Wolves in Yellowstone

The recent research demonstrating that wolves, the highest animals in the Yellowstone food chain, are essential to the habitat’s balance, is stunning.  Deer seem so victimized by wolves.  We have visions of Bambi, and our softer side then wants to protect these lovely creatures.

Here at the Gilbert house, we have quite a different point of view.  Yes, deer are pretty … but they love eating our Hosta plants and their flowers.  As we walk around our garden path, we see clumps of them neatly chewed to the ground.

We’ve been told we can spray a repellent on them, but will have to do that after every big rain.  This summer, that would mean spraying them about twice a week.  I have read that you can plant things in the area that deer don’t like at all, like onions and peppers but frankly that just won’t work.  It is aggravating to watch this, but I do know it is the “rest of the story” when living in nature as we do.

We should just enjoy the fact that they are so comfortable visiting.

On the humorous side, we have a mature male turkey who polices the entry road to our neighborhood, stopping cars and pecking at their tires.  You can shout, wave your arms, and do what you will, but he holds his ground.  It is hilarious to see how he stops traffic.  It doesn’t happen every day, and it doesn’t happen at the same time every day.  But, it happens so often that he has become a talking point whenever we gather with our neighbors.  Very funny.

What this all tells me is that we do not understand our habitats as well as we should.  They are much more complex than we like to assume.  And, when we tinker with them, like trying to eliminate this or that because we think it is a problem, we are prone to find out that we simply can’t comprehend the complexity and balance of the natural world.

Wolves are wolves … part of the natural balance.  Deer eat Hostas.  Don’t plant them if you don’t want them to be eaten.  Living in a complex natural world lets us see things we don’t like along with all the beauty we enjoy.

Walk humbly in it … we are but a very small part.

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