The national park.

Back in 2008 I went travelling in Canada. I joined a travel group called ‘Moose Travel’ and had an amazing time. I saw much of Canada and took some wonderful pictures. I met some amazing people and saw some awesome wildlife. We were on the ‘Moose Travel’ bus on our way to Ottawa. The guide took us to a national park along the way and it was HUGE! We had to stay inside the bus and the animals could wonder around freely. I saw bears, wolves, elks and lots of others up close. The guide gave us carrots and said we were welcome to feed the elk. I fed this elk and snapped this picture. To be honest it’s probably one of the best pictures I ever have. He munched away and stayed there awhile looking very happy. After awhile he got bored with us and moved onto the next car or bus.

After that I remember the guide pointed out some white wolves. No kidding these wolves recognized the ‘Moose Travel’ bus and ran after us as we drove along. I was scared of wolves as a kid, I had nightmares about them but I found these guys interesting and cute.

It was the biggest national park I’ve ever been to and so far the most interesting. I hope I can go travelling again soon and meet some more fantastic creatures.

The white wolves.
The white wolves.

Injured cat.

When I was living at my old house share with nine room mates I noticed a cat hanging around as well as Luke the jack rabbit. This cat was super friendly and I sat out on the porch petting it. It was a grey and white fluffy cat. However whilst I was petting it I noticed an open wound on it’s neck. It looked like a bite mark and I began to worry about the poor thing. He didn’t have a collar or anything to say where he came from. I sat there for a moment debating whether or not I should take him to the vets. It was injured and if it happened to be a stray that wound could get infected. After a time I decided ‘yes I should take him’ and off I went to find a box.

The only box I could find was one where the lid didn’t close on its own. I caught the cat and got him to my car. Unfortunately he kept jumping out the box and I kept having to re catch him. There was no one around to help me keep the lid closed and after several tries I had to let the cat go. I didn’t want to but he just kept escaping, if there was someone around to help me keep the lid closed it would be a different story. So anyway off he went….

I didn’t see the cat again for several months and I kept wondering how he was doing and if he had a home. After about 4 months or so I saw the cat again. I took my chance and ran to him. I checked his neck and to my happiness found his neck had completely healed and he was ok. Maybe he had a home after all and the owners took him. I said goodbye to the cat and off he went on his merry way.

The cat in this photo is not the one I tried to help but he looks an awful lot like him. So glad that other cat was ok and northing bad happened to him. :-)!

pretty cat photo 2.
pretty cat photo 2.

The white rabbit.

I used to live in a house share with nine other housemates. It was always busy but sometimes a lot of fun. I spotted a rabbit that liked to hang around our house. He was there so much that I decided to name him Luke. Well in England they would be called hares but over here in Canada they’re called jack rabbits. They turn brown in the summer and white in the winter. They’re always seen in the city and I think they’re sweet.

One day I spotted Luke hanging around outside the window of the basement. He was still brightly white so I decided to take a picture of him and then much later on blog about him. He looked like the rabbit out of ‘Alice and Wonderland.’ All he needed was a watch, glasses, a jacket and to stand on his hind legs. “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date! No time to say “hello, goodbye.” I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!” Alas he just sat there staring at me waffling his nose. I didn’t chase him down a hole.

He was there for sometime before hopping off. I’ve seen him running across the road before. These guys are super fast and spry! Many people consider rabbits a problem but I see them as gentle, calm and collected creatures. I have currently moved out of that house share so it’s unlikely that I’ll see Luke again. However I will probably be seeing plenty of his rabbit friends around instead.

Global warming worries.

The more I watch the more I worry about global warming and the affect it’ll have on the animals, plants and future generations. There is a phrase – seeing is believing. I find we are seeing but not believing. Why is it even a debate anymore?? You can see it happening!!

Take the UK for example. The place I grew up and called home. We’ve always had a lot of rain and flooding. That is British weather. But I find as the years go on the higher the floods are getting and they seem to be more powerful. I just don’t remember them being that bad when I was a kid. Houses are getting destroyed and many people have to relocate. What will this be like in the future? Will more and more people across the UK be homeless? It’s looking highly likely to me!

And this Jasper glacier. I’ve been here many times and they have tall poles in the ground on where it used to be. These poles are miles from where the glacier sits today. Will there even be glaciers in the future or will they all disappear?

Now I know that the earth goes through natural warming and cooling cycles. I am not denying this and neither are the documentaries I have watched. In matter of fact all global warming documentaries say that the earth has gone through natural cooling and heating cycles in the past. But the difference is that we are speeding up the already natural cycle and making it happen faster than it should. This IS the issue at hand.

