Of course, it's Valentine's day too. But you'll hear plenty about that elsewhere, so I'd like to draw your attention instead to some wolves.
Lupercalia is a festival in honour of the she-wolf and the coming of Spring. (I'm hazy on the details, but it seems to involve thongs and a whole lot of whipping.)
I've never seen a wolf. One day, I'd love to. I've always wanted to visit America and go to Yellowstone and all those amazing national parks that I always think of in crisp Ansel Adams monochrome.
What might spoil this plan is if the wolves are culled before I get the chance to make a trip over the water.
Not only are the US government planning to remove the protection of the wolves' endangered status, but they're also planning to sanction the hunting and killing of hundreds of wolves.
from the NRDC website:
“...the Bush administration wants to treat wolves like vermin instead of an endangered species. It’s trying to reverse one of the most successful wildlife recovery programs in U.S. history.”'
Leaving aside sentimental romantic ideas about how cool and wolfy wolves are, this is just effing stupid. You can't take predators out of the food chain. Wolves are less of a danger to humans than dogs are. Senator Butch Otter (I'm not laughing at his name, really, this is a serious post) and the anti-wolf people need some re-education. And the wolves need some help before they're wiped out.
So, my American friends and visitors, would you do something really romantic today?
Write to your representative and protest the removal of gray wolves from the endangered species list, and spread the word. I would if I could but I don't think I could fake the accent.
... and meanwhile, a happy, loving, ass-whipping, thong-wearing, smutty wolf-howling Valentines-Lupercalia-spring festival to every man, woman and beast out there.