Greetings Britlings…..Happy St. Paddy’s (Day) Weekend!
Did you know that in March we celebrate quite a few saints birthdays? St. David, patron saint of Wales, of course. But, probably the most famous celebrated worldwide is St. Patrick’s Day, and as my good friend (and Irishman) Marc says it’s “St. Paddy’s Day”. He gets very upset if you dare to call it St. Patty’s Day!
But did you know that St. Patrick was actually British? Yikes, I know, shocker right? According to Wikipedia and Patrick’s own 5th century tome, Confession of Saint Patrick, when he was about 16 he was captured by Irish pirates from his home in Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland, looking after animals, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland. In later life, he served as a bishop, but little is known about the places where he worked. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.
Saint Patrick’s Day is observed on 17 March, which is said to be the date of his death. So now with that knowledge, I can drink comfortably with my good Irish mates and raise a glass to all of us. United we stand, and united we fall, especially if those green jello shots have anything to do with it!
The Cat’s whiskers…
Did you know we have a mountain lion roaming the Griffith Park Hills? His name is P-22 and he has been through quite the journey, suffering from mange after apparently ingesting some rat poison not so long back, although wildlife experts managed to get him some medicine in time and have reported he is on the mend.
However P-22 is suspected of killing a koala bear in the LA Zoo. The killing gave the zoo the right to call for P22 to be removed or euthanized, but in a very reasonable turn of events, instead of asking for his termination they plan to move their animals inside at night, for their safety and protection. In a town full of hungry cougars, this particular four-legged one has become somewhat of a legend. It seems so strange that we have a variety of wildlife in what seems mostly a gridlocked jungle of cars. But within the past few days, I’ve been living in a scene out of Disney’s Cinderella. I’ve seen deer, raccoon, rabbits, squirrels, stinky skunks and of course, bad boy coyotes. (Unfortunately in my neighborhood, there are a lot of missing small dog signs) When the coyotes are hungry they are formidable, gathering in packs they have been known to circle humans and literally snatch their little dogs off their leashes. So be very vigilant in the canyons. But back to my point, P22 will remain safe and continue to be the king of the Griffith park jungle and a part of our growing wildlife. You can actually follow his adventures online – thanks a camera set-up. The first evidence of this mountain lion was recorded on remote cameras in early 2012 as part of the Griffith Park Connectivity study. At the time he was humanely captured and fitted with a GPS tracking collar, which will allows biologists to study his activity patterns, diet, and monitor his health.
A mountain lion taking up residence in this part of Los Angeles is very unusual and exciting since he is the only one of his kind in Griffith Park. It’s believed he crossed the 101 and 405 freeways heading east from the Santa Monica Mountains. National Park Service biologists have determined he is feeding primarily on a diet of deer, but he has also preyed on at least two coyotes and one raccoon, which is not uncommon. Despite being in on of our urban parks, he is not recorded to have killed any domestic animals (phew!) and is largely unseen by people that visit Griffith Park.
Wildlife experts have said that a compact urban green space like Griffith Park could never be big enough for a mountain lion – either in terms of habitat or finding a mate. So we’ll watch with interest as the narrative of this most fascinating Hollywood resident continues to unfold. I for one love nature and sharing this weird and wonderfully wacky town with the wildlife – which includes the hot messes trolling Hollywood Boulevard this past St. Parick’s Day…or indeed any given Saturday!