It’s time to turn in my flip-flops. I found this out the hard way – by going for an early morning stroll in the Maude-Roxby Bird Sanctuary. It was cold enough for ice to have formed on the marsh, except in the places the Mallards had broken it up. That didn’t stop me from spending an hour and a half walking around with my toes exposed. Brrrr….
I was there hoping to catch a glimpse of a specific bird rumoured to be hanging out in the area, and even though I didn’t spot said bird, I have no regrets.
It’s easy to miss those little moments. Last week I looked down from my balcony to the lawn below and all I could think about was how much I wanted to roll around in the leaves, like I did when I was a child. I put it off because I was busy. It could wait until my day off. That’s also when I was going to go down and take pictures of the mushroom garden growing on an old tree stump. My day off came and I was woken by the sound of a mower. The landscapers had come, all those lovely leaves were gone. The mushroom garden had been weed-whacked. Two missed opportunities, and while they might not be big or important, they reminded me that I need to say yes more often. Especially when I’m the one asking.
When it occurred to me I should go see if I could spot a single, specific bird in a forest of trees, I didn’t question the likelihood of it – I said yes. Surely there would be things to see. There were.
First of all, there were swans on the lake. They must be Trumpeter Swans because the ruckus going on sounded very much like a Middle School band. As it turned out, there were both Trumpeter and Tundra Swans on the lake. You can tell the Tundra Swan by the yellow teardrop just below the eye.
Inside the sanctuary, a boardwalk winds its way through a marsh situated on the last piece of undeveloped shoreline in the Kelowna area.
I love a good boardwalk. Somehow, even though I struggle to walk across a parking lot, when I’m on a boardwalk, it feels like I can walk forever. Of course, a few well-placed benches help. The smell of fallen leaves, nature’s sweetest bouquet, rises all around, and the plants are tousled and wild, looking as though they just got out of bed. The cattails, if I were on the ground, would tower over me like a scene from “Alice in Wonderland”.
Moss covers exposed roots between lake and marsh, and there are countless hiding places for birds looking to take a break from the flock.
It’s quiet in the sanctuary. The few other people on the trail walk softly and speak in muted tones. What noise there is comes from the Mallards on the marsh, and the squirrels racing in the trees.
I’m glad I came, even if my toes are cold.