Thursday, April 21, 2011

In a sad ravine

We had stopped for coffee at a Tim Horton's we rarely visit. Behind the parking lot, separating it from a run-down trailer park and an apartment block, there is a narrow ravine. Yesterday, a sprinkling of new green leaves and catkins attracted my attention, and I looked over the fence.

It's a dark, dingy bit of terrain, cut off at each end by busy roads and high fences, polluted by runoff from a construction site upstream, untended, unvisited, except by people dumping garbage from both sides; coffee cups and old lumber, plastic and styrofoam, scraps of paper, and, of course, an upside-down shopping cart. At the bottom, a trickle of water meanders through oily mud.

Ma Nature is fighting back. Out of the muck have sprung hundreds of skunk cabbages; the floor of the ravine glows!

Clean, bright yellow and green!

Here and there, the first salmonberry flowers invite pollinating insects.

There's more! The ravine lives!

A woodpecker tree crumbling into the salmonberry bushes.

Some of the holes in that tree go deep into the centre.  Something other than woodpeckers has been at work. The largest hole would make a good den:

Is there a face inside that bottom hole?

Hanging high above, a pair of shoes is gathering moss.

We would have liked to scramble down to the bottom, but it was starting to rain. We went on into the Tim Horton's, found the line-up impossibly long, and went home without coffee.


  1. i like that: nature is fighting back!

  2. My goodness, this reminds me of the ravine behind my house! Skunk Cabbage, Salmonberry, and garbage buried from eons ago. Cleaning it up has become a lifelong task. But, as I remove the bad, the good seems to reward me by naturally moving in.

  3. Ohmigosh, there IS a face in that tree shot! And I love the mossy tennis shoes.

    I'm so glad nature is fighting back - with a heckuva wallop too! I love skunk cabbage blossoms - so very brightly yellow.

  4. The decomposing, mossy shoes in the tree is such a powerful image! Kind of dark and disturbing; a great shot!

  5. Clytie, I'm glad you saw the face. I wondered if I was imagining things!

  6. Love the shoes!

    There is a college near my Mom's house and they used to throw shoes over the electric wires outside the dorm......

    Strange ritual?

    This is the second blog that has mention skunk cabbage---I had never heard of it and had to look it up.......


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