Swimming With the Squid at VanDusen Gardens

Any garden with a large wooden squid swimming through a field of grass is my kind of place.  I’ve always had a fascination for these slippery cephalopods.  It began with those stories of the giant squid that lurked in the depths of the oceans.  As a kid I imagined huge monsters, as big as my bedroom with large glowing eyes and night black ink.  I pictured oversize mollusks with their tentacles wrapped around a sperm whale, tooth versus beak.  Later as a young adult I encountered them while snorkeling in Bermuda.  It was just me, floating lazily through that bright blue water when in front of me, suspended in the sea, was an eye.  Clear and knowing, just floating in the water.  Upon closer inspection I noticed more eyes, and then slowly the squid bodies came into focus,they seemed to materialize out of nowhere, their camouflage was perfect with their counter shading and chromatophores matching them exactly to their liquid surroundings.  I’ll never forget those eyes in that blue Bermuda water.  And then later, after marriage and a couple of kids came along it seemed only natural to call them squids.  Especially when they were perhaps getting into deep water I would yell “you squids, get out of the garden, your’re stepping on the beets!”  or after a long day with the little ones I would sigh in exasperation “those squids, they’re exhausting!”  but sometimes before an adventurous hike I would rally the troops with a call of “okay squids, let’s go!”  It only worked when they were little and slippery, as they grew older the squids made a less frequent appearance and their kid camouflage disappeared. Nowadays my encounters with squid are usually in front of a crispy hot plate of calamari, but I’ll always be on the lookout for the legendary giant squid.

7 thoughts on “Swimming With the Squid at VanDusen Gardens

  1. The maze was hard, I got lost and was wandering aimlessly until my 12 year old pulled me out! It was arborvitae planted in front of a chain link fence, so there was no cheating and cutting through.

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