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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.


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Not all waterfowl are born with the innate ability to perform the tasks that waterfowl are known for. To help out these feathered creatures, truck driver and amateur naturalist, Mutt Jefferson, teaches geese, ducks and swans how to fly, land, find food and any other endeavor they may need help with.

His remedial school, located on the shores of Lake Superior near Gros Cap, Sault Ste. Marie has helped over ten thousand birds learn the skills to survive on their own.

Cricket took this photo when visiting the Gros Cap Conservation Area, which is adjacent to the school. This goose spent several months at the school and is now being considered by Mutt for a teaching position at a second school soon to be opened in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.



It was a strange coincidence but such events have become nearly commonplace in Sapphire’s life as of late. Her tickets for the Ugly Duckling was purchased nearly a month in advance and Sapphire was in Toronto to visit the Edwards Gardens when a flustered Magdalena Popa, who was walking in front of Sapphire, dropped a portfolio of photographs of ducks, geese and swans.

Sapphire helped Magdalena scoop up the material and the two parted ways with “thank yous” and “your welcomes” liberally sprinkled all around. This photo eluded both women and by the time Sapphire found it, she thought it best to keep it in the off chance she may see Magdalena again.