It will be hard to believe, but these pictures were taken just few days before the official arrival of spring in the city of Lasalle. province of Quebec, in Canada. I love to walk and take pictures of nature so when I was driving along Lasalle Blvd and looked out of the window and saw the ice masses floating down the river I just had to get out and take a closer look. The way the snow and ice were crumbling and stood like figures being forced up out of the river just kept me spell-bound and wondering what it was like in the Park of rapids just down the road so it was off to see one of my favorite spots of solitude,”Parc des Rapides”. As I exited the car I saw a lonely seagull sentinel parading around like he was guarding the gate to the bridge walkway leading into the park. hid head bobbed up and down as oi approached but he did not give an inch. As I got just a little closer I saw her and I understood what he was guarding and it was not the gate it was another seagull. I gave them lots of space as I passed so not to disturb them and continued through the gate. I took pictures of the wintry scenes on both left and right sides of the crossing bridge, because nature was showing me just how little room it took to have different things going on so close together. the left side looked like spring was indeed just around the corner sporting swimming ducks and running water, while to the right side of the bridge there were no visible animals and the snow was still a solid mass under which the water still flowed but could neither be seen or heard. all that could be seen of wild life on the right side of the bridge were the tracks of small animals and air holes poled through the snow and ice.
The going was rough as the path ways are not cleared and salted and it gets tricky to walk, but it was a nice day and it was just so good to be out in nature and then and then I saw him move from the corner of my eye, just something not the wind at first and I stopped and waited and up he popped and started running and stopping first to the right then to the left then straight for a log that had fallen but made a bridge right into the tree and he was up it in a flash moving so fast that I could not get the camera to video without taking the chance of missing getting him on film him altogether, so I aimed my camera in his direction, followed and rapidly took shots hoping that I would get lucky and I did as you will see in my slide show. My friend Mr. Weasel did stop on for a hot minute with his belly touching the branch of the tree making himself as small as possible and allow me to take a few distant pictures of him, before he darted behind a larger branch and waited me out. I did not want to spook him from his territory so I moved on deeper into the island park.
I saw a family of ducks swimming and sunning on the snow and ice-covered snow bank and it brought a smile to my face just to know that they were there and had made it through another winter. I could hear the fast water now on the other side of the island and I knew that the river was running fast and the rapids awaited me and my pace quickened despite the treacherous icy path.Just before I got to the river I looked to my left and I saw an even larger group of ducks swimming, bobbing for food and sunning and preening themselves on the snowy shore and again I marveled at how they could look so comfortable in water that would have frozen a human in an instant. Then it happened a male climbed on the back of a female and started to mate. I snapped a quick picture and moved on.
Finally I was at the middle of Parc des Rapides and looking straight across the swirling pounding waters of the St. Lawrence River. This white water portion of the river is used by rafters and adventure seekers in warmer weather, but this river is nothing to play in if you do not know what you are doing. Just knowing how to swim may help you if you fall in, but you will need to know a lot more than that if you are to get out alive and you will need assistance. I decided that for those of you who have never had the pleasure to experience the power a raging river in all of its magnificence that I would video tape a little of it for you sound and all and I pasted a link to it below… the youtube links, the 1st one is the longest with the 2nd just the finish. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them. Finally it is time to go back to work. I leave the park taking a few more pictures as I go, and a lot more memories. I hope that we will always be able to walk short distances and be able to see these little creatures where they live and die in the wild and not only