Thursday, February 19, 2009

wild world

This shot was taken between Lake Louise and Revelstoke, BC, along Trans-Canada Highway 1.

" Are you crazy? They're wild animals! "

That's what a woman on a Greyhound bus shouted out the window when it whizzed by my mother and me as we walked among these guys who were grazing by the side of the road. We had been having such a fine patch of time until so rudely interrupted. I think that was a good shot; now you get a picture of me walking up to one of them..........SNORT.........Um, he doesn't want us to get any closer; don't go any nearer............ Yup, we were getting along just great until that lady bellowed at us, and then kept on screaming her warnings even after the bus had passed us and was rounding a sweeping curve in the road changing her window view completely.

She had ruined the moments of grace. What had been allowed to exist among us for a brief time that morning on our trip in Canada hung on a thread of hushed hope for a moment after the bus disappeared from sight. Then something awful happened. Fear cut the thread, leaving each of us -- two women, five elk -- to react to the fold in the atmosphere.

My mother, then 76, reacted first, whispered to me let's get back to the car and I said don't whisper, just walk.



Wandering Alice said...

It's amazing that we are living in a culture with such a fear of anything natural. I have stumbled on a lot of animals in the woods around New England- moose have walked through my campsite, a bear once peeped in on me in my tent etc. and emerged unscathed, and with a great respect for how those animals live. As long as you respect the boundaries of where the animal is comfortable, it can be a magical encounter. I wonder how many episodes of "When Animals Attack" that woman has watched...and whether she has any clue that her own screeching was probably more provocative to the elk than you were.

Sarah Sofia Ganborg said...

Hi! I just found your site and it's very interesting. Cute deer!!! Nice photo, too! But re the WILD animals: where we lived before, deer used to come and steal both our apples and our chest nuts and they were absolutely not dangerous at all, just the hunters following them... and even the reindeer are just so very, very sweet. Okay they are still supposed to be a little wild, if you meet them a few hundred kimolmeters north of the polar circle, but they aren't really.æ in fact they almost all belong to farms and get gathered once a year. they are very friendly indeed, but smelly... if you want to, you can stroll through some of my blogs and check out some pictures.
love from Scandinavia,
Sarah sofia

pumpkin said...

That picture is spectacular! What a memento for you and a treat for your readers. I haven't seen an elk in many years where I live, let alone a magnificent elk like that one - beautiful coat and what a rack!

distracted by shiny objects said...

Some people just don't understand Wome Who Run With Elk. Pity for them. They shall be forever known as The Bus Riders and we, The Elk Walkers:>)

Darlene said...

It should have been obvious to that foolish woman that you were in no danger at that point. The Elk were just curious about you and posed no threat.

Darlene said...

I meant to add that the photo was a great shot.

Melinda said...

Hi Lydia,

Having been raised in Montana--and having many experiences of deer and even moose wander into our backyars, I never had the type of fear of wild animals that many people have. It's such a powerful sight to look into your backyard and see a huge, beautiful beast staring right back at you.

The one thing I am afraid of is bears--particularly grizzly bears. I'd had this fear imprinted on me as a child of around 13 or 14--hearing about a couple of women who'd been attacked by grizzly bears in Glaciar Park (apparently the blood from their periods had drawn the bears). I never felt the same about camping again after that--and NEVER camped when 'Aunt Flo' was visiting!


p.s. And oh, how you took me back with that Cat Stevens song! :)

Looking to the Stars said...

What a beautiful picture, oneness with nature. Shame the woman on the bus shattered it but you still have that moment, that minute in time when you were one with nature and thats a beautiful memory.
I love Cat Stevens music!

Rhiannon said...

Hi Lydia,

Love this cat Stevens song. I also loved his song "Father and son" you remember that one?

This post pic of the woman and deer reminded me of something. When I was married we lived on 15 acres up on a hill..I took long walks all the time..there were a family of deer on our land...through the years they would come down to the back of the house munching on berries and greens and such. I would always come out and talk to them. I got to know all of them and had names for each of them. They came very close to me but never my husband..strange? The female that seemed to be running the show I gave the name "Domey" for "Dominant". She was the biggest one and the most beautiful but with physical scars. I would say that for some odd reason she and I had a "connection" and I so miss her..silly but true.

Hope you'll check my Kate Bush video song I posted today. I'm curious if you might like the video song and her lovely modern ballet dance theme to the video?

May I add you to my blog roll list?



Kylita said...

Main thing, SisSTAR Lydia, is this photo is the Grail ... and you know your mama took it. I feel sad for others who fear nature. My father taught me to not be afraid, and I've always loved interesting bugs and spiders (don't want them on me!) and love snakes, too. Held my girlfriend's 6' boa named Vanessa and was she ever heavy! She even was lying on top of her piano once and I played her a song. I have the intact skin she shed which freaks most out. First time we saw deer on our 2 acres (in the city) was the 1st Father's Day after my dad died. A huge buck with a large rack standing regally where his garden used to be. Now there's been generations of them, as many as 7 on our property. It's not normal for them in the city, which saddens, but I'm glad our little land has a tiny orchard and they enjoy lots of fruits. I'm so glad you have this photo and you can always go back in your mind and Be There! (and screw that big mouth lady who was, undoubtedly, thinking she was helping somehow).
SisSTAR Kyle

Angela said...

