Sunday, June 14, 2009


Three posts coming up to leave a photo and thought record of some memorable moments over the past couple of weeks.  No particular theme except to divide them in categories of beasts, birds and blooms.  

My interpretation of the word "beast" is very broad.  Here, some photos of a cat, a rabbit, a Chihuahua, a turtle, and Black Jack.  "Beast" almost always conjures up positive images, but I include a couple of photos of a baby goose bullying some ducks.  They should theoretically have been included in the bird post, but I guess they represent one instance where "beast" has negative connotations. 

This is Jocelyn with her cat Charlotte. They live in my building, and were enjoying some outdoor time Saturday morning, along with their rescued poodle, Philip. Philip is elderly, and quite deaf.  He wandered out of range of the camera, so his picture will have to be posted another day.   I know absolutely nothing about Charlotte, except that she has a very expressive face, and she is loved.  As for Jocelyn, her expression says it all. 
A couple of weeks ago, Bill and I were walking with Black Jack and saw this little Chihuahua.  The girl said she is a "teacup" variety and was rescued from the SPCA.  I have heard there is no official breed called "teacup" and that the term is only used by backyard breeders.  Still, I am very glad this dear little dog found someone to love her.  She lives with a very large cat who declined my portrait request, wandering off, much as Philip did.  If you look closely, you can just catch a glimpse of the cat's ears.
I took the next two pictures on that same walk.  We stopped at a thrift store and I bought a navy blue cushion.  Then I stopped to buy some groceries and Bill waited with Black Jack in the park across the street.  When I returned, Bill had put the cushion on his knees, and Black Jack was enjoying her soft seat, as she checked out the nearby trees for squirrel action.  Bill always considers Black Jack's comfort, just one of the things about him that warms my heart.  I mean, think about it.  There is Bill, sitting on a hard rock, while Black Jack sits in luxury.
Here is another example of ways Bill tries to make Black Jack's life better.  He knows that, for a little dog, getting a good view of the action in trees can be quite a challenge.
Another day, I took Black Jack along Point Grey road to Tatlow Park.  She hopped across the rocks in this pond.
I've just recently become aware how comfortable she is on rocks.  I love her alert expression in this picture as she spots something of interest.
Phyllis, Bill's sister, knows much more about rabbits than I do.  She has a black and white Dutch bunny named Nudge.  Some day, if she gives me permission, I will post a picture of Phyllis riding her bike in Winnipeg, with Nudge sitting happily in the basket.  The bunny below was at Jericho Park a couple of days ago.  I am wondering if a heartless human dropped it off.  I'm worried that it will have a very difficult time surviving if it was previously a sheltered pet.  I continue to look for it, but have only seen it that one time.  Maybe, Phyllis will be able to tell me what type of rabbit it is.  Could it be a Dutch bunny?
I have never come to terms with the fact that beasts eat other beasts.  That hunting instinct is becoming more and more evident in Black Jack.  It both fascinates and saddens me.  Recently, she has begun to crouch low and creep up when she sees rabbits.  Have no fear for the rabbits.  Bill and I are both really careful to make sure Black Jack has no chance of satisfying her prey drive.
More Black Jack photos.  She loves checking out the action in the water under the bridge.
Here, she has spotted a family of geese.
I was fascinated to watch some families of ducks and geese competing for food.  Here, the photograph is quite poor, but if you click on it, you will see that a young goose is trying to intimidate the ducks.
The adult duck is telling off the adult goose at the left (who is unfortunately cut out of the picture).  I had the feeling he was saying something like, "Can't you supervise that kid of yours?"  Meanwhile, the delinquent goose continues to glower menacingly at one of the ducks. There was a time when I thought of nature as an example of harmony among living beings, but that all changed one day when I watched some seals on a rock.  There was always one climbing up to push another off.  Watching the herons at Stanley Park and the eagles on the web cam are more examples of sibling rivalry that can be lethal for those with the poor luck to hatch later. I guess all living beings have the potential to be cruel - one of those facts of life I will never be able to fully accept, as much as I understand nature's need to weed out the weak to strengthen the species.  
Last night, Bill and I walked Black Jack at Jericho.  Bill spotted this turtle, quite a distance from the pond, and pointed away from the water.  It's back was completely dried out, and we perceived it to be dying, or at least, in extreme distress.  As I have mentioned over and over, Bill is one of the truly gentle souls in this world, and one more time, my heart was warmed by his actions.  He carried the turtle to the pond, even as he pondered the wisdom of doing so.  He remembered a scene from the film March of the Penguins when one baby penguin marched in the wrong direction to certain death.  The people filming were told not to interfere with nature, and did not turn the penguin around, a small step that could have saved its life.  I don't know.  Perhaps there were good reasons why we should have left that turtle alone.  I would be interested to read your thoughts on this.
Once in the water, the turtle began to swim, but then seemed to be stuck under this heavy branch.  I used a stick to lift the branch, and it finally moved on, I'm hoping to a long and healthy life at Jericho.
I began this post thinking I would just put in the photos with very little comment.  It is interesting to me that blogs, as Jean once mentioned, "...take on a life of their own."  Stay tuned for part 2 (birds) and part 3 (blooms) in this series.  Articulating thoughts I barely knew I had is one benefit of posting, although I must add that whenever someone takes time to comment, the input makes me feel especially privileged and stimulated.


