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Wild Wolf Encounters
Songs for a Beloved Friend
I can’t get this right, so I’m posting two poems. Feel free to leave me feedback about which one you prefer or don’t.
Shards of rage and jealousy
pierce the soul
pain’s disposition a lasting bequest
recovery uncovered – life’s unwelcome guest
(Recovered) Alcoholic’s Lament
WARNING: DO NOT APPROACH
Rage and jealousy lie buried together
in a shallow grave
scrape the surface and find them
companions fit to shatter any structure
crumbling all foundations
Shards may pierce your soul
Some of you will worry, so I feel compelled to add that this is not about me or my family.
The Scream is in the public domain.
This July we backpacked into Wolf Lake in Yellowstone National Park. Wolf Lake ranks as one of my most special places. Its beauty is wild and calm; the Gibbon River babbles through the meadow here. In a short while, the river’s flow and drop become ferocious. But at Wolf Lake, the world is gentle.
The bugs were wicked, but the chance to spend time in the park and on the water made them bearable. Comfortable in the backcountry now, in a way I never was as a young adult, I can relax and enjoy my surroundings.
Time changes when one backpacks. There is no need to mind the clock, to rush along and be back to the car before dark. Distance is halved; there’s plenty of time to sit by lakes and streams, to watch birds and waterfowl, to contemplate the clouds, and to swim if one chooses. We did choose.
The first time we swam in Wolf Lake, loons and geese came out of nowhere to greet us. I thought this was a coincidence, until it happened every time we got in the water. Loons were nesting in our favorite spot, so we camped farther afield.
Loon voices are varied and magical. Visit this Cornell Lab of Ornithology website to hear them. Here’s our audio file with one of their calls.
In the evenings, we heard another loon call sounding much more like a wolf than a bird.
On the return trip, we stopped at Ice Lake for lunch and a swim. The swans, normally so aloof, started moving toward us the moment we got in the water. So did the loon. (The same or a different one?) Who were these strange water creatures?
Honey Moon over Mountains, June 13, 2014
I tried hard to locate public domain audio of this song, but can find it only at the end of a Turner Classic Movie trailer for the movie of the same name. Thirty seconds of advertising may precede the video – apologies! Listen to Doris Day and Gordon MacRae.
The night before wasn’t bad, either:
I can’t wait to see the stars!
Originally posted on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor:
Today, Saturday 29th March 2014, billions of peoplein over one hundred and fifty countries (that means over seven thousand cities) will turn out the lights. A World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) initiative, dating back to 2007, has once again united the world in an effort to bring attention to energy consumption, sustainability and climate change issues.
This remarkable annual global occurrence takes place between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm (YOUR) local time. Starting in New Zealand and ending in Tahiti, lights of some of the world’s most iconic monuments, landmarks and skylines will be switched off. Many will also turn off their televisions, computers, Xboxes and PlayStations, and any other power-driven gadgets they have.
This is undoubtedly the largest ever collaboration to help safeguard the planet, and numbers of participants are growing every year. The hour has, in many places, evolved into something much longer. Environmental projects are taking…
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is the federal agency charged with administering the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on land. wikipedia/Endangered Species Act The ESA was enacted by Congress in 1973 and has been called “the Magna Carta” of the environmental movement”. –Historian Kevin Starr, quoted in Wikipedia above.
USFWS is required to use fact and science to decide which wild creatures will be added to or removed from ESA protections. This is a tall order for a politically-impassioned reality that encompasses wolves. It seems fair to say that USFWS has not yet lived up to its mandate.
The currently-proposed USFWS rule would remove wolves from the ESA in the remaining 45 states where they continue to enjoy federal protection. USFWS recently extended the comment period on this proposed rule until March 27, 2014. The comment period was extended to give those interested an opportunity to speak about a recently-issued independent scientific peer review report on USFWS’s proposal.
This report was prepared by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California, Santa Barbara (NCEAS). It discusses the benefits wolves bring to ecosystems they inhabit and NCEAS’ conclusions that the present state of wolf recovery does not justify removing them from ESA protection.
It is important to understand what the proposed USFWS rule will and will not do. Wolves in three states – Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana – have already been removed from federal protection. This was accomplished a few years ago by congressional action on a “must-pass-or-the-government-will-cease-to-function” budget bill. This bill included the wolf de-listing proviso; many voted for it who might otherwise have opted to continue wolf recovery. The legislation stipulated that each of the three states submit to the USFWS a plan for the management of wolves within their state. When USFWS approved the plan, as it has done in all three states, hunting could begin. Wyoming’s “shoot on sight” management plan was approved and is in effect. Wolf numbers are down by huge percentages in these states.
Sadly, nothing about the proposed rule will change this. Wolf hunting in these three states will continue whether or not the proposed rule is promulgated. The only fix for Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, where most wolves in the lower 48 are located, will be either congressional action or a wholesale change in attitude. The proposed rule anticipates removing federal protections for wolves elsewhere in the lower 48 states.
Nevertheless, opposing this rule is important. Wolves have not recovered; removing them from ESA protection throughout the U.S. would insure they never will.
Please raise your voices for those without a voice:
Submit your comment to USFWS by March 27 by following this link:
and sign the petition circulated by Congressman Peter DeFazio of Oregon and directed to USFWS Director Dan Ashe: