Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stanley Park

Catching up on last month's activities! It was the month of birding, but also the month of Stanley Park. First, on February 15th, I went to the Vancouver museum to see the exhibit called "Unnatural History of Stanley Park"--documenting the changes the park has gone through over the past 150 years (more or less). A few nights later, at the Vancouver Historical Society meeting, we had an information session on the plight and future of Stanley Park's Hollow Tree. It has been dead for over a hundred years, but has recently started tilting and the Parks Board had voted to cut it down. The tree, about 1000 years old (yes, one thousand years old) is well-loved and has always, from day one, been one of Vancouver's most popular tourist attractions. The men who spoke at the meeting are part of a group who have researched the possibilities of saving the tree as it has been for the past century. They also have raised most of the money to save it. The Parks Board has reversed its unanimous decision to destroy the tree, and work is now progressing to save it. I think the link is . Finally, on February 28th, our last birding field trip, I went with our instructor and classmates to see the varieties of birds around Lost Lagoon, in the forest, and in Vancouver Harbour adjacent to the Stanley Park seawall. The big treat of the day was the barred owl in the forest. One event I wish hadn't happened is that a gang of irresponsible "runners" ran me down, yelling that we shouldn't be on the forest trail. Actually, I was OFF the trail but the hooligan that ran me down--literally flat on my back--was cutting the corner. One of his fellow runners came to me later and apologized, but the guilty one didn't bother. At age 70, I don't bounce as well as I used to. My companions were very concerned about me, and the woman who had driven me to the park offered to take me home, but I refused to let my day be spoiled by one unfortunate incident.

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