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Monday, June 02, 2008

MUSIC ON THE LAKE

In the heart of Stanley Park is a small lake known as Beaver Lake. The lake began as a shallow lagoon cut off from the ocean by the land and eventually turned into a barren and dry bog, then a forested bog and finally, about 10,000 years ago, a freshwater pond that we know today as Beaver Lake. Today the 'lake' is truning back to a bog which is covered with a lovely blanket of yellow water lilies. There are trails in the surrounding forest, one of them "The Beaver Lake Interpretive Trail. Along this interesting route you will experience the various ecosystems of Stanley Park. On Sunday, when my friend and I paid our first visit in years, there were dozens of ducks with their fluffy little ducklings providing entertainment for the visitors. A long-legged heron waded among the water-lilies searching for a snack. Red-wing blackbirds chirrped from the tall reeds. There couldn't have been a more appropriate or lovely setting for the event which we had come there to attend.
"Shafer on the Lake" was an afternoon concert performed by the lakeside by a vocalist, flautist, clarinet and trumper player celebrating the 75th birthday of eminent Canadian composer/librettist/artistic direct and environmentalist R. Murray Shafer. We took along a little picnic lunch and sat on a bench enjoying the strains of the music as it echoed back and forth across the still pond enhanced by the bird sounds. Quite an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.
A little black squirrel came to join our picnic. He refused the carrot we offered him but chowed down on the scraps of chicken wings and kept coming back, standing up on his little hind legs begging for more.

After the concert ended we walked back along the trail, through the tall Douglas firs. There were wild flowers blooming along the path
and the tall ferns uncurling their fronds. It's certainly worth a visit to Beaver Lake and perhaps the next time I'll take along the "Interpretive Trail" brochure I picked up so I can follow along and see more of the flora and fauna that surround it.

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