Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

February 26, 2009

Saw a cartoon come to life before my eyes...

As a child, I loved The Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.

I remember one episode where this man is roaring through the country, parks his car on the side of the road, runs out with his dog, sets up a picnic, throws a stick for his dog to play "fetch" with and as the dog runs for the stick, the man dashes to his car, gets in, and races off... without the dog.

Now, as a kid, I found this all very light and comical. In my innocence I thought nothing such as that could ever happen.

Well, going back to the summer of 1988, I witnessed something very similar and I did not find it to light and comical.

I was hanging out at this park, tanning and reading, relaxing, whatever... there's not too many people around since it was a weekday; me being a teenager on summer vacation. I happen to take notice to a car driving into the parking lot. I don't know why but I did. Maybe because there wasn't much going on or was it my *spider sense*? It's a bit of a long drive down a steep hill into this park.

A man gets out of the car. He walks around to the rear passenger door, opens it up and out jumps this adorable very young Golden Lab puppy. He reaches into the car and pulls out a stick, he begins to play with this puppy in the parking lot, the puppy is getting very excited with the idea of playing with this man and this stick. I am watching and thinking how nice it is, to be out in the park with your dog, playing in the afternoon sun. The man throws the stick, the puppy races after it, across the parking lot and on the grassy area not far from me. So, while this puppy is chasing the stick, I also see the man run around to the driver's side of the car and get in, start the car and speed out of the park! The puppy sees this happening too and freaks out. The puppy begins to chase the car up this steep hill. He is not fast enough to catch up to the car. The hill is a hard climb for any living creature and not too bad for a V8 Ford. It is also probably +32C right now, or +88F... which is not ideal weather for very long for a dog with no water. The puppy is crying loudly as he loses chase to the car.

I am in total shock and disgust at this very moment. I am mad at myself for not getting his plate number even though I am not sure what good that may have done.

The puppy returns to the park, is running frantically about, crying loudly. It was very heart-breaking to watch.

While there aren't that many people around this area, maybe 10, I am shocked that nobody saw what happened and nobody is paying attention to this puppy in distress.

I manage to get this poor creature to calm down and sit with me. He's very well behaved for a young dog and I figure he wasn't more than 4 or 5 months old. I take him to the fountain and assist him in getting some water.

He bonds with me rather quickly... sticking with me, when I sat, he sat, when I got up, he got up, when I walked, he followed. Now what am I going to do with him? Bring him home of course!

So, in I walk and this is before my days of the tarantulas... "Look what I found!"

My house never really was a dog house. We had a mini-Collie years ago and that didn't work out very well. At this time, we had a cat and a very small dog. Neither of which was highly impressed with this big puppy coming into the house. I don't know who foamed more at the mouth, the dog or the cat.

Over the next hour or so, we decided it was best to turn him in to the Humane Society. For one, they have a zero euthanasia policy and this being a popular breed... he was bound to get a home in no time.

It was a very long drive down to the shelter which is only 20 minutes away. I kept looking at this puppy. What a terrible day he had and just when he thinks he's made himself a new friend and master... he gets taken to the pound!

I was holding back my upset/tears as I shared the story of what happened earlier in the day. It's too sad to recall, especially as I held him close to me. He's licking my face, happier than anything, unknowing he was not leaving with me.

I filled out the paperwork and then someone came out to get him, to take him into the back... well, that didn't go over well at all. He freaked right out! He cried and fought as hard as a determined little dog could. He managed to break free of the attendant, charged at me, jumped up at me as I kneeled down to grab him, licking my face and crying out loud. That was it for me... my heart was officially broken for the first time ever in my life!

They came and got him once again, using a little more caution and strength. I felt like a coward as I turned my head, unable to watch him disappear up the hallway and through a set of doors.

I got in my car and took the long way home, cranking the tunes and thought about this over and over and over. I felt like a rotten person for what I did but I knew it was the best thing for him to do that day...

If it weren't for me, he could have been left out there, lost in the park, in the heat and humidity; assuming nobody noticed him.

I called the Humane Society the following day. I was told to call back the following week. I did just that. I learned he was adopted before he even made it out to their kennel area (show room). I hung up the phone and made a silent wish for him... to have a happy, healthy, long life with a loving family.

I'd like to think that my wish came true...

