Nightstar and Chimayo shedding and covered in burrs and mud after a good time in the gardenPhoto by: Kathy Williams

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. —

As I walk through the early morning cold, the wolves and coyotes begin their morning howl. I let the beauty of the sound vibrate through me, into me, into every cell of my body until the music of the howls and I become one.

30 March. The melting mounds of snow are forming great puddles on the land, puddles that are apparently irresistible to the multitudes of birds on the property. They are out there indulging wildly, ecstatically, fluttering and splashing and ducking and preening and ducking and splashing and fluttering for a very long time. The ice is gone! Freedom! Spring! The joy and excitement is contagious. Life is good.

Buds on a tree in early spring

Hopefully our willow buds will look like this in a couple of weeks | Rtstudio

15 April. It has been a long, cold winter and a long, cold spring. It is April 15 and still snowing a bit every night. I go to our willow trees and look hopefully—the tiny bit of a pale tip is emerging from the tightly closed brown buds of winter. But only the tiniest tip. Each day I check… but the growth is infinitesimal. If I had to take a guess, I would say it is creeping out molecule by molecule. The tree is being cautious with its tender tips—they carry the leading edge of its life force. It pays to be careful. But oh, to see green again after all the months of white, lovely as it is……

15 April. Unfortunately, we have an excellent baker in the office. Dawn brings in healthy, freshly baked treats for the humans and the animals—not helpful for those of us on a permanent diet. Today, she brought in organic muffins baked with coconut sweetener instead of sugar especially for the bears. They had their own bag. How many bears have a personal baker?

The muffins were accepted. They generally went down pretty quickly. Humble Bumble had to sniff it delicately for a moment before accepting it. For Teton there was no hesitation—down into the maw. Huckleberry was napping in his den but he roused his large bulk to come forward for his. Ramble gulped his and, a bit ill-mannered compared to the other bears, demanded more in a rather rude manner. Pieces of muffin were also approved by foxes and chickens. The pieces offered to the coyotes never hit the ground.

Dr. Susan Eirich is the Founder and Executive Director of Earthfire Institute Wildlife Sanctuary and Retreat Center. A licensed psychologist, biologist and educator, her goal is to widen the circle of conversation about conservation to include the voices of all living beings.

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