My journey yesterday didn’t stop at Elk Island.Just inside the city limits on Baseline Road I turned right to Goldbar Park. I like this spot. It is good for birding, cross-country skiing, and walking the dog off-leash.
There is a water-treatment plant in the park and warm water rushes into the river and keeps it somewhat ice- free. Beautiful hoar frost forms on the branches of the trees surrounding the culvert from which the water spews out.
Dozens of ducks overwinter here because of the open water and judging from the bunches of feathers that I saw every 50 feet on the trail they are providing a dinner for the predators as well.A golden eagle? A coyote? This is a good reason to come back.
It was enjoyable to see the large number of mallards in their full colours flying back and forth and it seemed like an oxymoron to see them in the river beside snow-covered banks.
The water was a pretty but unnatural blue in the area where it emptied into the river.The air had changed from the old sewer smell in the past to a sweet, perfume-like smell. It wasn’t long before I was coughing rather forcefully, triggered perhaps by the scent?
I find it ironic that while it is a haven for birds and outdoor enthusiasts this area is adjacent to refinery row. You can smell the gas as soon as you come near the area, even in your vehicle.There are a couple of places in the city that are great bird sites but in the worst of pollution conditions.
This situation repeats itself on a larger scale in the provinces too. Land that is earmarked for wildlife preservation is adjacent to land that is being exploited by industry.That is a story that books could be written about, and are.Enough said, you get my point.