Sunday 30 December 2012

Fear of Man

Natural wilderness is perfect in every single way.
Life and death ebbs and flows with balance and purpose.
Each creature holds a special role.
Each being belongs.

Human interference with perfection has disrupted the harmony.
But that's not say that ecosystems don't heal.
Nature abhors a vacuum and is constantly trying to right itself;
despite our efforts to control the equilibrium.

Predators have most often been feared by humans;
usually without good reason.
Even at the top of the food chain we are a fearful species.
So we lash out with death in a useless attempt to ease our fear.

Nature resists our ignorant efforts.
And yet we fail to learn.
Wolves and coyotes have always been shot on sight without provocation.
And though true wolves have receded to the last real wilderness,
coyotes persist in greater numbers than ever.

There is great debate in our part of the world.
Many people claim to have seen wolves around here,
but they are mostly coyotes.
The Algonquin area has a wolf population, but even those are a unique sub-species.

In truth, even the biologists are never fully certain.
Inter-species breeding has contributed to a wide variety of wild canids.
But they're largely coyotes out there.
Though many of them are large and awe-inspiring.

Having left the remains from our pig processing nearby in the woods,
it was inevitable that we would have visitors.
At first, the coyotes left the viscera alone; either because of territory battles
or maybe they wouldn't go through the open gate of the compound.

The ravens started the party in earnest, but the coyotes were not to be left out.
Every night now there has been howling close by.
And then Kira spotted one close to the house, on the hill behind the chicken yard.
It wasn't looking for chickens, but finishing off some leftovers from another hog.

I didn't know if it was a wolf or coyote.
After some more research it is still fairly clear that true wolves don't live here.
It doesn't diminish the majesty of the sighting however.
These are large canids that are truly beautiful and elusive.

I may be quick on the trigger with some of the farmyard intruders,
but we don't shoot coyotes.
Time and study has proven that shooting them does nothing but exacerbate their numbers and daring.
There is a line which I prefer they do not cross
but I won't start a war that I know I'll lose.

The sight and sound of them adds wonder and intrigue to the wild edges of our home.


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