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,...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — I took Shota, my sensitive, gentle German Shepherd pup to Sun Valley, Idaho, for an examination by a specialist. He has had a limp for a couple of months now. Our local vet, examining him, had referred us to the Sun Valley vet. She said she could feel something in his shoulder but it needed an expert diagnosis with an advanced CAT scan machine and probable surgery. Speaking on a video call with wildlife vet Linda Bender about a program we were planning, I mentioned that I would be leaving the next day for Shota’s possible surgery. We continued talking and suddenly she blurted out, “He doesn’t want surgery.” A little confused because we had been...

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