Posts tagged with “abandoned”

Ontario Heritage and Forgotten Apple Trees

I'm interested in Ontario history, including our rural heritage. (I volunteer with Ontario Barn Preservation).

Today I found several links about heritage apples, forgotten apple varieties and trees in Ontario, and information about pruning and growing trees from the seeds of the old apples you might find on a road trip here and there.

My Mother and Grandparents talk about the apples they used to have for making pies and wonder where they could still find those now. They don't see them sold in farmer's markets and certainly not in stores any more.

I found a few good links and then this book, by Sher Leetooze, "Identifying Heritage Apples Across Ontario". I bought a copy of the book. I'm hoping it will include greening apples. A variety my Mother mentions every year. She remembers them being the first, early apples available each year. They grow (grew) here in Ontario but we haven't found any yet.

Orchard People

The Kitchen Orchard

The Ontario Heritage and Feral Apple Project

Pick some wild apples this year. You could even try planting some of the old trees seldom seen any more. Give them a chance to get a new start and have apples close at hand when you get into pie making mode.

Big Cats Should Not be Bred in Little Cages

I was watching the episodes of Snow Leopards of Leafy London, about the National Cat Trust, with Dr. Terry Moore in the UK. Although its great to see someone taking in cats who have no where else to go. In the end, they are living in captivity for however long they live. Not able to have space, hunt, and live a feral life. He also breeds them. It wasn't clear if he also lets the domestic cats breed too. The Trust takes in domestic homeless cats as well as the big cats. I hope the Trust works on some version of the neuter and release idea.

The series was made awhile ago and I wondered what became of the cats, especially the snow leopards which were featured, and the Trust. I found the website, not really updated since 2013 it seems to me. I didn't see any updates about the snow leopard release project with India which was talked about often in the films. There is some project based in Argentina.

Also, interesting, was to find that his wife was part of things, one of the trustees for the organization. But, she was never mentioned in the films. If she were there, she wasn't given credit for her work.

I found reviews on the TripAdvisor site, which made the Trust seem overwhelmed. Not enough volunteers to look after the place. Also, no visitors due to restrictions. That may be changed now, but it was only for sponsors/ members of the Trust. Not a bad thing, no doubt they need the funds. Feeding big cats would be expensive.

I posted this as a comment on Facebook:

I don't think any of these kept cats can go back to the wild. Even if a habitat could be found for them. These cats have had an indolent lifestyle. They will have hunting instincts but no practice. So they will not have the skills or the muscles built up to take care of themselves without someone feeding them dead carcasses. So they will look for humans to feed them, leaving the wild areas and likely end up being shot by people who are afraid of big cats approaching them. It's really sad to see these cats being bred in captivity to live their lives in small spaces, never having space to roam and be wild.

I love cats of all sizes. But, I think it is very misled to breed them in cat farms like this. Without a sure place to release them into the wild and a lifestyle which keeps them fit and skilled (and not relying on humans to feed them) there isn't real hope for these cats to live anywhere but in concrete with a little patch of grass. Cats need to wander and roam and hunt. Even domestic cats will have a territory (unless they are kept indoors all their lives).

It would be very hard, if not impossible, to have these kept cats able to adapt and live in their natural home now. They've adapted to our environment, our culture, pollution, schedule, etc. Like being a tourist in another country, they would not know the local culture, the language and the ways of the other big cats who were born to the wild life in that area. They would not know what to eat when seasons change and prey migrate or change their habits. They won't know or have natural defenses from other animals, insects, and diseases.

Their ancestors could be from that area but it would be culture shock for them to be dropped into a new place and left to learn how to survive. Having eaten dead meat all their lives, is it possible they would only look along roadways and other places they could smell roadkill and dead animals. Are their bodies able to live that way, deal with the parasites and such which they would pick up from dead meat versus the freshly killed animals they would eat naturally.

I wish the Cat Trust well but I think the project is really Terry Moore and volunteers making friends and pets out of these cats. Cats can be great pets, but not every cat should be kept as a pet.

Trying to give them a better life is a great ambition, but breeding them is selfish not selfless. There is no natural selection when females are forced to be bred/ pregnant every few months or every year with whatever male is closed in with them.

Not every female will want to be having batches of kittens constantly. I've seen domestic cats abandon new born kittens because they did not want them. I'm sure that must happen with big cats too.

