The Trestle


blog photo 36 stone bridge


Every time Will and Beatrice Offley drive their aging pickup truck over this stone trestle, they stop for a few moments and consider that day in early June. A -five-year-old girl stood on the trestle, alone and crying. The Offleys stopped, talked to the girl and reassured her they would find her parents.

That never happened. The Beaver County couple finally got approval to adopt the child after months of inquiries trying to find her parents. The only indication of who this girl might be, was the name Samantha Gallant sewn into the sweater she was wearing when found on the trestle.


There is a stone trestle in Beaver County, near Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, that is considered by local residents to be a most mysterious place. A lost child, a tool box full of cash, huge swarms of bees and enormous flocks of birds have all been seen on or near the trestle.

It has caused such a stir, that Weyburn Saskatchewan biologist Cinder Willoughby has been brought in by local authorities to investigate the phenomenon of the trestle. To date, Willoughby has observed tens of thousands of birds and insects disappearing under the trestle.  However, there has been no evidence uncovered regarding where they go.



blog photo 38 cactus flower.JPGWHAT IT IS

Sapphire and Cricket make the trip to Digby Neck in Nova Scotia, Canada almost every year to toss Christmas cactus flowers into the ocean near where their parents’ small airplane went down.

In 1988 their parents were flying home to Sudbury, Ontario from Quebec City when they were asked to divert their flight to Halifax, Nova Scotia to meet with the Minister of Lands and Forests. While on route, the single engine Cessna was engulfed in dense fog off the coast of Brier Island. Despite weeks of searching by the Canadian Coastguard, the wreckage and their bodies were never found.

Sapphire and Cricket, fondly remembering their parents’ love of Christmas cactuses, always bring some prized flowers and scatter then into the sea.



One of Margaret Brookside’s extracurricular duties as Administrative Assistant to the Mayor of Beaver Falls is to organize the annual Christmas cactus photo contest.

Photos from around North America are sent to Margaret to be entered into the competition. This year, noted biologist Cinder Willoughby, who was working up the highway in Ellwood City, volunteered to judge the photographs. Pictured here is Sapphire’s entry, an entry Willoughby didn’t consider a winning photography.




blog photo 37 tower ladder.JPGWHAT IT IS

Unlike the depraved bastards in Arkansas who throw live turkeys from an airplane to their deaths, Mutt Jefferson does quite the opposite. Once every three months Mutt climbs this tower with a peregrine falcon or two and gently encourages them to do what they do best.

This year Mutt released seven falcons; one seagull he rehabilitated from ingesting copious amounts of pesticides was also released.


Miles Hobbson, former deputy premier of Nevis, uses the platform atop this tower to record observations of UFO’s coming to earth from the regions around the star Mizar.

Equipped with a powerful telescope, Hobbson claims to have triangulated touchdowns in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, Halifax Stanfield International Airport, San Francisco, London, England and of course his beloved Nevis. To date, Hobbson has not offered an explanation of why these visitors are landing on earth.



blog photo 35 the house.JPG


The newly formed international law enforcement agency, INSECT, purchased this compound in Northern Ontario, Canada to be used as its main North American research and enforcement headquarters.

The compound has seen hundreds of people coming and going in recent weeks, including the arrival of Monsanto’s Dr. Micheal K. Stern and University of Missouri’s Frank James aboard Samantha Gallant’s Cessna 182. Although not employees of INSECT, it is believed that they were consulted on several projects.



Equipped with an Olympic sized pool, a full gym, a track and field oval and a new frisbee pasture, philanthropist Jason Brisk has donated this facility to the International Canine Olympic Committee as a place for canine Olympians to relax and prepare for upcoming events.

Currently occupied by the Olympic teams from Nevis, controversy erupted at the facility when canines from North America and Europe accused Team Nevis of doping during the last Olympics.



blog photo 34 seagull.JPG



It is said that a large Trumpeter Swan inhabits the northern shores of Lake Temiskaming and is responsible for assigning large numbers of seagulls to do their daily chores. Sixteen seagulls to McDonalds, eight to Kentucky Fried, thirty-six to the town dump…and so it goes.

While in Temiskaming Shores,  Cricket and Sapphire decided to check out this unlikely rumour and spent a day kayaking the north shore of the lake, finding no evidence of a swan.

They did manage to take this photo of a gull as it cruised along a beach area in front of their hotel.


It was a cold November day, snow was being whipped around the rocky cliffs of Gros Cap, and the winds off Lake Superior were stronger then they had been all month.

Mutt Jefferson had just finished closing up some outbuildings when he spotted a gull in some distress. The gull’s flight was awkward and disoriented; it seemed to have no sense of direction.

Mutt finally got a net over the bird and brought it inside. Once there, he discovered a band on its leg: “Imidacloprid 1% of diet.”

“This can’t be good,” he thought.



the dipper (2)WHAT IT IS

He stared at the dark photo, zeroing in on the second star from the end of the handle of the Big Dipper. He could clearly see it was a double star, the larger one was called Mizar, the smaller Alcor. He was convinced planets occupied the space between these two stars and it was from these planets where aliens visited his island – Nevis.

He was Miles Hobbson, former deputy-premier of Nevis. It took nearly a month, but the parliament finally forced him to resign his seat and the presidency of the governing party.

Hobbson now spends his days traveling around North America, explaining the events that occurred on Nevis. His next stop is a presentation to the International Canine Olympic Committee in Salt Lake City, Utah.





On one of Cricket’s solo camping trips, he decided at the last minute to hike to Gus Masterson’s camp on Lake Tomiko.   As darkness fell,  Cricket soon found himself lost in the bush, and he was kicking himself for not having paid heed to the first rule of camping:  tell someone where you are going.

Cricket did have a plan, however.  Once in complete darkness he would use the pointers of Cassiopeia to find the North Star and this would help him get back to the highway.

Had Sapphire been with him, she would have told him to use the Big Dipper to find the North Star.








ellie's story continues.JPGSapphire knew she had to get all the details right if Ellie was to become sentient.  The water droplet had to be harvested from the Alexandra Fjord on the spring equinox; it had to be kept in a damp, dark location until the summer solstice; it had to be transported by a horse no larger than 10 hands.  Ellie had to sit on a north facing wall made of bricks and Sapphire had to wear a Bamilieke Elephant Mask from central Africa while she poured the droplet over Ellie’s head.  All this was to take place when the sun was at its highest

Everything was close to ready.  The droplet was safe in an abandoned well on Sapphire’s and Cricket’s property.  Sapphire had borrowed a gentle Shetland pony from their neighbours; an old brick foundation wall down the road was ready to use, and an acquaintance in Cameroon had found a mask and was shipping it via the postal service.  Cricket had gone early that morning into town to pick up the mail.  But he had not returned yet. Sapphire paced the floor with Ellie under her arm, stopping occasionally to peer out the window towards where the car would appear on the dirt road.  High noon was approaching fast.

Suddenly, Sapphire thought she saw plumes of dust and sure enough, Cricket’s car appeared over a hill and came veering crazily into their driveway.  He jumped out of the front seat with the elephant mask.

It was a truly awe-inspiring experience to see a lifeless Teddy bear being transformed into a loud, exuberant creature.  In a voice that could only be described as a cross between Phyllis Diller and Ethel Merman, Ellie loudly declared she wanted to write fiction.

Cricket took this photo of Ellie during the transformation.