wildlife

White Buffalo

blogThis morning I had planned to shoot trees covered with hoarfrost, but when I opened my cabin door I had a bison browsing just off the porch. These bull bison are up to 2000 pounds and they are very agile, although most of the time they move very deliberately. Well, the fellow this morning took his time to munch on dry grass and scratch his head on one of the posts that mark the path between cabins. The bison was less than 20 feet away. I had just cracked the door wide enough to take pictures through the gap. I could hear his breathing, his jaws moving, and his hoofs in the snow. My hope was that he would not attempt to walk into the door…

He didn’t.

 

 

 

 

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Conservation

Word Wildlife Day

Did you notice?

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Yesterday was World Wildlife Day…

It feels, that celebration went rather unnoticed.

The UN website says “The fate of the world’s wildlife will soon be in the hands of the next generation.” I must disagree. The fate of the world’s wildlife, the fate of us, and the fate of us in our hands, besides natural forces. I think we should do everything we can, to stop loss of diversity due to human activity, such as deforestation, overpopulation, and resource extraction.

On one hand, there are efforts to clone woolly  mammoth and the passenger pigeon from preserved DNA, on the other hand we loose probably more than one species a day.

I have never seen a passenger pigeon. It was once the most common bird in North America. Due to deforestation and overhunting, passenger pigeons disappeared from the wild. In 1914 the last member of this species died in captivity. Her name was Martha.

R.W. Shufeldt, Osteology of the Passenger Pigeon

At that time nobody bothered to breed  and maintain the species. That was a mere 100 years ago.

Have we changed our attitude towards preserving wildlife?

Barely.

World Wildlife Day goes by largely unnoticed.

We have bigger fish to fry. Grow the economy, border up the country, go to Mars…

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Into the Wild

Wild harmonies

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Hélėne Grimbaud was labeled an uncontrollable, unmanageable and unpredictable child. Good for her. I think, some of these traits helped her to succeed as a classical pianist later in life. “Wild Harmonies” is an account of her upbringing in France, concerts all over the world, and her move to the US. In Florida of all places she would have her first encounter with a wolf that changed her life. Her life and work between wolves and music make this unconventional biography a worthwhile read. I can only imagine what a pleasure it must be to read her book in French. The English translation is stellar.

Seeing a wolf in the wild is an unforgettable experience. They are magnificent animals. Native American tribes recognized the wolf for its extreme devotion to its family, and  drew parallels between the society of a wolf pack  and that of a tribe. Also, the wolf’s superior and cooperative hunting skills made it the envy of many tribes. Unfortunately, the rest of the world attached an undeserved stigma to the wolf. It has been severely diminished in many of his previous hunting grounds in the Northern hemisphere. Russia and Canada have the largest populations of the Gray Wolf.

“The caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf who keeps the caribou strong.”

Inuit proverb

 

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One Man's Paradise

Moose Talk

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“What? Do you mind us munching on your devil’s club? There isn’t much else to nibble on around here. Did you notice that ma isn’t taking care of us anymore? She would watch over us since we were born last spring. Yeah, we are the twins and we made it so far together through this strange winter.

December we had a lot of snow, so we did not go up into the mountains, as mom usually does. Instead we did hang around town and chewed through your backyard, you noticed? Then came the rain in January. I hated that. Although we have a pretty thick coat, after a couple of days that rain gets old (and cold). What’s up with that blizzard warning tonight? 60 mph winds, are you kidding me? We’ll stay in the woods, hopefully the trees have shed their snow until then.

I just hope those bears leave us alone. We are not kids anymore, but we gotta keep an eye on those grizzlies. And those wolves, they are just frightening. Haven’t seen any tracks around your house, but at some point we gotta venture out. We like your backyard, except your neighbor’s dogs are just annoying. They should have a Preserve for us, too, just like the one for the eagles.

Well, I guess that’s it for tonight. Enjoy your cozy cabin. Gotta find a place to bed down for tonight. See you around.”

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Nature

Devils Club Snack

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Mmmh, delicious. Prickly devils club, or what’s left of it. That’s what this calf is munching on just outside my living room. They clearly know I am there, behind the window. I think, I am more nervous than they are…

A mother and her two calves make the rounds regularly and trim the bushes around the house. This was a week ago, now we have more snow on the ground, which makes it harder for them to move around and find food. On the other hand it is less cold.

They are amazing to watch. I hope they make it through the winter alright.

 

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One Man's Paradise

Eagle of the Day – № 3

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