The wild animals are moving into town, and why not? Aside from some cultural differences, they not only fit right into the populace but have better manners.
A bison was reported to be window shopping in front of a local business, a lumberyard. Perhaps the bison are planning on building houses, settling in and applying for government jobs. They have figured out the new survival mechanism in the North.
A travelling pair of bison were seen attempting to check into a local hostelry. The sign advertises, “Everyone is welcome,” but not bison, it seems. The result of those enduring suspicions that accumulate around those who have no baggage led to this pair being run out of town.
The dog-eating wolves have struck again; right in the middle of the summer season, which I am told is most unusual. In this instance it was a lone dog-eating wolf and he took his dinner from right in front of the dog’s home, which is on one of the main residential streets in town. The incident occurred in the morning, I’m told, not in the dead of night. This suggests an old wolf, or a sick wolf, or an old, sick wolf. Or possibly an intrepid young wolf determined to prove himself to his pack.
Human predators continue to be brought into the open, as well, during these hot and smoky days of summer.
A judge has ruled there was enough evidence to warrant two RCMP members going to trial for sexual assault.
A local businessman has been busted for sexual harassment of young female employees. I wonder if old male employees have ever been known to suffer sexual harassment….
A quiet little town this is not; vandalism and graffiti continue to plague the public buildings and the private sector, complaints about dogs keep the fire chief on the hop (don’t ask), and sirens are heard almost every day.
Someone was telling the story of a hungry tourist getting asked to leave a local eatery because she had the temerity to complain when people ahead of her in the lineup were served first.
It is amazing the things I notice and hear about when I am not working.
The trip to Atlin didn’t happen; Cee had to go to Whitehorse with her eldest son for some nonemergency medical reason. I was invited to go along for the drive but I’d been to the big smoke not too long ago and couldn’t fire up the interest to go again so soon.
Theo is here and we are enjoying one another’s company tremendously. He is wickedly funny and irreverent but at the same time most respectful of everyone he meets and interested in everything to do with the North. His holiday to date has been full of adventure; he already talks of returning next summer in order to explore more of the place claiming to be “larger than life,” a phrase he finds as baffling as do I. “The magic and the mystery” was a far more descriptive slogan in my opinion.
Today, Theo has gone fishing with Cee’s husband and her other son, promising lake trout for dinner. He had not fished before this trip; it turns out he is his father’s son when it comes to this activity. Tomorrow he is gone again. A beautiful Tahltan girl has invited him to go with her and her family to Telegraph Creek. He asked if I was OK with him leaving and of course I told him to go, but really, I would have liked to have more time with him.
By the time he comes back, Pete will be home and it’ll be time to go to Edmonton and then Theo goes home from there.
I may come to see you from Edmonton, unless you feel like meeting me there? Todd Janes lives in that city; I want to see some of his work.
It seems I have no idea what to do with myself when I am not working and there is no one to amuse me, and that is a sad state of affairs. I used to be really good at doing nothing; in fact, I was mildly famous for it. And I cannot remember when that changed, but I suspect it was when we moved here. The move north, however, happened in conjunction with beginning research projects, so it is a chicken-or-egg sort of question.
The Gaia theory seems to be a good thing with which to occupy myself these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Remember when Lovelock first brought this idea to public attention? There were those who embraced it wholeheartedly and those who were aghast. We were among the former; are you still? I hadn’t thought about it much until moving up here and now I find myself explaining everything by referring to the model of Earth as a single living organism that self-regulates for optimal conditions to sustain life. It’s beautiful.
Then on CBC radio yesterday was the grand old man himself, Dr. James Lovelock, declaring the human species, despite being the crowning achievement of Gaia, is screwed.
The green movement, he says, is good for business and many people will get rich or richer because of it, but he maintains it is entirely too late to reclaim the planet in this way. The damage is too severe to redress; there is no going back.
Lovelock says the best we can do is prepare for the coming devastation.
In his scheme, it looks as though the populations of Third World countries are out of luck; the resources it will take to relocate and set up huge numbers of people to survive the coming environmental meltdown are simply not available to poor countries.
In the interview, Lovelock suggested one of the best places to be living when Gaia shakes her tail will be in the North.
Now there’s a promotional campaign – selling the Yukon as the safest place to be living in the not-too-distant future!
Given all the scientific evidence already in, and the growing evidence of the reality of environmental disaster, why is there no political energy for change? Lovelock was asked.
It’s because the changes needed are long-term; there would be no visible results in time for re-election.
Obvious, when you think about it; it explains why there is no real money spent on daycare, education, preventative health programs. The numbers have been in for years on the economic advantage of environmental and social considerations in the world of commerce, but again, the rewards are not immediate.
No politician worthy of the title is going to begin something he won’t get credit for.
So, millions of dollars are spent in projects that go nowhere, produce nothing of lasting value, and contribute to the social and environmental damage of the territory.
The wild animals are moving into town, reclaiming their right to live wherever they need to be at any given time.
Too bad they can’t vote.
Heather Bennett is a writer
who lives in Watson Lake.