Wandering day

I took my notebooks, a bottle of water and my swimming stuff and I had a wandering day yesterday. Then I went with my girlfriends to swim in Meech Lake.

I headed out under cloudy skies, generally hoping I had enough time to do what I wanted to do. I walked out of my neighbourhood, across the experimental farm area nearby and went to the Arboretum. It is filled with exotic, aged trees.

  
I stopped by a few of my favourite trees. This one is a Bebb’s oak, and it looks like the English oak that is behind me here, except different.

  
An acorn from the same tree. They had been doing some trimming (as evidenced by the piles in the previous photo). I sat under the tree, just enjoying the quiet and listening, feeling, and breathing. It’s a lovely old oak. One of its branches is currently being held up by a support.

I circled through the other oaks nearby, and slid my hands over the gorgeous, muscular trunks and smooth bark of the American beech trees. They needed a hug because they are scarred with someone’s carved true love declaration.

  
Sitting under a different, big oak tree, looking back across the field I crossed, towards the ridge with the oak and beech trees I’d just visited. This one didn’t have a sign to tell its species, but it had “hairy” acorns. It also had been trimmed, and looked like it might be suffering from a blight of some sort.

A family was playing in the field behind me. The kids were trying to roll down the hill, but the hill was pretty steep, so I think it was resulting in injuries rather than fun…

I didn’t feel like writing yet, so I kept going. I was also trekking to my friend’s house where we were going to meet to head up to the lake.

I passed by willows and crabapples, now laden with tiny reddening apples. I passed through the hawthorns, and pressed my thumb against the sharp new three inch thorn at the end of the branch I passed, admiring its strength. Tiny yellowish hawthorn berries hid behind the thorns.

Eventually, I headed back out into humanity again. Walking along the boardwalk and then up onto the shared use pathway, I stopped for a rest and another drink of water on the other side of the lake.

  
Looking at the Arboretum across Dow’s Lake, from another bench, this time under some pine trees.

I followed the Canal to Bank Street and then turned north to get to my friend’s house fifteen minutes before the badass ladies arrived. I had wandered for slightly more than 9.5 km.

Then we continued north, making great time to get to the beach. We swam out to a rocky prominence and “hauled out” to sit and chat in the sun. Which led to us not being super keen on jumping back in the not-super-warm lake to swim back. But we made it. I ended up sitting in the shallow water near the beach for a bit longer, warming up, after we swam back. I plotted it out just now and we swam about 707 metres.

We stopped for a lovely meal at a new restaurant in Chelsea – Tante Carole. The food flavours were really well architected. I started with the Caesar salad with crispy smelts, and then had the fish of the day – a steelhead trout filet, pan fried, with baby potatoes, pattypan squash and zucchini. My friends shared the foie gras appetizer, and one had the striploin steak with root veggies, and the other also had the fish. We all shared the chocolate cake with chocolate mousse, honey whipped cream, fresh berries and Concord grapes, with raspberry and beet coulis. Yes, it was as good as it sounds. They also made a wicked spicy Caesar.

It was a wonderful day, exactly the sort of thing that the creative spirit needs. However, I am a bit achey today. ;)

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