bird sanctuary?
I didn't have a vivid picture in mind or at least I didn't think that I did until I got there. And it wasn't it.
It wasn't a beautifully tree'd area around a natural lake. There weren't 'guide posts' to tell you what you were (or weren't) looking at. There wasn't another nature lover or car in sight.
It was a small bit like walking through a farmer's pasture land. With permission.
Yes, we saw a few ducks and a bird that may or may not have been a crane of some sort.
All of the driving trails had been blocked off due to flooding in 2011, so we walked along the driving trails leaving the car far behind us. We knew that the only way back to the car was the exact same way that we had got there. There was no interesting 'loop' to walk so that we could find a new way back to the car. So I did tend to look back at the car almost as often as I thought to notice the birds. "How far do we have to walk back now?" was a question that I quietly asked myself.
Eventually, we made our way to a walking trail. You could tell it was a walking trail because there was a sign. And they had mowed the grass so there was about a one inch difference in the grass length on the walking path verses the nature we were there to enjoy.
There wasn't a lot to see but the sounds had a familiar ring to them. They were the birds that sang to me when I was a child. Some of those birds must not dwell in the city because there was a faintly reminiscent feeling that washed over me when I just listened ...
Then I looked down and spotted a crocus. I haven't seen a crocus in years. More childhood feelings washed through my subconsciousness...
My son was so respectful as we took this walk through the provincially owned field. At long last, he asked "How long are we going to give this..." before we turned around and walked the long road back to the car. We turned around very shortly thereafter.
Nature is a fickle beast. You never quite know what we may have seen if we went out there a few weeks prior. Or walked past the next turn. Or if we had arrived fifteen minutes earlier. Nature is best appreciated when you are just gazing out into the horizon and it simply 'shows up'.
|I thought I was taking a picture of some birds-in-flight but instead, I captured pretty much exactly-what-we-saw|
The birds were all so calm. It was my guess that mating season was over and they were all 'nesting' before the arrivals of all the new little ducklings, goslings and other miscellaneous 'chicks'.
I think that our timing was off.
We were about twenty paces from our car when I asked Nature to "Come on out and show us your stuff" before we headed home. Low and behold there was movement under the water.
Please, let us see a beaver! Make this worth our while!! Anything. Please?
It wasn't a beaver. It was a school of fish. Was it a school? I don't know ... but it was a whole bunch of great big fish ... swimming right at the shore side. Right beside this "No fishing" sign (if you enlarge the picture and look very, very closely ... the long, brown things that look like rocks are fish).
We got our smile of the day. We saw a nature's humorous side. It was enough.
When you are driving down a highway at 100 kph, nature puts on a great show. We saw more geese, mallards, yellow chested and orange colored birds as we drove towards our destination. Walking at a leisurely pace of 5 kph, you simply do not have the opportunity to run across as many birds.
The words 'bird sanctuary' stirred up a picture of benches, trees, water and nature all around. I thought that we would simply sit still and watch nature all around us. I had visions of the absolutely overwhelming feeling of staring out into the vastness of the ocean and eventually spotting a whale. And in the end? That is as close to the vision that we came.
Thank you for showing up for us, fish. It was a 'whale' of an adventure ... not really a misadventure. I think it was a missed adventure. We were simply at the right place at the wrong time.