currently   in the river


“If only there were a way to get the current out of the river…”
 Well, there is they tell me! But that’s another story.

Things are pretty peaceful in Teslin, not much going on to rattle your doors here at the moment, and even the ravens have fallen silent as the darkness of winter descends on the lands.   That, and tons of fresh clean white snow.

A friend told me of a man complaining to him about that. Kept saying “I don’t like it” why not? Pressed my friend.  Gettin’ stuck? Too slippery? Have to shovel? Nope, he replied, “too much whiteness on our land.”

 Hehehe. Not much we can do about that!

Got in a discussion about wildlife harassment last night. It seems the videographer who used a drone to make the famous film of the grizzly and it’s cub has been handed a whopping $250,000 dollar fine for harassing mama and baby bear.  I’m sure the cub really appreciates that some government somewhere is going to have to decide how best to spend this new windfall, and we’re all supposed to learn that when a state-commisioned hunter kills every wolf he can from a state-commisioned helicopter, that’s just fine, but don’t go filming wildlife or they own your house and car and drone…. I’m of the mind that any fine is ridiculous. Nothing died in the filming and a cub learned some useful snow climbing skills, and I got a bit inspired by the sight of the determination and eventual success of that cub! Tough little boogah!

So we disagree.  Big deal.

But I have wondered about this topic now for years. Why is it illegal to find 3 raccoons that are starving because their mama got shmucked on the highway and raise them as pets? Or to bring a fawn into the cabin so your 6 year old wakens to the sight of a live Bambi standing by his bed? Or to boat up beside a swimming porcupine and film it floating high and dry because of the air in all its quills?  Or to capture a sparrow which has fallen to the granary floor and raise it as a pet until your brother deliberately drives over it with his tricycle? Or to grab a real live Beaver by the tail and be amazed at its strength as he pulls you along thru the snow?

So, when is it “harassing” and when are we simply “interacting” ? And the answer to that question could have some ramifications in the mercky world of male/female interaction as well, couldn’t it?

I personally like the idea of interacting with wildlife. Must we observe these amazing creatures through glass at a zoo or on the boob tube only? Surely not! I wish I could include a picture from my mind’s eye (there really is one they tell us) of a huge lynx, ears pinned back, bounding through the snow across the bushtrail I was driving yesterday. Or the myriad other amazing sights I’ve seen in the wildlife category over the span of half a century of wildlife viewing. But you know how it is. Sometimes you have a second in which to grab a camera, focus and…oh forget it! Too late

What a world!

Yesterday I made a trip into town and looked up an old native Tlingit friend, and I do mean old: he’s about 84. And I do mean friend, we’ve been friends for 20 years. He is a guy who would think nothing of driving for 2 hours to check on me when I was cutting firewood, bringing me drinks and sandwiches from the store.

But a decision has been made that he is unable to look after himself; references have been made to a deteriorating mental state.  In my experience, I’m talking to exactly the same mind I spoke with 20 years ago. And yet, these perceptions in someone’s mind are enough to stick him in the home, tearing him from his paid for home and belongings and moving him into a new community, away from his friends and enemies.

I finally found Matt in a ginormous new care home in Whitehorse and was able to have him released to make a trip downtown to get a few dollars from his account in CIBC.  We parked in front and he made his way very slowly across the ice into the bank with his walker and waited in line for a good half hour while the 2 people in front of him were served by the one available teller. Finally he made it thru the queue, produced his documents and we both discovered they can’t give him a single dollar from his account because it’s being handled by the public trustee. 

If this is the case, perhaps we should all pull our money from the bank. I understand the rationale of protecting an infirm person from bad financial decisions but to deprive an 84 year old of *all* his personally owned money is a new level of cruelty and an indignity to the aged. Matt has worked for what he has and I am witness to that. 

Perhaps this idea of a nanny state caring for us by seizing our possessions for our own good needs to be revisited.

Published by Douglas Martens

"What can you say when your mind is a total blank?"

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