This year i’ve decided I will try and document my different walks, hikes and other trips on foot… so this will be the first, of what might be several documentations on those trips…
The early flurries were swirling around in the light breeze giving the illusion of descenting into a snow globe as I began walking down the path toward the stream running through the center of the park. The untouched snow was beginning to veil everything in a clean white shroud, clinging innocently to the barren tree branches and drifting along the pathway. Everything looked so clean and tranquil and the only sound to be heard was my footfall which began to create a rhythm as i approached the bottom of the hill to the path by the stream.
Each step I felt my mind wander in this winter wonderland. It looks so pristine and yet, under the blanket of snow I know there’s hidden reminders of human presense. There’s a huge set of concrete steps off to the right that are dressed in their winter whites as well, but the random lumps and bumps in the snow are probably exactly those reminders of past human use. The snow provides a temporary respite from the lingering reminents of the park’s heavy daily use.
As I come to the end of the first path, I breifly look back to see even my recent footprints being covered from view. It is hard to imagine it takes so little time, effort or energy to simply disappear. It makes me wonder, what if… what if it really was so easy to just erase the past. Each snowflake comes together with another, and another to replace the ones that were lost. Each step, disappearing, each mark of my walk, less and less relivant as each moment passes.
I walk past a line of firs before turning to cross the bridge. Their soft green needles holding a delicate coating of snow, glistening in the greyish hues of the afternoon’s light while the snow continues to fall. As I cross over the stream on an old concrete bridge i pause briefly to look south down the canalled walls of the waterway and back along the path I came from. Everything looks so peaceful in the swirl of falling flakes like the world in a slow motion version of a light speed movie sequence.
Following the stream on the opposing bank further north to the first road crossing the banks are encrusted in a thin layer of ice that now has drifting snow covering it. My mind continues to consider how the snow and ice mask the polution and the poisons of the world around, providing them with a temporary costume. This strip of the streambed is typically banked by lots of plants and they end up holding the plethora of plastic bags and snagging lots of other garbage. Now, the area looks artifically pristine and perhaps that is a good thing, at least for me for now. I don’t want to be reminded of the ailes of the world when everything else looks so angelic around me.
The first road crossing comes up and I pass through some large granite passes while following the stream. The trees that flower in the spring are now glistening in the midwinter’s snowfall. The stream comes back up to a canal like setting but rather than along a concrete set of walls this stretch is a nicely placed stone embankment. Each stone claims its own covering, decorating it and giving it its own unique personality. It is nice to see man and nature to come together this way than the way it was in the previous embankment which makes me continue to wonder why there’s harmony in some aspects of human endevour and in others it is such a distraught afterthought.
A stonewall marks the next crossing, a steal and wood footbridge back to the otherside of the stream and continuing northward toard the bend in the waterway. The wooden planks creak slighty under foot, reminding me of the delicacy of everything that exists at the whim of nature. In turning back northward again and following the turn of the stream I come to a small waterfall and a split in the waterflow where a small stream feeds the upcoming pond while the main flow drops over the falls and along another stone walled curve eastward for the stream. The flowering trees that normally line the pathway are bare and barren now, but still have a unique beauty as their shadows cast long over the icy pond next to them while their branches collect the flakes of the flalling snow and stand as statuesque beauties along the slate marked shoreline.
As I follow the path around and come through the mudhole where all the overflow from the pond and stream comes together the low lying grasses are collecting the flurries and laying out a perfect carpet for me to trudge through. The manmade pond is edged by more fir trees that hold the flakes with a noble gesture while the underlying frozen water is sheen with a light coating of blustering snow that dances with each breeze that passes over the pond. The dancing flakes look wondrful, but I consider how they wouldn’t flutter along a pond that might not otherwise exist. I imagine what the area would be like if the town had not saved the parkland through it, and the other option is sadder than considering the plastic bags i am about to walk over again as I cross another small footbridge before turning back north over another iron and wood bridge over the main stream and the next small roadway where the main stream is split into to even forks.
As I cross the roadway, the two forks flank me on either side and carry a similar ammount of water. The one that runs along the roadway definitely shows it’s fate while the other flows more freely and works its way through the lower part of the park. During the spring and fall the lane between the two is lined by short flowering trees that all turn leaves at the same time and create a wonderful archway shifting to the west slightly under the raised railway. The upper tracks are suppored by huge concrete blocks but then flanked with these great triangular iron bars and hold up what is left of one slowly traversed freight line. Each plank of wood still sustains the tracks under the rusty triline.
This is a favorite place to stop and reflect. Seeing the bare branches covered in the ice and show and felling the vertigo looking straight up through them while seeing the tracks underneath makes me wonder and leaves me in awe. It is so seemless how humans and nature come together here. In sight, despite the snow, standing below the range of the setting sun you can see the pinkish hue in the clouds above despite the still crossing storm clouds. It looks eerie yet beautiful as the early setting sun always casts an odd hue to the world. The pinkish hues cast a ghostly view on what is now the serine falling show, taking away it’s angelic flavor and replacing it with a casting of now devlish coloration.
i turn at the next bridge over the main stream and the now reconverging second spur. There’s a pinkinsh hue now reflecting along the treeline