Hello from the far reaches of the Olympic Peninsula. The rain forest is actually a few hours drive from us, but you couldn't tell that from the mud this summer. It has been a very cold, wet year.
This is a picture of a six week old cashmere goat. He and his twin sister are the first babies born to my 6 year old son's goat Dorcus. She has been an amazing mother. Raising her twins effortlessly.
The great reclamation project has begun. The job situation has us living and working three hours away from the farm, and that has taken a toll. But we are getting back home and starting to get it ready for us to spend more time there again.
I wish I had thought to take before and after pictures of the garden. One year of neglect (two growing seasons) has caused mother nature to over take us. A huge blackberry grew up at the corner of our house. The bush was ten feet tall by twenty feet in diameter. One year unchecked. That was all it took. I expected to find sleeping beauty when we got through it.
It will take a few more trips to bushwack our way through the jungle of the garden to have unimpeaded access to the house.
We did manage to reclaim the lillys and an old rose. And much to my three year old daughters delight we planted a couple of flowers. She has been very distressed at not being allowed to pick flowers in the city. So I got her some black eyed susans. She won't be able to pick them right away, but the prospect is there and she was very excited. I'll try and remember to get a couple of pictures of the plantings.
So, it looks like the height of summer has impacted my writing life. And the near future looks the same. Sorry for the unexpected hiatus on The Equilibrium Saga. Poor Ashton and Silren are going to just have to continue bleeding to death in his mother's garden for a couple more weeks. I will endeavor to get a few episodes ahead in between the summer activities.
We have nice weather here in Seattle and I'm taking advantage of it as often as possible. Since I won't be able to put up story episodes I'll make an effort to post more regular blog posts with pictures of our activities. We have family from out of state visiting this coming week so there will most definitely be beach pictures.
And if you want something different from Equilibrium to read, I posted the prologue to a book I'm working on in the Hub forums. Let me know what you think if you feel like it.
Thanks for stopping by,
Today we went on a school field trip with my 6 year old. We visited Wolf Haven, a wolf sanctuary and breeding facility. And it was such a beautiful day too. Sunny and warm. There were three different parts to the facility. We started with our picnic and walk on the prairie interprative trail. That was a surprise. I had no idea that western Washington had native prairie!
Then we moved on to the wolf talk tour. There we got a chance to see the wolves in their enclosures. Only a portion of their population is in the display area. Being a sanctuary, most of the individual wolves are not eligible for reintroduction to the wild. But the facility does participate in breeding programs that allows them to build up pack nucleus' that can be released in the regions that are being repopulated. It has been discovered that if they release only a male and female together, the two rarely bond and stay together. But if the humans set them up in a pack with youngsters (even if they aren't the two alpha's pups) they will usually stay together to care for the younger wolves. The facility is also part of a fostering program with red wolves. They have two pairs of red wolves right now that they hope are pregnant. If they are then some of the pups will be swapped out with pups from wild packs on the east coast. That allows for a new influx of genetics for both the wild packs and the population held in captivity.
We were treated to an awesome howl as well. Apparently, the wolves don't howl as often as you would expect. So the guide was really excited that we got to hear one. It was amazing. It started at the far end of the large grouping of enclosures and traveled like a wave until it reached us, and all the wolves were howling. Here's a snipet of what it was like. The video truly doesn't capture how encompasing it was. You primarily hear the two wolves right in front of us. But it isn't bad for a cell phone camera :)
After the wolf walk, we moved to the last part of the presentation. A classroom slide show. There we got the chance to see and hold skull models of Grizzly bears, Black bears, Cougars, Bobcats, Wolves, and Deer. Along with Moose, Deer, and Carriboo antlers. It was truly amazing to see a before and after picture from Yellowstone. When the wolves were eradicated from the wild, the herbivores went nuts. That resulted in the expected over grazing, but it also made for lazy herd beasts. Without the wolves keeping them on the move they just hung out in the nicest part and ate it to the ground. Then the beavers didn't have anything to eat, so they left and so did all of the other creatures. And the salmon quit spawning because the streams had been ruined by the lack of beaver dams, and the hooves of the elk and the shade from the plants that no longer lined the banks. The before picture was barren, but a picture taken only five years after the reintroduction of wolves was shocking. The regrowth of plants along the stream made it almost unrecognizable. And the beavers and fish returned almost as quickly.
I wish I understood why humans were so afraid of such amazing beasts. We've done more harm to them than they could ever do to us.