Sandy's Garden ... Big Foot
My late brother-in-law, Ron, lived his whole life in British Columbia, having been born in Peachland and died in Vernon.
These towns are linked by road by Highway 97 and by water by Okanagan Lake.
Okanagan Landing is a district of Vernon and is home to Ogopogo, a camera-shy first cousin to our very own Nessie, living in a very deep lake.
At its deepest, Loch Ness is 230 metres deep – that’s 755 feet in old money – while Okanagan Lake only just beats that, its surface at its deepest part being separated from its bed by 232 metres of water, which is 761 feet in old money.
That’s a whole lot of water for monsters to hide in.
While I have never seen Nessie, Ron reckoned he may well have seen Ogopogo.
Cruising up the lake in a speedboat quite a number of years ago, he caught sight of what he thought was an inflatable mattress floating on the surface in the distance, Thinking some sleepy-head might need rescuing, Ron revved up his boat and set course for the distant, dark-coloured floating object.
But, as he approached, the object submerged suddenly and soundlessly, leaving neither a trail of bubbles nor any other evidence that it had ever been there.
Ron, a life-long Ogopogo sceptic until that moment, had no idea what else it could have been.
He was also honest enough to admit he didn’t hang around for long to see if whatever it was might reappear.
British Columbia is also one of the homes inhabited by man-beast Bigfoot, which usually goes by the name of Sasquatch in Canada.
Folklorists trace the figure of Bigfoot to a combination of factors and sources, including folklore surrounding the European wild man figure.
The majority of mainstream scientists have historically discounted the existence of Bigfoot, considering it to be the result of a combination of folklore, misidentification and hoax, rather than a living animal.
Well, I have news for them. Bigfoot is alive and well and clod-hopping around my garden in Polmont!
That, at least, is what I am trying to persuade my wife to accept.
The real reason for a newly potted up campanula being mashed by what is unmistakeably a human-like footprint … ‘shoe-print’ would be a more accurate term … is that, having decided to remove some feral bramble seedlings which had mysteriously appeared underneath a magnolia tree, I accomplished the task with much stooping below its low-slung branches.
Returning myself to an upright, erect position with a few ‘oohs’ and ‘aaahs’, I stepped back to check that I had not overlooked any brambles. Seeing none, I took another step backwards just to be certain.
I knew, a milli-second after I returned my right foot to the almost-ground, that the squelch and the yielding surface were not good news. And assuredly they were not good news for the campanula or its pot, now bearing the impression of an unmistakeably human-like shoe-print.
For some reason, Ailsa is reluctant to accept my assurances that we must have had a visit from a presumably migrant Bigfoot, for we have never heard of any in this area before. I wonder why she is so sceptical?