2017-02-07 07.40.30

Tonight I drove home in blizzard conditions turning into complete whiteout. I had to stop right in the road because I couldn't see where I was going. Moving meant going into a ditch on the right or possible oncoming traffic on the left. There is nothing you can do if you can't see. When there was a moment's let up I found myself on the wrong side of the road. It is easy to believe the incidents you hear of someone becoming disoriented even walking a few feet away from the car and getting lost.  Crawling a few feet at a time as I caught a glimpse of the road I made it to my 1/8 mile long driveway with its hills and curves. The wind was whipping across an open meadow causing sizable...

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Many of you wanted to know the outcome for poor Orange. Here is a blow by blow ( or peck by scratch) description: Day 1- We brought Orange out of Adrianna’s enclosure the next day into the “open air pavilion,” as a neutral meeting ground. It is a fenced-in area next to the barn, the ground covered with hay. Her flock loves to hang out there when they are too disgusted with the snow.* We locked them into the inner barn, and opened the adjoining door to Twisty’s flock. Stunned silence. No action. They had never been in the pavilion (they have their own run). They didn’t come out – and Orange didn’t go in. There was studied indifference on both sides though we caught a few...

Chickens

You could understand having problems with bears or wolves, but in fact the chickens cause big problems too. After two years of absolute harmony as a flock, being raised together as chicks, sleeping together, racing around the property chasing bugs under the watchful eye of the rooster Grouse the Third, I suddenly heard a great squawking two days ago. I rushed out to find two hens fighting with intense energy. As I watched a third joined in, with a fourth showing interest. FIGHT!  Outnumbered three against one Orange crawled under a shelf into a corner and crouched down, passively awaiting her fate. The other hens pecked away. Why? Why after years of peaceful cohabitation? It is early...

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All around us are tiny micro-environments that seem like nothing to us, but are life and death to other life. This is "just" a sagebrush, but it is Home, Safety, Life to some other creature. Nothing in nature is "just" anything. It all has importance, and needs to be treated with respect. These micro-environments exist everywhere on earth. Discovering them wherever we live gives us a rich sense of wonder and expands our larger picture of the life in which we are embedded.  It increases our respect for and delight in Life. Share with us ones you discover, where you live. -- Susan Eirich,...

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-- by Susan Eirich, PhD -- On Sundays the coyotes and foxes get fresh eggs from our excellent chickens. The eggs are inhaled, gone before they hit the ground. You have to be quick. If you stay there to enjoy their enjoyment you hear about it very clearly from the other animals. Someone getting a treat is never unnoticed no matter how sneaky you try to be. If Foxie Moxie sees someone else getting an egg first, the outraged screaming sets you back on your heels. Your first reaction is that there must be some life-threatening emergency. Which from her point of view apparently it is. Loki the fox is a bit more genteel but not much. Faerytale the coyote just sends mute signals of desperation....

Jackson Highway Pass

Yesterday I drove over Teton Pass back home to Earthfire in a bit of a snowstorm. Up up up you go the the top of the pass in driving wind and snow, sensing rather than seeing the bulk of the mountain on the right; the drop into space on the left. You are in wilderness where the elements are in charge, in a metal box on wheels with heat, a fragile protection. Fifteen minutes later, driving down the other side, you enter calm weather, clear roads and the lights and warmth of civilization. Such a dramatic transition, from mountain weather and wilderness, to the settled valleys. The dramatic juxtaposition gives us an appreciation for the power of nature that we don't grasp living in a city...