Vancouver has a good number of small parks, and one Sunday I found myself looking at the map and noticing one I’d often wondered about – Fraser River Park. Right on the north arm of the Fraser in south Vancouver, it’s a small patch of land set aside for a riverside park. It’s in the process of being restored in the sense that nature is being allowed to take over again with small tidal sloughs and reed beds along the river bank, rather than concrete defences to `tame’ the river. Signs of beaver activity were plentiful, and the bushes were full of vocal red-winged blackbirds with their distinctive `honk-churree’ call. Overhead, the occasional bald eagle flew over, idly looking for fish, and in the slack water near the river’s edge swam several varieties of duck. All very pleasant and relaxing.
I wandered west along the river as far as I could go to the edge of a log-booming area, stopping to watch a pair of loons before heading back to the main park, over the boardwalk which crossed the main tidal slough. Chickadees chirped high in the trees and an American goldfinch paused long enough for me to get a photo. Heading east I came to a small point and watched a tug chug past towing a huge barge of cut timber. Jets were landing from the east at the airport a couple of km south. Further on I noticed a pair of bald eagles in the topmost branches of a leafless tree and stopped to get a couple of photos of course. I stood and watched them for a few minutes, looking like Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets, only with more accusatory glares. My timing was perfect; as I set off back to the car I looked over my shoulder to watch them fly off. As I approached the car I noticed the main park sign, a circular saw mounted in a timber frame. An ideal opportunity to look at one close up, I saw that the teeth were replaceable. I guess that makes a lot of sense.
With plenty of informative signboards to read along the way, it was definitely an hour or so well spent soaking up some peace and quiet on the river.
Distance: a few km
Elevation gain: none
Photos on Flickr