Monday, April 21, 2014

Welcome in - and Happy Easter Monday.  As I spend one more day making my way home on the six-hour drive from Cleveland and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I wanted to share with you a journal I wrote last year on April 18.  Maybe you're new to this site and didn't see it the first time.  But as the ice breaks up and spring finally deigns to descend upon us (only a month late, right?) this is journal seems to be timely.  Here we go - and we'll be back with you tomorrow with a live radio show and, of course, a new journal.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Just a Thought...

Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent.  This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn.  We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous - indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.  [Richard Dawkins]

It was one of the most astounding and heartrending sights of my life, and I saw it yesterday on Lake Simcoe.

We went up to gather our pups from our friends who take such good care of them when we're away, in an area west of Sutton called Willow Beach.  While driving along the shore, we couldn't believe the breathtaking colours of the lake, as the ice drifted in, preparing to melt away once and for all.  We pulled over and I grabbed both my cell phone and our camera, the latter which happened to be in the car after our Mexican trip.  Just dumb luck.

At first, I thought the contrasting blues, greens, whites and grays would be all I would be capturing.  And here's what I shot.


But then, a sight that I couldn't quite believe: a deer standing out on the ice.  There she is.


Our roadside stop attracted some other motorists' attention, including one who had binoculars.  Upon closer inspection, we could see that the doe had a couple of large pink, raw patches on her haunches.  We wondered if she'd perhaps been hit by a car and, in some state of shock, found herself out on the ice.  How long had she been there, floating helplessly towards shore?  What was this poor animal's story? 

Not long after we arrived and took the picture of her standing there, she lay down and started to lick the wounds she was able to reach. 

I was grateful that we happened first upon the scene and that she hadn't been discovered by someone shooting with something more deadly than a camera.  I'm afraid I'd have made a very loud city girl scene.  While a neighbour called animal services, we went home to our afternoon nap wondering what became of the deer. 

I wish this story had a happy ending.

After five hours and the efforts of police, fire and ambulance workers, and in front of a crowd of dozens, the deer had to be put down.  Our friends on Willow Beach called to tell us that the deer had been trying in vain to get into the police air boat, first on one side, then the other.  Three shots had ended the day-long drama. 

I suppose that, realistically, in examining the photos we took, there might not ever have been any hope for this deer's safe apprehension.  She was clearly injured.  The car theory started to look a lot more plausible and who knows if she'd have survived treatment once she was taken to safety.  I wish-wish-wish that the outcome had been different.  (I'm only glad we didn't decide to see how this story unfolded with our own eyes.) 

Every day that we're up north, I look out our windows, half hoping to see a deer.  I've always felt a sighting of one of these magnificent creatures is a moment of blessing and luck.  Yesterday, I got over myself and saw the situation for what it was: a frightened, injured animal, which I was hoping we might have helped in some small way, to bring it to safety. 

Damn, I wish we had.

(@CHFIErin on Twitter)


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