This morning was so beautiful! I woke before the sun to light a fire and finish reading my book (Sea Road finished, now on to Galway Bay). The snow that fell last evening enveloped the land and I was giddy to go out for a walk as soon as the sun rose. Jamie and I had oatmeal and I made a thermos of Coffee to bring out with me.
Such a cold morning, but crisp and clean without any wind! Henry and I walked down to the river, marvelling at the freshly fallen snow, the clouds, the low but bright sun.
Henry and I continued, after visiting the river to walk a small woodland trail that leads us to a tree that I love – a towering white pine.
So, I sat here for a little bit with Henry, having a morning coffee and thinking about the trees. I feel uneasy sometimes here because it is privately owned. Farmland that is rented and used year after year for the same crop. Hurting soils. When I returned home, feeling very much at peace having spent some time by the water, with the pine and watching Henry frolic around, a man knocked on my door. He told me that he saw my tracks and was wondering if it was me who walks in the fields. He is a trapper and told me that Henry’s tracks were close to his snares and I should keep her on a leash (I do keep her on a leash along a certain stretch of my walk down there because I was unsure if there were traps – now I know for certain). She would likely be killed if she was caught in one. Obviously I am extremely grateful for this knowledge – I feel sick thinking of something happening to her. He was very apologetic and nice as well and he really needn’t be, I am the one just walking unknowingly on someone’s land. I just feel sad thinking that this is the reality of living in the country side. People will continue to hunt, to trap the beautiful red fox and eastern coyote for their furs. I wish we could buy more land to create safe environments for wildlife. For soil to flourish. It is a life goal to buy a plot of land outside our acre in order to create these environments – to allow life to flourish, to humanely harvest firewood through selective cutting – all while planting trees. To see the fox tracks and not worry about her well being and her kits.
It frustrates me beyond anything else thinking of how we treat the planet. We clear cut and poison the land for 100’s of acres of mono agriculture – all while pushing wildlife to live on the fringes. Then we allow hundreds of creatures to be culled every year (Okay much more than hundreds, but I am referring to just the small province where I live). My sister told me that she saw a Coyote Pelt blanket for sale at Hudson Bay. It was 4000 Canadian dollars – trappers make 50 CAD dollars for a pelt. 50 Dollars for a life, all while the consumer is fooled into thinking it’s worth much more than that.
I know this is part of our cultural heritage – Prince Edward Island actually was heavily involved in fox farming at the turn of the 20th century. If you have been to PEI, you certainly would have noticed the red fox methodically trotting along the road. In Charlottetown, they walk the sidewalks. Just the other day, I saw one sitting by the Tim Horton’s drive through window, cautiously approaching the cars that were stopped to pick up their coffees. Despite the healthy population, I wish they could live freely in our dwindling woodlands. I wish I could walk through the vacant winter fields without fear for my dog. Luckily, we do have many trails so we can do just this, where hunting is prohibited. Where towering white pines still stand and trout swim upstream. Basalm Firs stop erosion of hillsides. Places where I imagine the earth feels like her old self. I’ll continue to walk these trails rather than the dormant farmland and fringe woods.
I do think that there are so many incredibly small things we can do, like planting a single tree, a plant solely for the bees. Deciding to pay attention to the natural world in any way, whether it’s noting the cycle of the moon or the changing leaves. We just need to give a little bit more attention to this beautiful planet, good things will follow <3