life, thoughts

Great White North

wintwndlnd2 (450x800) wmEven after many years living in the south, I still didn’t forget what it was like to live in the great white north. Except, some little things did slip my mind. There have also been new developments that I’ve needed to learn.

Forgotten: The penetrating fragrance of skunk in the twilight hours. (No skunks where I lived in Florida).

New development: Coyotes! As my Nana used to say, this is a revolting development. These wild animals run loose in residential neighborhoods, especially in the cold months when they’re short on food. When did wild animals show up in cities? Many of my neighbors have claimed to see them in their yards! I haven’t seen one, but I worry about walking my dog, Max. At least he’s 53 pounds and they probably won’t see him as food, but Max might challenge them. He’s not a fan of other dogs, let alone coyotes!

Remembered: The snow and cold.
Forgotten: Completely blocked out the biting, icy winds.

Forgotten: Long sleeves get wet every time I wash my hands. Even when I push them up, they just slip back down and get wet anyway. In Florida, I didn’t wear long sleeves.

Forgotten: Long sleeves also hide bracelets, which I love to wear.
Note to self: Have to switch to necklaces.

New development: Seagulls. When I grew up here, I never saw seagulls. I only dreamed of seeing them floating high above beaches in tropical settings. Now, I see them frequently, even in cold weather. I think they followed me from Florida to Chicago.

Forgotten: Lots more laundry. As previously mentioned, I didn’t wear sleeves. It was mostly tanks & tees. On the occasion I switched from sandals to sneakers for exercise, I wore peds, and with my child’s size feet, they were barely noticeable in the wash. Now that we’re experiencing winter, I forgot about all the layers of clothing and heavy socks that would need to be washed.

New development: Unless my memory is going bad, which is a distinct possibility, the amount of revolving doors here have multiplied. They are in many more places, like restaurants, stores, banks, etc. I’m guessing it’s to seal out the cold weather in winters when customers are in and out of their properties.

Forgotten: My husband wanted me to put this one up for him. In Florida, the tap water never really got cold. Here, he gets brain freeze from the cold tap water when brushing his teeth and has to remember to add some warmth before rinsing.

Anyone else want to add any?

Do you live in a city where there are wild animals? Are you able to keep your sleeves dry when washing your hands, and if so, please tell me your secret?

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35 thoughts on “Great White North”

  1. There are coyotes around here, and the odd black bears have made their way into the big DC suburbs at times. And they can get relocated to areas near me. Hmm…. I suppose it’s only a matter of time before I see one out back!

    Ah yes, you now remember where Chicago got its most famous nickname!

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    1. Bears! Yikes! I guess I didn’t realize how prevalent wild animals were in cities. Have you seen coyotes around? I haven’t seen one, but everyone here said they’ve seen them. Didn’t have this issue in Florida

      BTW, a little known fact about the Windy City. That nickname didn’t come from it’s biting, icy winds, although it certainly can be known for that too. It originally came from something else Chicago is famous for … its BLOWHARD politicians. 😀

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  2. It wouldn’t surprise me If the seagulls followed you… they are persistent! Because we haven’t changed climates but city to country my observations are a little different. Here there are so many bugs, mostly dead but sometimes alive, which is ok as they don’t so much scare me as keep me busy evicting them from the house. We have a small, old air-conditioner in the living room which we don’t bother with much so I’m feeling the summer heat & humidity. And summer also means snakes, which may be not so bad when I think about the possibility of being stalked by a coyote… the thought of them in populated areas is horrible.

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    1. These animals were a surprise to find when I returned, since they weren’t here before. Snakes! Ack. We had those in Florida. Bugs too. Although, we had quite a few bugs here when we arrived, but the winter has killed them off.

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  3. Every time I go back to Chile, I am reminded of things I have forgotten. It is a beautiful experience that makes me love my country even more. One of the memories I had forgotten too, is the skunk smell I find in the country side in the south of Chile… I guess we forget some of the unpleasant memories. 🙂

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    1. You get to rediscover your country over again when you go back. It’s like new. That’s what it feels like having moved back to my hometown. And yes, those skunk can be a bother. Bleh. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  4. I’ve seen a coyote or two here in recent years. I chalked it up to the fact that our residential neighborhood is set on the cusp of some farmland and woods. But I’m sure it also has to do with the fact that the open lands are becoming more and more developed. We’re infringing on the wildlife spaces. We’ve also seen fox and deer traipsing down our street at times. I don’t mind them. But coyotes are creepy.

    And I can relate to your laundry woes. Summer is a much easier time for laundry duties up here in the north.

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    1. Hi Terri. Yeah, I was told that coyotes show up because residential areas are set between forest preserves. I’ve seen deer at the edge of the preserves as well, right along busy roads. It wasn’t like this when I grew up here.

      Seems everyone has had these experiences with wild animals in urban areas. Thanks for sharing yours.

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    1. Those sound like some big gulls, Talia. Do you live near a city?

      I’m just surprised at these animals here, since they were never here years ago when I lived in this urban area.

      Thanks for sharing about the critters near you. 🙂

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      1. Yes Lori, I have lived in city for 30 years. My old house was attached to the back of a large Victorian cemetery. I often heard noises. But never had so many sightings as I do now at my new place of residence which is in what was a village, situated near a stream.

