Tag: tiger

Impetus for Change

Partly at a couple of suggestions from coach Gar and partly thanks to my obsession with wolves, I have been on an animal book binge. I’ve read Roger Fout’s Next of Kin and Ian McAllister’s Following the Last Wild Wolves in the last couple of weeks, and am now in the middle of Being Caribou by Karsten Heuer.

Gold Soul

These books capture my heart and imagination, making my throat feel tight and my eyes leaky. I have always had a general sense of the shrinking wilderness, and felt a strong draw to get out there and explore it, experiencing the breathtaking beauty and overwhelming natural flow of  life before we lose the opportunity. Until right now I hadn’t realized that perhaps the opportunity has already passed.

Not only are the wild spaces on this earth dwindling and being ever pervaded for human’s latest whims, but at this point it seems that the only way to preserve what is left is to educate people and support major players fighting the fight…and to stay far, far away from the delicate ecosystems in question. Sure, people are natural creatures (in general?) and have harmoniously occupied the natural world for millennia, but learning about animals who end up dead because they’ve stopped avoiding people after being exposed to trustworthy humans is heartbreaking.

Maybe I’m not familiar with all the facts, and maybe these places could indeed benefit from direct, caring human contact. But it feels very self-centred to even consider fulfilling my lowly desire to stand in proximity with a wild wolf pack, or see the salmon run firsthand, when it seems the impact on the animals and ecosystems will be neutral at best.

Can you believe there are as few as 3,2oo tigers remaining in the wild?? Can you imagine the day where kids grow up hearing of a mythical orange striped swimming giant cat that once roamed the earth??? I have a strong feeling that we’re in way over our heads.

It’s a good thing that feeling down is a great impetus for change….

What can we do? Not sure yet. But I’m going to check out World Wildlife Fund for starters.

Pumpkin Carving Practice


Pumpkin carving: wolfHalloween is fast approaching. For two highly competitive people who are always questing for the sweet taste of victory, pumpkin carving offers a fine battleground.

Understanding that preparation is key to any victory, Damian and I invested in a “practice” pumpkin on which to experiment using various wood carving tools and random kitchen utensils. The carving tools are fantastic at slicing through the pumpkin’s skin, and they slide easily through the flesh to allow as much or as little light through the walls.

We started with a gutted pumpkin, leaving the walls at their thickest (which makes the whole process much more enjoyable, since scraping the pumpkin walls is arguably the worst part of traditional pumpkin carving!). We stuck on our desired images and used pins to highlight major landmarks, like the tip of an ear, the hunch of a shoulder, the length of a leg. Once we connected the dots with a pen, we went to town slicing and carving, occasionally switching off the lights to see the effects of the candlelight through the carving.

“We need to have a chat.”

Now, onto our REAL pumpkins!



Culture Days Creations: Custom Glass Tiles

Culture Days is a nation-wide movement aimed at engaging Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. Every September, studios and venues across the country open their doors and offer fun (and free!) opportunities to explore both your community, and your talents.

A friend and I visited a few interesting venues, including Fired Up! Glass Arts, where we created custom glass pieces by carefully placing small shards of glass on transparent tiles, which meld together once fired in a kiln. I came up with a wolf face (of course) while Damian crafted an intense tiger (also no surprise). Ironically, the brown bits of glass I used for the nose of the wolf closely resembles chocolate (my favourite). The raised texture of the bigger bits of glass really catch my eye!

Keep an eye out for Culture Days festivities next September.