Creatures Great & Small


We live just outside the city – a 10 minute drive – in an old residential area with lots of big, big trees and large areas of designated green space/brush. So, there’s a fair bit of wildlife that has made its home alongside the human residents of this neighbourhood. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say that the wildlife is struggling to exist in the tiny bits of green space that haven’t yet been taken over by the human residents.

Anyway, when I go running, I go very early in the morning, just as it’s starting to get light. First, because I still have some energy then and can get the whole exercise business over with and get on with my day. But also because the air is fresher, there are no cars and only a few people around that early (dog walkers and other runners).

So, most mornings I also get the pleasure of communing a little bit with the local wildlife before they go back into hiding for the day.

However, this morning, I hit the jackpot. I don’t know what was going on last night in the critter world, but it was like a freakin’ no-petting zoo out there. A Disney movie’s worth of chirpy, prancey, skulkly, scrabbly, creatures. In 45 short minutes here’s what I encountered (along with the usual assortment of birds, dogs, cats, ducks, geese, squirrels and chipmunks):

  • 5 rabbits
  • 2 raccoons (Together)
  • A wild turkey (On someone’s roof)
  • A deer (Looked like a fully grown doe. The second deer I’ve seen this week)
  • A fox (At least I think it was a fox. It scurried by very quickly and was in among the shrubbery. It might have been a coyote or maybe a small puma, but I don’t think there are too many of those in Ottawa)
  • And, a big fat waddling gorgeous[1] LePew . (Fortunately I could smell him just before I saw him so was able to give him a very wide berth without having to make any sudden movements that might have scared him).

 I really need to get a pair of those camera sunglasses I’d been fantasizing about inventing for years until I found out they already exist. It’s just impractical to carry an actual camera while running.  And I see the most amazing things. 

[1] I’ve seen a lot of skunks in my life, but nothing like this beautiful creature. It was huge and dark, glossy black with two thick dazzlingly white stripes down its back and an enormous, proud, feathery tail. Seriously, this is the first time I’ve ever gawped in admiration at the beauty of a skunk. (While veering carefully away from it)lepew