Confessions of a Delaware Park First-timer

Sunrise over Hoyt Lake

Until yesterday, I had never walked through Delaware Park.

In Buffalo, this is almost a kind of heresy. Delaware Park is Buffalo’s equivalent to New York City’s Central Park: it is the biggest of Buffalo’s public parks, the one with the most variety in terms of things to do and see, all of it tucked into an energized urban environment. I’ve driven through or around Delaware Park many times (among other things, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is on the park’s western edge), but somehow, in all my years of living in The 716, I’ve never actually stopped to spend a bit of quality time in Delaware Park.

Until yesterday.

What was more is that The Dee-oh-gee and I were there shortly after sunrise.

I am not a morning person–at least, I am not a sunrise person. We were all up that early because we had to whisk The Wife to a local medical facility for a scheduled procedure (she’s fine, just tendonitis in a foot that wasn’t responding to physical therapy), and of course we had Cane ride along with us; after depositing The Wife at the hospital where the thing was being done, I decided to take Cane someplace for a walk before heading home. I thought to go to Buffalo’s Outer Harbor, but I was in the vicinity of Delaware Park, and as I drove through it, I thought, Hey, why not walk right here?

Living in Buffalo’s Southtowns, Delaware Park is far enough off my normal beaten path that it simply has never been a destination of its own. That should probably change, and soon. For now, though, I’m happy to have been there on an early morning in June. It had been a cool night but was warming up, which made the waters misty in the golden light.

In light like that, even a distant cloud of gnats or whatever insects these were can be beautiful, as they catch the sun:


And many magnificent trees:

The best thing I saw yesterday was a great egret. We kept interrupting this bird as we walked along the path. There it would be, fifty feet or so ahead of us, and then it would fly farther down the lake as we approached. This happened several times until finally it took wing and flew all the way back down the length of the lake; we didn’t see it again after that. But what an impressive bird this is!

We walked along the southern edge of Hoyt Lake and then we turned around and headed back. It was very quiet and serene, with only the sounds of a few joggers breaking the spell of nature and, beyond it, the sounds of traffic and a city waking up. We also saw the stage for Shakespeare In Delaware Park, which we have likewise never attended; I suppose we’ll have to see for ourselves someday if that cockpit can indeed hold the vasty fields of France.

On the way back, I stopped to pluck a single blossom, and after taking in the rising sunlight one last time, Cane and I headed home. We got back just a few minutes before my normal work day, had I worked yesterday, would have begun.

Not a bad way to pass a morning, even if I am still quite sure that I will never be a sunrise person.


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2 Responses to Confessions of a Delaware Park First-timer

  1. Roger says:

    So it IS an Olmstead Park! Olmstead Parks are GOOD. Washington Park in ALB is one, though nowhere as big as yours.

    • ksedinger says:

      Buffalo has something like half a dozen Olmsted parks! It’s a real point of local pride. Buffalo may have challenges a-plenty, but we’ve got PARKS. And that is, as you say, a GOOD thing!

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