Journey of a Lifetime

Over 2,000 miles, across two state lines, through farmlands, ranchlands, across busy highways and vast plots of timber, Oregon 7 has survived.  Yesterday, a photograph, only the second ever taken of him, was snapped in Modoc County, California by a State Biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game.

In a flat field of sage and dry dirt, Journey looks a bit out of place, as if he’d taken a wrong turn and ended up in the desert. He appears tilted almost, leaning into the background like he’s trying to meld himself into it, become a part of  his new environment.

I had a thought while gazing at this photo.  I realize wolves disperse widely, leave their family of origin and their home-grounds and travel widely, but what if Journey were actually lost and each day was an effort to return to Northwest Oregon, the Wallowa Mountains, the cold water of the rivers, and the Imnaha pack of his parent’s and siblings?

At times, it is a challenge to have compassion for animals and want to understand them more. We are so limited in this, we study them, read about them, follow them around, but how little we know of the internal workings, the minds, the soul, if you will, of an animal like Oregon 7?

Whatever his course is, and for whatever reason, let’s hope he is safe and soon arrives at his destination where he will be free to live a long and wild wolf life.

3 thoughts on “Journey of a Lifetime

  1. As Barry Lopez wrote in the afterword of his recently revised book ‘of wolves and men’, ultimately, ‘reality is a mystery’. Or as this man put it, “The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me
    new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth”…….. “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed…….. “It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man… I am satisfied with the mystery of life’s eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence — as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.”

    I cannot say, I can only guess that he would have admired this little piece of ‘mystery’, roaming through the States as he pleases. Who’s the man?

    – Einstein……..Albert that is.


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