Wednesday, 7 August 2019


Poor JB. He was going out for a beer run. (He doesn't drink, and he was really after wine for me, but 'wine run' doesn't sound the same!) At the end of the driveway he noticed a car pulled over, with lights flashing. There was a turkey family crossing the road. A mother with about half a dozen chicks. Cars stopped, halting traffic flow, to let them pass. This happens all the time around here.

One ignorant ass decided to pass a stopped car, and hit one of the chicks. JB and our neighbour brought it up to the house. They were both devastated.

Now, rather than focusing on this idiot, I want to think about those who regularly stop for animals crossing. There are these two good men who tenderly rescued the chick. JB cannot bend over with his back issues. He couldn't even have picked it up if he was alone.

Mr. Rogers tells us to 'look for the helpers.' These are the helpers.

It had a lot of mites on its head, as well as one tick embedded above its eye. I left it in the box, it was woozy, to see how it would do. One eye was closed, and it couldn't keep its little head up, or walk.

turkey from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

The next day, a holiday Monday, chickie still wasn't very good, although it was a little more active.
We drove an hour, 70 km, into the city to the Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre.

Lots of cyclists. I wish they'd stay on their side of the line. It is nerve wracking. The one dude, intent on chatting with his buddy, kept wobbling over.

Ontario? Three seasons: bugs, construction, and snow! We have a shiny new road on Perth Rd.

Two sheep in a truck. Apparently they weren't happy!

Richmond is a nice town. They have lots of new housing.

The Jock River. We've passed so often when it was frozen!

Valleyview Little Animal Farm
The kids have been there, back in the day, with school, or with me. It used to be much smaller, but they have expanded, and do really good work educating children about where our food comes from, about animal husbandry, etc.


Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre

We made it. This centre used to be run out of Kathy Nihei's home in Nepean (1981 - 1992). Kathy (1944 - 2009) was an amazing woman.

Jesse and I, my middle child, visited her small bungalow on Majestic Dr., with his scout troop many years ago. They built a centre on Moodie Dr., out in the woods in 1992, when they needed a larger centre. It is on the edge of a conservation centre, which is perfect.

As I wrote, we have to focus on the helpers. If you are inclined, this is the story of just one critter Kathy Nihei and her helpers and volunteers have helped! It is 5 minutes is an amazing story. Its foot was amputated, and it was released. The people who rescued it were visited by the bird much later.

Stories abound about Kathy and her work. I remember this one, from 1997. Kathy was always making the news!

"Strange But True: How a Flamingo Ended Up in the Ottawa River"

Then, there is this recent story from Vancouver:

"Migrating salmon blocked by Fraser River landslide could be trucked ..."

The rock slide has blocked the huge migration of salmon. Sixteen engineers are working on moving the boulders. They are trapping the salmon in nets, placing them in containers, and airlifting them by helicopter. About 5000 salmon have been moved above the blocked river by the bucketfuls. There are 90,000 are in the river below, 2 million are expected to migrate shortly. Look for the helpers!

Back to my tale. We popped in at the kids' house after we dropped off the bird. (If it is too ill to rehab, they will put it down humanely.)  Jos had left a t-shirt at our place.

I am always amazed at driver behaviour. So unthinking to block the road like this. The poor OCTranpo driver found it tricky to navigate through.

Back on the road home. Old Richmond Road is a mess, as they are rebuilding the highway. Kanata is growing like mad. Ottawa is a good city in which to raise kids.

This I really like. Too many people go too fast, as we know! Msx 50 km / hour.

JB loves horses! These are for him. He drove so that I could take photos.

I am a helper, too! This little monarch caterpillar was looking for more food. If you look closely, you know I am having focusing issues, on the one branch there were three more caterpillars. I picked it up, carefully, and moved it to a plant that didn't have any munchers. My day was done!


Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Hoorah for the unsung heroes, the everyday helpers, the open hands and hearts!!! YAM xx

Nancy J said...

Helpers are the unseen background to so many stories. Hope the chick is OK, and hope that the refuge centre can continue to do all that wonderful rehab so many injured animals and birds need.

Christine said...

I once took an injured dove to the wildlife centre, our kind hearted house painter at the time had found it. Unfortunately it had to be put down.

Cloudia said...

Honey. This is too much for one post.
Please consider breaking up this much great stuff into daily bite sizes and schedule it over a week. I'm grateful to the person who told me this when I started, even though it felt like a criticism at the time. Love You

Red said...

Really tragic how much wildlife is killed on roads.

Jenn Jilks said...

Cloudia. Thank you for your advice.
I considered it. I wanted to put the information all together. I'm not looking to be popular but show the photos from what happened. I need to process it for my mental health.
All you have to do is skim. There isn't a test at the end of your read!
I'm having a horrid day. I really didn't need this today.

Out To Pasture said...

Poor little turkey poult! Traffic takes a horrific toll on wildlife. I hope that the kindness of yourself, JB and the Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Centre can save it. Hats off to helpers everywhere!

William Kendall said...

The poor bird.