What I'm Trying to Say About Being Shy

A coywolf was recently spotted roaming the outskirts of New York City and parks in the Bronx. These events were called extraordinary as though we’re surprised that all animals are drawn to company. Sure, they were there to feed and scavenge, but they also found each other. Conservation groups claim coywolves are taking over North America, as in replacing other coyote and wolf populations. Now joined together, coywolves can do things one could not without the other: wolf enough to take down a deer, coyote enough to be wary of danger.

There are many facts to know about each animal and their behaviors and studies to study, I’m sure. Here is one: some wolves travel 500 miles to look for their mate. Another: most mate for life.

Before calling the police, a resident in one of the towns frequented by the creature studied a coywolf from the end of her drive.

Sleepy Lizard

There’s a lizard native to Australia who has a thick blue tongue. He feeds on slow-moving bugs, but mostly plants. When gliding through the brush, flattened, predators become afraid of him. They think he’s full of venom with his strange blue tongue. They think he’s going to coil their neck with his slithery body. Often, when he’s discovered in a backyard, he’s confused for a deadly snake. Animal control arrives to stroke his sweet lizard head. There is nothing to fear, nothing to fear.

Three Facts

  1. The bark of willow trees can be used as charcoal for sketches.

  2. Often, willows are referred to as weeping willows because of how the rain looks like tears as it rolls from their branches. To weep is to shed. Shedding leaves is how a tree moves through seasons.

  3. Willows can be processed to make a medicine similar to aspirin. Deer often rub painful spots on their bodies against willows for relief.

Some Thing Sweet on This Earth

Ultimately, I believe that environmental tenants (preservation, conservation, deep ecology, etc) make visible what is often seen as dispensable. What then can observing the earth reveal about ourselves? What future do we cultivate through our relationship with the environment? Who and what gets left out? I’m curious of how big unknowns and unfathomables (death, love, loss) might be cultivated through an imaginative exchange with the environment and nonhuman life, and how these relationships might demonstrate how language can or cannot connect us.

These short blog posts are meant to attend to sweet things on this earth as a way to preserve them, and so then to hope to grow them. The intention is not to avoid anthropomorphism or the pathetic fallacy, but to explore these as opportunities to remain open to the world in surprising ways. Through doing this, I hope to discover how dynamic the environmental relationship could be as a space for writers or other artists. I welcome observations and prompts from anyone who might encounter this project.