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Life with a Sewage Permit!

September 4, 2010

You’ll be thrilled to know that today was the day I finally got to use my sewage permit in the Brighton Constructed Wetlands (ONLY). The five dollars I paid back in May came in handy. It’s not every day that I get to carry around a sewage permit in my wallet! Sadly, my friend Tiny (the not so tiny individual who runs the show at the Constructed Wetlands) wasn’t there to greet us and my permit remained in my wallet. It felt almost as exciting as going to a bar in my twenties and getting carded and, at the last minute, flashing my ID and surprising the bouncer by actually being at least ten years older than he’d suspected. Actually, it may have felt a tiny bit more exciting than that!

We saw swans, ducks of many persuasions (I can’t get my ducks straight, sorry), rails and an absolutely fabulous Leopard Frog.

It was splendid. I know we were out to see birds, but it isn’t often that a leopard frog crosses my path. In fact, this may have been the first time. There was also a phenomenal Great Blue Heron in the middle of the marsh (why are they called blue when the bird is actually gray?), looking regal. (Thanks for the photo.)

I also saw my first American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos). For some reason, the enormous bird (usually found in the west) has been hanging out in Oshawa for the past 71 days. When I hear factoids like that, I always wish I could talk to birds — what on earth brought you to Oshawa? Is Second Marsh really worth savoring for 71 one days straight? Wouldn’t you rather be on the shores of Lake Superior, on the coast of a lake so enormous it sometimes acts like an ocean (or so I’m told)? Why not take a break from Oshawa-living and head to the movies? Are the fish in Oshawa that tasty?

I’m not exactly what you’d call a pet person. Dogs still scare me (I grew up believing that every dog’s life mission was to bite me and only me; ok, perhaps slight megalomania on my part, but still), cats make me a little uneasy and I’m always afraid of those little claws, rodents make me want to look the other way, and even though I fantasize about owning a rabbit (doesn’t everybody?), I know the reality of the situation would eventually smell. So, my interest in birds is all the more puzzling to me. Of course, I do tend toward anthropomorphizing them a little too often, but I’ve never been in a situation where I actually want to ask an animal questions. I’d ask the Heron what it feels like to stand on one leg for hours at a time and I’d ask that pelican how on earth he manages to reach in and floss his teeth (if, indeed, birds were to have teeth) with a beak that enormous. All in all, a perfect day in Oshawa, Brighton and Presqu’Ile Provincial Park.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2010 9:53 pm

    What does one *do* with a sewage permit? I have tried, but I can’t imagine…

    • September 8, 2010 7:54 pm

      It’s a great little laminated thing. If you want, I’ll show you one day. This particular sewage belongs to the Town of Brighton, and it seems they’re very territorial in those parts. There’s a fellow who runs the joint named Tiny who’s supposed to inspect the sewage permit before you enter the wetlands and check out the latest frogs and swans and such. Alas, Tiny wasn’t there last Saturday. I brought my permit for naught. Such is life…

      • September 8, 2010 8:49 pm

        But what does that have to do with sewage? Does it permit you to enter the wetlands? Which is sort of disturbing for the sake of the wetlands, no? Shouldn’t it be a Wetland Permit?

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