Feelin’ ducky after my trip to Council Point Park this morning. It was reminiscent of many hours spent tossing chunks of bread to my feathered friends at the water’s edge in High Park, Toronto when I was very young. Esteemed doctors will tell you most people have no memories of any events before they were three or four years old. I would beg to differ with that statement because it seems like I have vivid recall of such treasured childhood memories. Perhaps they are engrained within my very soul.
I very clearly remember being a toddler and visiting beautiful High Park, which was smack dab in the bustling city of Toronto. Before we moved to Oakville, when I was two years old, we lived in an apartment in the City. My father worked six days a week and so nearly every Sunday, weather permitting, we’d leave the apartment and head over to my grandmother’s house for a quick visit, then on to High Park. When I was very young, I’d be all bundled up and off we’d trundle to the great outdoors as I took in the world from my stroller. The old family photo album is also full of black and white pictures of me sitting on a blanket with my mother or toddling after my father. My mom was handy with her Baby Brownie camera, using it to capture many shots of me holding my father’s hand as I sometimes squatted down to scatter the crumbed-up bread to the eager ducks or swans near the water’s edge. Though my parents were not wasteful with food, there were always the dry heels of the bread and a few extra slices scammed from further down the loaf , which my mom would break up and bag so her little girl could feed her feathered friends. I delighted in that simple joy then, just as I do now. In fact, I bet we were headed to High Park on the day this picture was taken – just look at my big gummy grin. Even after we moved to the suburbs, a visit to Toronto usually had my grandmother joining us for the expedition as we picnicked, or simply walked and talked and threw out crusts of bread to the ducks and swans in the large ponds found throughout High Park.
Perhaps that is why I enjoy my walks at Council Point Park so much … it evokes those pleasant childhood memories of going to High Park, which is similarly a large natural park, found in an urban setting. A big plus any day is if I get to see or hear some wildlife as well; today, much to my delight, there were lots of ducks … so, I felt like a little kid again.
Yesterday, while I was at the Park, I saw a handful of mallards swimming in the Ecorse Creek and I’d also seen the pair the day before. I didn’t mention my duck discovery in yesterday’s post because, well … you know – felines and fowl shouldn’t cross one another’s path, even in a blog post. (Smile) Seeing so many ducks two days in a row prompted me to check the freezer last night for some stale bread I’d put aside for the birds, and I defrosted, then broke up, about ten slices to take to them this morning. I laid the chunks of bread on the counter-top all night so they’d get a little stale and would float on the water’s surface. I looked forward to getting as close to the Creek’s edge as possible (without falling in) and skittering some dried crumbs out to them. I figured if the ducks weren’t there, my Canada Geese buddies would enjoy it.
I snaked along the perimeter path watching for ducks, and I heard them before I saw them. They were quacking noisily, all gathered in a marshy part of the creek. I hid behind a bush to watch them. There were easily three dozen ducks – all mallard males and females clustered amongst the Creek reeds. I’ve never seen so many ducks at one time at the Park. Once again, there was some ground fog, and the vapors rising out of the water made the scene look a little hazy. I got as close to the water’s edge as I dared without slipping and falling and tossed the bread to them in several handfuls. They immediately congregated at each site where the crumbs landed. I watched them nibbling hungrily as they alternately quacked noisily and gobbled quickly. Then suddenly the morsels were gone, and soon they disappeared downstream as well, so it was time for me to be on my way. It was a peaceful interlude in my Park perimeter trek.
Much too soon I concluded the perimeter path, and, though I longed to stay and do a few more loops, I reluctantly left the ambiance of the Park. I prolonged my promenade by following River Drive all the way to Lions Park and then finally, regrettably decided to head home. I walked 100 steps shy of five miles so I will be one tired little papoose as this night wears on. It sure was easier when Mom pushed me in the stroller and she did all the work!