*** if anyone is curious about the cartoon I mentioned at the start of this blog, please copy and paste the link below *** you only need to see the first minute of it (he meets Porky Pig later)

February 21, 2009

Spider #5

Well, here we are with the tale of the last spider that has come into my life (so far). I don't have intentions on getting another but you never know what happens... sometimes things just happen for a reason, much like how this one and I were brought together.

During the time with Maude and Syd, on occasion, I used to enjoy visiting this *reputable* Reptile Emporium just outside of Toronto. A huge store/showroom full of creepy, crawly, scaly and slimy things! Snakes and spiders, lizards and salamanders, giant insects and they even had a Caiman tank (small aligators).

I would just go for the tarantulas though. Most visits I would find 20 to 30 tarantulas and of which there was probably 10 or so different species.

One Saturday afternoon, I popped in and to my surprise there were no more tarantulas. I walked about the place, looking at all the other critters, creeping myself out at the Giant Millipedes and Cockroaches until I made it back to the front. I asked the guy behind the counter what happened to all the tarantulas. He had told me that they had been selling them all off and not replacing them as the store felt there was a lack of want by people for arachnids.

I was saddened by this bit of news. I talked to him for a bit, told him about Maude and Syd, how I enjoyed coming here just to look at the various tarantulas they had. We small talked for a few more minutes and as I was on my way out the door, he called me back to the counter.

He told me they had one more tarantula hanging around at the back of the store. I asked him why it wasn't out on display. He said they gave up on trying to sell this one, it had hung around the store for so long with no interest, that they just put it in the back and was pretty much ignored except when they wanted to *play* with it. He went on this little spree about how they had been testing this spider. "For what?" I wondered as I am certain you are too. Basically they were seeing how tough this spider was... and they would do things like not feed it for very long periods of time, offer no water, chill it but not freeze as freezing would definitely kill it fast. They even put live rodents in that were it's size or bigger to see what would happen, who would win if they fought and so on.

I asked if I could see this tarantula that they had been torturing the last few months. Within me, I wanted to rip this guy a new one just by what he told me. I then was thinking that maybe this was some sort of sales pitch... and what a disgusting one it would be. When he brought out the tank, I knew he wasn't lying. Living in filth is the only way to describe this terrarium. Lots of cricket corpses, dried spider *poop* on the glass, lots and lots of webbing everywhere and a couple withered up mouse corpses. I was speechless!

I couldn't even see the tarantula at first, but I knew it was a Pink Toe by the funnel like web in the corner. It turns out I was mostly correct; it was a Pink Toe but a different variation of it... it was a "Geroldi Pink Toe". Apparently still from Mexico, only slightly larger and instead of being a true jet black body with hot pink toes, these have a blue/green backing which looks black when not under light.

So of course I was ready to rescue this spider. We made out a cash deal which was next to nothing and no taxes. I knew nothing more about this spider such as the age and sex. For all I knew, it was a male and 5 years old, and might live another month. I didn't care.

I remember how *thrilled* everybody was to learn that I now had 3 tarantulas in my bedroom with me.

I cleaned up the tank the best I could, making sure not to disturb it's web house. A nice new sandy bottom with moist moss to keep dampness within (great for molting times). It was close to 3 weeks before I saw this tarantula come out of it's home. It did a tour of the 15 gallon enclosure, leaving a web trail as it crawled across the glass. As soon as it went back to it's home, I made an offering of a meal and it snagged the cricket up into the web house fast. Over the next 4 days it ate a dozen crickets. I knew that this was a full grown adult tarantula but wasn't able to sex it.

I pondered a name for this tarantula. At one point the name "Hope" came to mind. A suiting one as I sure hoped it was going to be around with me for the next while. I then changed my mind and decided on "NO" which was an acronym for "Nameless One". This name sat better with me. It is a play on the whole thing... NO is it's name and for the longest time it was a nameless one. This name also gave me a reminder on why I had this spider with me, why it was special.

NO lived with me for another 6 years. I gave it a peaceful life, just let it live in peace and quiet, well fed, warm and undisturbed. NO even hung around long enough to see me buy my first home and come to live with me for another year. I hate referring to NO as an it... I'd like to think NO was a female, much as it seems most of my animals turn out to be. NO lived much longer than a male's life expectancy anyways.

NO now rests beneath the pine trees right behind the house.

