Tag: wildlife

Rural Living

My mind has been wrapped around our move, but was suddenly kicked into higher gear this past weekend when I saw the documentary on Netflix called The Biggest Little Farm. It’s about a couple who lived in Los Angeles and decided to start their own 

The Light in August: My Time on Salt Spring Island

Light in August is a 1932 novel by William Faulkner, which took place in Mississippi and examined issues that arose in conflict between those alienated in society and the Puritanical white society. According to Hugh Ruppersburg’s Reading Faulkner: Light in August, Faulkner said of the 

Things

I apologize for the lack of blogging lately. I’ve had a wee bit of time off work again and have had time to relax, write, think, and, of course watch and read various stories. Another bullet list of things:

  • As my close friends know, I’m a nerd, so enjoy the occasional video game. Nearly 15 years ago I started playing World of Warcraft with my husband and some friends, and by far the most enjoyable times were those early years–the first game (which is now called “Classic” or “Vanilla”) and the first expansion, “The Burning Crusade”. I haven’t been been subscribed much since 2008 or so. But somehow I was fortunate to get into the beta of the redo of Classic, so have been trying it out and have been having a really good time. My preferred class is the druid, and it’s no surprise, as it’s kind of the nature-lore-based class. I have luckily made friends with people I hope to be able to play with when the game comes out.
  • We made an attempt at Golden Ears Provincial Park on our 13th anniversary, but both of us had the worst colds imaginable and so couldn’t stay past one evening (the fire smoke really bothered me especially); still, I got to spend about four hours in a nice chat with my husband, around a fire. It’s really been a great time since we met over 15 years ago. And on the way there, we found a great deli in Maple Ridge. The good news is our electrical car made there and back. The bad news is that I give up on provincial park camping, really. As much as I love the hikes and the tent-camping, every single park we’ve been to is not really a get-away as it is a place for people to hook up generators so they can party late and blend margaritas and play music loudly. No thanks. Might as well pitch a tent in our back yard. It’s quieter and more peaceful and probably has more wildlife. We are headed to Salt Spring Island in August, for another tent-camp, this time with a couple friends, my mother-in-law, and a couple of her friends. But it’s not a provincial park–just a privately owned area. I’m really looking forward to that.
  • I’ve been working on a new interview for my world eco-fiction series at Dragonfly. It will go up next week; this one involved getting a translator to help with some of the answers, so thanks to my coworker Mavis for helping with that!
  • On the reading front, I pre-ordered Rory Powers’ Wilder Girls, which comes out in July. I am prepared to have my mind blown. On the watching front, it seems my new gamer friends are also Game of Thrones fanatics, so it has been fun having these conversations–one in particular about Jenny of Oldstones, some lore that didn’t make it much into the television series; though the song sung by Podrick Payne in Season 8, Episode 2 (a great scene) was beautiful. I’m still reeling from that show and want to reread the books again, but my reading list is so full at the moment. I haven’t found anything else to watch and may just give the screen a break. I do hope to see the Elton John movie this weekend.
  • That’s about it, for now. Bulleted lists make it easy to blog sometimes, but it’s just laziness as well. I am kind of overwhelmed with other things lately, not to mention trying to finish my next novel by next year and keep up with the regular work I am committed to!

The featured image is of the last time I was in Tennessee when my Aunt Helen was alive. I have lately been missing the south again. I guess a trip is due sometime in the future. I’ve been wanting to go visit Mom and my siblings and then go down to the Appalachian area to see my cousins again too.

Dragonfly Summer

I can’t believe how beautiful it is this time of year. We have had perfect weather, though warmer than usual. Last night when we were getting ready for bed, we smelled wildfires from up north. It is so dry I have had some green beans 

An Afternoon with Harris’s Hawks

For my birthday last year, my husband’s gift to me was a raptor walk–but we could not go during the cooler months, so scheduled it for April 20, yesterday. The owners of the raptors live in the country outside Maple Ridge, and their large yard 

New Year’s Goals

It’s almost December. We’ve survived nearly a year of Trump, and often I’ve looked at this crazy unreality as a challenge. It seems like just yesterday I walked through Washington DC with hundreds of thousands of others. Today it was reported that North Korea launched a ballistic missile and probably has the capability to strike Washington DC. The leader of the US will most likely make matters worse, but is it possible to make matters better? Meanwhile, refugee crises and climate change worsen by the day–problems that will never be solved by corrupt leaders since they dismiss and deny these problems altogether. I am honestly saddened to hear news of horror–animals going extinct, for instance. In the meantime, I have kind of felt like a deer-in-headlights person in the last few weeks, with each passing day and each harrowing news story. It’s partly because I’ve been too still. I haven’t run at all for weeks, and not regularly since June. I haven’t let myself go free. I am reminded of a song by Ingrid Michaelson, with the lyrics:

I want to change the world, instead I sleep.
I want to believe in more than you and me.
But all that I know is I’m breathing.
All I can do is keep breathing.
All we can do is keep breathing

It’s the outcome of feeling powerless too many times. For a lack of trust in those who are supposed to lead, who we are supposed to be able to trust but who instead are clowns in a circus, leaving us to feel lucky to breathe one day at a time and, if having a really good day, maybe do something positive and build hope–in my case, through writing (not blogging, necessarily).

