I'm on holiday for another couple of days, so there is time for long walks and reflection. This past Monday, Black Jack and I walked down the hill to Spanish Banks, from there into Jericho Beach and Park (which borders a seniors subsidized housing complex), across 4th avenue and through the military grounds, up the rest of Point Grey hill, and home. It is more or less a square in formation, with steep downhill streets and mansion-like homes, right turn to the beach, fishing docks, rabbit bushes, and duck ponds, another right turn to go through the fields of the military grounds, and a last right turn to take a sort of grass trail alongside the street as we head up the hill towards home. It has the option of a bit of forest trail thrown in, although we didn't choose that route on Monday. For Black Jack, it is about as perfect as a walk can be.
At Spanish Banks, there were many herons fishing. I watched this one fly by what I think could be its mate.They flew, one almost directly under the other. Perhaps it was just a perspective thing, but it seemed they would touch. I've been watching pairs of herons lately, and musing on their intense focus as they prepare a home for their young. The sensuality in their partnership leaves me spellbound. I'm told they usually stay together for only one season, but it seems to me they make the best of every moment of that time.
We continued by the rabbit bushes and over to Jericho. Ned was in his familiar spot in the marsh.
This red-winged blackbird was nearby. One of my goals is to photograph one in flight, showcasing the glorious red, but the best I've managed to this point is a still shot that doesn't come close to capturing its beauty.
The ducks are nesting, and quite sensitive. I stayed back and used my zoom.
I missed a great photo here. Black Jack is just leaving in this picture, but she climbed up into this lady's lap before I could stop her, and gave her a kiss which was enthusiastically returned. I have always thought that if one must live in a seniors facility, the one at Jericho is ideal. All the apartments on the side and at the back look over the park and the ocean. The residents are also permitted to have pets. This lady's own little dog was in the grass nearby. She was absolutely taken with Black Jack, which of course, warmed my heart.
And, some thoughts about Canada's military. We walked through the Highbury Street gate, and by young men in uniform, working on their jeeps. They saw us and smiled. We continued through the field, and up to this overgrown path bordering the Point Grey hill.
Here are the steps leading to the gate. I've never met anyone here. That table-like structure at the left is, I suspect, a shelter for homeless people in the wee hours of the morning. A coyote den is not far off, so I'm pretty careful with Black Jack.
Black Jack finds this spot fascinating. Lots of good smells, I guess.
The gate is locked, but the top of it has been open for as long as I can remember. Years ago, I used to go through with my dog, Scott. That was a bit tricky, as I had to give him a boost over the top. Black Jack is much easier. Just lift her through, and follow. I guess I should be alarmed that the surveillance is so low-key, but I feel a sense of well-being (along with amusement at the "No Trespassing" sign) every time I come through here. Canada is a good place to be. At the same time, I think of the dads and moms on duty, as I watch the kids playing on the flower-bordered front lawns of their lovely little houses. Right now, the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom, and a huge variety of birds sing their joyful songs. I know all is not as idyllic as it appears, and I always make a silent wish for them to come home safely. Of all the military outfits across the world, perhaps Canada's is the most gentle. I appreciate that.
Here we are on the other side, ready to head up the rest of Point Grey hill. I do love the magic of blogging for its ability to register the small, unique moments in the most familiar of walks.