        Thanks for swinging by.

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        1. Thanks for sharing that, Talia. Very interesting. I know this is about animal sightings, but I can’t imagine the ghosts of societies past where you live.

          Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you live in a nice place.

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          1. Hey Lori, I am much the same when I walk through what remains of the old village–Now encased in new build. It’s so quite I almost sense Georgian people walking with me. And Yes, I adore living here.

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  5. You made me remember why I don’t miss Upstate NY winters: the frigid winds! Golly the winds were brutal. Took my breath away.

    Wet sleeves. Yup. Comes with the territory I suppose. I would rather have wet sleeves from washing my hands than wet underarms from sweating! 😉

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  6. .Oh dear, that’s a lot. Sweet old England is much the same, except in the North where the flood had laid many homes to waste. You’ll get used to it soon. Ha, yes, we do have foxes here in London, I dislike their little shape faces.

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  7. Keep an eye on your dog no matter what size he is. I heard a story of a pack of coyotes who took turns attacking a dog (big dog who could take care of himself, supposedly) who was “trapped” on his front porch when the people had gone out for a while. They came home just in time before the dog had become worn out.

    And the permanently warm tap water! I noticed that in Hawaii and was so glad to get back to my ice cold (drinkable) tap water at home in BC.

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    1. Eeeks, on that scary dog vs. coyotes story.

      Since we are renting a townhouse, we don’t have a yard. We only let Max out when we walk him on his leash. I just don’t know what I’d do if we ran into a coyote on our walks. My neighbors told me they’ve seen them right outside their windows. I haven’t seen one yet, and pray to God we don’t. I’ve been told they are scared of humans, so I hope that’s true.

      I know you have a lot more wildlife out your way, Anneli.

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      1. They generally avoid people and are sneaky about grabbing small dogs and cats for dinner, but I wouldn’t go for a long walk in the woods by myself in coyote territory. Take some pepper spray along at least. Two people with a stick should do the trick. There was a case of a young woman being killed by coyotes in Nova Scotia a few years ago. Here’s the link. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/coyotes-kill-toronto-singer-in-cape-breton-1.779304

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        1. The ironic thing is that I’ve always carried pepper spray with me in case of a perpetrator, never thinking it would be for any wild animals. This was never an issue when I lived here before, or in Florida either for that matter.

          The suburbs are nestled between different forest preserves, and I’m told that in winter the animals come out looking for food.

          I don’t go near wooded areas and stay on the sidewalks by homes. One of my neighbors said she saw a coyote crossing this super busy intersection outside of our subdivision. That’s crazy sounding for this city girl.

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  8. “Completely blocked out the biting, icy winds.”—Haha, yes, those are fun, aren’t they? We don’t get it as bad here in Ohio, but when I lived in North Dakota and then Iowa—oh dear, those winds were vicious.

    The skunk smell is fun too. Sometimes I’ll wake up at night and smell it seeping into my home from outside. So, so pleasant.

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    1. Oh God, yes, the skunk smell seeps right into the house. Ack. That was one good thing about Florida, no skunks, at least not where I lived.

      We have those biting, icy winds today, but looks like we’re in for a warm up the rest of the week. I actually enjoy temps in the 40’s. I used to pray for 40’s in Florida.

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Carrie.

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  9. We have always had wild animals in our urban areas; as we have destroyed more and more habitat we have pushed these creatures out of the safer areas and into our open areas where they are more visible. When I walk very early in the morning I see bald eagles, hawks, deer, raccoons, possums. It is even becoming more common to see bears and cougars as more and more folks move farther into the mountains. Since 1970 we have reduced earths wildlife populations by 40% through the elimination of habitat, the coyotes will soon be gone.

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    1. Charlie, if I’m not mistaken, you live in the pacific NW. I’ve never been used to wildlife like you have out there. Growing up in the Chicago burbs, I only saw rabbits and squirrels with very little diversity in birds, but that has changed a LOT since I moved back.

      There are forest preserves set between the suburbs here, and I’m told that is where the wild animals come out from looking for food in the winters.

      In Florida we had more the reptilian kind of creatures. 😛

      Thanks for sharing about the animals you see on your walks. For me, seeing a bald eagle is such a rarity. I only saw one once in the wild, and that was near my house in Florida.

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  10. Instead of pushing up your sleeves, fold them a few times. Even if they fall, they will be shorter. 😉 I have tons of wild animals, but I’m out in the country. LOL. I will agree to the cold tap water. We get that here and it takes forever to warm up.

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    1. I have button-up blouse with button sleeves on today. I have to unbutton them every time I wash my hands. Yep, a little pain I had forgotten about since I’ve been gone. Heh.

      I’m sure you have all kinds of wild animals out there, Angela.

      The water in Florida never got cold. I used to put ice in my laundry machine to get the water at least cool when I needed to wash in cold.

      Thanks for the sleeves tip. 🙂

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    1. Coyotes by you too? Go figure. This was something unheard of when I grew up here. I was told they come from the forest preserves. We didn’t have that issue where I lived in Florida, but there we had gators.

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