A Favourite Place



A Favourite Place :: A Favourite PlaceIt is good to have a favorite place where you can go to be alone and relax. Sometimes, this spot is your own room or a quiet part of the house. Sometimes, it is somewhere outdoors away from people and busy streets. Or you may feel most comfortable in a shopping mall or a downtown park.

Our favorite place is especially nice to go to at times of stress. When work gets too hectic, or we have trouble with other people, then our favorite place is a refuge from these difficulties.

My special spot is very close to where I work. It is on a busy university campus. At one end of the university, hidden among several buildings, there is a pond. This pond is surrounded by large rocks, which rise up like a small cliff on one side. Shooting out of these rocks are water pipes, which create a small waterfall. The water is drawn up from the bottom of the pond and drops back into the middle. This keeps the water from becoming stagnant.

On the other side of the pond, there is a grassy shore and a flat stone patio. Here, in the summer, people can sit out and have meals. Yet, very few people come here to sit; perhaps because they are very busy with their work.

There is something very calm and pleasant about trees and grass and shade, about birds singing and water rippling, and flowers blooming all around. Green is a relaxing color for the eyes. Still water suggests peace. Running water seems full of life.

There is a large weeping willow tree on the grassy side of the pond. Its branches touch the water and shade much of the pond. Rushes grow in the shallow water. The pond is only about three feet deep. In the summer, there are beautiful water lilies in bloom over much of the pond. Sometimes, I have counted over thirty blooms, and some flowers are over five inches wide.

Goldfish and minnows are the pond’s chief inhabitants. But there are also crawfish and other animals. At different times there have been a turtle, a water snake, and a family of ducks.

Behind the pond is a large glassy wall, which reflects the entire scene. One can also go inside and view the pond, even on rainy or snowy days.

There are several gardens close to the pond. One of the gardeners told me that he could turn the waterfall off and on. Usually on the weekends it is turned off, but if there is a special event the waterfall is left on.

Behind the glassy wall is a cafeteria. Here, visitors to the university are sometimes taken for meals. The students do not use it.

In the winter, the pond freezes over. Sometimes, if the winter is very cold the pond freezes right down to the bottom. Then, most of the goldfish and minnows die. Usually, some survive in the mud at the bottom of the pond. Occasionally, people will skate on the pond, if the ice is smooth.

When spring comes, a lot of the old rushes and water lily leaves from the previous year are cleared away. This makes the pond more attractive and gives the new plants room to grow. If there are too many rushes, they are sometimes cut down in summer. Then visitors can see the water lilies better.

Chances are that if you ever visit Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, you will hear about Pond Inlet. And, if you come in the summer, you will probably see me there, thinking about my next article.



hectic

hectic
source 1
very busy; full of activity
to lead a hectic life
a hectic schedule
hectic last-minute preparations
Today was too hectic for me.

source 2
very busy or full of activity:
I’ve had a pretty hectic day.
a hectic social life

refuge

refuge
source 1
refuge (from somebody/something) a place, person or thing that provides shelter or protection for somebody/something
He regarded the room as a refuge from the outside world.
a wetland refuge for birds

source 2
a place that provides shelter, or protection from danger: a wildlife refuge
refuge from A huge oak tree provided a refuge from the storm.
refuge for a refuge for battered wives

campus

campus
source 1
the buildings of a university or college and the land around them
She lives on campus (= within the main university area).
campus life

source 2
 the land and buildings of a university or college, including the buildings where students live:
a beautiful campus in New England
on/off campus Most first-year students live on campus.

stagnant

stagnant
source 1
stagnant water or air is not moving and therefore smells unpleasant
Few fish survive in the stagnant waters of the lake.

source 2
stagnant water or air does not move or flow and often smells bad:
a stagnant pond

patio

patio
source 1
flat hard area outside, and usually behind, a house where people can sit
Let’s have lunch out on the patio.

source 2
a flat hard area near a house, where people sit outside

ripple

ripple
source 1
to move or to make something move in very small waves
The sea rippled and sparkled.
rippling muscles
ripple something The wind rippled the wheat in the fields.

source 2
to move in small waves, or to make something move in this way:
fields of grain rippling in the soft wind
I could see the muscles rippling under his shirt.

weeping willow/birch etc

weeping_willow
a tree with branches that hang down towards the ground

willow

willow
source 1
a tree with long thin branches and long thin leaves, that often grows near water

source 2
a type of tree that has long thin branches and grows near water, or the wood from this tree

Rush

Rush
source 1
a tall plant like grass that grows near water. Its long thin stems can be dried and used for making baskets, the seats of chairs, etc
rush matting

source 2
a type of tall grass that grows in water, often used for making baskets

minnow

minnow
source 1
a very small freshwater fish

source 2
a very small fish that lives in rivers and lakes

inhabitant

inhabitant
source 1
a person or an animal that lives in a particular place
the oldest inhabitant of the village
a town of 11000 inhabitants

source 2
one of the people who live in a particular place:
a city of six million inhabitants

crawfish

crawfish
source 1
crayfishan animal like a small lobster, that lives in rivers and lakes and can be eaten, or one like a large lobster, that lives in the sea and can be eaten

source 2
a small animal like a lobster that lives in rivers and streams, or the meat from this animal

clear away/clear something away

clear_away
source 1
to remove something because it is not wanted or needed, or in order to leave a clear space
He cleared away and made coffee.
It’s time your toys were cleared away.

source 2
to make a place look tidier by removing things or putting things back where they belong:
When dinner was done and cleared away, Auntie Lou made some tea.
Homeowners are clearing away brush near their houses to prevent fires.

cut down

cut_down
source 1
to reduce the size, amount or number of something
We need to cut the article down to 1000 words.
The doctor told him to cut down on his drinking.
I won’t have a cigarette, thanks—I’m trying to cut down (= smoke fewer).

source 2
to reduce the amount of something
cut something ↔ down Installing double-glazing will cut down the noise from traffic.