Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thoughts on Stanley Park

These are pictures taken at Stanley Park on various visits I made to the park. This park is a large green space (forest) in dowtown Vancouver. I have visited this park often througout my life. This park was a source of wonderment for me as a child when I came here on vacation. I thought it truely was magical. I had never seen such big trees and I loved driving around the park and being enveloped in green. I have happy memories of swimming in the pool on the west side of the park, that is now gone. It was filled with seawater, something a prairie girl had little exposure to.

Once I got married and had my son, our family continued to enjoy the park. We have had picnics there, walked the seawall, gone on photo shoots, visited the aquarium and zoo, ridden the Xmas train and beachcombed at low tide. The park continues to be a source of happy memories for our family. It's a place we go to to get out when the weather is good, to get some exercise and to have some family time. It's woven itsself into our lives.

I am not sure if anyone living outside of BC knows, but we have been hit with a series of 14 wind/rain/snow storms in the last 6 weeks. The winds have been up to 100 km. We have had torrential rains that have created alot of flooding. We have had the rare occurance of snow, which on the coast is extremely wet and heavy. All of this has meant huge damage to the park. Trees have either been felled by wind, snapped in half as if they were twigs or later damaged by the weight of the snow on the branches. The rains have created errosion on the cliffs above the seawall, resulting in mud slides that have shut down sections of the wall.

Stanley Park has taken alot of abuse from mother nature. The park has lost trees that are at least 200 years old. It absolutely breaks my heart to see the damage. I believe the trees in the top two photos are likely gone. Prospect Point, the area in the park where those photos were taken was hit especially hard. There is a Flickr site that has some photos of damage from one of the storms in December. You can see them here.

I guess the reason why I am writing this is because this is the place I go to feed my soul and to get inspiration. This park has been the place where I have taken some of my best photos, which I am so glad I have now that Stanley Park has been changed forever. It will never be quite the same again, even though work is already underway to restore and repair the damage. I know that the park will always be beautiful, it's just different now.

"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her."
-William Wordsworth


Anonymous said...

I know the damage inflicted is very sad now because it is so new BUT the amazing thing about nature is how it eventually heals itself. Just think of all the wonderful pictures you will be able to take over the years as you record this process with your children. You can show how it was from your own youth, show the damage, and in the end show the healing and new beauty. What a great way to teach your kids the beauty of the long view of things.

liz said...

oh sweetie!! it is SO sad! i LOVE stanley park and have tons of fond memories of time spent there by myself and with the kids and my dad too. we are having similar rain and wind storms here--it is VERY scary to see how destructive the wind and water can be sometimes. we had a storm awhile ago that uprooted trees hundreds of years old all over cumbria--it was such a sad sight...but things have started to regenerate and some good has come of it. things maybe need to change and go through a difficult process and then start to heal again. thinking of you and sending much love
liz xx

Shari Beaubien said...

These trees and the park are gorgeous, Lelainia! I hope you find that the damage isn't as bad as you'd thought. Nothing refuels me like nature, either. Hugs, Shari

Anonymous said...

This is so sad about the park. Those pics are sooo gorgeous. I hope the weather gets better so that everything can start to grow anew.

Kris Henderson said...

We visited Stanley Park last year. How sad that it has taken such a beating. It is such a beautiful place. Your photos really show it off wonderfully.
I do hope that you are safe and warm this winter!

MB Shaw said...

Great pictures of one of the world's charmed spots. I hate to hear of the damage though, that is indeed sad.