In a Sow’s Ear
Why do I get a charge out of reading a newspaper? As the poet said, “Let me count the ways.” Only Robert Burns (do I have the correct wordsmith here?) was talking about how many ways he could tell his beloved that he loved her. I’m talking about the ceaseless and endless and mind-boggling bits of information that appear daily in any newspaper. Tragedies, tribulations, triumphs and tiresome treacle ” it’s all there. Cheap entertainment you might say.
In my newspaper I learned that: Wolves in Yellowstone National Park eat elk calves.
Well, duh. Is that supposed to be surprising?
In my newspaper I learned that: Wolves kill young elk, followed by older females and then bulls.
Really? So, how do the wolves make a decision? Do they consult with one another, take a vote, flip a coin? “Say,” says Mrs. Wolf to Mr. Wolf, “I’m tired of eating bull elk. Let’s have a diet change here.”
In my newspaper I learned that: Wolf biologist opines that the reason for killing calves is due to “a mild fall and early winter. When things are mild, wolves don’t have an edge … and the easiest to kill are calves.”
Calves are easiest to kill. Really? Who’d a thunk it! (By the way, what’s this “edge” the wolves don’t have?)
In my newspaper I learned that: all [wolves] are looking for the best meal possible with the least energy expended.
Maybe they should just visit a McDonald’s.
In my newspaper I learned that: Since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 and 1996, biologists have kept close track on their feeding habits during the winter.
Really? How nice. I can see it all ” a biologist in uniform stands by with a clipboard in hand taking notes of wolf dining habits. One wonders what kind of wine wolves choose to drink with fresh buffalo or elk kill.
In my newspaper I learned that: In 2004 and 2005, the winter study revealed that wolves had switched, after nine years, from eating primarily claves in the winter to catching and killing bull elk.
Well, duh, after nine years of eating calves, maybe the calf supply ran out. Not to mention that eating so many bull elk could put a serious kink in the numbers of calves born.
In my newspaper I learned that: Competition among wolf packs is stiff. “There’s a lot of flux going on, which suggests that all this pushing and shoving [for territory] might be preceding even more decline in the population” states a biologist.
Flux ” would that be wolf dental floss?
In my newspaper I learned that: Wolf biologists survey the populations every December and March for 30 days to get a feel for what they’re eating and how the overall population is faring.
Out comes the clipboards. Off go the uniformed biologists to knock on each wolf’s den door. “How d’ya do, Mr. and Mrs. Wolf. And how are you faring this winter? Do you need any foodstamps? Are these your children? Please, the little dickens are eating my reports here. Could you just throw them an elk bone. Ouch, my ankle!
In my newspaper I learned that: The second half of the study in March will reveal whether the trend to bull meals will continue.
Golly, gee. Won’t it be fun to find out whether the wolves will keep munching on bulls or return to the calf blue-plate special. I can hardly contain my excitement. Without my newspaper, I’d never know how my tax dollars are being put to such excellent use.
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Part 4 of a six-part series about basic water law in the United States, predominately in the western part of the country, and how it affects this finite resource. Water law can be traced back…