It is fitting that I choose the word "Nature" for my Alphabe-Thursday post. Tomorrow marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. What could I do for this post that might educate, influence opinion and quite possibly alter the course of events in the Natural world? I will come to that in a moment.
Nature is a term with broad, although mostly related, meanings. The term entered the English language in the 14th century. It was derived from the Latin term "Natura", meaning "that which has been born".
The term Nature is often used to refer to the "Natural environment" as disconnected from humanity and all that has been brought into existence by human effort, mind, or consciousness. I am of the opinion that this separation or disconnection has been one of our biggest mistakes.
My academic background and much of my life's work makes this week's Alphabe-Thursday pick for me a "Natural selection" (Darwin would be grinning now). It gives me an opportunity to climb onto my soapbox for a short while, and let you wonderful, Alphabe-Thursday Nymphs know about a Nature related situation that is of concern to me...The Plight of Wolves.
Grey wolves have only been recently brought back from near extermination in the lower 48 states. Current populations in the Northern Rockies of the Western U.S. are under threat once again, as Governors of these states are opening up hunting of these beautiful animals. Consensus opinion of wildlife scientists and managers does not support the actions taken by the Governors of these Rocky Mtn. states. These Governors have succumbed to a vocal minority of hunters hell-bent on freedom to shoot anything. Recent lifting of Federal protection for wolves has opened the floodgates for this vocal hunting minority, which chooses threats and intimidation to sway state government opinion. IMHO, hunting wolves is akin to shooting dogs. In Alaska, where the populations are much healthier, former Governor Palin created a bounty for wolves, where a front leg fetches $300. In Alaska they are often hunted from the air, when 'hunters' will use airplanes and helicopters to chase down wolves running in deep snow until they tire. Often they are illegally shot from the aircraft. The meat of these animals in rarely used. The pelts remain as a tribute to a 'hunter's' ability to shoot a dog. IMHO it is cruel, inhumane, and senseless. I urge you to research this issue. the Defenders of Wildlife organization is a good place to start. They are front and center in the fight for wolf protection.
The first two photos below are of endangered Red Wolves. These two wolves are part of a captive breeding/reintroduction program at our Chattanooga Nature Center. Their offspring have been, and will continue to be released in protected areas within their historic range. Please forgive the photo quality as I was shooting through chain-link fencing. The other photos were taken during an outing this week to the same Nature Center with MrsC (yes, we are now venturing out once again for brief photo excursions). Have a glorious Earth Day! FYI, you can double click on the photos to enlarge, and you should click on Playlist song #20 as you check out the photos. Thank you to Jenny Matlock, our illustrious "teacher" for Alphabe-Thursday.
Peace and blessings
Horse whisperer MrsC !