THE EARTHFIRE BLOG

Seeds in various stages of germination

Seed Swap #3

Seeds are tiny, magical packets of latent energy and potential, ready to burst forth when conditions are right. They contain the very essence of Life itself: ancient...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — I took Shota, my sensitive, gentle German Shepherd pup to Sun Valley, Idaho, for an examination by a specialist. He has had a limp for a couple of months now. Our local vet, examining him, had referred us to the Sun Valley vet. She said she could feel something in his shoulder but it needed an expert diagnosis with an advanced CAT scan machine and probable surgery. Speaking on a video call with wildlife vet Linda Bender about a program we were planning, I mentioned that I would be leaving the next day for Shota’s possible surgery. We continued talking and suddenly she blurted out, “He doesn’t want surgery.” A little confused because we had been...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Gratitude is the emotion most associated with happiness and mental health. Gratitude helps us focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have, enhances the immune system, and fills us with a sense of expansiveness rather than contraction; warmth and calm instead of upset. The good thing is that it is easy, once we focus on what we have been given. Just the fact of being alive is the greatest gift possible and we all have been given it. Plus the gift of consciousness, an incredible human brain, the ability to enjoy beauty, and the possibility of developing according to our own inclinations. We each have individual life circumstances that vary...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Foffy the Mustang, Garrett the Farrier, and Bluebell the Displeased Bison Bluebell was not pleased. It is not good when Bluebell is not pleased. She is a massive, powerful, assertive matriarch with very large horns and a bit of an attitude. The horse-shoer pulled his truck up to the paddock where Foffy, our gorgeous blonde mustang girl was held in preparation for trimming her hooves. But the horse-shoer and his truck were interlopers--especially when the truck made noises as he prepared his tools. We led Foffy out and tied her to the fence as Bluebell came galloping over and put on a full displeased-bison display, grunting, tossing her massive head, pawing...

Humble Bumble the Grizzly Bear

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — I offered Teton a slice of fresh pineapple. He looked at it with disdain. Didn’t bother to even sniff it, just walked away. Stately. He is a mango and pear sort of bear. Humble Bumble, on the other hand, got that special look in his eye as he saw his favorite treat and gently laid his bulk down to thoroughly enjoy it. Juice dripped out of his jaws as he bit into the tender yellow flesh. Usually, everything he does is somewhat chaotic and messy. Humble Bumble's destroyed pie plate (and Major Bear's intact one) vs. Humble Bumble's pineapple plate | Earthfire But pineapple? Somehow he managed to control his ADHD tendencies and trim it right down to the...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Conservationists are concerned with saving species. But an important new movement in conservation circles says it is also essential to recognize the inherent worth of each individual animal. This is the beginning of a major shift in our thinking about wild animals. One current in this growing movement is called Compassionate Conservation. The traditional species-focus is based on biology--if you lose a member, it is okay because the species can renew itself. Biologists are trained to give animals numbers instead of names, and aren’t allowed to get emotionally attached. The animals are reduced to statistics for population dynamics rather than considering...

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