Friday, December 30, 2011

Coombs on Vancouver Island

This past summer we took a couple of camping trips over to Vancouver Island, British Columbia. That's on the west coast of Canada, in case you didn't know!

Eventually we ended up in Coombs, which is famous for some goats who live on the grass roof of a marketplace/restaurant. They have a shed up there where they can hang out, get fed up there, and generally seem perfectly content to be there.

Why put goats on the roof? Good question! Apparently a man named Kristian Graaten, who emigrated from Norway in the 1950's, got the idea of  incorporating a sod roof in the design of the marketplace. These sorts of roofs were common in the small community where Kristian grew up. Legend has it that some goats were put on the roof to mow the lawn on the weekend of the Coombs Fall. The goats were a hit and successive generations have been up there ever since.

Not all the goats in Coombs are on rooftops, however. I found one or two that were earthbound...

Goats aren't the only wildlife around Coombs though. We spotted a few wild rabbits around too. They let you get pretty close to them. 

Vancouver Island in general is overrun with wild rabbits. I'm pretty sure these generations of rabbits started off as pets that were set free. The rabbit you see pictured above looks very much like a Dutch Dwarf, which is a kind of rabbit that you can buy in a pet store. Over the years I've had a couple of bunnies as pets and they were great. You can litter-train rabbits easily and they're easy to care for in general. They're affectionate too! But please, if you're considering getting a rabbit for a pet, give it careful thought. They live about eight years on average, so make sure you're willing to put in the time and give it the attention it deserves.

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