Scattered thunderstorms are over Montreal today, but at the Parc Nature du Bois de l'île Bizard west of the city, the clouds are distant. We hear the piercing, sweet songs of cardinals and yellow warblers, the tapping of a small woodpecker, the more raucous calls of flickers and ravens. Grey squirrels scamper among the trees near the water that gently laps against the shore. Far off there's a droning boat engine, but it's easily ignored. Here for a little while we can pretend there's nobody around but us chickens.