November 10, 2006

In touch with her wildness

"Do you really believe you are an animal?" Gary Snyder asks in his essay "The Etiquette of Freedom. "

"[M]any people who have been hearing this since childhood have not absorbed the implications of it, perhaps feel remote from the nonhuman world, are not sure they are animals. They would like to feel they might be something better than animals."

And he goes on to a section on wildness in the human body.

Shelby the dog has no problem with her own wildness. In the photo, she has happily interrupted one of my initial experiments in wildlife photography, using a cheap digital camera with a built-in motion sensor.

For bait, I had hung a beef bone from the pine bough above her head. (You can see the white string.)

Then M. took Shelby for a walk elsewhere on the same long ridge, only to come home saying that Shelby had "peeled off."

We walked back to the camera site an hour later. There she lay in the duff, happily chewing the bone, completely pleased with herself.

The camera told the tale. Sigh. Now that spot is useless.

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