A Walk in the Park

April 7, 2009

Wasteland - Paul Maybee

Wasteland - Paul Maybee

Most of us Haligonians can remember what Point Pleasant Park looked like before September 28th, 2003.  It was a lush thick forest with beautiful tall trees – a great escape from the busy streets of Halifax, a little taste of nature when we’re too busy to really get away.  Now, almost six years later, the park still looks like a wasteland.  It takes a long time to recover from something like that.  Although it was only a category 2 hurricane when it hit Halifax, our trees were tall and had shallow roots, making the damage more extensive than typically a category 1-2 hurricane would cause.

Point Pleasant - Paul Maybee

Point Pleasant - Paul Maybee

I am not going to diverge now, but maybe I will make a post soon with my photos of the Hurricane Juan damage.  I was actually not here for the storm, but arrived by bus on the morning of the 30th to a warm, clear day.  I ran into a friend, David Patterson, and we walked around the city, looking at the extensive damage.  Yes, I will post about that later…  Now where was I?  Ah yes, walking through the park.

Tree Tops - Paul Maybee

Tree Tops - Paul Maybee

I head into the park where I usually do, just after the parking lot, and head uphill.  I had it in my mind to try and get as high as I could to take a photo down over the parking lot – just to try the tilt shift again, so instead

parking lot - Paul Maybee

parking lot - Paul Maybee

of following the path, I head up the hill to try and get a shot from the clearing.  I’m not happy with this one, because there are too many trees in the way.  Even with most of the trees down, it’s hard to get on high enough ground to get an overhead shot.  That’s why the trains worked out so well – I can just stand on the bridge and look down.

So I continue up the hill and surprise myself by stumbling upon something I haven’t seen before.  I have been up this path a thousand times, and climbed this hill many times as well, but I guess I’ve never come this way before, because I’ve never seen this here before!  I notice a small path leading to an underground door.  Just a stone door nestled into the side of the hill.  I have to see what’s inside.  I have heard of underground passages in the city – tunnels that go out to McNabb’s Island and beneath the whole downtown area to connect the Citadel to Point Pleasant and McNabb’s.  Is this one of them?  It couldn’t be that easy.

Secret Passage - Paul Maybee

Secret Passage - Paul Maybee

Nah, it must just be storage or something.  I get closer.

Hidden Door - Paul Maybee

Hidden Door - Paul Maybee

Door - Paul Maybee

Door - Paul Maybee

Inside - Paul Maybee

Inside - Paul Maybee

I get inside to find that it’s just a lookout.  It’s a little stoop, hidden in the side of the hill to get the first eye on any incoming ships entering the harbour.  It’s located directly below the canons to give just enough time to run up the hill to warn of an invasion.

Below is the view from inside the lookout.  Some trees have partially blocked the view, but you can see that there would be a very clear view of any intruding ships entering the harbour.

Look Out - Paul Maybee

Look Out - Paul Maybee

I continue up the hill, to see what else I can find.  I love this spot on top of the hill and I usually find it easy to imagine what it would be like here 100 years ago.

Stone Wall - Paul Maybee

Stone Wall - Paul Maybee

This stone wall is directly above the little lookout.  Still there is a great view of the harbour from here.  I head up to Fort Ogilvie.

Keep Off - Paul Maybee

Keep Off - Paul Maybee

Keep Off - Paul Maybee

Keep Off - Paul Maybee

Brick Wall - Paul Maybee

Brick Wall - Paul Maybee

Birch Light - Paul Maybee

Birch Light - Paul Maybee

Birch Dark - Paul Maybee

Birch Dark - Paul Maybee

Hanging On - Paul Maybee

Hanging On - Paul Maybee

After spending some time on top of the hill taking pictures, and letting my imagination go, thinking about when these buildings and walls were built and what for, I carry on, further into the park.  I head up the path away from the water toward the Prince of Wales Tower.

Here, I found a little oak tree which still had all it’s leaves.

Oak Tree - Paul Maybee

Oak Tree - Paul Maybee

Brick - Paul Maybee

Brick - Paul Maybee

So many wonderful places to explore.

All it takes is looking again at something you’ve seen a thousand times before.

It’s like being a kid again, when your backyard was a whole universe, just waiting to be explored.

I’ve learned that this is still the case.

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One Response to “A Walk in the Park”

  1. Muriel said

    I loved walking through this experience with you. Your writing along with the photos is so engaging!

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