Quiet. Fox sleeping

Quiet please - some of us are trying to sleep
If you've ever been for a walk on the mountain on a weekend you can't possibly get lost - you just follow the crowds to the lookout. Yet a much quieter option for a walk is just across the road -  Mount Royal Cemetery, where the lack of people means you are likely to see much more wildlife. We first see our fox walking up the hill after just five minutes and decide to follow him. 
The quiet option - a walk in cemetery
He leads us between the graves and as we round the corner he is just settling down for a bit of a sunbathe. He knows we're there but he just shuts his eyes and ignores us. I get as close as I dare to take a picture but I hold back as I don't want to disturb him.

 I grew up in a cemetery. As a child we lived next to Tynemouth Cemetery in the North of England and I used to be able to climb over our garden wall into it. I picked bluebells in the woods, rollerskated the paths and spent a lot of time just reading the gravestones. This could explain a lot. I am always drawn to cemeteries on trips abroad and feel at home in them.

Our walk today was a real wildlife experience. We must have seen two other people the whole time we were there but the birds seemed to be going crazy in the sunshine. Dozens of robins, starlings, a cardinal and hairy woodpeckers and then we heard a sound which had eluded us for quite a while. The drilling of a tree just too loud to be a hairy or downy. It was the pileated woodpecker. Actually two of them - which is strange as I had not seen one all summer and here were two in -8C temperatures. At first I thought a bird had flown over me carrying a large red leaf - then I realised it was his distinctive red crest.

The pilliated woodpecker today
 Aside from the wildlife there are great views from the cemetery and if you walk far enough, the east end of the city is stretched out before you below Camillien Houde with the Olympic Stadium and bright blue Saint Lawrence River.

We walk back to the road, cross over and blend into the folks out for their Sunday morning stroll on the mountain. A hot soup and toasted sandwich is our treat at the lovely Maison Smith cafe where you can read all about the mountain and its history courtesy of Les Amis de la Montagne. My advice to those who tread the well-worn path to the Lookout on a weekend is ...cross the road once in a while ...a quieter stroll awaits you and if you're really quiet, so does the fox.


Popular Posts