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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

I grew up in Ontario and Nunavut, and went to university in New Brunswick. For two years I lived in Ottawa, on the green belt. While I was there I wrote about nature. Then I moved to Montreal and I wrote nothing for a year. We've got nature here too, so I'm going to write about it.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Snowshoeing, yet again

So, out I went today. It snowed this morning, so the day was more or less useless for tracking. But I did see some actual animals, a rarity these days.

For the most part, the walk was pretty quiet. No birds sang. Normally you'll hear a crow at the very least, or some chickadees. Today, all was still and silent around. The sky was gray, the wind did not blow. There was not a trace of sun. The world lay dormant, and we walked through it like a peculiar dream.

it is an amusing fact that animals tend to pop up when you aren't looking for them. If I were to set out with the express purpose of seeing a pine marten, I probably wouldn't see one. I remain unconvinced that this does not stem from some kind of telepathy and a perverse sense of humour on the parts of the animals, the universe, and what gods there be. When I am NOT actively seeking animals, however, they occasionally crop up. Such was the case today. I stepped onto the back porch intent on strapping on the snowshoes, and an avian form streaked across my field of vision. Now, it's hard to tell with these things, but it's size, tail (which was squarish) and brown colouration suggests, to me, that it was a young male sharp shinned hawk Accipiter striatus, they look *alot* like Coopers Hawk Accipiter cooperii, both being local Accipiters of similar size and colour. it was really only the tale that tipped me off. They tend to eat small birds and rodents, so i guess i know why we haven't been seeing as many small birds lately as we might otherwise. Nature red, as they say, in too and claw.

I was walking, today, with my grandmother. "Where are the deer today" she wondered.

With the confidence of one who has read his Peterson's Guide to Mammals of North America with great enthusiasm, I told her that they are generally crepuscular, meaning most active during the twilight hours, and, as it was noon, we probably woudn't see any.

I took this photo about a minute after I said that. Deer have a particularly perverse sense of humour, based largely on timing and irony. There were a few more, which I will now share.

And then they got tired of being photographed.

Re-reading my guide, I learn that, in areas where they are not hunted, deer can be seen at any time. The things you learn.

I'm quite pleased with how those photographs turned out, all told.

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Blogger Aven said...

I particularly like the last picture, of them flashing their tails. Good action shot.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Fop said...

Thank you kindly.

Still going to link you, incidentally. I just haven't done it *yet*

5:08 PM  
Anonymous sue said...

Great pix of deer. They seem to pose rather vainly, don't they?

10:50 AM  

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