Snapper Comeback!

For the past 20-odd years, I've wandered the Mud Lake Conservation area looking for and counting snapping turtle nests. For the past 7 or eight years, I've noticed a huge decline in the number of nests. Where I could once find 10 to 15 nests in one area, there has only been one... if lucky.
However, this year seems to be the year of the snapper comeback. Yesterday and today, I went wandering the nesting spots in the area. I spoke with 5 people and all of them reported seeing snapping turtles. Not just 1 or 2, but upwards of 10 and more at one time or in a very small region.

I haven't seen a single snapper (as of yet), but there is a huge number of spots where I have seen digging. Much, much more than I have seen in a very long time. Perhaps the high water on the Ottawa River has pushed the river population up and into Mud Lake. I don't know, but I am quite happy to see this activity. It bodes well for the local population.

Plus, the snappers are getting some human help. When I went to a popular laying area, I found this:
Nest Protector
I have never seen a nest protector anywhere along this stretch, or anywhere I used to frequent.
I applaud the CWF for this. But! (doncha just love a good "but"??) This may just keep the local racoon population from digging the nest up, BUT, it also draws the attention of a far deadlier predator. Humans.

I have seen a few dead snapping turtles in the Mud Lake Preserve. Two were intentionally killed by people.
This one was shot (yes, shot!) in the side of the head. At the very least, it had a hole in its head on the left side. This was back in '09.
So, as nice as it is to put a protector over a nest, there are lots of folks who would dig the nest up. To just look at the eggs, to count how many there are, to toss them into the lake, to simply be mean and evil and crush them.
Anyway. I, personally, am pleased to see that there are more snapping turtles around. They might just be coming back... to life, so to say! Woo-Hoo!!!
Keep The Faith*


Family History

I just got off the phone with my Aunt Barb in MN. She gave me a story that I need to get down before I forget it all.

Barb was born in northern MN. I always wondered why and how this came about, since her parents (my paternal Gram & Grandad, who raised me, but that is a whole different story!) lived in Ottawa Canada.

It was because in 1932, the Great Depression was in its heyday. My Gram was pregnant with twins and she was not well at all. Her doctor in Ottawa told her to go to the US where she could get better health care than she could get here in Canada. Gram was born in MN, had all kinds of family there and (supposition here…) was able to go & get help stateside.

Thus, Gram ended up with her mum & dad, Gram & Grampa Woods, in (I believe) Eveleth, MN. The twins were born, altho’ Barb’s sister, Wilma was still born. After a while, it was time to go home, but the Depression had a strong grip on Canada, a bit deeper than the US was facing at the time. It was decided that it would be better for Barb to stay in MN, rather than go back to Ottawa and face the hardships there. Besides, Gram Simpson was still not very healthy and all things considered, this would be best all round.

[ By the time my Grandad & Gram Simpson were settled in, with 2 more children, I imagine that they decided that Barb was also nicely settled with her grandparents. They didn’t want to take here out of that environment. ] ← supposition, again

Barb told me that when she was around 4 years old, the folks in MN thought that maybe she would be OK to move to Ottawa. Her Uncle Norman & dad Thomas brought her to Ottawa and then left a couple of days later, in the middle of the night, no less!

Well, Barb was at a loss as to what was going on. She said that she cried for two weeks straight. It got to the point where my Grandad Bill was at wits end, so Grampa Woods (Thomas) came back to Ottawa, collected up this lost little girl, and brought her back to the home she knew and loved.

-- Now, this explained a “wonder why?” I’ve had for years and never had the courage to just simply ask about it. --

Barb said that she came to Ottawa almost every year for a two week visit, always with her Gram Woods and occasionally with Grampa Woods & Uncle Norman. She and her siblings (my Aunt Judy and Dad) would almost live at the Hog’s Back Beach, now Mooney’s Bay.

Aunt Barb told me stories of her and my Aunt Judy swimming the pool just below the Hogs Back Falls on the Rideau River. She described moving along the rocks with her hands because there was no bottom and most of the rocks she clung to were over-hangs. Barb said that now she realizes that if she had lost her grip, she could very well have been pulled under one of those over-hangs and never be found.

I was told about my Great-Grandad Thomas helping to install the posts to bring electricity to the cottages / homes that were along the Rideau River, between the river and the Rideau Canal, just south of what is now the Heron Road Bridge.

Barb talked about never really wondering, or not much, about her living with her grandparents when her actual parents were so far away and in a different country. “Dad Bill” and “Mum Merle” were her parents. They just weren’t there. She told me that it really didn’t matter since all the families, both in MN and Ottawa, were quite close, always got along and always kept in touch.