I just don’t understand with the global warming deniers how they explain all the pollution in the air and where it goes…. The amount we pump up in the air everyday, day after day must be doing something. It can’t be doing nothing. There’s more people on the planet now than ever before, our population is booming. We’re all energy hungry, every single one of us.

Think of the rain forest being cut down. I think people forget that this contributes to global warming. The less trees there are the more the planet will heat up. Think of the corals dying. They’re all dying because the ocean takes in much that we pump up into the air. I don’t understand how the deniers explain the crisis of the rain forest or the corals because that is clearly OUR doing!

Global warming worries me an awful lot. What will become of everything? More importantly though how could we have let this happen to our beautiful planet?

ice melting on a lake.
ice melting on a lake.

Horse riding in Jasper.

I had to drive 4 to 5 hours to get to Jasper. I was going to go horse riding all day in the mountains once I got there. It was just me and the guide and once I got to the ranch I was given this beautiful horse to ride. It was one of the prettiest horses I’d ever seen. The guide also had a hairy border collie with him and the dog trotted along side the horses as we went along the trail. The guide was ahead of me and my horse had to follow him. Sometimes I had to gently kick the horse because he kept falling behind. The guide was forever bending branches out the way so they wouldn’t smack me in the face. The trees where very thick and the grass extremely tall as we got deeper into the wilderness. My horse was getting bothered by flies and when I turned and looked I was shocked to find the amount of mosquitos that had landed on him.

The horses had to climb up the small mountain. I basically clung on for dear life but it was worth it when we finally got up top. Both me and my guide had lunch up the mountain. I could tell my horse was tired as it was snorting and panting away. I played with his dog for a little while and we just sat, relaxed and looked at the amazing mountains!

Getting down was a little harder I remember. We couldn’t ride the horses down the mountain, something to do with their shoulders and it was too dangerous. My guide lead the way and I tripped and stumbled down but managed not to completely fall. I did think if I were to completely fall the horse would land on top of me…. I was happy when we finally got back onto some flat land.

As we headed back after a busy day the guide owned other horses in the area and they wondered around freely with bells on them. I remember the free running horses followed as we rode back to the ranch. All you could hear was snorting horses and clanking of bells. Then a car came down the narrow line. My horse didn’t like this car and began to freak out. The driver then switched off the engine and we passed with all those horses no problem. After a point the guide and I left all those other ones behind as they could only go up to a certain point. There was a lot of jumping on and off the horse. My legs were getting tired so my guide had to give me a leg up a fair few times.

I took lots of pictures during this trip and I think my horse was very happy to go back to his paddock and eat grass. I’d go again in a second it was amazing! I stayed in a bed and breakfast near the ranch for two nights after that I drove back to Edmonton with a huge smile on my face. But not before I said goodbye to the dog and horses.


Naughty Pogi.

I lived in Millwooods for just over a year. The place had two lovely dogs. One called Stella and the other Pogi. Stella was a Labrador and Pogi a boxer puppy. Now because Pogi was only a puppy he got up to all sorts of naughty things like chewing people’s shoes and digging holes in the back yard. I once bought a six pack of chocolate muffins and when I came home I found they were all gone. Pogi had somehow snuck into the room and raided the cupboard. How he wasn’t sick later I’ll never know. He loved to cuddle, going for a run and was a very high energy dog. But if there is one thing that I’ll remember about Pogi it is this sweet story :-

I really like the show ‘The Walking Dead’ and I get deeply involved in the storyline and the characters. Pogi was lying on the couch next to me and a scene came up where Carol had to shoot a young girl who was going slightly crazy. This was not an easy thing to do and the girl wasn’t even a walker. I was engrossed throughout the whole thing and when the young girl was shot dead I cried. Pogi raised his head straight away from his sleepiness when he sensed I was upset. He then put his cute face up to mine and licked my tears away. He then lay on my lap and I hugged him as he licked me more. Pogi made me feel better. It just goes to show how fantastic pets can be when you’re feeling sad. They’ll be there for you no matter what!

He was really great with my landlord’s son too and used to play with him. Stella was such a wonderful dog too, I loved her so much but she behaved more than Pogi. He got out of the yard a few times too with Stella in tow. They always caught Stella first and had to run around the block after Pogi.

I also danced around my rented room to a song and Pogi joined in loving every moment of it. He was certainly a very memorable dog!

A pet will never hate you, it will love you no matter what you do to it. Please treasure your pets.

Pogi and Stella!
Pogi and Stella!

Calgary zoo.

I’ve been to Calgary zoo tons of times. The last time I went I was lucky enough to see this adult female elephant giving herself a dust bath. She was grabbing the dust by her truck and throwing it over her back. I love elephants they’re my second favourite animal. She also had a youngster with her roaming around the enclosure. They had a tire hanging down from a tree to play with and some rocks to rub up against. After her dust bath she was touching trucks with her baby.

