A walk in the park – by Gail Prior

It’s early in the morning and I am meeting some dog people out walking and have talked to four dogs. They all know me now and run right up to me (the dogs that is!)

Crossing the road to riverwalk and spot a flattened squirrel. Immediately think of my friend, Janet and start laughing (no poor squirrel thoughts) She had sent me a card about my indecisiveness showing many a flattened squirrel as an example of whether to cross or not. Okay, I’m not in the crosswalk but cars stop for me anyway. The white hair does it!

On the river walkway now and meet a young man with a wet suit on, he is with an older man and woman. I say “What are you doing?”

He replies, “I’m setting minnow traps for fish.”

“What? Catching fish a new way?” I query.

“No,” explains the older man. “We are with fisheries and surveying the fish here.”

“Really?” I questioned.

“Yeah.” He said. “I was going to give you a big story but that’s the truth.”

“So – a big story to a poor old lady, said I-that’s terrible!”

And then we all laughed our heads off! Such fun meeting strangers.

A little further on and I sit on a stone bench some nice people donated some time ago – especially for people like me who need little rest stops. Yes, it’s come to this, I say to myself.

Continuing on, I cross the second bridge over the river and am enveloped with the scent of the wild roses there. I pause and just inhale. I have been searching the river for “my” wild Canadian goose and his duckie drake friend-both bachelors and they cruise and eat together. However, nowhere in sight today.

I spot the red epaulet of a blackbird and then hear his call from the marshy reeds. No doubt he has a couple of ladies nesting in there. They are not monogamous but very territorial.

Pausing at yet another bench, I sit in the shade and revel in the sounds of the river. The water, wild roses and trees give freely of their spirits and I feel blessed to receive same.

On my walk, I spot an older woman approaching and walking slowly and somewhat unsteadily. We meet and she immediately accuses me of sweating! I inform her that I’ve just walked two miles and the path was sunny in spots.

“Two miles!” she croaks out.

I note she is missing a lot of teeth plus is carrying what appears to be a flat leash. She slowly passes by me and then stops to converse with a pair of quail. Well you meet all kinds of people and dogs when out walking.

Nearing the end of my walk, I exchange greetings with a fellow walker and he informs that he saw two raccoons up a tree about a mile back. “Did I see them?” he questioned.

“No,” I said with disappointment.

The last bit of park trail and I’m headed to the carpark area and some much needed water.

Along comes another walker I’ve met before with his big Terrier dog. He stops to tell me all about what a good time they both had playing ball in the area of the park reserved for dogs off leash. I nod and smile.

He wishes me a good day and it really is – sweat and all!

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