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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Monday, September 24, 2012

High in the meadows...

Yesterday I went into the city to visit my mom in the hospital (hip surgery)
 and since I had Griffin with me, I took him for a walk up to Summit Park.
It's a small patch of land on top of a hill in the core of the city.
There's a radio tower up there and a water reservoir...
...but there's something else here that's quite unique to this area...
A Garry Oak meadow...
4.5 hectares of scrubby, gnarly 'storybook' trees...
I think of Winnie the Pooh or Wind in the Willows or any number of
magical, childhood tales involving the woods...airy and open with just a trace
of things hiding in the shadows...
We are able to call this unique because the Garry Oak only grows in certain parts
of the world. They range from Southwestern British Columbia to Southern California
and Southwest B.C is the only place in Canada where they exist.
The grass is brown and dry now and the leaves are folding up and floating
to the ground, but in the spring there are wild flowers and birdsong everywhere up here.
In fact, these small patches of conserved land are sanctuaries to city birds.
 the Barred owl, who searches out mice and voles for food
under the light of the moon.
Downy woodpeckers, juncos, white crowned sparrows, hawks and nuthatches.
These trees are the stuff of spooky shadows and of limbs which seem to
reach out for you on a blustery night...
It gives city wildlife a quiet place to rest amongst the cars and people and lights and noise...
Garry oak ecosystems are home to more than 90 species that have
 been designated at risk in British Columbia.
Flowers, trees, reptiles, mammals and birds call this home.
But they aren't the only living creatures who depend on such spaces.
On a busy afternoon, it is humans who need to connect on these patches of high meadows.
 To take a breath and touch the earth beneath us.
To reinforce what's fundamental in life.
 To be aware of this fragile ecosystem.
"Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow."


ramona said...

Magnificent trees! Lovely imagery! Yes, we need these places so very much. What a welcome respite.

Anonymous said...

when i travel, i am always asking my host/hostess "what tree is that?" and so often they never know. but you! you know! love these trees!

Cobalt Violet said...

Oh how I lOve trees!!!! These are beautiful oaks - fun to photograph (yours are great as always) and fun to sketch as well! Hope your mom is doing well! Best wishes to her !