Back to university & Wilderness


Courses began yesterday (September 5) in the Faculty of Arts in McGill.

Clichés about exchange students are wrong: I am very busy, even if I have not started readings. Add-and-drop weeks let me attend to many classes (in order to know in which courses I will stay during this semester)… but consequently I have to attend to much more classes than during ‘normal’ weeks. I also have to plan my course schedule (and contrary to France where time conflicts are avoided by IT systems, it is your responsibility to choose courses which are compatible each other).

[Si vous voulez lire la suite de cet article en français : C’est la rentrée & Naturalité]

Thus you will have to wait a few for reading my next (serious) posts. Now, I would like to show you some pictures which might refer to a « urban bestiary ». I will not talk about flies or dogs (because they do exist in most towns of the world), but about squirrels and racoons:

I met these animals while walking in the Mont-Royal Park. Grey squirrels (with their light tail) are very common in Montreal; every evening, two or three squirrels are running on the guardrail of my balcony (or on a electric cable). They often carry a nutshell and move very quickly. But I also found a dark squirrel on the grass (close to the Christ Church Cathedrale).

On the contrary, I was very surprised (and delighted!) to see a racoon (Procyon lotor). A racoon! The animal who is supposed to wash its clothes in the river and to be the friend of Pocahontas (remember, Meeko!)… This racoon was very ‘nice’; I could stroke it and take it in picture, while it remained quiet. Now you know that ‘big’ wild animals such as racoons can live in a park, even in a metropolis of several millions of inhabitants!

Finally, I thought that wilderness dealt with this picture also. But I was wrong. Were there two cherries on that road sign?

Or does this sign indicate fire hydrants?

Update, September 17th: A Canadian friend wrote:

The sign you posted is to reference what is called a « stand pipe ». The sign does indicate the location of water pipe hook-ups on buildings where fire hydrants are not in proximity. These signs are for firemen. In North America, a standpipe is a type of rigid water piping which is built into multi-story buildings in a vertical position, to which fire hoses can be connected, allowing manual application of water to the fire. Within the context of a building, a standpipe serves the same purpose as a fire hydrant.

Thanks to Joseph V. !



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