Those Special Wolves

Those Special Wolves

Hail Bravehearts

Howl!  Howl!  We hear your call.  The great wild sings to us in the distance.  Howl, you essential masters, call to us with all of your voices.  Call with all of your hearts, your souls and your being.  Call us into the wild, where your lives live in the bountiful beauty of the great planet.  Sing to us, the songs of your lives, stories to tell of hunts and capture, of danger and courage.  Songs of triumph, songs of sorrow, songs of fortune.  Sing, you great masters of the wild, sing the songs that we love to hear, the wild that makes us unique and proud.

Great stories, of taking the weak from the herd, of preventing overgrazing and of population control. Songs that we listen for, as we camp in the wilderness.  Do you hear it?  Listen, do you hear it?  The howl of the great wolf as he calls to his pack.  Eerie and exciting, the mystery revealed.  A great hunter, with his family, teaching and learning the life lessons of survival.

Oh essential hunter, your numbers decline.  Save us!  you call and we hear your plea. The bounty hunter slays you and murder increases.  Not us in Canada, this is not our cultural history, the fur trade wasn’t this.  The negotiated peace was cemented by the great peace of the union of a European and a Canadian aboriginal.  The tie between them was the Metis child. Not murder, not poaching, not extermination.  The balance between the hunter and the hunted was for trade and peaceful relations among the people, not for the extermination of a species.

The great wild calls us, it is a teacher to us.  So many species of plants and animals, so much natural wonder and so much sound to hear.  Varieties of rock to cling to and different soils beneath the surface.  The Earth puts those species in the places they belong.  Hail, great planet, we hear your call, as the wolf cull in British Columbia defies the sensibilities of environmentalists , and is regarded as inhumane and a disaster.  This is not Canadian culture, or our history.  This is not the fur traders, or the aboriginals. This is over hunting, over killing. We need these animals, we need wolves.

http://pacificwild.org/take-action/campaigns/save-bc-wolves  Save BC Wolves

A wolf is a beautiful thing.  A fine hunter, an adept and agile predator, with his necessary presence in reducing overpopulating species.  The small ones like rats and rabbits, or large ones like elk and deer.  They prevent  overgrazing from overpopulation, that diminishes plants and destroys ecosystems.  There must be a predator-prey balance for proper bio diversity, not just for one species, but for the entire ecosystem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb11TtPwBxo  lady reunites with wolves

Predators are not a bad thing, they are an essential part of the great wild.  Listen to the great planet as it sings to you.  The wonderful mystery of integrated life forms, sharing a space especially adapted to them.  Spaces of rock and granite, of wind and rain, of sand and sun, coral and sea, forest and dale.  Spaces of uniqueness with unusual creatures to inhabit these landscapes.  No coincidences, just planned environments with creatures, plants, water and rock, all fascinating and wonderful. A journey for our senses, our minds and bodies.  A journey of life, of discovery, of adventure.  Fresh and wholesome, protect it all.  A magnificent species, a majestic great wild, adventure in, for the joy of their being, it is  into their home, that we roam.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

February 22, 2016

 

The Real Santa Claus

The Real Santa Claus

Hail Bravehearts

The holiday season is upon us, filled with love, light, peace and happiness.
Joy to the world, even nature sings!
Some lucky people witnessed the unusual event of a caribou sighting at Marmot Basin Ski Area, Jasper National Park on December 17, 2014. Eight handsome caribou, made a grand appearance on the ski run. These are eight of only 41 left in the Park.
The significance? Come Dasher, come Dancer, come Comet, come Vixen, come Prancer, come Cupid, come Donner, come Blitzen, and the rarest of them all, the Mountain Caribou.
My photo shows a female caribou and her calf on a snow patch, taken from the top of the Mt Edith Cavel Meadows, in July 2014. We needed binoculars to see them.

http://www.thejasperlocal.com/caribou-make-rare-appearance-as-closures-loom.html Caribou sighting at Marmot Basin, Jasper,Alberta, December 17, 2014

The Christmas season is heralded by a merry old gent in red who brings us gifts of Christmas joy. No poverty during this warm season of friendship, worship and brotherly love. The real Santa Claus is not an elf, but a real person, so revered for his abilities to enact miracles. A marvelous human being with powers so great that he could raise the dead and bring gifts of gold to the needy.

