Photo: Anne Lawrence, White Rock Lake, 2021

It is the perfect spring evening. Cool, but not cold. My face feels a bit windburned from being out all weekend. I did as much as I could to soak up the sun, feel the crisp wind, and remind myself why we spend winter looking forward to days like this. The sun is starting to make its slow descent — it’s just a mellow white gold smeared across the sky, caught behind the dense criss-cross of black branches still bare.

Sitting out on a hill by our urban lake earlier today, we tried to absorb enough sun to warm us from the chilled lake gusts. I had run through the area earlier in the day, and had selected a spot nearby to rest and cool down from the miles without staying still too long and feeling chilled. I noticed that the Canadian Geese pair had moved from the area where we first spotted them yesterday. Hardly big news, but returning to the same spaces, watching and listening helps me build up a history; an understanding of the rhythms, expectations based on observations.

Most days, my nature report (my name for the wildlife sightings I dutiful report to the family) is just a mention of a rabbit or the green parrots, or a particular duck or turtle family. In the fall, I had an exciting weekend where saw a snake being carried away by a hawk one day and then had to stop dead in my tracks and carefully walk around a snake on the path right in front of me. Once, I saw a very tall tree fall, with a very surprised egret at the top that only raised its wings right before the tree hit the water. It was raining that day, with only a few of us even on the trails, but around a bend I stopped to talk to the one other witness. A tree had fallen, we were there.

Photo: Anne Lawrence, Canadian Geese, 2021

Writer, researcher, observer