Wednesday, June 30, 2010


FirewoodThe town recently cut down a tree on my neighbour's front lawn because of root damage. Only in the past few years had the 20-year-old elm stretched its limbs far enough to provide a wonderful canopy of shade. Kind of sad, but residential trees live a very precarious existence, their lives hinging on the whims of humans.

My concern was the chance that birds or squirrels had nested in the tree. For awhile, I debated whether to ask the men if they'd found a nest -- did I really want to know? Well ... of course I did.

They told me they always check before cutting, and if a nest with young is found, they'll wait a few weeks until it's vacant. Unfortunately, sometimes they don't see the babies and nest until it's on the ground. At that point, apparently there's nothing they can do. That's the part I didn't want to know (I'm notorious for sticking my head in the sand). Luckily, there was no nest in this tree.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fixing A Hole Where The Rain Gets In

antsThe other day, I pulled a small weed/plant/green thing from between the interlock leading to my front door. As soon as I did, a bunch of ants raced out. I'm sure if I could see their little faces, they would show looks of concern and confusion, and they would be yelling, "What the hell just happened to our roof". The ants immediately set to work, gathering nearby grains of sand and filling the tiny hole. Within five minutes, the hole had disappeared. You'll definitely have to click on the picture to see them.

There seems to be a lot of ants around. Last year, they'd made a home in the mailbox. This year, they've invaded my compost bin. Apparently, the ants help aerate the pile, so I won't worry about them, but I dread using it because the nest appears to be right where I'd shovel out the compost. I've always been surprised that I enjoy gardening so much because there are so many creepy crawlies lurking in the plants. But we seem to have come to an understanding -- they leave me alone (stay out of my hair), and I leave them alone.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Time for Animals

BP oil spill, negligent and abusive pet owners, hunters and poachers, fur-wearing fashionistas, and all the other brain-spared people of the world -- maybe it's time for humans to move out and let animals and nature have a chance. Yes, there's many of us who do care (especially the wonderful readers of this blog), but there just doesn't seem to be enough of us. With these disheartening thoughts, I knew I needed something to lift my spirits -- hope you enjoy:

Animals nurturing animals

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Cat Sleeping in basketIt's taken me almost a month to write about this because ... well, because it's so horrendous. The SPCA, where I volunteer, experienced a ringworm outbreak they were unable to contain. After a few months of temporary closures and massive cleaning attempts, the vets recommended that the animals be euthanized.

Euthanized. For ringworm.

Initially, it was reported that 350 animals would be put down. But after protesters descended on the shelter, and community vets offered facilities for the animals, the centre had a change of heart. Still, 100 animals were euthanized.

I have gone through so many emotions, but despair ranks highest. The shelter has appointed an outside investigator to figure out what went wrong (I can tell you what went wrong -- they needlessly killed animals). As well, they've had experts come in to go over their protocols.

Understandably, there are a lot of angry people out there. Yet, I'm bound and determined to continue volunteering. There have been a few comments on my other blog that tend to disagree with my decision, but I can't walk away from the future animals who come into the centre. I also want to show my support of the wonderful staff who are devastated by the loss of the beloved animals in their care.

Man, just writing about this makes me cry.