Miracles! The holiday season is filled with joy and fellowship. A miracle of humanity and community sharing, of peace and goodwill. The merry old gent, who fills your stocking, is a saint of immense proportions for humanity. His story is told and his contributions deserve our continued respect. Jolly old St. Nicholas who helped to ease the needs of the poor in his day, is remembered still as Santa Claus.

http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/ Who is St. Nicholas, the real Santa Claus.

Merry Christmas to all of you. Happy holiday season.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes
December 24, 2014

Cavell Meadows

Cavell Meadows

The Meadows have finally opened. It ‘s late for this year, being the second week in July, and we braved the sweltering heat wave at 35 degrees, just for another peek at the outstanding Cavell Meadows.
It’s 8:30 am and already the warmth of the day is upon us.  A few vehicles are already in the parking lot and some early tourists have focused their cameras on a site, way  up the side of the mountain. Way up, only a speck of white, is a lone mountain goat. We view his early morning activity through the borrowed cameras of the tourists. Their good fortune for this photo opportunity is far better than mine, since their equipment will give them that superb, possibly once in a lifetime  shot,  that my cellphone camera can’t manage.

Packing light sometimes has its downfalls and this is one of those times. I’m grateful to the tourists for giving me the opportunity to view the goat through their lenses and to see the wonderful photo that they have been able to take.

We continue on our way.  The runoff from the Angel glacier is streaming in torrents into the lake below.  The heat of the day, already melting the skirt of this Angel, and we wonder how much longer we will be seeing this beautiful sight.  We make our way up into the meadows, so full of colour, it’s a spectacular sight.  Although this is an annual hike, we never tire of the splendor that awaits us in this easily accessible alpine terrain.   The wildflowers are unbelievable.  Heath and arnicas, paintbrush and avens, they stretch on and on and on, with a backdrop of mountains and the beautiful hanging  Angel Glacier.

Our destination, is the climb to the summit of the meadows.  A rough path of scree and a scramble at the top, that make the already steady climb, more challenging at the top. We’ve planned for a seven hour day, with time for photos and a relaxing lunch when we reach the summit.  The steady uphill hike, takes us through outstanding alpine meadow, to the well worn, rocky path above.   Then on to the scramble at the finish which will take most of the morning.  The views become more and more fabulous and the marmots come out to play.  Today, they are not shy.  They don’t hurry away.  Instead, they pose for photos and watch us with curiosity.  We are one of the first visitors to the meadows today, and since it’s so hot, one of the few.

The climb through the rocky scramble is difficult at times, but the finish greets us with an expansive view of the valley on the other side.  We can see the Whirlpool River, Leach Lake and a long stretch of the Athabasca River.  Unfortunately, the haze of wild fires burning in the south, cloud our view, so the landmarks aren’t as distinct as they usually are.  We peer into the valley below.  There are many snow patches, which is a good sign.  Usually caribou inhabit lands like these.  They like the snow patches to cool their bodies on hot days.  No sign of any.  That is, not until a pair of biologists on the grizzly bear study, join us at the top, and the keen eyes of one of them, spots a caribou and her calf in the valley below.  I pull out my binoculars and hand them around for everyone to have a look.  We linger for about twenty minutes, watching these animals, listed as a threatened species,  until  finally she moves out onto the snow patch with her calf, and lays down beside a large rock.

http://www.mountaincaribou.ca/content/recovery-plan

Mission accomplished.  We have the sighting that we wanted, but not the photo. Impressed and satisfied, we make out descent, through the glorious meadow and back to the nearly empty parking lot.

Now on to the next most splendid venture, the lake.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

The Inuit

Hail, you awesome human

To the great frontier of the far north. A call to the spirit of man, to traverse the land bridge and build a home in a land of diversity. To you the mighty hunter, surrounded by herds of migrating caribou. Their numbers in the hundreds of thousands of animals. Brave the elements, oh fearless fighters, to the call of the wild, to your own destiny, to the land of fur!
The caribou, always plenty, although now in decline, has served you for hundreds of years. Brave hunters, whose passions led you to the remote north, whose eyes spied the massive herds of roaming wildlife. Brave hunters with your sharp skills and agile bodies, keenly aware of the dangers that stalk you. The predators, the remote tundra, the climate, hunger and the deep chill.
So it comes to pass that the lifestyle of the remote and rugged Arctic, appeases the instincts of your fine survival aptitude. Aptitudes of daring, of athletics of hunting of settlement, of navigation, of founding new lands. A will to conquer and to be free.
Here in the remote Arctic, your skills are challenged. The daily bread is the catch of the day. Walrus, whale, seal, caribou, wildlife is plenty.