The storm is coming but I don’t mind.
People are dying, I close my blinds.
All that I know is I’m breathing now.

My new year goals are stronger than they were last year, when I felt like I just wanted to dance free-form in the living room and maybe learn to play the fiddle. I have danced. I have not played the fiddle at all, but I have danced to fiddle music and am trying to learn the guitar better. In the new year, I want to do more than just breathe. I will start running again. I have to get over the fear of meeting a bear on the trail, which I finally admitted to myself is a thing now after I met one in our yard this year and our gaze at each other petrified me. But physically I am okay again for running. I just feel like I need to not just sleep. I need to wake up. I need to run free and be able to look down a bear and not run away. I need to look at the world and not run away.

Featured image: prints I bought today for framing and reminding myself to wake up. Thank you, art.

Trip to Bella Coola

Photos taken and copyrighted by Morgan and Mary Woodbury In late August of 2014, my husband and I, and our moms, went to Bella Coola, BC–the gateway to the Great Bear Rainforest. I’m currently editing a PDF of my studies of the rainforest. I had 

Wildlife Awareness

Note: the feature image is of bears we saw near Williams Lake three years ago, not the bear I saw yesterday. After having blogged so much about my fear of startling a bear when running, I finally had an encounter on my run yesterday. Luckily, 

Wildlife and Animals

On my 45-minute run on Saturday I ran around Como Lake, and it was raining very hard! I noticed that there is a new local resident: a young great blue heron.

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This little guy kept me company, somewhat, along with the ducks, for the lake trail is small (1k around). I ran around it 6x in my allotted time. Each time I passed the heron, I smiled. It is a beautiful creature. Seeing wildlife, and owning pets, makes me happy. Our pets (cats) definitely all have unique personalities, and one of them, Radagast, is particularly responsive to me. He’s kind of a goofball. Our cats are indoor-only, but if the door remains open more than a split-second, he dashes outside. In the spring and summer, he is very aggressive, through the screens, with wildlife out back or in our side yard. He will go from window to window, huffing, prancing, etc. Yet, he will snuggle with me for hours at night, sometimes falling asleep on my right shoulder, purring very loudly. He’s so sweet despite his otherwise desire to get outside and taunt things.

Last night Radagast was perched upon my shoulder as I watched Wild Horse Wild Ride, a film about some riders who rode wild horses (mustangs) they’d trained, from the Mexican to Canadian border. It was a very good documentary. They were trying to raise awareness of some issues, most particularly that land management has governed that only so many wild horses can live sustainably on western lands and that now many wild horses are kept in pen captivity due to trying to keep the horses per land reasonable (otherwise, there is scarcity of food, especially during increasing droughts). In my mind, there’s really no reason to continue the unsustainable practice of beef and dairy cattle ranching, so I side with the wild horses being able to get more land–but there is always compromise in these situations, and in this documentary, the riders were raising awareness of the multiple issues surrounding wild horses and showing how sturdy they are. Adoption rates have gone down, while wild horse populations are going up, so the guys doing the movie wanted more people to know about why these animals would be great to adopt.

What struck me the most was these riders’ love for the natural beauty of the West. From fly-fishing to riding through mountains, deserts, and along rivers, they all seemed to hope these areas would be untouched, still beautiful, and clean a hundred years from now, and more. The photography and cinematography was absolutely stunning. The second most endearing thing to me was the way that these riders genuinely cared about their horses. While the doc showed that wild horses need to be trained; once trained, the relationship with their owners in this film was very sweet. Caring. That’s how, I wish, all of us could be.

Call me a luddite, but I don’t think our needs should ever come above those of animals, which is why I disagree with so many greedy corporate practices that take away animal habitats just for palm oil or some other natural resource. I think from day one, if we would have had some foresight to the nature we use for our benefit, and, instead of saying, “I can make money from this venture,” we would have thought instead, “If we take this resource, how will it affect the entire ecosystem on which we depend; how does it look 50 years down the road, 100 years down the road; why are we killing animals for our own benefit, and why is that necessary?”

Speaking of animals, I am part of an emergency response team at the school I work at (the largest school emergency response organization in our province), and being still a new member, as of last year, I have struggled with which area to become involved in. I started as a scribe and did psychological first aid training and light urban search and rescue training. I’m also a fire warden. Well, after talking more with the manager of our team, I have decided to go into the pet emergency care, which is new. It basically helps people prepare for emergencies with their pets (tags, collars, care) and figure out best evacuation routes and day-of handling.