Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lupercalia

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.

7 comments:

Jeremy Edwards said...

Awesome, Nikki—NRDC is great. And if you make it across the pond, you can stay with us. No wolves in the immediate area, though, as far as I know. We do boast the occasional coyote. (And they boast back.)

Now remember, authors, don't go incorporating the NRDC bulletin into your novels, like Cassie Edwards [no relation] did with respect to another environmentalist group.

Nikki Magennis said...

Coyotes? Wow. Here in the UK I think we hunted all the damn big hairy dangerous animals right out the country long time ago! Tally ho! Hurrah!

Luckily we still have the haggis.

Alana said...

I saw a documentary film that involved an annual coyote slaughter in Wyoming. They kill them by the hundreds for sport, pile the caresses on top of one another then light a bonfire. Dudes stand around drinking beer in the light of the flames and there are cash prizes involved.

As for wolves, I adopted a wolf through a program in Idaho, essentially a donation. I've also donated money to the Wildlife Federation. Wolves are my favorite creatures on the planet. I've long been fascinated with them, since girlhood.

Did I mention Bush is a JACKASS?

Love,
A

Nikki Magennis said...

Power corrupts, huh?

Did you read Kingsolver's 'Prodigal Summer'? That had a lot about coyotes, predators and hunting.

Craig Sorensen said...

I actually come from Idaho, Alana. Thanks for supporting the wolf. It may just be one of my family members! ;-)

DeDe and I were married outdoors in a range of mountains called the Sawtooths (no, not the Sawteeth) How fuckin' hippie is that! We took our vows with a view to one of those classic craggy peaks like in the Ansel Adams photos you mention, Nikki.

I'm all for the continued reintroduction of predators in the wild. I've seen coyotes, foxes and one wolf. I've not seen a Cougar in the wild yet. I'd like that.

We've still got lots of forest land in the west to support the predators, but there are lots of ranchers there too.

And there's the rub.

Nikki Magennis said...

I don't think that's hippy, Craig, I think thats amazing!

And you guys are really lucky to have all that wilderness on your doorstep. Well, a short plane journey away! I forget how big America is sometimes.

I grew up with farmers and I know they worry about their animals (foxes, here, are blamed for all sorts). But I suppose conservation means seeing a bigger picture.

Craig Sorensen said...

But I suppose conservation means seeing a bigger picture.

So true. There has to be a way to find a balance. The Idaho forests (and many of the west) are very dry, and the way they rejuvenate is dependent upon fire. But as more construction encroaches on these forests, the threat of fire drove people to put out the fires as fast as they'd appear. When the forests finally did go up, it was fierce because the natural order had been tampered with. So now the approach sometimes is to let them burn, but try to control before populated areas are hit.

It's trying to toe a fine line, and I hope they can find the same thing with predators in the wilds.