Collier Dam Park contains two small lakes and a stretch of second growth forest, well on it's way to maturity. The lakes are small, and mostly man-made. I walk through the park almost every day. On one walk I watched an otter dive and retrieve freshwater clams, crunching and slurping like a medieval king. A few weeks ago I watched a beaver cruising under the cedar bows that hang out over the second lake. Once I watched a merganser diving and swimming underwater, a trail of bubbles describing it's progress.
|Creek in Collier Dam Park|
I have watched and been chased by barred owls. This year two families at least occupy the forest around the lakes. On the trail by the parkway I startled a buff colored rabbit for several days in a row, actually for about a month. I would round the corner and it would dart into the salal. Not a big rabbit. I haven't see it for several days. The young owls are flying on their own. Two nights ago I stopped with a young couple enraptured by one of the owlets sitting on a low branch, several robins scolding from nearby trees.
There is a family of ducks that travel between the two lakes, but I can't identify them. Yesterday when I was paddling on the first lake I saw them and put the glasses on them. A mottled body like a mallard's but with a white circle around the eye and a patch of solid grey on the back of the head. While I was looking at it, I tried to memorize the details, but already they are fading. I will look for them again tomorrow.
I have seen canoes, skiffs, and anglers in both pontoon boats and float tubes. There is almost always an angler on the shore of one lake or the other. I thought they had caught all the fish but then, the other night, out near the centre of the first lake, two rings, one after the other. At least one fish remains uncaught.
|The nook where the water flows in from the second lake.|
When the lakes were last stocked, a few months ago, I stood one night near dusk and watched a school of the stocked fish circle past me, rising and diving like porpoises together. I recognize the anglers now, the regulars. They don't notice me much, intent on their goal. It is a community park, well used.
On this visit I put the canoe in at a little spot near the old stone wall where the anglers stand. I paddled up to the place the water flows in from the second lake. Paddled under the newly laid water main that now stretches across the creek. I paddled back out and around the lake. People were throwing a stick for their dog to swim for. A young man was swimming. It was peaceful and quiet. Is anyone as blessed as I am to have this lovely spot so close at hand?
|Anglers Heading Home -- December|