February 19, 2009

Spider #4

Somewhere along the way through my 20's and after the passing of Abigail I managed to get yet another tarantula. For the life of me I don't really remember where or how and that kinda sucks.

I am guessing I bought him from a pet store because no unusual tales come to mind. I was far more knowledgeable at this time about tarantulas and I know that I probably picked this one out because of it's docile behavior much like the Mexican Pink Toe. What species is this I am writing about, that is pictured above? It is a Mexican Rose Hair Tarantula.

I even figured out the sex of this tarantula too from what I studied in books. This one was a male. I decided to name him Syd.

So, once again I was up to two tarantulas in my bedroom despite the unhappiness of my mother on keeping them. Syd and Maude sat side by side, in separate enclosures of course. I worried that they would sense each other, get stressed or upset, but that never happened.

I remember the family cat, Lucky, who I mentioned on my Valentine's blog (22 lbs of cat)... he had some sort of fascination with Syd. Lucky would get up on top of Syd's tank and stare down at him. Lucky would spend hours just watching him. There was a problem with this though... Lucky being a heavy boy and the top of Syd's home was a metal frame with just window screen across. That screen began to sag down into the tank as he sat upon it. What a disaster that could have been! Syd would go splat! Lucky would probably freak right out and tear the place apart getting his big ol' furry butt out of the tank. So, some modifications were made to keep any of this from happening.

At this time in my life, I was away from home pretty much every weekend. I would have my bedroom door closed/locked to keep Lucky from getting in and possibly having an incident despite my mods to the tank/lid. So many times I arrived home on the Sunday evening to find Syd hanging by one leg from the screen cover. It seems he would go on his walk-abouts about the tank, across the floor, all over the glass and eventually get up to the top and start to walk upside down across it. Was it his weight that got the best of him? He was a very bulky guy. Whatever the reason, there he would be, dangling by that one leg and I would have to come to his rescue. I wondered how long he was in that predicament of his... did he get in it Friday night or Sunday afternoon? I began to have a family member check in on him in my absence.

Syd was about as nice as a tarantula could be... never biting or snapping at me.

I had Syd for almost 6 years which is really good for a male tarantula! He was close to one year old when I got him.

Male tarantulas on average live up to 5 years providing they haven't gotten eaten during a mating session, and are in proper care/conditions. Female tarantulas can live up to 25 years! How fair is that?

I buried Syd at the back of my parents' house, right next to Abigail, in a flower bed.

February 18, 2009

Spider #3

For my 27th birthday, I was given a rather unique gift, from someone I only knew as she served my coffee nightly when we (me and the boys) snuck out for a second break at 4am from the brewery. Some nights we'd hang around and talk with this girl, not much else for us all to do at this time of night (oh, I guess we could have been working). I only knew her by first name and I guess she knew more about me than Rob takes a medium double double.

I was quite shocked to get a gift from this girl... especially a tarantula and a 10 gallon terrarium to boot with a locking lid!

She didn't tell me much about this tarantula other than it's species name being an "Indonesian Red Legged Bird Eating Tarantula". I probably should have given it right back to her at that time just by the name alone. I was younger, probably intoxicated (working at a brewery... that's how we rolled back then, worked and drank)... and I ended up taking this critter home.

I knew very little about this species but learned very quickly how aggressive this spider was. It had a little hut that it liked to stay in, a nice dark hide out from where it could pounce on it's prey. I would open the lid to feed it and it devoured cricket after cricket in a speedy manor. If I put my hand in the tank to do a little cleaning, watering, whatever... this spider would charge at my moving hand.

I began to fear this spider. I gave it a name from the best King Diamond cd ever... "Abigail" which is a story (concept album) about an evil spirit of a girl. Now, I didn't honestly think my Abigail was an evil spirit... just a very aggressive spider. I respected this spider but as I said, I also feared it. I continued to care for it though.

I had to look further into this species since I still knew so little. Does it really eat birds? Yes, it does! It will sit up in trees and wait on branches for a bird to land and kill/eat it. So, if it can attack and kill songbirds, how big will this thing get I wondered. Well, as luck would have it, this book told me all about that too! This spider, as a full size adult, can easily sit over a dinner plate (that is how they put it in the book)... it's diameter can reach 13 inches or more!

Apparently this tarantula was 3 months old when I got it and it was nearing 5 inches already.

