I returned from The American South with a hunger for the forest, my forest, my pacific rain forest. A friend of mine reminded me that, upon my return home, I needed to get inspired by my own locale – where I live. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Indeed, it did. It also enabled me to see with new eyes the beauty of nature within my grasp.
And so, I set out to fill my hunger for the forest. In Vancouver we only need hop on a bus to get to the seclusion of nature. We have a choice – Stanley Park, Pacific Spirit Park, Cypress Falls and Deep Cove to name only a few. On this day I decided on Stanley Park, Vancouver’s jewel.
I set out on a very sunny afternoon, the temperature 5 degrees celsius with only a wee light breeze. The park wore a palette of gold, copper, emerald, russet and even red, convincing me that many trees choose to wear their finery in autumn, not spring. I began at Lost Lagoon, worked my way to Tatlow Trail, to Lover’s Walk, the Rawlings Trail to the Seawall at Second Beach and finally to Sunset Beach, where I caught the tail end of the sunset.
Lost Lagoon – a landlocked, artificial lake developed with the creation of the Stanley Park Causeway at the Coal Harbour, extends the Burrard Inlet. Once a tidal mud flat and a rich source of clams and other sea creatures for the Musqueam, Squamish and Burrard First Nations, it has become a nesting ground for many bird species, both migratory and non-migratory.
An urban oasis, home to more than 200 species of birds, including a large colony of great blue herons, Stanley Park consists primarily of second and third growth and contains many grand Douglas fir, western red cedar, western hemlock, and Sitka spruce trees as well as an abundance of ferns and moss.
Walking amidst the lush emerald green moss dripping from the trees, I felt like I’d travelled to an entirely different dimension – a magical one, the kind that not even the mind’s eye could conjure up. I could scarcely believe this place I called home had so much beauty. I knew, yet, I had no idea.
Welcome to my landscape.