Yes, it is still a wild world and thank god. Love how you did this little story and the photo!

Buddha said...

Are you sure she was yelling at you and not at the deer?
Any way, I love the picture, very handsome buck.

Lydia said...

@Wandering Alice- Your word "provocative" to describe the woman's yelling is perfect.
You have had some wondrous encounters! My husband came upon a standing bear in an Oregon forest when he was a boy. Your stories about bears just stun me....but not so much that I couldn't run if I needed to! :)

@Sarah sofia- I read comments earlier today and spent some time at two of your many blogs then. There's so much to delight and inform there! Thank you for being here, for becoming a follower (!) and for the wonderful reindeer stories you shared. :)

@Pumpkin- I'm glad that you once lived where you were around elk. They are so amazing. Loved your comments about this elk. :)

@Distracted- Women Who Run with Elk.....only you could have lassoed that one and penned it here! :)

@Darlene- Yes, the elk were really cool with us at first. It could have gone on like that for awhile longer if we hadn't had the interruption. :( Good memory, though!

@Melinda- The Grizzlies would make me think twice about camping at Glacier, most definitely. There's more competition for their wild spaces all over the west, since people feel ok with building out there. I wouldn't blame them ever for doing what comes naturally to survive. I'd heard about that guy who spent years living with/documenting the bears (was it Alaska?) and then he and his girlfriend were killed by them; the authorities thought it was the Aunt Flo reason you wrote about.....
Can never tire of Cat Stevens, not ever!

@Looking to the Stars- You're right, it was a oneness with nature that I'll never forget. I won't forget Cat Stevens' music either!

@Rhi- You bet I remember Father and of my favorites of his. "Domey" was brought to life with your words...well the whole herd seemed to be here as you wrote about those times you had with them. What a remarkable memory, and quite spiritual that they had names and unique identities in your presence.
I'll come see the Kate Bush vid when I finish up these comments, and of course, I'd be honored to have Writerquake on your blog list for any amount of time you see fit. :)

@SisSTAR Kyle- Wow, you have such a sparkling way of beginning a comment; I love that first line! I like bugs and save spiders that I find in the house as long as they don't look like they're going to jump on me as I try to get them in a cup. Snakes? Well, not until I married Mike had I even thought of them. His nickname as a kid was "snakehunter" and he loves them and seems to be able to scope them out in the yard easily each summer. Consequently, I've grown fond of the garter snakes and have picked up quite a few from the clutches of cats!
What a mystical experience you had seeing that enormous buck on that special Father's Day. No ironies there....
I agree with you that seeing deer roaming in town (frequently here too, right on our street, in our yard) is dismaying and signifies they've lost habitat. Very troubling.

@Angela- Now I know that you have a special way of life with the wild ones in your midst. Last I read you were readying your final hunting post. It'll be difficult to read, but I do so admire the beauty of your soul and your respect for the animal as you become one with them in a way I never could....

@Buddha- Much as I love comments if yours would be the final one to wrap up this particular discussion that would seem fitting to me. Leave it to you to pose this as a Zen koan! :)

The Acolyte Tao said...

How annoying that must of been. I hate it when people yell and I hate it when others butt into your business and they're strangers. *sigh...* I just don't understand people the majority of the time, I really don't. -.-...?

Elizabeth said...

how could she not realize that yelling would be more frightening than anything else? silly ..

btw .. whenever I open your site now, it downloads a badge onto my computer. what is it?

Lydia said...

@Acolyte Tao- People can be quite strange sometimes. I think the most alarming thing about the distraction was that the highway had been relatively free of traffic, then came this bus...which would have been hardly noticeable, until what came from inside the bus!

@Elizabeth- Don't think that crossed her mind!
I left a comment after your latest post asking for particulars on this "badge." Are my videos showing? Reason I ask is that I use Firefox as my browser, but after your message I went online using Internet Explorer and was surprised to see that none of my videos showed up on the page, and there was a prompt asking if I wanted to add "Adobe Flash." This is curious......
**If anyone reads this who is also experiencing what Elizabeth describes, please let me know because I haven't asked for or installed anything that would or should be doing that.

Lisa Allender said...

btw, I too, am seeing "Do You Want To Install This" badge every single time I click on your blog(it comes up anytime I try to post a comment. I havta close it out, then start over. I'm not complaining, just lettin' ya know).
Keep up the great work.
Cat Stevens & Elk. Doesn't get any better. ;)

Lydia said...

@Lisa- I'm so glad you let me know about the badge. Working under the assumption that it was the same one that popped up for Elizabeth (the one showing the globe with a plug in it that showed where your electricity comes from) I deleted it from both of my blogs. I don't want anything on my blog to be intrusive like that. It was for a great cause, but.....



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