I wondered about the girl who gave me this present. Did she want me dead? Did she want to impress me? I learned she was a unique individual who also worked in a pet store, loved all animals and bred Himalayan kittens at home. Where did she get this spider? Seems the pet stores have contacts to many things out there besides dogs, cats, birds and fish.

So, with all I was learning about this tarantula, I wasn't happy. I promised I would still take care of it until I figure out in my head what to do with it. Donate it to a zoo or somehow manage to co-exist?

I continued to feed it lots and lots of crickets. It was eating 40 large ones a week. Could I keep up with this appetite? As it got bigger, I was certain that one day crickets just weren't going to cut it anymore. I know you can purchase frozen rats and things like that from pet stores, which is something I have no interest in. I know some people with snakes and this is what they feed them. The problem is, other than it's so not me to start buying and keeping frozen rats in the freezer... tarantulas only eat live food, they are attracted to movement... so a dead and frozen something just won't cut it. I was not ready to start buying live feeder mice. I know that is part of nature but that don't mean I have to partake in it.

About 3 months in with this spider, I woke up one day to find it dead in it's hut. Another mystery as to why, but as I sit here years later, I wonder if it was due to malnutrition? Abigail never looked unhealthy but perhaps she was lacking that something in her diet... blood?

I hate to admit but I was more relieved than anything over the passing of this tarantula. I took care of this spider to the best of my ability. I never had luck on pawning it off to another responsible person or place to care for it so I did what I could for it... unfortunately it may not have been enough.

To whom may be reading this blog... I ask you to not grow more fearful of arachnids after this tale. Everything has it's place on this planet whether we see it as good or bad.

February 17, 2009

Spider #2

So, about 6 to 8 months after getting Maude, I decided to get myself a second tarantula. Things had been going so well with Maude; I figured that another would be all that much easier.

I learned how they can be escape artists and how to not let that happen again. I had been through a molting (skin shed) as well.

I had been studying tarantulas for a bit now. I was learning of the different species that I would see from time to time in the pet stores. I took note of the scale of aggression from one species to another, their size as an adult, coloring, etc.

I decided to get myself a Mexican Pink Toe Tarantula. I had learned that these are quite docile small spiders. They looked rather cool being jet black with hot pink toes. I learned that this is probably the only tarantula species where you might be able to have more than one in a terrarium... most other species will kill each other on sight and the winner will probably have the loser for dinner.

I got a small tank, set it up all nice for my new pet, which I hadn't gotten yet; and then I was off on the hunt for a Mexican Pink Toe. I managed to locate one out in the Markham, Ontario area and purchased it later that day.

I remember getting her home and marveling at the beauty of this little spider. I didn't have a name for her just yet and figured something would happen in time and she'd get a name. Sure enough, the next morning I woke up and checked in on her and to my surprise it looked as though there were two tarantulas in the tank! She molted. For whatever reason, the name "Daisy" came to mind. She flowered is what I believe my reason was for the name.

All seemed fine with her, she ate good, and was far more active than Maude. Pink Toes will build a web in the corner of the glass tank, above the ground and spend a lot of time in there. When it comes time to feed and a cricket happens to walk under that web... the Pink Toe will pretty much drop down on top of it's prey and then take it back up in that web to eat. They don't spend much time on the ground, so in a tank, they will walk the glass... and scraping tarantula poop is quite difficult once it hardens. It comes out like a clear liquid but dries hard and white.

Unfortunately, about 6 months later she just died on me. I found her sitting in the tank with her legs curled up beneath her body... sure sign of a dead spider. I have no idea why she died. I never knew her age, which is a down fall on buying tarantulas from pet stores. I often wondered if her molting so fast after getting into her new home may have had something to do with it? Normally they make a web bed of some sort, so is my experience with Tarantulas... and I wonder if she just didn't have the time to make that protective ground covering? I had no warning signs of the molt, never really do, or back in my novice days I didn't know what to look for. With Maude, she goes from a shiny dark brown to something much more pale, the hairs on her abdomen start to shed as well. I don't recall anything like that with Daisy. If I saw her in the pet store with a balding abdomen, I might have not picked her.

She was a cool little spider, if only on looks alone. I highly recommend one of these as a beginner tarantula because of their much more gentle behavior... they are less apt to attack you unless you really provoke them.

February 15, 2009

I was much like this through the afternoon...

It was a really nice afternoon for February. 0c and lots of sun. I took a friend of mine, Brian, down to my favorite local park with his kick ass camera.

