THE ROAD

blog photo 48 roadWHAT IT IS

From her hospital bed Melena Schulz explained how events unfolded on that beautiful, sunny day in July. She received a phone call at her Ontario office from a former colleague she worked with nearly twenty-five years ago at the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forests. The colleague insisted they meet the following day at a place called Willis Mountain, a few hours from her office.

Schulz was fast-driving her 2000 Mercedes Benz CLK-430 convertible when an undetermined number of hornets or wasps got inside the car and drove Schulz to such distraction that she left the road, flipped over six times and came to rest against a rock outcrop.

WHAT IT IS NOT

Sapphire and Cricket have an agreement that dictates they must get out on the backroads of their home province at least once a week during the short summer months. On one such trip to Willis Mountain, they came across a horrific car accident.

They immediately pulled over to lend assistance to an elderly man badly crushed into the driver’s seat. The man was delirious, falling in and out of consciousness.  At one point, he called Sapphire by the name Emma, and told her to destroy the Trichlorophenoxyacetic Acid. He then pointed a trembling index finger at Cricket, called him Bill, and ordered him to take Emma and fly away from here. He never regained consciousness and died before the ambulance arrived.

Cricket and Sapphire stayed at the accident scene for several hours. They both starred at the crumbled mini van, it’s rear bumper twisted and strewn twenty feet from the van, displaying a faded Nova Scotia flag, and the letters N.S.L.&F.D. Who was this man? How did he know their parents, Emma and Bill Bisson-Gallent.

THE GROUSE

 

 

 

 

 

blog photo 47 partridge.JPGWHAT IT IS

For many weeks Mildred Duck heard the rumors of a talented ruffed grouse living near Murdock Lake in the Woodland Caribou Provincial Park. Mildred was looking for a solo singer who could pull off a sensational version of ‘Singing in the Rain/Paddling on the Pond’.

On a wet spring morning, Mildred left her swamp near Grassy Narrows and started the one hundred kilometer trip to Murdock Lake. Mildred was not disappointed and after several hours of negotiations and guarantees of limitless blueberries, wild strawberries and baskets of rosehips, the duo merrily flew back to Grassy Narrows to begin rehearsals for the Littlest Gosling.

WHAT IT IS NOT

Mike Hobbson’s speaking engagements across North America were starting to gather an eclectic and somewhat fanatical following of individuals from all walks of life. In order to help facilitate his gruelling touring schedule, Hobbson tried to enlist the help of corporate sponsors to offset the expenses he was incurring.

He had met with many CEO’s of large corporations, but it wasn’t until a Sunday brunch meeting with the president of Partridge Farms that Hobbson found his kindred spirit and benefactor.

 

 

THE TWO DOGS

 

blog photo 46 jasper and chuckles

WHAT IT IS

Jasper and Chuckles did not let a small setback in the form of a layoff from Amtrak keep them from landing gainful employment elsewhere. Within a few months of the devastating news, the two amigos were on a Canadian Pacific train bound for the Sunshine Village ski resort to begin training as rescue dogs.

After a three week training course, the two were ready to hit the slopes. On their second day, a skier got outside a marked trail and was swept up in an avalanche. Fortunately for the skier, Jasper and Chuckles were stationed close by and they quickly sprung into action, digging feverously until they reached the skier. Search and rescue completed the recovery and an appreciative Cinder Willoughby was taken to hospital for observation.

WHAT IT IS NOT

During a heavy snowfall Mutt Jefferson was rolling along Dorchester Ave. south of Boston, Massachusetts when a fast moving Honda civic bolted across the intersection of Park and Dorchester and T-boned the middle of his trailer. The force of the collision tore off the roof of the car and left INSECT agents Graham and Smith bruised but not seriously hurt.

Pictured here are two members of the Boston Canine Unit who were on the scene quickly, having been on a stakeout nearby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CAMP SITE

 

blog photo 45 halfway lake.jpgWHAT IT IS

Sapphire and Cricket were slowly getting accustomed to the peculiarities of living with a teddy bear. Teddy bears use telepathy to instill life in other teddy bears and telekinesis to move around from place to place. All these psychological activities diminish the amount of time teddy bears remain sentient, but on the other hand teddy bears can return to their ‘teddy bear’ state and gain back some of the lost time.

Ellie has s state of mind she calls teddy bear country, which quite often is a physical place but at other times is a place of contemplation where teddy bears ponder their place in the great scheme of things. One of Ellie’s favorite pastimes is to disappear for days to different places in Northern Ontario and work on her fictional short stories. Ellie took this photo of the campground along Highway 144 where she completed her short story ‘Perfect Strangers’.

WHAT IT IS NOT

After a prolonged hike and an exhausting canoe trip, Beaver Falls counsellor Drake Johnstone finally set up camp in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park, in Northern Ontario, Canada. It was a solo trip that Johnstone had planned for many years and he was very excited to explore the wilderness around him.

On his third night, while stretched out in front of his camp fire, he witnessed a bright light ascend through the cloud cover and hover over the dark lake. Johnstone jumped to his feet and ran toward the lake to get a better look at what he quickly realized was a space craft of some sort. As he backed away from the water’s edge, he saw no less than seven teddy bears starring at the alien craft.

