Big City, Little Homestead

Living rural in the city.

Month: September 2013

My rabbit Ringo is lost, Sud-Ouest borough

Monday I had a friend over and he arrived shortly after I let the rabbits out for a supervised foray at the front of the house. Even though I fenced in the yard for them, they hate it, and they insist on hanging out on the driveway and visiting the neighbour’s yard. So I let them, but I supervise. After about 20 minutes or so I shooshed them back into the house and went to work. Then when my friend arrived, he came to the front door, I brought him to the garage door, and he put in his bike and I did a few cuts on the table saw with him. I closed up all the doors, and went to the back yard to have a snack and then do a bunch of work.

I didn’t realize that Ringo had let himself out again until 10 pm, when the girls waited at the bottom of the stairs for their food. So for about six hours, Ringo was outside with no way back in. And he’s not the brightest, most adventurous rabbit. I fear him being taken by someone who has no heart for animals, thinking of rabbit as stew (by the way, if you ever make this “joke” to someone who has a pet rabbit, you’re an idiot). I hope instead he has been taken by someone, who seems to be in the majority, who felt sorry for the cute bunny rabbit, and that he’s in an apartment somewhere, confused by his change of environment and wondering “where my girls’ at?”

So I am looking for my rabbit, with the exact opposite of help from my city borough of the Sud Ouest, who think posters of lost pets is a “nuisance” and “not clean” so they take them down because “it’s against the law.” Meanwhile, the contract they give out for animal control – because the Ville de Montreal doesn’t think it is actually their in-house responsibility to provide this service properly to the residents – goes to a for-profit pound (with a bad reputation) at the very eastern tip of the island, 25+ km away and virtually inaccessible by public transit for the residents of our borough, many of whom are under the poverty line and unable to deal with major complications such as losing their pet.

I have written a lengthy letter to my borough to tell them how they are serving themselves more than serving the people who live here, but I would like to ask readers to call 311 if they live in the Sud Ouest or in any borough of Montreal and complain about the removal of lost pet posters. It is only by this kind of publicity that people notice that a lost, found, or errant animal actually is being looked for and by whom, it is only this publicity that calls out skilled volunteers who know the area and can help one look for a lost pet. And many people, in my postering foray yesterday, expressed hostility  towards the Sud Ouest administration and the offhand way they go about frustrating their residents.

Right-clicking the image should download a copy of the poster to your computer.

In addition, I would welcome e-mail from any Montrealers with business skills and savvy who would like to set up a small “business” (as it needs to be) to obtain the contracts that serve different boroughs of Montreal in order to provide a modern and on-the-ground alternative to shipping pets off to what amounts to an inaccessible factory – because the distant pound is certainly not a farm.

Pictures from Brome Fair, Labour Day 2013

I went away for Labour Day weekend to get a good hike in at Mont Mégantic (I also visited Lac Mégantic for one of their evening benefit shows at Musi-Café, the bar that was obliterated during the August train derailment). This was the view, in the distance, of the nearby village Nôtre-Dame-des-Bois from a lookout point on the way up Mont St.-Joseph. The road seen is the access road to the park.

In La Patrie, where I was staying, the bunnies decided the most familiar and comfortable place to hang out was under my car.

Look at that relaxed rabbit. Just look at her. Punk.

In a Sherbrooke parking lot, this lovely plant was blooming and a bumble bee fertilizing all of its flowers. I would love to know what the name of it is, and I’d like to get some seeds. 
Back in Stanstead,  cows doing what hippos do, in an overfertilized pond. Don’t drink that water, girls. 

 After taking the Vermont route through Derby Line and Newport up to the Quebec border at Mansonville, I finally got to the big Brome Fair at Knowlton.

I took many pictures of the home canning, gardens, baking and crafts section, but here is one category I would like to enter in next year: the mixed garden basket.

I would also like to enter the category for best Jamiroquai chicken, but chickens are not allowed in Montreal (except Rosemont) and I’ve already got my hands full with the aforementioned punks. 

Some more birds I’d like to be in possession of, especially with my miniscule woods-and-pond :

In the general category I’d like to enter the punks in next year (rabbits and guinea pigs) just because I can, I found a very very large and sleepy Holland Lop. Now I know what breed Elizabeth is at least half of.

 When I was a girl on the farm, we once got some fertilized eggs for our pet goose. She hatched three white geese and three African geese, like these:

The sheep section was interesting to see – some full wool, some recently shorn. Some so recently shorn, they had to wear little suits to be comfortable and protected.  Here’s a sheep with a very relaxed demeanor:

And two more, a different breed, who look quite curious (or hungry and waiting. Please keep your hands out of their pen. Management not responsible for injuries.)

A cow and calf from a Charolais beef farm:

An Ayrshire from a dairy farm. I find it interesting that the cartography of her spots seem to depict the limits of the sovereign seas!

And the big draw on a Saturday night: the midway.