http://nides.bc.ca/Assignments/Nunavut/Inuit.htm

The far north, in the Northwest territories, where home is, to a growing number of Inuit, has a land of diverse landscape and animal life. The land, the ocean, the ice and snow, make this almighty human a man of his own making.
The Inuit, once known as Eskimo, are the aboriginal inhabitants of the far north. A land of challenge, but also of great beauty. Of hardship, but also of great abundance. A lifestyle wrought from living off the land, from hunting and fishing and having skills to survive. The inventive mind for making harpoons,for whale hunting, kayaks and igloos.
Thousands of years of habitation in the north, across the Arctic of Canada and into Greenland. The story of the Inuit is a story of peoples adapted to life of ocean seafaring and polar conditions. A story of people whose planetary niche is in the remote Arctic, where unique skills are honed to perfection to provide for a life of unusual adventure. Where the sea offers up its bounty of fishes and the land provides for endless hunting.
The sun has set on the land of the Arctic and the dark skies of endless night are upon them. Still, the dauntless human of this territory emerges the victor each spring.
Praises to you, the peoples of the north, for the habitation of the great land. Praises to you for your ingenuity and strength and for claiming your heritage in this nation, in that remote place and for the daily adventure of your skillful lives.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
January 14, 2014

Igloo

Good Morning Brave hearts

Wake up to a day of architectural delights. Fascinating domains from our cold climate. The perfect dome shape of carved snow, of barking dogs and aurora borealis brilliance, to start the morning off right. Add endless darkness, sub zero temperatures, a little wind chill and here’s the start of a great day in the far north.
Brave human, a day of reckoning with severe climate, possibly predators and elusive game makes today a day of challenge for the Arctic champions of survival. During the darkest months of the year, when the cold is the deepest and the snow is the highest, those tiny domes in the snow, protected small villages of independent and high spirited individuals, who saw the great north as a frontier, called home.

http://www.eskimold.com/uploads/3/1/4/1/3141575/2_a_history_of_igloos.pdf

Way back in far off history, tells a time of human migration throughout Asia to Canada. People were mobile and robust, following herds of game animals, in search of food. Following the call of the wild, to the daunting task of immigration and settlement, of the new frontier, of the far north.
These ingenious people with inventive minds, created the dwelling of snow for shelter and habitation. The landed migrants of Asia, set up domiciles of snow, igloos, to house themselves, during the long winter’s cold. A snow house of warmth and comfort, easy to build, with readily available building materials.
High up in the Arctic tundra, above the treeline, where wood is sparse or non-existent, remains the ancestors of those ancient pioneers. Settlers to the far north with courage and creativity, the daring human, with perseverance and skills, tackled a task of bold survival in extremely harsh conditions and carved a niche of humanity, in a land of constant challenge.
Out on the barren landscape, stands a village of domes. An Inuit village of igloos, carved from compacted snow and filled with an Inuit family and their precious belongings. Furs to sleep on, whale oil for light and cooking, utensils and tools. The daily awakening to a wind swept view of barren, snow covered land. To temperatures dropping to more than -40 and to the more chilling need for food.
Feed the hungry, great hunters. The caribou roam in herds and the walrus plays in the ocean. Yours is a land of extremes. A call to the will of the indomitable human.
Bravo to you, almighty human and to the will of survival. To your place in our history and to your perfect domes, the igloo, on our list of the seven wonders of Canada.
written by Dr, Louise Hayes
January 10, 2014

Barren ground Caribou

Hail brilliant mankind

Cast your eyes upon the wilds of the great land. The wilderness stretches out before you and you are saved. The new land, freshly washed of glacier ice and snow reveals the tundra and the life within. Brave hunters, your lives await you there. Up, way up, above the treeline into the Arctic.
Cast your eyes upon the land and view the newness of the Earth. Your lives await you here, almighty human, the brave explorer, the clever hunter. The wild beasts roam and in your view is the vast herd you’ve been searching for.
Caribou!
Here in the far north is a large migrating herd of caribou. The home of the barren ground caribou as they move across the northern plains of the North West Territories. A way of life for nomadic peoples as they follow the herds for food and clothing. A lifeline, a support, a tradition. Beware, almighty human, the world changes.

