Posts Tagged ‘Hiking’

DSC_0013R

(Does this look real to you?!)

We’ve uncovered an amazingly well-executed hoax here in Newfoundland:  Despite all attempts to convince us otherwise, we’ve determined that there are, in fact, no moose whatsoever in this Province.

Ask any Newfie, though, and they’ll tell you something like, “Oh geez, by, ya gotta watch fer alla moose!  Dere all over da place, eh?  Smash yer car up right quick dey will!”  HAH!!

Read any tourism brochure and it’ll tell you that the moose population is up to well over 100,000 on the island now and that a massive culling is in progress.  HAH!!  (again)

There are road signs giving dire warnings about the moose on the roads and you’ll hear tales of how the local won’t even go out of their homes for fear of being trampled to death.  Say it with me now….HAH!!!

Folks, it’s all a fargin’ lie!  It’s an elaborate hoax cooked up by some sort of Newfie Tink Tank to suck the tourists in.  So well co-ordinated is this deception that when we enquired of an Official at one of those Tourist Information places, “So…where the heck are all these moose we keep hearing about?”  Her reply was (get this), “Oh geez, dere was a bunch of ’em just run by dat window right dere just a little while ago…”  HAH and DOUBLE HAH!!!!  What a load!

Just because some Newfie Tourism Committee sat around brainstorming ways to increase tourism traffic while sampling the Screech, doesn’t mean we’re gonna fall for it.  It probably went something like this:

“Oh geez, I gotta a good one, eh?”

“Oh yeah?  Whatcha tinkin’, by?”

“Well, y’know how doze west-coasters got dem Sasquatches and Ogopogos and whatnot, eh?”

“Yeah…”

“Well, why couldn’t we do sumpin’ like ‘at, only ours could be, oh, I dunno, like say a giant beaver er oh!  Har-har-har!  Here’s a goodun:  What if we say we’re overrun wit moose?!”

“But, Frankie, me by, we got no moose…”

“Well, dat’s da beauty, eh?  We just say we do ‘n’ we put up a buncha sign’s ‘n’ whatnot ‘n’ get alla bys ta say dey just seen one a minute ago…”

“Oh, har-har-har!  Lord tunderin’, Frankie!  Dat’s some genius tinkin’ dere!”

All (imaginary) dialogue aside, the evidence mounts.  We’ve now been in Newfoundland for six days and we’ve seen exactly zero moose.  To further damn the Moose Conspirators, we’ve met and spoken to exactly zero fellow travellers who have seen so much as a single moose!  Oh the locals are holding fast to their minute-ago sightings and brudder-in-laws whose crew-cab pickup was Bullwinkled to an early death.  Hell, there are even local radio reports warning that the moose detector lights at such and such a location are out again and gawd-helpya if yer headed dat way.  AND!!!  On a hike through the bush, we encountered what appeared to be a pile of moose poop…but there was a guy standing just off the path with a fargin’ shovel behind his back!

Pfft!  What a crock!!

Nice try, Newfoundland Tourism Board!  You might have the rest of the world bamboozled, but you ain’t foolin’ us!

 

Ever since I first spied one of these:

Eastern Screech Owl, LaSalle ParkR

in a knothole in a tree, I’ve made it a habit when I’m hiking in the bush, to at least give such places a passing glance.  You’d be surprised how often it pays off.

Sleepy Chippy R 

The thing about hiking in the woods at home in Canada is that there’s really nothing out there that can hurt you unless, of course, you happen to live where there are bears or mountain lions. We don’t. We live where there are squirrels and rabbits, and while they can sometimes be terrifying, they will usually not attack.

I was a bit nervous about hiking in Florida and North Carolina because there are things out there in those woods that will kill and/or eat you. It’s recommended that you make a lot of noise when hiking in these areas so as not to startle lethal snakes and whatnot and give them a chance to get away. Hah! What about giving me a chance to get away, huh?! Isn’t making a lot of noise a bit like yelling, “Yo! Free meal, over here!?”

We decided to be extra wary, but maybe not too too noisy since we were hoping to find some interesting birds. Birds, as we all know, don’t like a lot of noise (I read that somewhere). In fact, if you announce your presence at all, they’ll just leave. Yeah, I know. Fargin’ snobs, eh?

So there we were, hiking through the woods on the Outer Banks. We were stomping lightly, I guess you’d say, and keeping a close eye on the ground for slithering and listening closely for fang-sharpening. If we were to be eaten by a snake, I was fairly sure it would come flying out from the underbrush. Still, I am in the habit of peering into knotholes, so, once in a while, I’d brave an upward glance.

Snake 1R

I have no idea what sort of snake this is or if we were having a near-death experience here, but I was praying it wouldn’t suddenly decide to unfurl itself and become hostile instead of sleepy.

Snake 2R

I’ve honestly never seen a snake do this before. Not that I see a load of snakes on a daily basis, and, generally when I do see one, I’m running like mad in the opposite direction and screaming my fool head off (and we don’t even have poisonous snakes in Canada). So technically, snakes could coil up in knotholes all the time and how would I know?

Still, we thought it was pretty cool.