Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Southwood Lands

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Had a long and productive day at work. But about 3 pm, I realized that I hadn't been out from behind my desk. Also, the fall sun has been beautiful all week. And in late October I always have the feeling that "this could be the last nice day..."

So I went and walked around in the Southwood Lands, the decommissioned golf course adjacent to the university.

I was somewhat reluctant, in that I've been watching the construction of the new transit stop, nibbling away at two of four parcels.

I walked the route I used to take to and from work last year. It was on a gravel path lined with trees. And there were usually at least one raptor. Big ones and small ones. Roosting and flying. It made me happy to see them, to startle them and be startled myself...

More of the trees have died since then. And today, with half the path cordoned off and covered over by the new transit line, there wasn't a single raptor.

But I visited the oak grove near the river. And it looked healthy. And I walked on fallen trees and found a few mushrooms around stumps.

I was walking by one of the water hazards, which is basically a pond, when I saw something white and porous bobbing in the water. I thought it was a golf ball. Then I realized it was too big to be a golf ball. And by that time I was lifting it from the water.

It was a dud goose egg, faintly green from the green plants in the water. I hefted the egg for a few seconds, trying to visualize the tiny dead goose inside, knowing there were geese napping on the slope behind me.

I put it back in the water and kept walking...

As I walked on, I made a point of looking at all the crabapple trees. I was startled by how many varieties there were in Southwood - at least five or six. The first tree had yellow apple-crabs with orange and red accents. I tried one and it wasn't good.

And then I came to two trees in a line. The first one had deep red apple-crabs on it. But they were a strange shape, elongated. I still tried one. It tasted good, so I ate another.

The next tree was the same, except the apples were round. There were only 10 or 15 apples left, so I picked three and walked back to my office. And I held the cold red-purple apples in the palm of my hand and waited to eat one until I was back in my co-worker's office.

We'd picked wild plums together on a few weeks ago, combing the big yellow and small red plumbs into our hands. We'd been excited by what we could make with them, by the taste of them in our mouths.

So I knew he'd like these apples. And he exclaimed over them, the impossible colour and the taste.

And I felt better about everything. (I worked a bit after that before going home, before writing this...)

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