Bramble the Bear

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Ravenous bears… 21 September. The bears declared that they’re starving today. It is a few hours before the fall solstice and they are complaining loudly. Food! They will have to be fed first before anyone else now---and three times a day---or we will hear about it. Have you ever heard a bear roar in protest? It is not a pretty sound. Poor sweet things. They sound ferocious, and because of their size we take it very seriously. But really, they are feeling like desperate infants crying their need out to the world. The physiological pressures and urges are huge. If they don't get enough food, they won't make it through their winter hibernation. Here, they...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — I learned something: Wolves are not convenient. Dogs are. So I finally decided to be practical, at least in this one instance. After having wolves, wolf-hybrids, and a malamute (nearest dog to wolf hybrids, who also didn’t listen and ran away every chance she got), I broke down and got a dog-dog, a German Shepherd. People had been telling me for years to get one, but I loved my wild ones. Then, partly for Jean, who was in need of an excellent canine assistant trainer, and partly because I wanted something that might listen and not run away at the first opportunity into a blizzard in the middle of the night and risk being shot (wolf hybrid). Or run away...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — The Tale of Two Stuck Ducks I was walking by the enclosure where Meenie and her duck family live, when an unusual movement caught my eye. There was something stuck in the fence. That was odd. There shouldn’t be anything there. I walked closer. There were two somethings, actually. Two plump little duck bottoms stuck in the fence, wiggling furiously as they tried to get through an opening much too small for them, back into safety and Momma. They must have squeezed their way through the opening between the fence posts and couldn’t find their way back in. I took one soft brown bottom in each hand and pulled, to the accompaniment of extensive quacking by...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — The Experimental Duckling Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be too exploratory (too soon). I will explain……. We had a first here – after years of laying eggs and sitting on them, this July we had an Event. Our lovely brown female duck, Meenie, was finally rewarded for her patience. This was the second sitting of the year. The first one ended in the eggs disappearing one by one until she was sitting on one - and then none. It was hard to watch. Her patient hope and work ended in nothing, the shells of stolen eggs the only testament to what had happened or to the fact that hope had ever existed. If you ever watched the laying of eggs, that alone is...

— 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...

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