After an evening of loud music in a smoky nightclub I felt the need to cleanse my soul. What better way than to take a brisk stroll around Western Springs, situated in the western suburbs of Auckland, New Zealand.

I visited this park early one June morning in its full glory, as I thought. It was very peaceful except for the ducks, geese and occasional pukeko asking for my attention. This particular morning was very frosty and crisp. My breath cut through the cold air. I caught sight of a jogger running around the same path I was taking, and another using an ice-coated park bench to help stretch their muscles. The sun, which had just risen, was stabbing warm rays through the trees to thaw the frost bitten grass. Looking around I noticed mist lingering low over the lake and clinging lightly around the shrubs. The trees and shrubs were in their prime. The green tonings of the evergreens mixed with the bronze, orange, gold and red leaves of the deciduous trees, some of which were nearly bare, struggling to keep the last of their colourful foliage.

As I walked over the bridges, the sound of rushing water caught my attention. Below me the icy water was cascading over small rocks taking with it the fallen autumn leaves. The further around the lake I got the more breath-taking dimensions of winter I saw. A real haven for photographers and nature lovers.

The circuit of the park finally came to an end. As I looked back once more to take in the beauty of this park I noticed the birds were beginning to sing, realising that soon people would be coming and the mystic morning that I caught would no longer be there.

As the day progresses, Western Springs becomes a hive of activity. People flock to spend a day or even a few hours relaxing. Families enjoying a picnic, children are seen and heard in the playground or eagerly feeding or chasing the ducks. Elderly people sitting on the sun dried park benches, content to just watch the day pass by and reminisce as they catch sight of young couples walking along the path hand in hand. All these people taking in the sights and sounds of the park but I really saw the natural beauty of Western Springs as the sun rose from the horizons in the east.