Archive for May, 2008

May 26 2008

Bye-bye Ginger

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

Ginger the tom catHe was a beat-up, feral tomcat, teeth worn to stubs, with testosterone-inflated jowls and scrawny, caved-in sides.

Our first encounter was not promising. A week after our arrival at our new island home, my husband finally let Pussicle and GoldiPuss out to explore our property. Within minutes, we heard the furious howls of a cat fight next door; then our cats disappeared. Four hours later, a bedraggled Pussicle returned, wounded, soon to become infected, necessitating an expensive course of antibiotics. Our beloved GoldiPuss is still missing after almost three years. Continue Reading »

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May 26 2008

Head & Shoulders to the Rescue

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

Itchy scalp? Dandruff? If you’re Canadian, you inevitably turn to Head & Shoulders shampoo, touted in its ads as the cure for both, and for soft, shiny hair. Continue Reading »

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May 20 2008

Stinging What?

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

Or how I learned to love nettles

Urtica dioica or stinging nettleThe first summer on our Pacific Northwest island, my husband, while jogging, inadvertently brushed a patch of Urtica dioica, commonly known as stinging nettle. Two years later, the scabs on his calf have still not completely healed. Consequently, I’ve kept a wary distance from these poisonous plants despite their reputed medicinal and culinary properties.

Until now, that is. Continue Reading »

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May 05 2008

Persecuted by Pesky Peacocks?

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

You’re not alone!

peacock on display on Gabriola Island BCSome people love peacocks; others hate them — and we inevitably hear all about it.

A sample of some recent queries:

One young man wondered how to perk up his listless pet peacock. Turned out he was feeding it only lettuce and vegetable scraps. We don’t pretend to be experts on peacock nutrition, but we advised augmenting its diet with a high-quality, dry cat kibble to give the bird a balanced diet with protein and other nutrients. It worked. Not long after, he wrote to say that his peacock was doing much better on cat kibble. We also told him to get a second peacock to cheer up his bird. Peacocks are gregarious and congregate in well-ordered flocks, and his bird was no doubt lonely. Continue Reading »

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May 05 2008

Peacocks Make Beautiful Pests

Published by under Tidings from Gabriola Island

Some tips to keep peacocks away.

peacock on display on Gabriola Island BCDuring the past few years, we’ve become increasingly fascinated by the peacocks who have taken up residence in our one-acre yard. We’ve seen them mourn for days over a flock member, killed by a careless motorist. We’ve observed them closely through two moulting seasons, as they lay in our yard, forlorn and lethargic, their plumage spread out on the lawn to dry after a rainstorm. They peer into our windows and peck at them to get our attention. They clomp like elephants on our roof, and sometimes fall off their high perches with a “THUMP” during the night. They can fly, but not far. Their flying style is sprinter-like, with bursts of energy that quickly peter out, no doubt due to their size, which is why they fly from level to level, using our house and garage roofs as jumping off points to the surrounding cedars. Yes, they are dirty and noisy, but we’ve begun to appreciate their amusing, if annoying personalities. We are learning to adapt. Continue Reading »

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