— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Adrianna the goat wasn’t feeling well in the evening. She refused to get up. She had diarrhea. Worried, we called the vet. "Was she wormed? Was she vaccinated? Take her temperature and call us in the morning.” Easier said than done. Taking the temperature of a feisty goat regardless of her not feeling well was not a simple process. She didn’t agree to it. It took two of us, and she refused to be distracted. The first time she resisted and complained about the indignity so vehemently that Jean took the thermometer out too soon and we had to do it again. Would she ever speak to us again? We had never had to manhandle her before. After all that fuss,...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Brunnhilde the Hen: We have on the property some very strong-minded, independent and exploratory chickens. There is little that escapes their notice or their investigative interest as they wander the property seeking treats. We are not safe when we leave the office door open on lovely days...She doesn’t respect boundaries. (If only she could type…) Cherry blossoms enliven a local parking lot | Photo by Earthfire Glorious Blossoms: Every spring as I drive through the supermarket parking lot to get my mail, I pass these magnificent blooming cherry trees. There they grow, planted to beautify the lot, surrounded by asphalt, cars, exhaust, grocery...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Journal Entry: The chickens were mad. It was a dreary dark rainy morning in April and I didn’t get up at 6 am to let them out. Sally, the most assertive (named after our office manager) let me know she wasn’t pleased. She stalked past me the moment I opened the door. She had been waiting. (We are blessed with several queens of different species in our mixed family). She also wasn’t pleased about the rain and mud either, though it did mean better scratching. In general she is a hard-to-please chicken (no comment about our office manager). Sally is afraid of nothing – she, in her opinion, owns the entire property. She tolerates us. Though...

— by Anam Thubten — Gratitude So many beautiful souls are gone, just like the rainbow disappears. Their faces are smiling in the shrine of my heart. I’ve tried to dream them many times, so I can say "thank you". They are the most sacred words our lips can utter. Each time we say them, this invisible cold ice between us melts.   Thanks to my beloved ones, You listened to my stories, Shared thousands of delicious meals, Opened my heart, Accepted me the way I am. Your presence never gave me sorrow, only joy. In your field, my entire being is so relaxed.   Thank you to all my friends. Your trust has been empowering...

When the winter winds blow fiercely, snow drifts pile up in the Wildlife Garden so high that the wolves can just walk straight out of the Garden. In order to keep it open for them all winter, we put up a snow fence; a perforated orange plastic strip that lets the wind through but causes the snow to pile up behind it. Unfortunately Bluebell apparently took exception to this intrusion in her pasture. She takes her duties as Watch-Buffalo seriously. Or alternatively gets annoyed when there's an intrusion into her territory and takes it as a person insult. Or maybe she just thought it was really ugly. In any case we found the fence decimated with part of it pierced by her horns and carried...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — No more bears. Nighty-night bears. Bears all gone. No bears anywhere... Does anyone see any bears? No – no bears. Our five sleepy bears are all tucked in for the winter. They may be magnificent. Huge. Powerful. Have great dignity. But they are also complete beings like us and have their moments of vulnerability. Who among us doesn’t want to make a warm cozy safe bed in the cold, cold dark and snuggle in and settle in and feel hidden and protected? Do we want to be talked to seriously as equal beings at that time or do we want to be told bedtime stories, called sweet nicknames and told sweet nothings? Bears are no different. We all become vulnerable...