Porcupine sleeping on a branch

— By Ann Loyola — Teddy is a porcupine. He’s about five years old and came to Earthfire Institute as a private rescue four years ago. About a month after I began working here, Susan suggested I choose some animals for mutual mentoring and my first choice was Teddy. Now, three months later, I spend a part of every workday with him, usually in the morning. Sometimes we just chat about the weather and other times the topics are more complex. Before my regular visits, Teddy had become withdrawn and his appetite was off; sometimes he stayed in the back of his den and refused to eat. He was very quiet. I didn’t know that porcupines could make any kind of sounds other than the gnawing...

The view looking up through tall cottonwood trees

— by Ann Loyola — The Seven Sisters have become a closely-held secret for at least two reasons. Mostly, I was loathe to share them; and secondly, I feared I would be rightfully labelled as a weirdo. Still, their presence is so obvious and commanding that surely I can’t be the only person wandering in the woods to come across them. The Sisters stand in a snug circle: cottonwood giantesses seemingly sharing one underground bole. When I spotted their distinctive canopy, I had to wade off the trail and through the grasses for closer inspection. Of course I slipped between their trunks to stand in the center, approximately three feet in diameter. Of course I looked up to the sky, down to...

Spider web covered in dew droplets

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — What I am trying to do with Earthfire is impossible, but maybe trying will get us humans closer to living in tune with the Earth. It is essential to start with spirit, that mysterious force larger than us that infuses all things: to spirits of the land, soils, plants, and animals to human input from shamans, intuitives, artists, and scientists. For a new way of living on our Earth, we need all voices, all perspectives, all types of wisdom and knowledge, from all beings. As I said, impossible---but at the very least, we can have the honorable intention to try. During the process of designing new animal habitats, it occurred to me that it was important to ask...

Grizzly bear surrounded by rocks and bushes

— by Jessica Friedman — It was an invitation that brought me to Earthfire. As the digital content manager, I have the luxury of working from home—an arrangement that suits my introverted heart just fine. But since home is 2 ½ hours away, it also means I sometimes feel a bit disconnected from the land and animals of Earthfire. Susan suggested it might be worthwhile for me to meet the rest of the team, both human and animal ambassadors alike, so I accepted the invitation and made the trek north to Driggs. Susan introduced me first to the bears. There was Humble Bumble, sweetly sucking on his paw like a child might suck a thumb. Beautiful Bramble, towering several feet above my head...

Various species of wildlife gathered around a tree with a sign that says Team Meeting Today

Attending a Council of All Beings is a way for us humans to widen our awareness and appreciation for other forms of life by entering into their perspectives as best we can. Each human participant prepares by meditating to feel which being wants to speak through them or who they are drawn to speak for. Then they make a mask of the one they will represent. During the actual council humans set their own identity aside and speak through the masks as that being. Sometimes seeming strange for those on the outside; for those in it and willing to try something different to shake us out of our regular way of seeing things, it is an interesting, enlightening experience. While we know on an...

White-tailed deer doe standing in the woods, looking back over her shoulder at the camera

Sometimes our blog posts and newsletters elicit feedback that includes stories and personal experiences that readers felt compelled to share. We wanted to share one such story sent to us by Diana Powers in response to our recent blog, Schooled by a Stag. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Thank you to everyone who has reached out. It really makes a difference to us. The Deer By Diana Powers I arose to a day filled with warm spring sunlight and birdsong so powerful that even the cacophonous chugging of some huge payloader cannot squelch it. I’m up late today so I know the winged ones have been at it for a while. They are as pleased as I am that winter has gone and we no longer have...

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