We walked about the icy paths in search of birds and animals to photograph. I wanted to make his experience a really good one down there so I did more looking than photographing... hence why I pretty much felt like this Hairy Woodpecker.

If anyone is in the Etobicoke area of Ontario... stopping in at James Gardens and trekking through the Lambton Woods is a great hike. One can almost feel as though they are out of the city for a moment, even though they are right in Toronto.

February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day pt 2... new species sighting!

So, as this Valentine's Day continues right along... I have to make another quick note here, as I am happy to announce a new species sighting!

We decided to go out for dinner, down to a place called "Snug Harbor" in Port Credit, Ontario.

We had a great table, right along the waterfront. It was probably 20 minutes before sundown and as we sat, had a drink, talked... we also got to watch the water fowl finishing up their day. We saw dozens of Canada Geese, probably ten White Swans, lots of Mallard Ducks and in the mix were these smaller white and black birds. Upon closer viewing, and me remembering some of the species around due to my "Toronto Birds" book... we realized we were watching a number of Buffleheads! A small duck that is fun to watch... a speedy swimmer and if you take your eyes off them, they dip down under the water to feed.

Cool facts are that this is the smallest diving duck in North America and unlike most ducks, the Bufflehead is mostly monogamous, often remaining with the same mate for several years.

I really should start my life list...

Best Friends...

So it's Valentine's Day... just chilling before the day really gets going.

I know I've had a few downer notes lately but that's life... you got your ups and you got your downs.

I thought I would share a little bit about this happy couple who live with my parents. Lucky the cat and Maggie the dog.

As you can see, they are quite inseparable.

Lucky is a 22 lb LHD and Maggie is 11 lbs of a Silky Yorkie.

I guess they have known each other for maybe 8 years or more now. Their relationship didn't start off quite so smooth but that is so long ago. A day doesn't go by where you don't see these two in such a position.

It's funny, back when I was a child, watching cartoons... I always saw that cats and dogs were enemies. Who knew?

We can learn a lot from our animal friends, who easily see past each other's differences.

February 11, 2009

Closed her eyes forever this morning...

For those of you who have contacted me regarding the kittens... and how the littlest of the bunch is doing. Sadly, she was put to sleep this morning by the Vet. Her health has been deteriorating, she's not gained any weight and has been on a down slide health-wise the last number of days. She's barely been able to stand up so never mind feed. The food won't stay in her either, kept bubbling back up... and they thought it would be best for the little one instead of having her continue to suffer with her weakening health.

I only knew her for a very short amount of time. As I said, she was half the size of her siblings. A grapefruit was larger than her as I watched her sleep that evening, all curled up in the bed. I had such hopes for her but it just wasn't meant to be. She had the best care in my neighbour and her own mother cat who did try to get her to feed regularly.

She was never given a name, much like her siblings waiting for homes. I would like to give her one now... Molly.

February 8, 2009

he sure makes that coil of garden hose look comfy

Found this pic on my cell phone and remembered that August afternoon in 2007 when I opened my garden shed to find this little guy sleeping on the top shelf, using a coil of garden hose as his bed (that is a patio umbrella beneath). I quickly took this photo of him and then shut the door to let him go back to sleep. He never returned after that from what I have seen...

February 4, 2009

Rats! A Hawk attack!

I borrowed a pic from the 'net to give you a better idea of what a Red Tailed Hawk looks like.

The photo above is from the scene that happened today as I am about to describe.

For those of you who may not know me through Facebook... today, February 4th, 2009 was a rather sad day for me. The rat who has been living at the back of my yard all winter was killed by what I am 99.9% certain to be a Red Tailed Hawk.

I wrote about this rat in my blog a week or two ago.

I've enjoyed having this critter hanging out at the back, getting his share of seeds and nuts. I've watched him grow. Just yesterday I really took notice to his increase in size as I was telling Angie that I swear there was a Chinchilla at the back of the yard. He was just that big and fuzzy.

Today, I watched him all morning, going in and out of the cinder blocks at the back for his meal. He was always quick to run out, grab some grub and dash back into the blocks. I made it part of my daily routine outside to throw a cup of seed/nuts into one of the block holes to keep him from coming out as much, to keep him safe. I had been noticing a few cats hanging around down there waiting for him along with a few Hawks (Coopers and Sharp Shins) who had been snagging Starlings and Pigeons through January.

