Grandma & Grandpa's Farm

Friday, June 20, 2008

If You Go Into The Woods Today - Urban Jungle

Urban Jungle - or Forest Anyway

Yesterday morning I was almost in for a bit of a surprise! I think I have mentioned that hear from the Old Gnomestead in Port Moody Centre I can see Bald Eagles soaring while I am sitting in the comfort of my living room or bedroom-office. I can also see the occasional coyote on a quiet very early morning and can walk to the inlet to see harbour seals swimming or sunning themselves on log booms. If I can see eagles and coyotes seen from here in my suite in this three story apartment building I needn't mention the squirrels, raccoons, seagulls, pigeons, crows, and occasional raven need I?

However yesterday morning I just missed seeing another visitor to our neighbourhood! A juvenile black bear. At least I am told it was probably a juvenile by my apartment mate who sometimes has odd views on how big or small things are that she sees. Definitely a black bear however as this morning they were putting up signs to let people know that bears were prowling the neighbourhood and reinforcing the bylaws already in place which prohibit garbage being brought to the curb on garbage day before 7am and encouraging wise composting practices which would not attract bears into your yard.

I'd think it prudent to keep dogs and cats named Hotdog, Burger, Peanuts, Popcorn, Crackerjack, Wiener, and Picnic indoors and safe from these refugee Yogis and Booboo bears who might be on the lookout for pet takeout. I guess it would be wise to be wary even with the occasional coyotes and racoon who sneak about.

Now if you don't know it, I do not live in some small logging or mining town in the deep woods. Nor do I live in a community like Beautiful Banff, Alberta nestled in Banff National Park with its mountains, forests, hostsprings and so forth and wildlife galore that perhaps are no longer to be found much in the Continental US lower 48. (They were the only 48 when I was born, but that is another story.) Port Moody is a part of Metro Vancouver which has a combined population which I believe is over 2 million and if not is nearly 2 million. It could be between 2 and 3 million depending how far up the Fraser Valley you go. But even between 1 and 2 million it is a fairly large metropolitan area. Metro Vancouver is Canada's 3rd largest city for that matter.

We do live on the edge of wilderness. I guess in a sense on the edge of two wildernesses if you consider the ocean a great wilderness on it's own. There is virgin forest north of the city with wild tracts running south towards Seattle as well. There is also open farmland opening to the east and beyond that mountain and wild forest. I have heard there is a pack of wolves who have moved in to areas at the far end of one of the lakes that nearly come into contact with Metro Vancouver - yes wolves, not coyotes or wild dogs, but wolves. I believe they are timber wolves or grey wolves. They haven't been seen in the area for quite a while and it isn't a matter of them being "reintroduced" from elsewhere through the action of preservationists. Probably just beyond one of the mountains I see out my window there might be grizzly bears and of course deer, elk, moose, fox, bobcat, mountain lion and you name it... If they exist, there are likely sasquatch-Bigfoot out there too for the area is know to have had sightings.

I'll have to keep my eyes open over the coming days. The fellow putting up the sign about the bears said the the bears are probably living in the wilderness area in the slopes above our neighbourhood. If I can cox some more pictures out of my ancient digital camera - so ancient it only talks via serial cable and I don't think I can get it to talk to my MacBook - I'll see if I can catch a picture of the black bear - from the safety of my balcony of course.

It won't be a picture of a grizzly bear of course, but I am content with it just being a black bear walking down my lane.

~ Darrell


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