Page 11


Connected to your community

Little lamb, And the fields were white as snow loved ewe Continued from Page 7

He liked that noise. So he picked out the loudest, funniest-sounding lamb, and chased her to make her cry. That lamb was Lily. When I came home from skiing I asked how everything went and Annie told me about the lamb that she helped to deliver. My mother had taken photos of Anastasia helping the ewe, and we looked at them for a while. Then I pulled on my barn coat and boots and went out in search of Lily, my favourite lamb. I found her, lying on her side just outside the barn. She didn’t have a mark on her. She hadn’t been trampled or kicked or bitten. She had just died. I don’t know for sure what happened, because no one saw it and the other sheep can’t tell me. But by the way Donkey was acting, all skitterish and guilty, I think he chased her around the barnyard, enjoying the sound of her funny bleat, until her little heart gave out. I had a good cry, then decided I wouldn’t get attached to another lamb. So I got attached to a ewe instead. It’s normal for expectant ewes to be a little friendlier than usual once they are in the confines of the lambing room. After all, they are dependent on you for their food and water. But Gracie was different. My sister first noticed that if you patted Gracie on the head, she just seemed to lap up the attention like a dog. If you rested your arms on the pen railing, she would come over and nudge your hand with her nose. She loves to be petted. Breaking my own rule, I gave her a name. Once the ewes have had their lambs and bonded with them for a few weeks, we turn them out to the barnyard. That’s when they usually go back to being quite nervous around humans. Not Gracie. She still comes over to me every time I call. She is so tame, I even brought her along with me when I walked in the Christmas parade. Gracie rode in the back of the truck, posed for photos and knickered at people when they called to her, like a good little fleecy celebrity. Gracie is in the lambing room again. I have lost track of how old she is; I suppose I could look up her ear tag number to find out. It’s probably her third lambing season. I hope she has an easy birth and I don’t lose her anytime soon. I love my Gracie girl.

Michael Runtz Nature’s Way EMC lifestyle - When one lives in an area for many years, one sees changes. Loggerhead Shrikes, once commonly nesting here, are now an Endangered Species. Conversely, Bald Eagles formerly Endangered are now surprisingly common; half a dozen pairs nest locally. Even more dramatic has been the explosion in goose numbers. Currently most geese are on their way to Hudson Bay and points farther north. They pause here to feed, waiting for the frozen north to thaw. While here, they roost in open waters such as the Mississippi and Madawaska rivers, and feed in agricultural fields. Recently Art Goldsmith and I counted thousands of Canada Geese between Arnprior, Antrim, and Pakenham. In one flock containing about a thousand birds were three smaller white geese. They were Snow Geese, which just like Canadas have had populations soar in recent decades. Small groups of Snow Geese are regularly encountered locally during spring and fall migration. Sometimes Snows mingle with Canada Geese but they can also be on their own. However, the numbers of Snow Geese in our area are mere drops in the buckets that visit fields southeast of Ottawa. Recent-


$ % &

% !& '  !"#




45th SEASON 2013 - 2014



John Buchanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s



By John Directed by

Pielmeier Tom Kobolak

Nov. 5-9 & 12-16

%()(*(! "+,-, ,+

         ! "##  

$ %  $& !%   ! '( &! ")( % *+  

 ! #"#) , -!    

! #*# $. $  .  / 0  !  ##" &1$&/   23.


Book and Lyrics by Marcus Stevens Music by Sam Willmott Based on the book Yo, Vikings! by Judith Byron Schachner Directed by Andrew Williams

Dec. 27 -30

!  #4&! +  5!  & ! &! 4# 67& $3..  /%  ( 8

'2!.4&).!.#)!, +EN'RANT#&0 "&!",%34 "!22(!6%.

$SU 0D\   0D\-XQ -XQ  -XQ-XO -XO $XJ 

The Nature Number is 613-387-2503; email is

&! #"# 6%  0  Â&#x153;


Season Tickets Now on Sale â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Five plays for $75...thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s simply no better value! For tickets call our box office. For more information please visit our website.






dark birds were previously called Blue Geese until researchers found them to be merely a colour variety of Snow Geese. Why so many geese? One big reason was the transformation of prairie and agricultural grassland to cornfield due to the increased use of corn as biofuel. When geese arrive at their northern nesting grounds, the females depend on stored fat for egg production. If fat, they produce a large clutch of eggs. If thin, few or no eggs are laid. Cornfields being rich feeding sites in winter have resulted in decades of higher egg production, and goose populations have risen exponentially. All goose species have increased; Rossâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Cackling, and Greater White-fronted Geese are also being seen with increasing regularity. Large numbers of geese will be present for a few more weeks. Since rare species could be present with the Canadas, it certainly is worthwhile to stop and take a closer gander!



ly I visited fields northeast of Cornwall, one of the prime staging sites for Snow Geese in Ontario. It was late afternoon and a cold northwest wind revealed that winter had not fully surrendered to springâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s warm touch. The brisk wind pushed to the southeast the clouds that previously had dominated the sky. When the evening sun finally broke through, it illuminated the eastern sky purple and black. It was against this dramatic backdrop that I saw one of the most memorable spectacles of my life. Waves of white dots moved across the darkened sky. At first there were hundreds, then thousands of dots. They were Snow Geese, and as their black-tipped wings lifted and dropped, they looked like tiny pulsating Christmas lights. Eventually the geese dropped like snowflakes into the fields, filling them and creating the illusion of a carpet of snow. I estimated that more than a hundred thousand geese were present. Not all were white. Some geese bore white heads and gray-blue bodies. These


Thinking of Selling, Downsizing or Moving? We Can Help! 613-623-5903 0307.R0011961251


Countless thousands of Snow Geese are currently visiting the Cornwall area.


West Carleton Review EMC - Thursday, April 11, 2013 9