Woman feeds an orphaned vole with a syringe

A Vole, A Bear, and a Berry Pie

The Vole It’s true that we serve bears, wolves, and other large, dramatic animals that capture our imagination. But from an ethical perspective, Life is owed a deep...


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...

Seeds in various stages of germination

The news that is foremost in nearly everyone's mind right now is coronavirus. But these stories show that some good has come of this pandemic: A positive perspective on coronavirus: what if the virus is the medicine? The toilet paper shortage has a lot of people buying bidets, and that's a good thing for the environment. Vietnam is following China's lead in banning the trade and consumption of wildlife. Of all the shortages brought on by coronavirus, this is one we can get behind: New York City animal shelters have been emptied of pets looking for foster homes or adoption. And in other inspiring news: Keas, a species of parrot native to New Zealand, have a knack...

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