Teton Totem the Grizzly Bear

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — It is late February. It is cold and blizzarding. Will someone please explain to me why Teton Totem decided to rouse himself now, of all times? I rush to the store to get dark lettuce for him. That is close to what they will eat in the wild to ease their stomach into the world of food again. He is interested. It is a bit of a break not to have to care for five bears for several months. But we do miss them. And on the very, very plus side... he survived the winter! It is a worry for me each year. I just can’t believe they can disappear like that (he went to bed in early November), not eat, not drink, and come out alive. It isn’t possible. But it...

Sparrow in hand

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — It’s been snowing and snowing here---a welcome event as that is a normal winter for us. It is what life is adapted to here. Snow insulates the ground and the roots of the trees from the cold. The voles burrow along under the snow in long tunnels, feeding the magnificent great gray owls that come every winter. It gives us our water in the spring as it seeps into the aquifer below, nurturing plant life along the way. Sparrows in the trees | Earthfire However, for one unfortunate sparrow, plump and lazy from the easy pickings of stealing the chicken’s food, the snow was not a blessing. As the snow accumulates on the red metal roof above the horse,...

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