Nature Nuts at “North 40”
Rain was forecasted but never showed!
This Friday was a very mild but overcast day at North 40, a dog off leash area, North of Churchill and 72nd street, is a little jewel of a walk in Ladner. Formerly used as a military airfield and communications station located beside Boundary Bay. After its closure it was renamed Boundary Bay Airport , here where the houses once stood, is a great place to take your 4 legged friend for a walk. Canadian Forces Station
From the newly constructed parking lot , we cross over to walk through the meadow of tall grass. We noticed a red tailed hawk in the tree in front of us, with it ‘s bright tail showing, it took off as it spotted us. Several robins were in the same tree noisily chatting and eating berries. We noticed some red colored bushes ahead of us, blueberries! It looked like they were planted there by a former farmer, they were all neatly planted in rows. This is definitely the place for blackberries! This summer I picked the cleanest biggest sweetest blackberries here, they are so abundant!!! Calling from all sides around us we hear tree frogs, these little frogs are very hard to spot, it sounds like they are right in front of you but they are very well camouflaged.
Many hawthorns grow here of many different varieties, most seeds have been dispersed by birds as well as planted in the early days. From the meadow we walk on to a paved trail into what was a cul-de-sac, surrounded with a grove of a poplar species, the Aspen, they turned a golden yellow, with their remaining leaves trembling in the slightest breeze, hence thier name “Trembling Aspen” , but what I find most interesting about the Aspen is that it is such an easy tree to recognize in winter, by the beautiful diamond patterns on it’s bark!
This park would be a good place to take the young children out on a bicycle, no cars to worry about, except in some places in the Aspen grove the roots have come through the asphalt , making it easy to fall of ones bike. Further along the road in this small village, overgrown with Hawthorne, loaded with berries, (birds have no worries come winter) we noticed the high pitched song of Kinglets, darting around in small groups in front of us. The next street was lined on both side with old gnarly and spooky 80 year old Oak and Elms, the acorns cracked under our feet, their branches growing back towards the ground in some places.
The city owns this property but doesn’t regularly maintain this “park”, we noticed some old giants had fallen over in last August gusts . As we turn in another street we noticed they are lined on both sides with Chestnut trees, standing tall and proud with most leaves turned yellow. “Conkers”, they are called as well, the shiny brown horse chestnuts and they were used in many games in the old days. Nature’s treasures, I grabbed a bag full last week, shined them up and put them in a basket for the kids to play with. On our way back after spotting a huge Eagle’s nest in one of the cottonwoods along another street ,we passed some old and crooked willows, perfect for a Zombie scene or other scary type movies. We walked to an another area that was localized with Teasel seed heads, to our surprise, the seeds were sprouting on the seed head itself! We met many dogs and their friendly owners. The local people we talked to love this park, for their dogs as well as for themselves. We were surprised to find ourselves under a tree with toy teddy bears in it and further another one with wet stuffed monkeys hanging from it. The quiet lanes and streets have signs on each corner to show a map of where the different houses and buildings such as a gymnasium, a pool and even a small hockey arena were located. After our walk in this park we checked out some of the quaint little stores in Ladner’s main street!