Black Bear

Animal Person

In a stroke of the surreal, my heart beat frantically as my eye was yanked from the cheery, colorful bears on the sticker, to a mammoth black bear, tethered to the back of a white pickup truck, and held down with chicken wire. Somehow men have convinced themselves that that is a worthy activity, and they even have the gall to call it sport, as if it’s a fair game played on equal footing. Or as if the other team is even aware the game is being played and has agreed to participate.

Bears 101

Starlings and Eagles

10,000 Birds

Here I was, sitting patiently in a blind, watching a tethered European Starling on a string. The aim of the game was to band raptors, and specifically to band Golden Eagles. It required a bit of an ethical adjustment. When a hawk came in at a good angle towards the ridge where we were perched, either the starling or one of the two Rock Pigeons beside it would get a little tug, enough to make them flutter haplessly. Enough to draw the attention of a predator.

So this is Christmas

10,000 Birds

Every night the community gathers to play games and following that with a dance. Or they called at us from dog teams tethered on the ice, too busy stealing food to have a closer look. A couple of days ago, my end of the world started to tip back towards the Sun. In six weeks it will have tilted enough that the Sun will peek over the horizon for the first time since November. For those of you who shudder at this, know that I love it. I enjoy the dark season and it really flies by.

2012 47