Montreal Nature (formerly Ottawa Nature

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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.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Alot in the news this week about Coyotes. Coyote was hit by a car not far from here. Probably one of mine.

People in Barrhaven were warned to be wary of coyotes. Apparently there have been a number of them sighted there.

Read a story last week about one of the smaller towns in the county. Apparently there have been alot of coyotes there too. One person set out poisoned food for them, and wound up poisoning the neighbour's dog instead.

West of Pembroke a woman killed a wolf that had eaten her beagle. She was in the habit of leaving the beagle chained outside for 12 or more hours a day, coming home from work midday to set out a plate of food. The wolf, it is thought, took to stealing the dog's food, and on the dog's last day, he woke up as it was happening. Three days later, the woman saw a wolf in her yard, and shot it.

There have been trappers hired to reduce the coyote population in carleton county. The news says that people should beware of coyotes. To hell with that. The coyotes should beware.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

On winter walks

As mentioned in my last post, there's been a warm spell lately, which was preceded by a tremendous amount of snow. it's made walking in the woods more difficult than it might otherwise be. This works for me. Nobody wants to walk there have the choice of rough, slippery or water. I spent my formative years walking on tundra. Those options don't frighten me. No birds sing, nobody speaks. All is still and silent around me. In a place like that, a man can think.

The coyotes have been at it again.

I was out for a walk this afternoon. the sun was setting, and there was a crust of ice and old snow beneath my feet. There's been a warm spell lately. Where there were once drifts over my knees (and I am not a short man), there is now a thin crust that doesn't reach the top of my boot. It isn't easy walking, but it's peaceful. Nobody else goes there when it's like this.

On the main trail, not far from where my path joins it. there was a tremendous mess. blood, fur, feces, and a deer carcass. There are no wolves here, that I know of. there are no vicious dogs. There are, however, coyotes. I've written about coyotes before. My admiration for them. that has't changed. Coyotes are not very big. Unless they crossbreed with dogs, the most they will typically weigh is 46 pounds, though the record is in the mid-70's. In other words, the animals that did this were probably about the size of a border collie. they don't normally prey on animals the size of deer, but they are adaptable, and there are an awful lot of deer in Ottawa these days. I can tell you that the innards, and one and a half legs were completely gone, and the carcass had been dragged some distance, as evidenced by the trail of blood and fur. I'm going to check back in the morning. it's supposed to snow tonight, and if they return to the kill, then maybe there will be some tracks, so I can see where they came from.

My admiration knows no bounds. I love coyotes, I really do. they are masters of their environment, and supremely adaptable.