Today is National Wildlife Day, which I love as a former wildlife biologist. I used to work for World Wildlife Fund. In some ways it was a plumb job, and sometimes I wonder what my role there would be today if I hadn’t quit. They do good work. If you’re so moved, make a donation to your favorite wildlife conservation organization. In honor of the day, my employer sponsored a special online noon-time talk by a wildlife veterinary doctor: Gabby Wild—appropriately named. She gave us the dismal statistics about the decline of wildlife worldwide. One guess as to the responsible species. She’s also hopeful, however, but then she would be because she’s still young and optimistic. I, too, tend toward the optimistic, but mine is sometimes more pragmatic: Everything happens for a reason and we either learn from it or we don’t. In either case, we pay the consequences of our actions. Or is that fatalism?
My wildlife scores for the day included a blackish squirrel and various wild birds in our front yard plus geese, ducks, and crows on the lake in a nearby park, and the odd presence of an oyster shell discovered along the roadside in same said park. I also happened upon this tree stump, half sawn and half splintered. The row of splintered wood down the middle reminded me of a city rising from the plains. Or maybe hope rising from what has gone before?