Sunday, November 25, 2007

Death on the Beach

We like getting down to Lake Ontario on blustery days. The waves crash in and we lean into the wind as we walk along the beach. It was disturbing this afternoon because we walked past a dozen loon corpses in less than a kilometre. Four of them were within 15 metres. They are such wonderful birds which connect many of us with cottage life and paddling the back country.

What form of illness results in the deaths of so many of these beautiful creatures? This was along the shore of one of the Great Lakes. Is there some toxin in the water or in the fish these loons feed on? It turns out that hundreds of loons have died this Fall from avian botulism. They ingest invasive mussels and fish and the botulism paralyses them, resulting in drowning. What a miserable death.

When I was in Colorado and New Mexico I was so aware that we take our bodies of water and the fish and fowl that inhabit them for granted. In those states there are hardly any natural lakes and nothing on the scale of Lake Ontario. I am convinced that God the creator wants us to take care of the air we breath, the soil that grows our food, the water which is home for so much and without which we would perish.

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