THE TWO

 

blog photo 44 two  bugs.JPGWHAT IT IS

Melena Schulz stakes her comprehensive reputation that the insects in this photo are communicating a plan to disrupt a canola harvest somewhere in western Canada.

When Schulz graduated from the Dresden University of Technology with degrees in Forestry, Botany and Entomology, she was quickly recruited by the East German Stasi.

Her specialty in insect behavior led the Stasi to crack MI6’s bee communications programs in the 1970’s. She quickly advanced up the chain of command until 1987 when an advanced project to defoliate large areas of forested lands in Scandinavia, was rejected by the Minister of State Security.

Melena defected to the west, was employed for a time in Nitro, West Virginia by Monsanto as a ‘consultant’. She then went on to teach briefly at Dalhousie University and worked for a time at Nova Scotia’s Department of Lands and Forests.

When the International Native Species and Exotic Creatures Tribunal (INSECT) came knocking on her door to head up the organization, Melena Schulz was trained and ready.

WHAT IT IS NOT

Evangelical preacher Bokamoso Jacobs set up a mammoth tent outside Sun City, South Africa and was bringing in the faithful with his own brand of fire and damnation sermons.

The opulence of Sun City and the decadent pursuits of the visiting tourists, gave Jacobs plenty of fodder for his style of preaching. He often spoke of the sanctity and purity of gods creatures and to that end asked his flock, here and around the world, to send him photos of these magnificent creatures. The photo shown here was sent by a teddy bear from Northern Ontario, Canada.

An unintended consequence of this photo developed when agents with INSECT who were trolling the internet for random information, discovered that a usually inanimate teddy bear claimed to have sent this photograph. The agents immediately informed the ‘Exotic Creatures’ division of INSECT for further investigation.

 

.

THE GARDEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

blog photo 43 plant life.JPGWHAT IT IS

After two weeks of observations at a stone trestle in Beaver County, Cinder Willoughby was ready to present his findings to the county authorities. He wouldn’t tell them the trestle appeared to be a portal that allowed insect life to travel vast distances. He wouldn’t tell them the portal was created by an extra-terrestrial life form to aid these and other creatures cope with climate change and other environmental ills. He wouldn’t tell them a form of Psychokinesis was evident around the trestle. He would tell them that disruptions in the earth’s magnetic field in and around the trestle was the cause of the strange events. This seemed to satisfy the authorities and Willoughby was happily discharged from his duties.

Willoughby’s flight from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Weyburn Saskatchewan was still a full day away, so he decided to drive out from his hotel in Ellwood City to see a bit of the Pennsylvania country side. As he drove along Fombell Road, he noticed a deputy patrolman and a couple of dogs leaving a rural property. Willoughby stopped to admire the dogs when the patrolman offered him an explanation of their activities. A house fire occurred many years ago and the two adults and little girl who rented the house vanished moments after reporting the blaze. Neighbours said the family pretty much kept to themselves in the years they lived in the area. The patrolman proudly boasted the dogs were specially trained in determining the origins of old fires, buy sadly were not having luck today.

After they had left, Willoughby decided to take a look around. The charred remains of the house were strewn around as you would expect, but what caught Willoughby’s eye was a garden, now overgrown, containing wild plants native to Northern and Eastern Canada not Beaver County Pennsylvania. Indeed, a group of Mountain Avens was at the center of the garden and Willoughby knew that these plants were only found on the white mountains of New Hampshire and Brier Island, Digby Neck Nova Scotia.

As Willoughby left, he paused at a spot where he had noticed one of the dogs digging aggressively with his front paws. Willoughby kicked some debris to one side, discovering a steel box, half melted from the heat of the fire. He pried open the box, and what looked like a diary, badly scorched, lay inside.

WHAT IT IS NOT

The white plants in this photograph have been harvested from Nevis Island and sent to an anti-doping tribunal created by the International Canine Olympic Committee. Although results are preliminary, the chemical make up of the plants don’t seem to be identifiable at this time. The anti-doping tribunal has been seeking input from Cinder Willoughby and other scientists regarding the mysterious make up of these plants.

 

AN INCIDENT

 

051A1391A.JPG

WHAT IT IS

Most of us go along in life following a destiny that is similar to other people in our circle of life. This is exactly what Mutt Jefferson was doing on a warm summer night in 1988. Mutt’s eighteen-wheeler was heading down Highway 101 in the early morning hours destined for Yarmouth, Nova Scotia with a load of canned goods. At precisely 4 AM the rig abruptly sputtered, and Mutt coaxed the dying truck to the shoulder of the road. He sat in the dark, silent cab watching the starry night transform as coastal fog drifted toward him.

Without warning a four-propellered helicopter appeared through the fog, launching a missile that struck a large pine tree to his right. The radio suddenly came to life with a loud and lively rendition of Heart of Mine sung by Blackie and the Rodeo Kings accompanied by Mary Margaret O’Hara. Two ospreys circled above the pine tree, then burst into flames, tumbling awkwardly to the ground.

At 4:03 AM Mutt’s truck rumbled to life. He sat stunned for what seemed like a very long time, while he processed what had just happened. As he rolled down the highway he thought of it as a nightmare, then as an epiphany. Mutt soon came to realize it was neither, it was a glimpse into his future.

WHAT IT IS NOT

Sometimes what it is…is…what it is.