Large salad with lettuce, carrots, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, and ranch dressing

— by Dawn Harrison — We received a donation of 30 pounds of organic meat and salmon, much to the delight of the animals. I felt bad for the couple whose freezer decided to stop working, but I was hard-pressed to stay sad after seeing the joy that it brought to certain individuals on property. The cats (Tahi the Cougar and Better the Bobcat) got some of the most beautiful steaks I’ve seen in a long time as well as a slice of salmon---and showed their appreciation in their own feline way. They quickly nabbed their bounty and stole off to the corner to savor it. The wolves, coyotes, and foxes also enjoyed their meaty treats, devouring their choice bits with zeal. But the bears, as...

Bee pollinating willow tree flowers

— by Dawn Harrison — Everyone has a different thing that tells them spring has arrived. For me, it’s actually different every year. Sometimes, it’s the first time I see a baby bunny in the yard. Or it could be the first tulip bloom of the year. This year, it was the first time I noticed the bees buzzing in the trees. It’s funny how you don’t realize you missed something until you hear or see it again. I was doing the morning walk of the property, saying good morning to the dogs and chickens and was on my way to say hello to the wolves when I heard the unmistakable sound of bees buzzing around the tree above me. It made me smile to know that they were busy pollinating and soon...

Black Bear resting behind a large rock

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Huckleberry Bear Bear is quite elderly now, so foolishly, we trusted him. We wash the bear enclosures with a powerful hose, which is an object of great interest for the bears. (Ramble the grizzly snares one with some regularity and seems to find a thrill in the upset caused by the need to replace a severed and well-punctured hose at $60 and a 3-hour round trip drive.) But gentle black bear Huckleberry? Now that it is spring and the bears are awake, Huckleberry goes out into his Garden. There is a passageway from his enclosure to the Garden that passes quite close to the water spigot and its attached hose. Jean had moved the hose, he thought, out of...

A Wolf-Dog and two German Shepherds

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — I guess all of us change over the years. Hopefully we grow. Hope the wolf dog did. We rescued Hope a few years ago. He was a feral wolf dog, haunting a subdivision and looking for canine company. No one knew where he came from. Members of the subdivision were afraid of him and worried he would eat their dogs. They asked the sheriff to remove him. After attempts to trap him were unsuccessful, the decision was made to shoot him. But one subdivision family understood that his “lurking presence” was from loneliness rather than intent to do harm. They called us and asked if we could help. We were able to trap him and bring him home. (Read the story of how he...

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...

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