Dandelions in a meadow outside Thunder Bay, ON

Dandelions in a meadow outside Thunder Bay, ON

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A detour.

A carefully planned hike took a life of its own when we decided to see the diesel donkey and the view from the top of a never-before visited hill. One of the many British Columbian sawmills operated in this forest sixty years ago and its owner blasted a road through rock to the top of a minor mountain that was given his name - DeBeck hill. The diesel donkey turned out to be a huge pulley used to clear felled trees out of the way. In local terms this forest-covered rock towering about 700 metres over the valley below is indeed only a hill. At the top of it are radio beacons and the trailhead of an extreme biking trail which turned out to be a dead end and made us retrace our steps all the way up the mountain (for it did not feel like a hill at that point) before we could descend. The rain was falling on the water of Alice lake and a rapidly moving mist changed the appearance of the sky and landscape by the minute. It's early spring and one of those days that looks like late fall. A grouse sounded his mating call - the first of the season.

Yesterday I received my first issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery mailed all the way from Elsevier publishers in Germany, a little welcome into the world of cat medicine which may be my future. Many lay people are cat people or dog people, and so be it, that's an accepted fact or stereotype. They may poke fun of each other and that's the end of it. But when a veterinarian put in charge of protecting animals, assumed to be all animals, decides that they want to work exclusively with ...cats of all creatures, he or she often feels they have some explaining to do (which I promise to do later). And they no longer get to wear the terribly conceited T-shirts that read "Real doctors treat more than one species." So in a few months I may be no better than a plain old M.D.! :-)

Too tired to do any explaining or to write in complete sentences, but not too tired to sample some delectable unpasteurized cheeses from around the world. A sweet and ripe Ossau Iraty made from the milk of Basque separatist sheep, an 8-year old Cheddar from Quebec, a Papillon Noir Roquefort which my boyfriend keeps mistakenly calling Black Death, A Morbier Fermier made of morning and evening cow's milk separated by a layer of ash, and a Fontina d'Aosta whose rind is a joyful celebration of putrescence. If it turns out that I am entirely unfit for private practice, I'll become a lab rat and research how to fight allergies with food-borne pathogens in manageable quantities ;-)
Tomorrow is the start of a new working week.

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