If It Looks Like Duck Poop ...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007
The saga of the gym continues. I telephoned yesterday morning and left a message for G who was supposed to be working in the afternoon. It's now bright and (very) early the next morning and no phone call. I'm contemplating cancelling my membership altogether for a variety of reasons, this is just a couple of extra nails in the coffin. I'm going to get in touch with the girl who signed me up and have a big talk about the situation later today. And yes, I'm still wickedly pissed off but I've gotten past the "I'm so mad I want to cry" stage. Don't ask...ok fine...when I get really mad, I start to cry. Not sure why I just do. And I'm not the only one, my mother and sister in law do it too.

Moving on. As tonight is my brother's night out with his fellow gamers, the sister in law and I took the kids to Hawrelak Park for a walk. The hope was that we'd wear the kids out with some fresh air and lots of excitement so they would sleep soundly. Unfortunately the battery for my camera needed charging so no pictures this time but maybe next week if we go again. We started in the main parking lot and headed down to the store/hut/shack (not sure what it's called) on the edge of the lake. Immediately I was blown away by the number of Canada geese walking around on the grass and in the water. As we walked along, the kids immediately focused not on the wildlife but on the fact that there was duck and goose poop everywhere and tried to avoid the gooey gross obstacles in their way. "DUCK POOP!" they cried every few steps. Right outside the washroom we saw a mother-to-be goose nesting up against the wall of the building. Geese were coming up out of the water as soon as they saw us, looking for food.

We made our way around the edge of the lake, saying hello to all the birds along the way. We also got to explain to the kids that no, the birds were not in fact fighting each other but playing a game of love tag. Springtime is, afterall, for lovers. There were a number of nests but we didn't catch sight of any baby ducks or geese. Perhaps it's a bit too soon. We did however watch as a mom and daughter (human) who were running from a dad and the other daughter during a game of tag trip on the edge of the bridge and both mom and daughter took a header into the wooden surface of said bridge. If the sound of them hitting the planks wasn't so horrifyingly sickening it would have been hilarious. At least to me...

Hawrelak Park has a couple of vending machines (free) that offer bird feed so people can use it to feed the birds rather than treating them to processed human foods. There's even a big sign beside the feeders that says "Bread and potato chips don't occur in nature. Please don't feed them to the wildlife". Five feet away from the sign, we encountered a family with a bag of Wonder Bread throwing bits of it to the geese. Shameful. We filled our pockets with the sawdust like pellets and the kids had a grand time throwing them at various birds. It was interesting (and not necessarily in a good way) to see how used to being fed by humans all the birds were. It's great for the humans but what happens when they fly south for the winter and have to fend for themselves?

The kids had a great time - one of their favourite things seemed to be making their mom and I read various signs and plaques we encountered along the way. I had never noticed it before but there were a number of trees which had been planted on the far side of the lake by families to commemorate loved ones who had passed away. When I kick it, I hope someone sticks a tree in a park for me.

Rounding the far side of the lake, the kids decided it was time for a game of tag. Despite being a bit pooped and hot from the hour long walk, I gladly chased screaming children through the park (just my niece and nephew, not other people's kids). It was just what I needed. Kids are wonderful (as long as they're not mine) and stress free. Not to mention great stress relievers (as long as they're not mine). Five minutes of running around, avoiding being tagged by a screaming two year old was more relaxing than a massage. Ok, maybe not quite. If you threw in a Strongbow or the perfectly made Caesar with that massage, I might just have to take it. But then again, Strongbow doesn't call me Auntie Taran or ask to be carried back to the car when it's too tired and lay it's head on my shoulder. Yep, that's the ticket.

We're hoping to spend a lot of time in the park this year - River City Shakespeare Festival, Symphony Under the Sky, the kids' birthdays, weekly walks around the lake, picnics, bbq's, Heritage Days (or as we call - Meat on a Stick day).


Sheamus the... said...

i just got back from the park...anyway I love the title of this blog. It intices much thought into my day. A practical warning indeed.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You have inspired me to walk home through the park after dropping off the car for servicing tomorrow. It's about 1.5 hr walk and it's a wild park, so won't have any kids to chase, but I may run into a few deer and coyotes. Oddly all the ducks and geese stick to the little neighbourhood park by the lake - they are such wusses.

Wandering Coyote said...

I cry when I'm really angry, too. Always have.

I guess now we understand why in some countries our beloved Canada geese are considered "pests."

I hope you get some satisfaction from the gym. Like I said before, your anger and displeasure are justified.

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