We humans are like the new kids on the block ~
We are slowly……very slowly learning about the amazing beings with whom we share our planet. In his marvelous book The Secret Life of Trees Peter Wohlleben share his deep insights and experiences with the forest. He is a scientist and a forester who has spent much time in the forest. And he comes out of that forest speaking not only of factual ideas but most importantly of respect and awe and one of kindred spirit. When we see all of life as he has seen the trees, we begin to act very differently toward other life.
His last words in his book read: “Only people who understand trees are capable of protecting them.”
And Coyote …the Hidden Life of Coyote….
Only when we understand them are we capable of protecting them.
Oil on Linen 22″ X 34″
” I feel that it is up to the artists of the present to reveal new ways of seeing the world
and to create new worlds never before seen.” Dahlov Ipcar
Dahlov Ipcar, Beloved Maine artist, passed away on February 10, 2017 at 99 years of age. She was still painting on the morning of her death. As a biologist I had the immense pleasure and honor of knowing her.
In 2012, I visited her in her studio in Georgetown, Maine. She was 95 years old at the time. Her son Bob, encouraged me not to stay too long so as not to tire her. So after an hour I was going to leave, but she wanted me to stay and keep chatting. Such a gracious and warm woman.
The reason for my visit ~ I was going to cautiously ask her if she would like to participate in our I Am Coyote art exhibition in the Fall. Well….. the following is a quote from her describing where she went from there. (At the exhibition, each artist was asked to just make comment about their art piece…not to explain it…this was hers)
“When I was first asked to paint something for the Coyote Art Show I was reluctant — not liking to work “to order” — and I put it out of my mind; but a few weeks later I awoke from a nap with the complete picture in my mind. I made a small “thumbnail sketch” of my idea so I wouldn’t forget it. Then two days later Geri Vistein phoned me, and that clinched it. In some strange mystical way it seemed preordained, and so here it is as I dreamed it.”
And so you see above the art piece she created ….. honoring Coyote!
Beatrix Potter, the famous author of small picture books for children, was born in England in the second half of the nineteenth century. All her books were about animals, many of whom she personally experienced in her life. She cared about the lives of animals, as well as the natural landscape. In her adult life she bought over 4,000 acres in order to protect them from development.
Though she was a woman way ahead of her time, and a woman to be admired, she was also a woman who was a product of her time….I should say, a product of the larger consciousness of her time. How so? If you go back and read all her delightful stories of the bunnies and the mice and the piggies, she portrays them as she has said in her own words as the well-behaved ones.
But…. she wrote one book titled The Tale of Mr. Todd. This story is about a fox and a badger. She introduces this one book by writing “I have made many books about well-behaved people. Now, for a change, I am going to make a story about two disagreeable people.” And it just so happens that these “two disagreeable people” are both carnivores.
The consciousness toward carnivores that we hold within ourselves as a society today has been in in our societal consciousness for a long time.
AND WE JUST KEEP PASSING IT ON FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT.
Until …. we make a shift…a leap…. and re-create our consciousness toward wild carnivores. As long as we see them as the DISAGREEABLE PEOPLE, we will continue to act toward them accordingly.
MAY THIS NEW YEAR
bring our humanity New Insights into the world of our fellow travelers on this planet Earth….
Sharing here with you the words of esteemed ecologist George Schaller, writing of his experiences while researching Mountain Gorillas.
THE SAME HOLDS FOR COYOTES ~
“Only by looking at gorillas [coyotes] as living, feeling beings was I able to enter into the life of the group with comprehension, instead of remaining an ignorant spectator.”
photo by Shreve Stockton
HABITAT – HABITAT – HABITAT
There is ever increasing research pointing out that habitat can greatly affect the relationship between predators and their prey. When we change the landscape by logging or development or building roads….and so many other ways, the relationship of our wild species can be affected, and many times, very seriously. Below is an article about pheasant hunting…hunters are seeing for themselves that protecting habitat, not killing carnivores, is the best way to support the presence of the species they wish to hunt.