Sunday, January 24, 2016


Yesterday, Saturday, January 23rd 2016, around 6.30pm, (temperature was minus 5 celcius maybe, and no snow on the ground), for the first time ever I saw a fox near where I live! I spotted this fox in East York, on a busy street, where the houses have  a ravine at the back; behind the homes and the ravine, the slope leads to the busy DVP roads, next is the Don river flowing in the middle of the Don Valley wooded areas. This fox appeared to be grey in colour with a bushy tail and I cant say much else; I saw it for about 10 seconds or less.

I had seen rabbits in my backyard around 2007 spring and then I could see them in subsequent years. I was seeing gopher families in my backyard until my neighbour plugged in all the gopher holes and  put up his deck about four years ago. My neighbour claims to have seen snakes in his and our garden but I have never seen them. I see black squirrels all year round. I think I did see chipmunks in my backyard but I am not sure if I am imagining it or if my memory's pretending it has! (I have definitely seen chipmunks in a cementary of Toronto and in Ottawa museum resturant where they come eat food from the patrons)I see families of raccoons and skunks. I see skunks  very rarely. I don't know if the cats I see roaming in my backyard (and giving fleas to my cat!) are feral or pet, but, every spring, I see about three cats,(not together) roaming around. 
 I saw a huge stag twice in 2015 and I was  thrilled to see such magnificent wildlife so close to my home! I had once seen a group of deer in the valley while walking across the Millwood bridge. I see cardinals every spring; I see woodpeckers in spring and summer. Also swallows, bluejays, blackbirds, once a hawk or eagle, on top of my neighbour's tree. I see yellow finches too, probably because of my neighbour's finch feed in the bird feeder. I see lovely butterflies in summer, sometimes, several at a time. Black AntsSpiders at home in summer, dozens of snails in the garden in spring and summer, both with and without shells, many insects in the garden whose names I dont know(my photos of them are blurred and so ...). 
Once there were about six baby rats in different parts of my house (mostly basement and ground floor)and I dont know how the hell they got in! There is not a tiny entrance to my home, my windows and doors are always shut, and this is one unsolved puzzle for me. My cat found them (on different days) and to my surprise, it dint 'kill' the rat but would either chase it a bit, hit with it's paw and sit and watch the struggling rat. As I spotted and caught, I put each of one in a paper bag and let it out in the garden; now, I believe my home is rat-free, touch wood!
This is the extent of fauna in my home. I believe in life-and-let-live. I am totally against pesticides, weed killers, etc. But, I do want my home to be rat free and cockroach free. Any other thing is welcome to live in my home(except red ants)

I am so glad that Toronto has so much space for plants, trees, birds, animals, insects and so on. 
We humans have taken over Earth and left no space for other living things. In countries like India, many species of birds, insects, animals, plants, trees are being wiped out, because people  take over all the space; we change the natural environment with  callousness and ignorance and make them unlivable for other living species. In Bangalore, where I lived the first 30 odd years of my life, we no longer have sparrows, swallows, tailor birds, paradise-fly-catcher, crows, squirrels, house geckos, lizards, snakes, frogs, many species of plants and weeds, butterflies, and so on.  I remember hearing that someone had seen a deer in GKVK campus about 20 years ago and now I am sure there is no deer, thanks to the excess of buildings there. I remember seeing a lovely paradise-flycatcher in the Hebbal campus when I was birdwatching with my husband. Now, hundreds of buildings, thousands of vehicles causing noise & air-pollution, more roads, more people, decrease in trees, plants & water bodies would have killed the birds or driven them to extinction.
I remember seeing a lovely species of water fowl called purple moorhen or purple swamphen in the Puttennhalli lake(between J.P.Nagar and Konanakunte); now this lake either no longer exists or is so polluted and where are the poor moorhens to go when there is no 'livable' waterbody? (I have gone crazy from the next para on! Sorry!)
Thanks to the corrupt, filthy, greedy, callous, politicians of Karnataka who are more than willing to do ANYTHING for money(...they will not hesitate to even will sell their wives, mothers, daughters for money) the natural environment of Karnataka is being destroyed and all living creatures except humans will slowly become extinct. Bangalore, Karnataka, the villages and cities of India will become so full of people, all other species will die out and then the people too will start dying.

No comments:

sound of crackling ice

My colleague was describing her visit to her dad's cottage last week. It's  the beginning of May and  the lakes of  northern Ontari...