Murderous Nature

nature animal wilderness head

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The detective who lives in my head (she refuses to believe she’s fictional) often tells her work-partner Lorne that animals can be killers. Real-life animals seem to agree with her.

In 2013, in Belarus, a 60-year-old ex-serviceman died of blood loss after being attacked by a beaver. The man was bitten multiple times by the rodent, which sliced an artery with its sharp teeth. It has been suggested that the man was trying to catch the beaver to have his photo taken with it.

In 2009 Taylor Mitchell, a Canadian folk singer, was attacked and killed by three coyotes, the only recorded adult person to have been killed by this species.

The cougar is a deadly animal, with nearly 40% of all attacks by this big cat occurring in British Columbia. Cougars stalk their prey on huge, silent paws and then attack in a whisper-quiet rush of death. Playing dead only results in — death.

Bears, black, polar and grizzlies, will all attack and maul if they feel threatened, if a mother bear has cubs nearby, or just because they feel like being an ass. Common wisdom says to keep all food out of sniff-range, don’t walk in the woods silently or alone and never, ever underestimate them. They have been known to break into and destroy cars, trucks, even camps.

And as Anais will tell you, hitting a moose or deer is still the number one animal-caused death here in Northern Ontario. They can charge when feeling cornered, or during mating season, or if they’re just generally feeling harassed. In addition to the males having don’t-screw-with-me antlers, the females kick out with either their rear or front legs. You don’t want to be on the receiving end of those hooves!

In short, animals can be assholes and will kill you. So if you go into the woods today, better have life insurance!

A Heist Story In Disguise

I had a bit of a “why didn’t I think of that!” moment recently when I read the following words from the pen of Olivia Rutigliano over at CrimeReads.

“…an outsider with no formal power who deliberately connives to swipe Christmas from those who celebrate it, precisely because it bothers him that they do. A crotchety hermit who lives alone on a mountain that overlooks a village, that happily celebrates Christmas annually. He watches them celebrate, year after year, until he figures that if he steals everything from them, they won’t be able to celebrate. But when he makes off with all their decorations, presents, and foodstuffs…”

Sounds like a bit of a twist on your typical heist tale, right? The burglar is methodical and detail-oriented, stealing everything in sight and lying to a child when he’s caught red-handed. He’d fit right in with Danny Ocean’s crew. He’s got a loyal side-kick, motives that seem reasonable to him and in the end, is redeemed by forgiveness, joy and humility.

So what’s the title of this great heist tale?

“How The Grinch Stole Christmas” by Ted Geisel AKA Dr. Seuss.



Show Me Your Ways!


I enjoyed this book, not only for its anecdotal feel but the tips and suggestions for living lighter on the land.

We all need to leave less of a carbon footprint, but often, many of us have no idea just how to do that. The author provides suggestions for reducing one’s trash, being less reliant on plastic-based food preservation items (which is tough!) and how to think about the places we live in.
She also gives up intimate glimpses of her own life and how she changed her way of thinking so that she could be a positive role model for her grandchildren. She talks about cows, knowing her steak, and his dad. She talks about having a closer relationship with the trees that surround her home, and how intense the dark is out in the bush. She discusses the folly of expecting to be able to eat watermelon in January as well, something I didn’t give thought to until I read this book.

There are wonderful photos of the wild animals that visit her, drool-worthy recipes (many with photos) and guidance on how and why to cut white sugar out of our diets. There are so many pearls of wisdom, but this is one of my favourite lines,
“Change scares the shit out of people”

So true. So read this book, and the changes we all need to make in our lives will be less scary. You can find it where most books are sold.

So I’ve Been Meaning To Ask…

pile of assorted books o

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Do you read? You do? Excellent! I like hanging out with other readers.

I enjoy reading a few different things, mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, some steampunk. I wish I could find more solarpunk and climate fiction. There have been characters I remembered long after the book was closed. Over on Twitter today I asked, “What was the first book that made you cry?”

Of course, that got me thinking about the two books that I remember best for making me cry when I was younger. “Old Yeller” and “The Incredible Journey”. I cared about those animals, man, really cared. I can’t stand hearing or reading about an animal suffering, being neglected or abandoned. (Might be why I have a hard time reading Jack London)

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to ask you, which character stands out as most memorable for you, in all that you’ve read? Let me know in the comments below!

What’s On Your Shelves?


One of the bloggers I follow (waves to Jamie at Live To Write – Write To Live) posted a photo of her writershelf, and I thought it was cute. Even her cat. (Don’t tell my dog Harley, okay?) Well, all I have is one bookcase, but I think it’s interesting. It is a mix of DIY, fiction, writing books, and did I mention fiction? Speculative fiction, horror, humor, fantasy, a couplecollections of short stories, old books (pre-1970) that we’ve collected, and a mish-mash of books on tea, knitting, crystals, herbs and homesteading. It’s a crazy only-slightly-organized mess, but here it is.

1) The top shelf is a combination of reference, writing manuals, fantasy (Piers Anthony, J.R.R Tolkien, Marion Zimmer Bradley), science fiction (Arthur C. Clarke) and lesbian fiction (Lori Lake, Radclyffe, J.P Mercer) and one lone Dean Koontz book.

2) Second shelf is a combination of manuals, fantasy, crime (Kathy Reichs), short story collections, andmore reference.

3) Third shelf is a hodge-podge of homesteading, fantasy (more M.Z.B), dystopian end-of-the-world stuff (A. American), more spec-fic, gardening, quilting (Jennifer Chiaverini) knitting (Yarn Harlot) and crochet.

4) Even more reference on DIY, preserving, more lesbian fiction (behind the stack of fantasy), more fantasy over to the right and more reference books.

5) This is the shelf you can’t see because I couldn’t get it all in the photo without showing you messy stuff in the room. On this shelf is almost all of the Harry Potter series (I’m missing one measley book!), quite a few Patricia Cornwell books, more crime by J.D Robb, more Dean Koontz and Stephen King.

Now it’s your turn. What’s on your shelves?

As always, if you enjoy this post, please follow and tell your friends! Let me know in the comments what you’re reading. If you have a blog…tag! Share a picture of your bookshelves!

Forensic Did You Know?

selective focus photo of magnifying glass

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Precautionary acts involving physical evidence are behaviors committed by an offender before, during, or after an offense that are consciously intended to confuse, hamper, or defeat investigative or forensic efforts for the purposes of concealing the identity of the perpetrator and/or his connection to the crime, or even the crime itself. They include disposal of the body, clipping victim’s fingernails or removing their teeth or fingers to prevent identification, cleaning up the blood at the scene, picking up shell casings—essentially anything that changes the visibility, location, or nature of the evidence.

And now you and I have both learned something new today!


(Fact above attributed to the textbook, ‘Criminal Profiling, Fourth Edition’)