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Do not feed the coyotes….

DSC08683The City has finally put up some signs letting people know there are coyotes in Sam Smith Park. They have been around as long as we’ve lived here, but it seems that there have been increased sightings over the past couple years. At least I think it is coyotes we have. It could be we have coy-wolves which have apparently become more common. I don’t know that I could tell the difference unless perhaps I saw them side-by-side.

Last winter, the dogs and I were followed by one on the filtration plant grounds. The coyote kept the same distance from us – about a football field away –  but was clearly checking us out. When we left the grounds and walked along Iris, the coyote followed as far as Twenty Third Street. At that point we had reached Twenty Fifth and turned south.

In the fall I saw one coming up from the lake. The coyote was only 100 feet or so from us but ignored us completely and trotted along the path and into some woods. We have a dog walker who takes the partners out for a long walk early afternoons, and she has seen coyotes a few times over the past year, including in pairs. A couple years ago, I watched one trot down the middle of Lake Prominade and turn up Twenty Fifth street only to disappear shortly after turning north. One of the local coyotes is wearing a radio collar, and I presume somebody somewhere is tracking its movements.

As far as I know, nobody around here has been threatened by the local wildlife, and I haven’t heard of any dogs attacked in the park, but still it is worrisome to have wild carnivores casually wandering around the park and the neighbourhood. I have two giant dogs and I feel pretty safe walking with them.  However, I’ve seen people walking their pocket-dogs off-leash in the park and it seems to me that is a very bad idea. In fact, working in pairs, it wouldn’t surprise me if a coyote could take down a medium-sized dog.

The sign says Do Not Feed Coyotes. That seems intuitively obvious, but but nothing surprises me. People do all kinds of ill-advised and stupid things all the time. I’m sure the coyotes have a decent food supply in the park. There are plenty of mice and I have heard they feed on unsuspecting ducks and geese and swans parked too close to shore at night. Still, in the midst of a cold winter, I’m sure a plump little pup, or God forbid, a toddler,  might look mighty appetizing for a coyote out searching for dinner.

The signs are a good idea. At the very least, people should be aware the coyotes are out there.

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On this walk with George in Long Branch

George1TUFFY P here again – ok so I get in late after reporting a car accident.. guess who is anxious to hit the road? George…George watching bikerHead out on Lake Promenade– heading east and George has the look that says will this person stop and look at me…. (a: nope. that person was on a speeding bicycle eating up midges from the May night.)WhooshWhoosh…….

George at Sam Smithhere we are in Sam Smith Park.. now this is after jumping up on the rocks and eating treats, and receiving pats from a couple who knows George from his afternoon walks.. they stop to pat him and ask about Memphis. George goes right for the lady and slimes her.  We head out through the dandelion fields to the lake…Kisses in the parkstop in the park for a kiss from Gee — on the horizon Buffy the marvellous Lab from Lake Prom is coming towards us… within minutes we’ve settled in for a chat with Buffy’s mom… Buffy has about 10 minutes of concentration before splitting and chasing a raccoon….George tries not to lose his mind.  About 3 treats later we start to head home…Blasting around the parklast park shot before home  (Buffy is at the base of a maple tree behind us..)

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On this walk with George in Long Branch….

George May 27TUFFY P posting : lemme see.. the after dinner walk tonight included a new admirer on Lake Promenade, finding a tennis ball in Sam Smith Park, carrying the ball, self-tossing the ball, catching the ball, carrying the ball, peeing, meeting a young girl named Georgia, pats from Georgia, running over sidewalk chalk art, jumping up on rocks, meeting up with Jacques from across the road, getting gravy bone treats, peeing, carrying the ball, head full of dandelion seeds, talking with a neighbour, leaving the tennis ball for the neighbour on 27th Street in case he wanted to play, more treats, circling back home to find Jack Shadbolt and Milo on the porch, hugs and a kitchen party reunion with Memphis in the house.

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Sorting out Napoleon

Earlier I posted a version of the Old Time tune, Bonaparte’s March, but just before that I had been having a little facebook message exchange with a guitar-picker friend of mine and he mentioned Bonaparte’s Retreat but he was really thinking of Bonaparte’s March, which is a tune he and I have played together. I realized that Bonaparte references in old time tunes can get confusing because there is a third one as well, Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine.

Here’s Bonaparte’s Retreat. I believe this is a Kentucky tune, but it was appropriated by Aaron Copeland in his Hoedown from Rodeo. Here’s a lovely version of the tune performed by the Scottish fiddler, Aly Bain, with Jerry Douglas on dobro and Danny Thompson on bass.

Just to confuse things further, Bonaparte’s Retreat is also the name of a minor hit tune by Glen Campbell. I’m going to spare you that, but it’s on the YouTube if you’re feeling like a little Glen Campbell. I will tell you this – it has bagpipe.

Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine is also an excellent Old Time tune. I’ve been messing with that one on clawhammer banjo and one of these days I’ll actually manage to learn it. Here are Jonathan Cooper, Brittany Haas, Jesse Brock, Lincoln Meyers, Ron and Wendy Cody doing very sweet work on this one indeed.

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Bonaparte’s March

Here are Nathan McAlister and Sours.

I know Bonaparte’s March pretty well and play it on clawhammer. I learned it from the same players these folks learned it from, Cathy Barton and Dave Para. I learned it when I attended the 2014 Midwest Banjo Camp. It’s a really lovely tune. I think we have this tune because Garry Harrison learned it from Harvey “Pappy” Taylor and his group the Indian Creek Delta Boys popularized it – Old Time music from the Midwest.

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Time for some cowboy tunes…

Here’s the Michael Burton tune, Night Rider’s Lament, performed by Nanci Griffith with help from the great cowboy singer Don Edwards. My first exposure to this tune was on an Ian Tyson Record, but hearing Mr. Edwards do his lonesome cowboy yodel sends chills up my spine.

I confess I’ve always loved cowboy songs. Let’s listen to another… Here’s Tex Ritter performing The Old Chisholm Trail. Plenty of hokum in this video, but still….

I’d like to finish off this post with Mr. Ian Tyson, performing his own tune, M.C. Horses. A number of years ago I was driving across Nevada heading for a button accordion camp in the Sierras, and I stopped overnight at a little town out in the “sagebrush sea” called Elko, and I remembered the start of this tune…we were having a drink at Stockman’s and there it was, Stockman’s right in town, so I went in and had a beer at the bar. Here’s M.C. Horses.

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Memphis Update

DSC00096I just wanted to let everyone know that Memphis continues to do really well after the surgery she had on her leg. She’s now doing a walk every day, for 10 – 15 minutes, she’s putting more weight on her leg, and she’s in great spirits now that she’s getting out and about.