Conall’s Food Bank for Ravens

If you pay attention, the natural world offers endless entertainment. This winter there's almost daily life-and-death drama unfolding right in my yard. Nature's circle of life, on a small scale. In late December I wrote about two ravens who had discovered my dogs' discarded marrow bones. I toss them over the yard fence into the… Continue reading Conall’s Food Bank for Ravens

Who Stole My Treasure?

Starting with his earliest forays into the forest near home as a puppy, Conall has had the ability to follow his nose to animal bones left on the ground. Some bones appear in the normal course of life, after animals die from natural causes or as a predator's meal. Other bones appear after hunters kill… Continue reading Who Stole My Treasure?

Symbiosis: Ravens and Dogs

A symbiotic relationship is one that benefits members of two different species or groups. Last summer I wrote about the symbiotic relationship between ravens and wolves. While I wish I could personally observe that relationship in action, wolves are too elusive (as they should be) so it's only the ravens I'm privileged to see up… Continue reading Symbiosis: Ravens and Dogs

Outfoxed

I'm fortunate. I get to see lots of wildlife where I live, adjacent to a national forest in Idaho's mountains. While I rank the wolf - including the one I was privileged to see in its natural environment back in 2006 - as my favorite animal among the local wildlife, red foxes are a close… Continue reading Outfoxed

Another Uninvited Guest

My house does a pretty good job of keeping outside critters outside. Mice have chewed away the edges of the rubber strips along the garage doors and gained access there, but thankfully they've never managed to make it from the garage into the house. Stink bugs somehow find access points through my home's foundation. Of… Continue reading Another Uninvited Guest

The Natural World Taps Me on the Shoulder

When stress starts accumulating, when my headaches worsen and the frustrations of daily living become challenging to bear, I spend even more time in nature. Being out in the forest, surrounded by the natural world, always, unfailingly, settles and soothes me. After several days earlier this month of forced hiding indoors to avoid hazardous levels… Continue reading The Natural World Taps Me on the Shoulder

Naturalism: The Birds Have Left

The bird has flown its nest and it is free to fly the skies of the world. The birds are gone. Well, most of the songbirds, anyway. I’m surprised how sad this makes me. This is the first summer I’ve taken an interest in any migratory birds other than the tree swallows who nest in… Continue reading Naturalism: The Birds Have Left

Altruism

Animal sentience is generally defined as the ability to feel, perceive, be conscious, or to experience subjectivity. The word “sentience” comes from the Latin verb sentire, which means “to feel.” The RSPCA Australia (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Knowledge Base website has a good definition that’s easily understood: Animal sentience is… Continue reading Altruism

Herding Ravens

Virtually all of the seasonal birds - the song birds - have departed for destinations south for the remainder of the year. I've been feeling their absence more intensely than I ever anticipated. More on that in an upcoming post. The remaining birds are those who fly these skies year round: mostly red-tailed hawks, magpies,… Continue reading Herding Ravens

Counting the Pack

During a recent trail run I watched Conall do something I’ve seen him do before, but this time, in a flash of insight, it took on greater meaning. I had an “Aha!” moment. Suddenly, a behavior I’d observed without much thought was shown in a much broader and important context. Reflecting on memories of similar… Continue reading Counting the Pack