After bitterly complaining out loud that I never took the time to visit the seawall at sunset any more, I decided this week-end to break the vicious circle and having just come back from my run, I threw the camera bag over my shoulder, got the bike out and left again. The tires were half flat and the frame, seat and gears were covered in a fine layer of drust but it otherwise had survived the winter. In case you’re wondering what drust is, it’s the scar left on man-machines by time itself, a nasty, unavoidable combination of dust and rust. But the bike would at least take me around Stanley Park on a flower recon’; it hadn’t been the explosive bloom of two years ago, but there were flowers everywhere and I knew someone would enjoy the pictures.
It was a chilly evening, Vancouver having decided that the circumspect approach of May is no reason to yield carelessly to the relative warmth of Spring. My woolen hat and gloves were welcome and I zipped up my jacket as high as it would go. I first cut through the West End to go inflate my tires and discovered a heron housing project that I had never seen before, a few paces away from my normal path.
Next I paused briefly around the rose garden to capture some cherry blossoms and other flowers, the roses still shyly being asleep. Then I headed towards Coal Harbour and paid a visit to the nesting white swan on the shores of Lost Lagoon. Just as before, she had obviously decided that her two eggs needed some fresh air and was standing next to them, cleaning herself up, oblivious to my presence. The fence erected around her nest by Park employees is probably a good measure because people are stupid and someone might attempt to make a swan egg omelet – the eggs are quite large, maybe half the size of those of an ostrich – but I must say the swan made a strange choice of nesting site by picking the side of one of the most visited trails in Stanley Park.
Then I pressed on around the Seawall, cut through at the Totem Poles, and arrived at my targeted cherry tree which was completely in the shadows already, a very disappointing fact that sent me on my way around Prospect Point towards Siwash Rock. I would at least get the sunset.
Nothing new there, I had done it so many times, but I always get a tingle down my spine at the view. It’s beautiful, and it’s lonely. For some odd reason, I never managed to take Marie all the way to the rock and it’s a place where I have never been in the company of anybody. Ever. I’ve made wishes there, however. And the main one has come true.
Long after the sun had faded below the the end of the world, I returned in the twilight, meeting a few herons and a raccoon, and a harbour seal that wouldn’t let me even try a picture. No trace of the river otter spotted a few weeks ago, it must have been a fluke. Few people were still out, most having been chased home early by the cold air and the erroneous conclusion that light ends with the sunset. I knew better.