Woman sitting on a log next to a large gray timberwolf

We need a new story in conservation---one that energizes us and gives us hope. As more species extinctions are announced and weather patterns change dramatically, our human-centered frame of reference is too small, causing us to make decisions that do not consider the living systems in which we are embedded. Realizing we are part of a larger living community brings out the best in us: our urge to respect and protect. Living with rescued wildlife over their lifetime, I have witnessed events with profound implications for a different relationship with nature. With stories of sweetness, healing, and spiritual growth, experiences with Earthfire animals show how we belong to the larger community...

Wolf standing on a small rise beside some trees

For those of us who love wolves and know how critical they are to the health of many ecosystems, this year’s wave of government-sanctioned wolf hunts in states across the country has been nothing short of heartbreaking. Given that reality, news from Wisconsin provides some welcome relief. A judge has issued at least a temporary stop to the wolf hunt in the state, which was set to begin in just a few short days. The judge’s injunction came as a result of a lawsuit brought by wildlife advocacy groups. But what is behind those lawsuits? The collective work and passion of many people who simply couldn’t stand by---and instead, took action. Whether they made a donation to an...

A brown daschund and gray cat snuggle together on a bed

I was raised with cats. Growing up, there was always a family cat roaming the house, moving from lap to lap and bed to bed. Throughout adulthood, I’ve been catless for a total of 7 years, with felines, canines, and the occasional horse sharing my heart for the rest of my 61 years. I woke up this morning with a dog under the covers and two cats at opposite ends of the mattress. Another dog and two more cats awaited my arrival at their breakfast bowls. All of this furry familiarity took on a new meaning when I researched DNA comparisons after being told that 50% of the building blocks for trees are similar to human DNA. Learning that chimpanzees match us at 98.8% wasn’t a huge...

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...

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