  1. There is a pond full of turtles at Caltech. They end up all over the campus, and students deliver them back to the pond if they are going that way. One of the many lovely things about this great school.

  2. I love all the pictures and the commentary! Bill and I had a painted turtle when we were small so I know why he rescued the turtle. The little rabbit is a lop eared bunny but that is all I know about lops. It is definitely a domestic pet which has been released! Wild bunnies do not have floppy ears!! Too many people take on rabbits because they seem easier to care for than a cat or a dog. In fact, if properly looked after, they are a lot of work, but reward their humans with lots of tricks and bunny love! Phyllis

  3. It is not true that I even once thought of turtle soup as I held that turtle. This is what I was thinking.

  4. I'm wondering what Charlotte was looking at so intently? She rivals BJ's intensity! I think the term "teacup" refers to the size, more than the breed--but I'm no big fan of little [often yappy] dogs [BJ excepted!]. I have always loved geese (and ducks) tho they leave a bit of a mess underfoot!
    I know what you mean about blogs taking on a life of their own--and it IS an honor when someone engages enuf to leave a comment.

  5. I always return turtles to the water too. It seems like the right thing to do, if only because humans live on top of a moving five- or six-foot tower and the world must be a much more confusing place seen from a height of only a couple of inches.

  6. Thanks for the comments, everyone!

    dp, I didn't know that about Caltech. Lovely story.

    Phyllis, I will have to ask Bill about the painted turtle!

    Bill, I lost sleep trying to think of a funny come back to your much appreciated comment. Help me out, somebody, please!!

    EvenSong, I think Charlotte was looking at Ollie, the cat who lives just above me. I have a photo of him a few posts back, although I didn't know his name at that time. And yes, the mess underfoot is one of the small drawbacks with geese. And again yes. I hadn't thought of it quite that way, but "engage" is the key word. Thanks so much.

  7. What a great picture of Jocelyn and Charlotte! Charlotte definitely looks like a well-loved cat.

    I will never understand why people think their bunny will survive in the wild. It is a huge problem in many parks - especially since the same people who toss their bunnies into the bushes fail to spay or neuter them first! And those who continue to breed rabbits willy-nilly and sell them to the first person with an open wallet are no better - grrrrrr, don't get me started!

    But the link Bill gave in his comment made me laugh out loud!

  8. Carole, thanks for your comment! For some reason, I missed it when responding to the others. It was good to know you would have done the same thing. You have a great way with images! Moving towers must be exactly how turtles would see humans.

    Thanks, Jean. I wondered as well. Do you think it could have been a female, red-winged blackbird? There are so many of them in that area.

    Sad about the rabbit. I've never seen that particular one again. The other thing that drives me crazy are the people feeding the birds crap. A woman was throwing them large chunks of what appeared to be stale cake, to the great amusement of her child. She was standing right by the "do not feed the wildlife" sign. At least if they would bring food designed for water fowl! Grr...

    I laughed out loud too when I saw that link:)