I saw other things as well like hippos, fish, giraffes, an anteater and birds. It looked like the hippos and giraffes were sharing an enclosure! But when I looked more closely I did see a fence separating them. I heard that Calgary zoo has the best breeding programme for their animals. It took me all day to walk around this fantastic zoo. Maybe I’ll go again one day but since I live in Edmonton now it is quite a drive for me.

hippos and giraffes.
hippos and giraffes.

Scary spiders!

I am a complete weep when it comes to spiders.  I could blog for hours over the scary spider stories! When I was a kid my family and I stayed in a spider cottage. We called it the spider cottage because they were living in the thatched roof and then coming out and scaring us. I think this is where my fear of them came about just because in that particular place we were over run with them. I don’t like their 8 legs running across the floor. Just thinking about it sends a chill up my spine! I almost run into one at work and screamed the place down, I had one in my hair once and I’ve seen the egg sack of a spider explode into thousands of baby ones. They are by fear the creepiest thing on the planet. But I know nature needs them and they are important.

In this picture I found this big guy camped out next to my bed. With much screaming done I managed to find a glass and trap it. I slid paper underneath and tipped the glass the right way up. I could see it running around inside probably with confusion but I bravely took it to the door and dumped it outside. I say ‘bravely’ because it was for me. Five minuets passed and oh yes another one came running across my floor probably just as big. I tried to get rid of it the same way but that didn’t quite work out. As I tipped the glass up the right way the second spider didn’t fall to the bottom like the last one did. It stayed at the top clinging onto the paper. Then it slowly began to squeeze it’s legs out! Well that was it for me I screamed, put the glass down and fetched my housemate.
“Oh wow he’s a big guy! I’ll get him out.” Said my housemate and out went the second one.

I know my stories can never compare to lets say a venomous spider bite or indeed one falling down my neck but for me these encounters are quite enough. I’ve had nightmares about them in my bed and everything. I know that without them we’d be inundated with flies so I try and get them out if I can. But do they really have to look so terrifying? Leave comments below about your scary spider stories. I’d like to hear some more.

Helpless Tigger.

When I was 6 years old my family and I decided to get a new kitten.  We all wanted a pet apart from my dad but eventually he gave into the idea.  So my mum went out and got a ginger tom kitten who was the last one in the litter for sale.  She brought him home and my sister Laura and I had the task of naming him.  I wanted to him Tigger from ‘Winne the Pooh’ so the name stuck.  We were all happy with the new member of our family and I couldn’t stop hugging the little cutie.

After having all of his vaccinations he was allowed to go outside.  We’d installed a cat flap for him and when he got the hang of it he could go in and out as he pleased.  My parents discovered that like most cats he was quite the explorer.  He kept getting into the garden shed and hiding in the garage.  However one day his exploring got the best of him and he got stuck up a tree.  This tree was very tall and in our back garden.  He sat up there crying for help and that’s when Laura and I heard him.  We were playing ball in the garden when we heard our little kitten mewing so we dropped the game and tried to look for him.  We couldn’t figure out where he was and then we looked up the tree.

“Let’s get mummy and daddy quickly.  He’s stuck up there,”  Laura said and we rushed inside to get them.

When my parents came out with us they scratched their heads thoughtfully as they tried to figure out how they were going to get helpless Tigger down again.  Eventually dad said,

“Oh I’ll climb up and get him.  I mean it’s the only way.”  So he grabbed the tree branches and started climbing.  We all shouted encouragement as he got closer and closer to stuck Tigger.  He reached out to the little kitten to take him to safety when all of a sudden clever Tigger ran down all the branches he’d just climbed.  He moved like lighting and before we knew it he was safe on firm ground again.  Unfortunately our dad was far from safe.

“Oh great now I’m stuck up here!!”  Then he shouted, “Help, help!”  My mum scooped up Tigger and hugged him closely.  We were all so busy fussing over tiny Tigger that we forgot about our heroic father.

Thankfully dad did manage to get down from the tree but with much difficulty.  The tree lashed at his back and when he was back on the ground he was badly cut.

“Thank you daddy,”  Laura and I both said.

“That’s the last time I climb up after that cat!”  He shouted and went inside to bath his back.  We all followed him and that was the end of an eventfully day.

For years after that dad brought it up from time to time that we’d forgotten about him up the tree.  It became a well known family story but now even he laughs at it.  Tigger was with us for 17 years and lived a ripe old age.  After he passed away my parents got a new cat called Archie.  He is still up and bounding around today.

Archie.  Mum and dad's new kitten.
Archie. Mum and dad’s new kitten.