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For a few years, my dear friend Jan and I would go on "photowalks" on a semi-regular basis. We'd meet up and decide on a locale, spend a few pleasant hours chatting and making images and then stop afterwards for a drink or a light meal. Then about 18 months ago, Jan upped sticks and deserted our island paradise for the bright lights of the big city on the mainland.
Jan came over to visit this weekend, and we headed out to a favourite spot. There's something alien about the landscape of this ancient Garry Oak meadow, something compellingly appealing about its palette of burnished golds and vibrant greens. At this time of the year, the palette is augmented by the blues and purples of the camas lilies. It was a wonderful opportunity to see this familiar place through the eyes of a returning friend.
At this time of year, the park is marsh-like in places from the spring rains, and we had a few instances where one or the other of us almost ended up ass over tea kettle in the slippery mud that spanned some of the trails. And in the midst of this, we crossed paths with a lovely little old lady, out in her best finery for a wee stroll in this "country in the city" park, who somehow magically had not a single spot of mud on her. It was the most unexpected vision, and we (who were covered up beyond the ankles in mud) were feeling quite self-conscious while we talked to her. However, shortly thereafter we stopped for lunch a Pure Vanilla, a fine local bistro, and soon revived our spirits.