Memories of a grade school art project

by admin on October 13, 2012

I have had a busy day running errands and getting some shopping in, which is something I generally avoid; particularly on weekends. Aside from a run to the Farmers’ Market I feel there are better ways to spend weekend time. But sometimes you just have to get it done. At the end of the day I had not gotten in any quality outdoor time yet.  With little time really, as I had supper plans – cooking – I headed off to Mapleton Park, here in Moncton.

The sun was setting as I hit the trail. With sunset now around 18:35 I knew I would be doing part of the trail in the dark. The temperature was a cool 7ºC. We are now seeing those single digits so it is time to adjust. I layered up with a  base wicking layer, sweater and a fleece vest (see entry in techniques on layering). I called it right and was not over dressed.

I headed down the main trail and decided to do the loop around the ponds and back into the woods. Given the amount of time I was allocating to this walk, this was a good choice and the open spaces around the ponds would give me some vistas of the setting sun. Wow, I saw some great views. Right now the deciduous tree canopies are in full colour. The views across the pond, of the trees on the bluff were just great: yellows, oranges and reds. This is a great time of year for colour and those of us who live in Eastern North America are blessed each year with a show.

There was no one left in the park at this point, just the ducks and I. The ducks were having a good old time quacking away. Gone are the sounds of insects and frogs calling, spring and summer have clearly left. As I came around the end of the pond, on the eastern side, I paused to take in the last of the sun light. The sun was clearly set at this point but there remained light in the western sky. There is a special moment when everything around you is dark, the sun has set and a little light in the western sky remains. When I looked west along the length of the pond I was greeted with the black silhouettes of the tree line, a little reflection on the pond and the silhouettes of black ducks floating in the distance. It is a special moment when the completely black shapes of trees can be seen against the little remaining light. This is a very unique moment that I was happy to have caught.

The view took me back to an art class in grade school when we were given special flat black paper to cut out tree shapes and asked to colour a sunset behind to which we glued our pitch black tree shapes. Evidently my teacher of that time, had spent some time enjoying the setting sun. She called it right, it is a unique moment when the trees in the western sky are pitch black against a colourful western sky.

After the panorama I headed back into the now dark woods and circled around to the main trail. I had brought a head light but did not use it, instead continued on in the darkness enjoying the shadows and sounds.

I finished the day not quite at 10,000 steps but thankful I had chosen to slip away for those special moments. Supper – well it still happened, fresh salmon fillets done with a garlic and pepper rub, cooked on the stove in a pan. All was accompanied by a quick green salad with anchovies and fresh grated turnip. All good and I got that walk in too!

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