Woman feeds an orphaned vole with a syringe

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 respect regardless of size because anything with the breath of life is an absolute miracle. Even from a practical perspective, size doesn’t matter. For example, without the millions of tiny teeming bacterial and fungal life forms found in a single teaspoon of fertile earth, we wouldn’t have Life as we know it. Burrowing through this fertile soil are still more life forms, busily living their lives and contributing their own qualities to the overall web of life. In this case, I am writing about a baby vole. A very kind...

Black and white bird sitting on a branch

Magpies have a reputation for being very smart birds—but now I am not so sure. Last night, as I walked by the enclosure that holds the five orphaned foxes we are preparing for release, I was startled by an enormous commotion. I couldn’t believe my eyes: a frantic flapping of wings and terrified panting revealed eight magpies caught inside the enclosure, desperately banging against the wire mesh as they tried to get out. How did they get in? And if they managed to get in, why couldn’t they get out? It was a late summer evening, rapidly getting dark, and I was alone. How could I get eight magpies out without letting the foxes out, or having a panicked magpie fly to the fox-filled...

Palomino horse

Often a deep shift in consciousness occurs when we share with each other the profound, inexplicable experiences we've had with wildlife. It is vitally important that we support one another as we explore the nature of our human journey, and the nature of reality, beyond the constraining norms of commonly accepted reality. A friend of mine, Kathi, attended an equine retreat seeking a connection with horses. Holding a high-level executive job with all the pulls of the human world weighing on her, she went intending to get help grounding herself. She writes, “When I stepped into the ring, I had an immediate sense of Catan. He was so strong and magnificent that my heart just opened and I...

Woman looks into the eyes of a coyote

In many ways, we are creatures of habit. We are also shaped by cultural influences, the family, the times we are born into, and social pressures as to what is “normal.” Without realizing it, our brains are shaped by the pressures and examples we grow up with. And unless we are lucky, we are turned away from our own intuitive experiences. It becomes difficult to develop a true aspect of ourselves that is the source of our own ideas, intelligence, and intuition. We are in a transition time now between the older 20th century understanding of how the universe works---in which our sense of “reality” is the only one---and the quantum version of how the universe works, which is on...

White dog with black spots and black markings on his face

Odd things happen to all of us at some time or another. A few weeks ago, I woke up after a vivid dream about my dog, Abe. I was at the trailhead of a popular local path into the foothills, calling out for Abe, who had run off both leashless and collarless. I whistled, yelled, and shrieked to no avail. Hikers passed by, promising to search for him as they went on their way. For no apparent reason, I got into my old pickup truck and drove down a dirt road, rounded a sharp corner, and pulled up at a dead end. Who was bouncing up and down, yipping happily? Abe. After pouring a cup of coffee and wondering why I would have such a crisp, realistic dream---except for the part about Abe not...

Macro shot of a green insect with large brown eyes and antennae

The other day we watched footage from our trail cam on our wildlife corridor. Something flitted briefly across the screen as we looked for mammals, and someone said, “Oh, it’s just a bug…” “Just a bug?” I exclaimed. “What do you mean, ‘just a bug’? They make the world go around! Without bugs, we are lost. And they are incredible! Have you ever seen the film Microcosmos? Well now you must---it will be a staff enrichment session. And they aren’t ‘bugs,’ they are insects---proper respect, please! No demeaning through language---we do that with too many life forms, including humans, and the result is the same, so---insect, please.” (Even worse: because it was...

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