Kept big cats do not live a natural, healthy, active life. Are they physically strong enough to have kittens? Being pampered and inactive means these big cats may not have the strength and stamina for pregnancy and birth. They are not exposed to conditions which toughen wild big cats, including bacteria, which they build immunity to. They just don't make pet happy documentaries about any of these things.

I don't think this will end well. Other places like this have failed, had to close. The cats are left homeless when shelters can't be found for all of them. When there are reports about big cats wandering and hunting in rural and suburban areas, its likely true. How many of them are cats which grew up in zoos/farms which had to close and let the cats out of their cages rather than euthanizing them. It is not a kindness to breed cats, or any animal, just to hoard them in captivity.

Documenting Before Demolition

An editorial about exploring and documenting history. This comes from a forgotten (no posts since 2020) site of a Manitoba, Canada, explorer. I couldn't find a name or anything like social media to help find who they are.

Some of you are aware that Canada has never been considered one of the best countries in the world to explore abandoned sites, due to Canada's national policy for demolition projects of derelict buildings or converting derelict properties over to new owners, often into the hands of non-profit organizations. Oftentimes, a non-profit revitalizes a derelict property preserving it into a historical monument for decades to come. Alternatively, many a non-profit just doesn't have the funding to make a complete conversion and a vast number of the buildings remain derelict at the site for decades longer.

These properties are wonderful opportunities for photographers and historians to explore. Unfortunately, for many of us, we don't know they're out there to explore. No one is going to advertise these histories, locations and so on unless you travel the country roads a lot or keep up with the sporadic media reports about these landmarks. Your only other resource is spending unlimited hours in historical archives.

I'm all for preservation of historical sites, but the renovation process often renders the historical artifacts and architectural features obsolete. Once lost, these are never recovered unless someone documents them first. The preservation and renovation leans more to a symbolic historical monument then anything tangible. We need to remember that often times those derelict sites contain histories our culture doesn't want to remember. And that's why we not only call those marginalized and abandoned but also the forgotten one's.

The kinds of explorations some of us do do NOT end up in our Canadian school system's text books. History is continually erased where those would like it to be erased. However, I ask a vital question about this erasure. How does a culture, a nation, whatever this may be learn from their past mistakes in this manner? Perhaps we're all prone to wanting to hide our mistakes, shove them in a deep, dark closet or up into a musky, damp attic until the day we throw it all away or demolish it out of sight and memory.

Sometimes we can't even do that, as in the cases of nuclear tragedies such as Hiroshima, Chernobyl and Fukushima. Well, as some of us know, this is when we encounter the BS campaigns, orchestrated by governments, the international media and big corporations that have an invested interest in these outcomes. And they would just like us to know they would prefer we know as little as possible. Happy, ignorant sheep continue to be consumers, and every nation needs consumers. Some of us are still waking up' and enraged that democracy seems to have very little to do with 'protecting' the people and more to do with protecting big corporation, this includes the lies and coverups to cover up all the environmental disasters throughout history due to big corporation.

This also includes the cover ups of institutionalized 'mental asylums' where those not wanted in society were suddenly labeled with a 'mental disorder'. Imagine living in a generation where parents or your husband, just thoroughly sick of you for whatever reason, you've become an emotional or financial burden, maybe your husband didn't want to suffer the public embarrassment of divorcing you? So they could just drop you off at the nearest asylum? You have to wonder if those family members slept at night considering the 'cutting edge' therapeutic technologies that went on in asylums, like lobotomies, ice baths, electric shock therapy and brutal restraints to name a few.

This is why it's so essential for some of us to document what we can before it all fades. For me, sometimes it's a fine line between truth and deception, life and death and giving honor to those who have been forgotten, most often buried in unidentified graves. Just another number. No name. Their voices muted and then demolished out of memory. Out of history. This is my passion. Follow us this year as we travel and document Manitoba's abandoned places. Sometimes haunted places. The voices of the past still speak, of our ancestors, our history, right out of their unidentified graves, if we listen closely enough.

Photographing the Vanishing Quote

I noticed this quote on an abandoned Blogger site today.

"Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on Earth which can make them come back again." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

It applies to almost everything photographed. From a smiling child to the sun itself. Nothing stays exactly the same forever and the photographer won't be standing in the same spot, with that same angle, at that same time either. Something will be different, maybe just the weather. Maybe how the photographer feels or gets different perspective. Life is about change, but a photograph can capture what was there, while it was there.

This is what rephotography can showcase. The changes over time and other changes to our culture.