I realize now, with time slipping on by and family knowledge going the same way, just how important it is to gather up all those tidbits of history & lore and get it saved for future generations. My ancestry searches have brought up more questions than answers, but those who may have the answers are gone from me now.

If you’re curious, ASK. If you know, write it down. We all can gain from our past, and carry it into the future so that all may know and learn.

Keep The Faith*


I Must Be Insane!

I must be. Either that, or I have developed multiple personalities. Either way, this scares the crap outa me!

I got up this morning, yawned, and realized that I didn't have my dentures in. Thinking that I just put them in a soak the night before, I went into the bathroom. Nope. All my stuff for dentures were untouched. WTF??!!

I began a search. Bedroom, kitchen, living room, hallway, I even looked out on the balcony. I searched containers, the garbage, the fridge & freezer... I was getting concerned.

Heard my iPoop beep with an incoming email, so I checked it. There was an email from Facebook saying they were sorry I couldn't sign in and blahblahblah. I figured a spam attempt, although it did actually come in on my FB registered account. So, I went into my FB page.

There I discovered a whole bunch of Likes and Loves for a post I did near midnight last night. I don't remember making a post at that time. Heck, I went to bed at 23.30 hrs after watching Dr. Strange on Netflix (a great movie, btw). The post was a rather melancholy piece about my kids and what they mean to me. Again, WTF??!!

Here I am, missing my dentures and discovering an FB post I don't remember making. Then, I began noticing things out of place in my living room. Shelves and tables moved. My audio equipment out of place. Bits & pieces just not right.

I rolled my coffee table back in place. Lo and behold, there are my dentures sitting on the floor! A little dried out, but looking no worse for the wear. I checked them over for any damage and found none. Off to the bathroom to give them a bath & cleaning, and back into my mouth.

Yadda yadda. Last night / early this morning, I got myself out of bed, made a post on FB, removed my dentures and put or dropped them on the floor, and generally made a mess of my living room --- which is saying a lot, considering the state it was already in! --- And I do not remember doing ANY of it!!

Thus, I am, or have gone, insane. I have developed some type of split personality. Or, I am simply bat-shit crazy! In any event, this scares the fuck out of me!

Keep The Faith*


Remember the ARGH?

Well, it is back. I am ready to scream ARGH and much Much more... out my balcony door, down the street I live on, at the local mall, at the next meeting I go to, in the face of the very next person who simply says "Hi!" to me. I am absolutely ready to say FUCK YOU world and get the fuck off my case!

I can't take any of this bullshit any more. I am tired of trying to do the right thing anymore. Not the next right thing, but the right fucking thing right fucking now. Follow the rules. Do what is legal. Don't rock the boat, son, because if you do, your ass is going to screwed so bad you will not be able to sit comfortably for the next year.

And, no matter which fucking way I turn, no matter how hard I try to make life simple, life jumps up and slaps me in the face with total glee and abandon. Here, you smarmy SOB Robb, here's another thing to fuck your life around royally. And... and I take it.

My ass hurts from the fuck around. My head hurts from the hamster wheels going round and round. My soul is aching and wants to just stop it all. My addiction is poised & ready to take over once more and lead me into blissful nothingness.

That is oh-so very tempting right now. Even knowing very full and well what picking up would do... create... destroy... That thought of just forgetting everything and everyone outside of my apartment (hell, even the 4 sunfish & 1 tadpole in my aquarium, in that same apartment) is almost overwhelming right now.

I guess that I am kinda sorta maybe fortunate to have no money on me right now. It would be very easy to wander the halls and find something to forget with. Tomorrow...??? Well, I've spent most of my disability cheque trying to repair months of financial damage I've done recently............. FUCK!

Surrender?? No, right now, I give up. I'm done. Finished. I can't do any more and I am completely wasted from trying. I am tired, and I can not sleep. Fucking Netflix just throws hints and reminders of that, the other thing and this to remind me of what I do NOT want to think about any more.

So. What is the fucking use of all this? I just don't know. I have my kids who love & care for me... and I don't give a fuck. I am clean (JFT), and I don't give a fuck. I have...... what? I have WHAT??? Sanity is NOT something I have right now. Serenity?? Give me a fucking break.

I suppose the one thing I have in my favor right now is that I don't want a vacation. Of the permanent type. It is close, very close, but I've seen too many folks take a permanent vacation and also seen how badly that affects others who are left behind. And, as self-centered and egotistical as I am right fucking now... for some idiotic and strange reason, I somehow how care how others feel.

Even tho', right at this moment, I DO NOT WANT TO FUCKING FEEL ANYTHING RIGHT NOW!!!

Pish. I'm an addict. I'm a fuck-up. I just don't give a shit, so............

Keep The Faith............... because I have none for me..........