We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Environmentalism, so called, is essentially an urban religion. Like Lenin organizing agriculture from an office, environmentalists have a bizarre worldview based on never really knowing much about the subject at hand. Most environmentalists got all they ever learned about the real world from Bambi.
There are many conservators of nature. The only people I ever met who understand anything about nature are hunters and farmers. I never met an academic whose opinion about the natural world was worth a fig.
A person that has killed another beast in the wild, and eats it, has smelled the very musk on the beast, and felt the last shivers of its life ebb away. A hunter knows a lot about a deer you don't. And they didn't do anything that wasn't going to happen to that creature anyway. There are no nursing homes in the forest, and eventually every beast loses a step on the manifold forces arrayed against it. Some sooner than later, as we will see.
A goldfish would eat you if it could get you in his mouth. That's all you need know about Nature. Go out in it, and have something real to do with it. Life and death; or a test of will, anyway. You can never respect it if you don't know about it. And remember it's still as cruel and remorseless as God made it in the first place.
I often reflect on Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead and the sudden death of Lieutenant Hearn. For me, the story moved with Hearn—he was the protagonist—and he was so shockingly killed that it seemed the story should end, but on it went. Life goes on….
Today I found the shells of two paint turtles. I was cleaning a lawn—blowing leaves from the beds—and I found them in their tomb. They had been trapped in a basement window-well and they met their end in this horrid, unintended trap. One had dug under the edge of the aluminum retainer trying in vain to find release. Its shell was wedged under the retainer. It died while digging for its life.
When I hunt I imagine myself as my prey—the sword of Damocles sort of stuff, where a thin thread holds back the forces of my undoing—and if I hear the approach of a deer from behind as I sit in my stand the hair rises up on the back of my neck. I imagine I’m the hunted and I wait without moving for the tension to release. It breaks with the stamp of a deer as it recognizes a threat, or with the draw of my bow and its whispered release.
The tension, which holds my imagination taught between the past and whatever future waits, will yield. A deer, mortally wounded, will break and run from its late discovery of the threat that claims its life. What will claim that sustain of my imagination and bring my life to its end? Perhaps the ravages of old age will be my kind undoing, or a cancer will bring my end. Will I cry and beg for more of what is not mine to keep if the appointed hour is lingering and fully known to me? I’ll know all too soon. This is life! It is magnificent. I love it so….
Last week one of my young cats disappeared in the middle of the day. I'd been bringing her inside at night because in our rural area coyotes hunt at night. Daytime, though, is hunting time for eagles. Across our road is a stream where eagles hunt, and in our meadow are hundreds of rabbits which live in berry thickets. I believe the small cat was taken by eagles as she headed up to the barn.
From her point of view not better than being hit by a car, but from my point of view there is some small comfort in it.
Saw an old buddy the other day. He told me he saw four eagles on the beach by his place. He said they had killed a goose and were eatting it.
So true that life can turn cruel and remorseless. This book about a bear attack is a testament to that fact. Suppose a car wreck could have the same end results, but this couple were hiking at Waterton, a spectacular and beautiful place when they were attacked. They both survived but with horrific injuries and Patricia never fully recovered. She took her own life in 2004. I worked a bit with them in the mid nineties. Really nice people. I have not yet been able to read this book. Have picked it up and put it down several times.
The Bear's Embrace: A True Story of Survival
From a review...
Her writing is candid at times, painfully so. Even more disturbing than her surgeries and facial disfigurement are her nightmares of the bear attack, which continued to haunt her long after the incident.
A chance encounter with a bear on a hiking trip forever altered her hopes and expectations and those of her medical-student husband. Survival, pure and simple, became the main objective of this young couple, whose lives up to that point had been filled with one success after another. This is the author's story of her struggle to overcome the physical and mental scars from the incident. Twenty-four at the time of the attack, she spent the next 18 years coping with trauma and pain, and learning to live with her deformities in a world that prizes perfection and beauty. Though few of us may ever live through anything as dire as this ordeal, the author's experiences may help young readers put their own problems in better perspective.
I think summer camp and suburban upbringing (where all the trees spread widely because of no competition for light) plus all the talking animals in books create the false picture of nature that is environmentalism.
Assistant Village Idiot
Guess Golden Eagles don't listen to vegans!
Question: how do we tempt vegans out onto those ledges?
Pictures of cute baby goats (BE - before eagle)?
Crudités with a nice hummis dip?
Thanks to Rodriguez de la Fuente "El hombre y la Tierra" for those fantastic video shots!