Seeds in various stages of germination

Seed Swap #25

This week, the coronavirus pandemic reached 5 million cases. While much is still unknown about the emergence of this disease, there is strong evidence to support the...

Female Pangolin climbs a tree with baby pangolin holding on to her tail

In the days since coronavirus began sweeping across our planet, many of us have experienced moments of extreme fear and grief. And in those moments, many of us have reached out for the comfort of connecting with a beloved animal. For those of us who love animals deeply, there is nothing as healing as being in their presence, whether it be stroking the warm fur of a dog or cat curled up beside us, watching a bird perched in a tree, or catching a glimpse of a deer walking silently through the woods. Animals of all kinds have a way of bringing us back to the present moment―teaching us not to dwell in what has already passed, or to dread what may come in the days ahead. Here at Earthfire,...


I first encountered Skeeter two summers ago, when my husband and I first moved into this apartment. The apartment didn't have a screen on the back door, but I liked to keep the sliding door open for air when the weather was nice. One day, I heard what I thought was a bug trapped inside, pinging against the glass as it tried to find its way back out. I went to help the poor thing to freedom, but what I found was not a bug---it was a squirrel in the middle of my kitchen floor, looking for all the world like he'd been caught with his paw in the cookie jar. We both just kind of stared at each other for a few seconds until I laughed and he ran away, feet Flintstoning against the linoleum as he...

Red-Tailed Hawk sitting in a tree

As I drive to town to pick up my daily mail, she sits there, high up on the right---an elegant hawk on top of a telephone pole. She has a grand view of her hunting grounds across the farm and sagebrush fields, though I wish there were a tree she could sit on. Every day I wish for her to have a good meal, thinking of her own hunger and possible babies. And then I think of the adorable, family-oriented little ground squirrels, who would be the most likely meal, and I cringe to think of the loss in their close-knit families.  The other day, as I drove around the curve in my driveway, I encountered another hawk, who had just caught a ground squirrel and was taking off with it in his talons....

Wolf dog sniffs a man's hand

Hope is an extravagantly handsome dog who has wolf ancestry, although we aren’t sure what percentage of wolf. He lives with us at Earthfire---which is a good thing, because otherwise, he would have been euthanized by a bullet. Several years ago, Jean and Susan got a call from a woman in a subdivision with a story. What appeared to be a wolf was hanging around her subdivision and had made friends with her two dogs. She liked him. She saw that he was lonely. But other residents were naturally alarmed to see this large creature trotting through yards and calling out to their dogs. The sheriff tried to trap him several times, but was unsuccessful . The next solution was to shoot...

Orphaned baby squirrel eating from an eye dropper

Mid March The towels in the shoe box gave a suspicious lurch. There is Life in there! Every day, they change. Ears a little perkier. Tails up across their backs. Three blind heads poking out from the edge of the box. I reach in to take one out for feeding and she gives a sudden, electric jerk as she feels my touch. Just one—but it’s the sign of a rapidly maturing nervous system, a harbinger of things to come. Before this, they had been helpless and passive. In a few weeks, their reflexes will be so quick it will be impossible to catch them or even track them with our eyes. End March Oh dear! Their eyes are opening and the box is moving a lot—sudden jerky little movements. I know...

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