Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears,

Oh, my.  I finally had a day off, and so did Robin, so we decided to have one of our walk/cycle outings. Robin dropped me off at the Harewood Mines Road entrance to the Parkway Walkway, and I walked from there to the bottom of the trail - about fifty minutes away. As I got out of the car, Robin warned me that if I saw a cougar or a bear, I should run out onto the highway. (I'm still wondering which would be the most dangerous -- a bear, a cougar, or an 18-wheeler.) At any rate, I set off on my walk, smiling to myself and chanting "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!" That lasted about two minutes, until I heard a noise behind me. It was sort of a "Thwump" sound -- a growl? Something landing hard on the ground? I wasn't sure. Whatever it was, it caused my blood pressure to soar. I whirled around to face my attacker, who turned out to be a pleasant young man walking his German shepherd.

"Oh, my god -- you scared me out of my skin!" I said, smiling to take the sting out of the complaint. I couldn't stop my voice from shaking, so the poor fellow started apologizing. "I'm so sorry -- I was talking to my dog," he said.

I guess he had said something to the dog to keep him from running up to me, which was just as well, as I'd probably have dropped dead from fright if I'd seen a large furry thing appear beside me just then.

We walked along together for a few minutes, chatting about how having a dog by your side is great for keeping bears and cougars at bay. "However," said my companion, "if you want to see any wildlife at all, you're out of luck if you have a dog with you."  He and the dog turned off the path soon after that, but I still didn't see any wildlife on my walk except for one poor slug that was making its way across the path. I am pleased to report that it didn't attack me, either. Oh, and there were a few dragonflies, but they wouldn't stay still long enough for me to photograph them.

There were wildflowers everywhere -- this is summertime in paradise, after all. The pea plants dominated, but there were also various yellow flowers -- buttercups, dandelions, and so forth --  and these lovely blue cornflowers.

Best of all, there were the blackberries - greenberries, I mean, but soon-to-be-black berries -- all along the path.

Soon it will be time to walk and glean, walk and glean, turning the 50-minute walk into a one-hour-plus adventure.

About halfway down the walkway, I saw Robin approaching on his bicycle. He had left the car at the bottom for me and cycled up. We chatted for a moment, and then he rode on home while I finished my walk.

I was nearly at the bottom of the walkway when I saw something that is new this year. Someone has posted a sign to guide the weary (hungry, thirsty) hiker to the great Canadian watering hole, Tim Horton's. (Oops, sorry. Tim Hortons. The doughnut shop chain has lost its apostrophe somewhere along the way.) In case we can't make it all the way to the bottom of the trail and back along the highway to Timmy's, somebody has helpfully cleared a trail through the forest, complete with a sign. 

I am finally getting serious about taking off the weight that has been creeping back (Nasty, sneaky stuff, that weight. It's so hard to get rid of it, and so easy to get it back.) so I ignored the sign and the seductive trail, and finished my walk.  When I got home, I finally had my wildlife sighting for the day -- there were a couple of young deer wandering up the alley behind our house.

They didn't attack me, either, and one of them even allowed me to take her picture. Actually, I think she was too busy munching to pay any attention to me.


In preparation for this  post, I went hunting for a photo of Dorothy and her pals, or maybe a You Tube video of the "Lions and Tigers and Bears" song from The Wizard of Oz (the movie) -- but I didn't find those. What I did find were videos of several stage presentations. I thought you might enjoy this one. I do love the Cowardly Lion.


John Hayes said...

What a fun clip--nice job by that acting company of re-creating a great movie scene. From most bad to slightly less bad, I would say:

1. cougar
2. 18-wheeler
3. bear (assuming black bear, not grizzly)

AngelMay said...

Glad you were not attacked by bear or 18-wheeler or slug, Sandra. Loved the wildflowers! They must have made the walk extra wonderful. The town here is just bursting with them in everyone's yards uptown. I SO wish we had this place landscaped, but it's so big...(too much "yard")

Yesterday we saw a deer when we went to town. Two roundabouts have been recently built here (quite close together - go figure) and the deer, a gorgeous young buck with fuzzy antlers, had made it across the first side of the street between the roundabouts and was standing in the median. I was driving and I stopped the car and just waited for him. He stepped out into the middle of the street and stopped. I waited. Traffic was backing up. I waited. Finally, he gave a flick of the tail and trotted over to the other side of the street. I laughed. A police officer watching from a half-block away laughed, too.

I love a place full of wildlife! And wildflowers! We are both lucky gals!

Kat said...

Quite an excursion, Sandra!

That's a rather proficient production of "The Wizard of Oz", isn't it? I love the Cowardly Lion too. Bert Lahr was brilliant, wasn't he?

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