http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/_live/documents/content/2011-2015_Barren-ground_Caribou_Management_Strategy.pdf

The barren ground caribou is in decline. It’s once magnificent numbers in the hundreds of thousands of animals is now declining and the great herds are vanishing. A way of life vanishes with them. Gone is the migrating hunter, who’s dependency upon the caribou sustained them in food and clothing. Gone is the sport hunter and with the loss of the wild herds eco- tourism vanishes as well.
Hail bravehearts to the call of the wild.
The exploitation of the far north is a blight upon us. Overharvesting of a national treasure affects our cultural identity. As an environmentalist and a conservationist, the predation of the wild is a long standing concern. Hardship for the people, hardship for the wildlife and loss of culture, a food source, a tourist delight and a way of life.
The sustainability of the land appears consistent. The food source for the animals themselves seems stable. Overhunting is identified as a factor in the rapid decline and the dwindling numbers of caribou are a threat to the sustainability of the wild.
Eager hunters, your bellies are full and hunting of the magnificent wild is no more.
The lands set aside for wildlife habitat is immense in Canada, but still, the plunder increases. The far north, the tundra, uncultivated, unproductive land, whose resource value is low, but for the wildlife that resides there, it sustains them. Specially adapted animals, whose lives have supported the indigenous peoples of northern Canada for centuries. To loose the herds of the wild is to loose our national, cultural identity. The migration of the early peoples, the fur trade, the choice to inhabit the north. The integrity of the wild is essential to us.
Hail mankind. The world is yours, to protect or discard, choose wisely.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
November 20,2013

Caribou

Caribou

Good morning Brave hearts

This beautiful new day of discovery is yours.
The open land lays before us and the movement of wildlife stirs in the distance. We take our cameras and creep forward. What is this sight?
Out here in the protected alpine, where few deer and elk will roam, is another animal. Caribou! Taking a stand for wildlife protection gifts us with the sighting of these rare mountain animals. The remnants of a last herd of animals which used to sustain their populations in the remote areas of Jasper National Park.
Here in the mountains is a unique species of woodland caribou that survive only in the highest alpine areas. Lofty alpine meadows, bursting with colourful flowers, high, snow covered peaks, chilly mountain streams and lakes. An area less frequently visited by humans, but home still to the variety of wildlife that entices us here. A chance for a view of the animals remote and rare, brings us out of our world and into the great open spaces of the great wild.
The great wild!
The adventure begins early, the hike is long. Hours of walking along well travelled routes for the opportunity to explore the magnificent wild. The alpine meadows burst with flower, the colours of the earth and the magnificent scenery make us smile. A sighting would be nice.
The elusive woodland caribou who’s numbers are drastically falling in this area, is our photographic joy.

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/jasper/plan/maligne/ie-ei.aspx

The alpine, in it’s own right, is a place of awesome splendor. The majestic mountain peaks, the array of colour and variety of terrain.
Our constant chatter alerts the ever present bears, who watch from their own safety as passersby invade their home. This is where the grizzly bear lives and hunts and the ever present predator reminds us, never hike alone. The trail is busy, so the chance of a sighting declines as numbers of people improve the chance that the bears will wander off to more peaceful areas. We stay on the trails. No chance encounters, no surprises, no sign of bears today.
No sign of caribou either. The elusive animal is farther back, farther from the trail, farther from human encounters.
This land, as large as it seems to be, is helping to protect some of our nations declining wildlife species. Exactly why the woodland caribou is in decline is not precisely known. The decline seems rapid and with herds as small as these, their own recovery is in peril.
Save us mankind! Calls the great wild and caribou recovery projects persist. The tracts of land set aside for wildlife conservation are being invaded, almighty human and the disturbance upsets shy, sensitive species. In reality, they are all sensitive species, needing care and protection.
The great wild and it’s wild inhabitants are a gift. Come almighty human, to save our national treasures. This UNESCO heritage site is one of those gifts.

http://shop.wwf.ca/?utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Adoptions2013&utm_term=search&gclid=CPy6pMa77LoCFcdAMgod1z4A_g

written by Dr. Louise Hayes
November 17,2013