Unfortunately, shortly after 12 noon, I was preparing my lunch, decided to have a peek out the window and see what was going on... and then to view a large Hawk standing on the ground with something in his clutches. I got the binoculars out but I already knew who it was.

I snapped a couple pictures from the kitchen window. I then decided to open the back door and hopefully get a better view of the Hawk, and a picture to help identify him. The Hawk got spooked, even though he was at least 100 ft away. He flew up into the trees, zig zagged a bit back and forth and then flew off. I got a good view of him as he flew out of the yard, and as I said, I am quite certain it was a Red Tailed Hawk. I paid close attention to his tail feathers as he sat in the tree at one point.

I am sad for my little rat friend. He was the only rat to be seen so he is special in that sense. So many freak at the thought of a rat running around... but he kept his distance from the house, didn't bother anyone/thing.

I feel some guilt too because I had excitement to see this species of Hawk. I have seen Red Tails as I travel the Hwy 401 but never in my own backyard.

I am not upset with the Hawk; they gotta eat too! There's lots of snow around, so food is scarce for them too.

I went to work and left the rat there on the ground, in hopes the Hawk was going to return for him. Unfortunately that did not happen. Here it is 11 hours later, I am home from work, and the rat is still down there, dead in the snow. There is a small pool of icy blood by his mouth.

I will leave him there over night and hope he will be taken off by some nocturnal creature tonight or another scavenger in the morning hours. I wish for his death not to be wasted.

Lastly, we did give this rat a name... Gunther

Not My First Sign of Spring...

Hanging at the park near me on February 2/09 and noticed many Robins buzzing around in the forest. Years ago I would think that this is the first sign of spring... and back then it was. Now? Not so. I see them through the winters now, deep in the woods. I saw at least 6 in this spot. I began snapping pictures of the one here on the left and not long after this male Northern Cardinal showed up to see what the fuss was about. I am figuring in about 7 weeks I will be posting MY first sign of spring on this blog... stay tuned...

February 2, 2009

Sometimes it's difficult to get away from it all even when you think you did

To the left is a male White Breasted Nuthatch at Bronte Creek in Burlington, Ontario; and below is a Black Capped Chickadee.

Sunday February 01, 2009 has been the best day of the winter season so far and by a long shot. The sun was out in full and we hit a bamly +3c for an afternoon. It was on the windy side but that was okay.

We decided earlier in the week, weather permitting, we would check out Bronte Creek in Burlington, Ontario. A great bunch of walking trails although with the snow a pair of snow shoes or cross country skies make the trek much easier. Acres of forest, open fields and a river runs through it! This makes a good place to hopefully spot some wildlife. We've heard of what can be seen here from the many small birds species such as the very tame Black Capped Chickadees which more often than not will take seed from the palm of your hand, White Breasted Nuthatches, Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays among many others. Word is Snowy Owls are in the area but we didn't see any; along with a few Hawk species like the Red Tailed. Mammals are in abundance too but we only saw black Squirrels, gray Squirrels and heard the angry chatter of one Red Squirrel. Deer can be seen, if you are quiet and lucky enough.

There are buildings about the conservation area... very old houses (not open) and a small farm. Loads of House Sparrows live in the barns and hop about the old farm equipment within. There are Cows about and a Peacock pen too!

It's a great place to spend a nice afternoon, not too far out of Toronto. The only drawback is that it takes you a bit to get into the woods and away from the road noise of the QEW (highway). I am not keen on listening to the cars and trucks speeding by as I am on a nature hike.

In another year or two there will be an even bigger drawback as directly across from the entrance to the conservation area is a flat field with a nice big zoning sign; which means construction and development are coming soon. More houses? Shopping mall? There is a Tim Hortons (coffee chain) about 60 seconds down the road from the entrance already. To the north are some housing deveopments with hundreds of newer homes. The conservation area is protected, of course, but as more and more humans are drawn in... what will the animals do? Adapt? Move on? If so, to where? They are surrounded by housing developments, strip malls, main roads and one big highway.

So, while I enjoyed myself greatly with all that nature had to offer on this day; seeing that sign on the way into the park kept a bit of the grim reality in the GTA as it swells above capacity with humans and the need for more homes, more Walmarts, more chain restaurants and so on.

Sometimes, I am not very proud of the human race...