Monday, March 06, 2006

Fun With Fauna

I have had some odd animal encounters here in Victoria. These are three of my favourites.

The Raspberry Rabbit

I like to visit the University Of Victoria and walk around.

I was walking along 'Ring Road' and saw one of UVic's numerous rabbits feeding on raspberries and other stuff. The rabbit was very skinny and there wasn't much food that it could reach.

The rabbit was very tame and allowed me to approach it. I decided to pick raspberries for it. I was afraid of being accidentally bitten so I had to think of a way to feed the rabbit. I would pick a berry or two and place them on my shoe and the rabbit would eat them. Occasionally I would pet the rabbit. This worked out quite fine and we went through many berries.

Several times cars drove by and slowed down. The drivers and passengers smiled and waved at me or pointed at the rabbit.

I must have fed the rabbit for about 20 minutes before it dashed into the hedges when a dog and it's master appeared.

Dealing The Dough

I was walking along "The Gorge" when I noticed some seagulls hanging around in front of a neighbourhood store. For some reason I decided to feed them and went into the store for old bread.

I walked back across the road and stood by a barrier made of metal posts joined by chains. A seagull landed on the barrier and was soon followed by two others. Each bird has its own post.

I started tossing bread to the gulls and they caught them easily. I tried different variations and sequences. They never missed a slice and seemed to know for whom the bread was intended.

I felt like the dealer of some bizarre poker game.

A Symphony Of Crows

One day I was walking in Beacon Hill Park and came across an unusual sight. The clearing in front of the bandstand was full of crows. There must have been almost a hundred of them.

I wished I had some food for them and wondered if they could be fooled with a pinecone. I tossed a cone across the field and all the crows took flight and landed near it.

I tossed another pinecone in the opposite direction and the mob of crows followed again. People walking in the park began to stop and take pictures. I wished I had a camera with me but kept tossing cones back and forth.

I finally got tired of the activity but I remember the feeling of power and harmony with nature. I felt like a conductor who had abandoned the bandstand and conducted a symphony of crows. It was awesome!

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