Sunday, May 10, 2009

Parque Das Flores

On many Sunday afternoons back when I was a kid, our collective families would pile into several cars after mass service and form a wagon train over to Stanley Park for a big barbecue/ picnic. 'Stanley Park' is what me, my cousins, and the rest of America called it; but being direct immigrants and not very adept at English, our parents uncles and aunts were unable or at least unwilling to use the park's real name, and the place became known to them by a more descriptive title; the 'Parque das flores'...which loosely translates to 'The Park Of Flowers'. Then as now, every spring the beautiful park blooms bright with carefully manicured rose gardens, wildflower trails, and tulip patches. Kelly, the little-one and I made a trek out to Westfield to see those flowers again late Saturday, while Chris chose to stay home and "work on a paper for school"...(Hmm...)

We arrived about six o'clock, and immediately did a tour of the well-marked wildflower garden near the parking area. With a flat easy trail that rambles through a nice section of pines it's always a relaxing, colorful stroll.



Well-labeled and set up all along the trail edges are Forget-Me-Nots,



Jack In The Pulpits,



Columbines...



...along with Azaleas, Trilliums, Violets etc. et al...All kinds of different, colorful varieties from local and distant parts of the world. Emerging from the woods, we walked past the park's old fountain and across broad, freshly cut lawns, doing spring-time stuff along the way...





There's a relatively newer Japanese Garden section on the other side, with a stone garden featuring some neat river-water-worn stones. Our baby's name-sake flowers line the stone walkways that lead to a benched pagoda, where we took a break.



A short walk from there is a low, slow running brook where skunk cabbages and these strangely structured flowers spring up from the wet earth.





They were just scattered about with other wildflowers in and along the stream, creating seemingly random, multi-colored patchworks.



The marshy brook leads us into Stanley Park's much photographed ponds, which like most of the park, is a charmingly scenic wonder.



Before we go on I have to stop here, and submit for your consideration possibly the cutest animal picture ever posted on 'in the valley'....I hope your ready for this....





Are you sitting down?......





You're sure you're ready...?...because, I'm not sure you're ready for this.....






Ok, here goes. Don't say I didn't warn you...







Ta-Daaaa...!



...I know. I know.

That critter came scurrying up on the edge of a little bridge that we were about to cross. I say about to cross, because there, things took an ugly turn. Right adjacent to one end of the bridge was a goose half hidden and nesting over a brood of eggs.



The dog, leading the way ahead of us on the leash, saw the Mother Goose and got to sniffing the situation a little to closely. An alarmed Ma Goose began hissing, the dog began barking, and suddenly the whole neighborhood erupted into an angry, hissing, waddling storm of nature.



Ma Goose's Calvary had come to her defense, and staunchly gated the crossing shut to any and all intruders; especially the four legged variety.



Things nearly escalated out of control as the canine sallied forth several times, in an effort to break through the indomitable line of geese. But they weren't having it and pecked him back each time...





It was an impasse. Outnumbered in size, weight and fury, our fuzzy scout opted for a strategic withdrawal and we backtracked to the next crossing farther up the pond.



While the dog never actually conceded defeat, the geese apparently considered it a victory, and their cat-calls and taunts rang in our ears as they faded into the distance...



It was just about sunset now as we climbed the stairs back to the upper levels of the park, making a quick dash across the gazeboed rose gardens (dogs weren't allowed in that section). The roses are still pre-bloom, but there are other flowers holding down the fort until they do.



Happy Mother's Day to all.

Happy Mother's Day to my own dear mother, now God rest her soul.

And, Happy Mother's day to my new baby's mama,



It's so nice to be able to bring yet another generation to the Parque Das Flores...

4 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Ah, that is one of my very favorite places. Those geese are rather cheeky!

Tony said...

I was keeping an eye out for you, Elizabeth...

Mary E.Carey said...

WOW! I've been meaning to check out this place for a long time having seen all of Elizabeth's beautiful photos. That chipmunk is the BEST!

Tommy said...

Excellent.