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Nature's Nightmares

by Dee Walmsley
Clever's nature writer

I have the solutions

While most of us consider nightmares of the ghostly/blood and gore kind, mine are about our environment and what we are doing to destroy it and the wildlife within. We continue to pollute our air and water and yes, industry plays a major role in it but each one of us is also guilty. 

Think about the following and see if you get a pass or fail.


You never use a car wash. You wash car in driveway with run-off going into storm sewer. 
You don’t maintain your car - oil leaks - bad exhaust
You Burn rubber for fast get-away
You use a gas lawn mower
You Dump boat bilges in waterways
You Splash your trash when boating
You Never car pool or take public transit
You Throw bottles and cans into the garbage


Car washes have a filtering system to keep oil out of the environment. Washing your car on a grassed area will also filter pollutants.

What goes up…must come down and every time it rains the road run-off enters our waters. One drop of oil will kill fish fry and sea birds.

Tires are a petroleum product that pollute with run-off.

Gas lawn mowers pollute the air with exhaust and may drip oil.

Use oil pads in your bilges and deposit in used oil containers at marinas.

Six-pack rings kill Sea life and birds. It costs the same amount of gas for one person or six. Pick up your friends and neighbours. Walk, use public transit, bike etc.

Read Labels - if they say caustic or poison YOU are polluting!

These are only a few of the ways you can help protect the environment. Sit down with your children and see how many more you can follow. Make it part of your daily life because we are part of the environment. 


Have you ever noticed when developer’s bulldozers raze the land? Most of the time it is in spring when the forest is alive with new growth, birds are busy building nests and wildlife, having mated in January or February, they are in their dens/nests feeding their young. 

What happens when their homes and habitat are destroyed? Many die from stress and injuries; others, displaced relocate into another’s territory and must fight for dominance and survival. Some enter our homes and treated as pests to be destroyed

It is a no-win situation for the animals and birds. Some humans feel the need to feed urban wildlife while others either through ignorance or fear set leg hold traps and use other devices to harm the displace critters.

A fed coyote is a dead coyote! The more you feed, the more they breed!

Feeding wildlife removes their fear of humans and while you may enjoy the interaction, your neighbour may not and could be bitten when the animal approaches for food and receives none.

So what is the answer? 

Wild animals use the same trails while foraging. Should one happen to cross your yard, respect the animal and let it go on its merry way. If the weather turns hot and dry, lend a hand and leave a bucket of water near the path.

If YOU don't leave any cat or dog food in your yard, when there is nothing to attract wildlife. 

If YOU enjoy feeding birds, keep clean birdbaths and feeders and sweep up any spilled seed, or you will encourage rats.

Keep compost well covered and never put meat into your compost box.

Screen the soffits and cap chimneys.

If an animal decides to den under your shed, leave it alone. It is much better than having it in your attic where it will do damage.

We can co-exist. It just takes a little effort on your part. Meanwhile, enjoy it while it lasts.

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