We’re moving into the end of November, the transition time between autumn and winter. It can also be a difficult time – the days are getting darker, the brilliant colours of fall are mostly gone, and the glistening winter snows have not yet arrived. Here are some links that seem suitable for this time of year:
- Alison Leigh Lilly shares an eerie tale of the boy who cried wolf – fitting for this dark time. Wolf populations are expanding in my region, and as they expand into areas where people have their homes and farms, I suspect negative interactions between humans and wolves will also start to increase. As Ali points out in a response to a reader’s comment, fear can often shape our relationships with the more-than-human world, and prevent us from living in community with non-human beings. In the past, we have often tried to simply eliminate wolves and other large predators, but to preserve these species and their ecosystems, I think we need to learn how to live with them, even if that means we have to make some sacrifices in our personal levels of comfort and safety.
- In another story of human-animal interactions, Wanderin’ Weeta describes the latest installment in the beaver wars. I find the human behaviour in this story bizarre. It seems ridiculous that no one responsible for repeatedly demolishing the beavers’ dams and lodges ever stopped to think that maybe these attempts to remove the beavers from this area were simply not working and we should try a different method, like maybe actually trying to work with the beavers because it seems as though they are determined to live here anyway? Sometimes I wonder about humans. I find stories like these frustrating, not only because they show how humans often place their own interests over developing genuine relationships with non-human beings, but also because they demonstrate how those decisions are often inefficient and wasteful even from a human-centred perspective. How much money must the city have spent to do this?
- Let’s move on from my rant, and check out these gorgeous photos of wabi-sabi leaves – imperfect, blemished, and discoloured, but still beautiful. When I gathered leaves to press as a child, I usually searched for the most perfect examples, but now I think that these less-than-perfect leaves tell more interesting stories. Most of the leaves have been raked here, and the trees are bare now, waiting for winter.
- This article on overcoming the social costs of being different is also worth a read. Like the author, I am “different” from the norm in many ways – I’m a writer, I have little interest in much modern technology (I don’t own a cell phone and my laptop is over seven years old), I’m an introvert and a vegetarian, I like books more than TV or movies, I don’t drink alcohol, and I don’t enjoy parties or large gatherings of people. While I think most people would agree that it’s better to be yourself rather than to follow the crowd, not as many talk about how difficult it can be to do just that. I am happy with who I am, but differences can make interacting with others a challenge. This article is a good reminder that this really is okay after all.
- Finally, my cousin is a photographer, and he’s started a website which you should check out (because his photos are amazing and beautiful, not because he’s my cousin!). Just don’t come back here and look at my photos after you look at his, because mine will probably look rather pathetic and amateur-ish in comparison!