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Life on the Deckle Edge

Have You Hugged Your Wolf Today?

To celebrate Wolf Awareness Week (Oct. 16-22), I thought I’d celebrate with some pack-related poetry. I have the privilege of volunteering with a couple of wolves at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega, Ga. In light of the news this week, I’m sure I’m not the only one with a heavy heart for the senseless loss of animal life in Ohio, and also for the law enforcement officers who had a terrible but unavoidable task to protect the public. Surely laws in that state regarding the keeping of exotic animals will be strengthened now.

If you happen to be in north Georgia, I'll be presenting a session for kids featuring wolf information next month on Sat., Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. at the Dahlonega Literary Festival.

Here are a couple of poems I wrote a while back about the captive wolves I’ve been honored to know.


The Bottom Line


Sit, Luna.

I hold a piece of cheese above her nose.
Her back end hits the ground.

But she knows and I know:

A wolf only sits if she wants to.


© Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved


Butterfly Dance


Yellow butterfly
flits and floats outside the pen.

Gray wolf leaps and prances inside -
matching movements,
up and down,
following buttery wings.

La Mariposa.

Musky, muscular,
magnificent
she-wolf
dances

the

Butterfly Dance.


© Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved

Note: In Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes describes a solo tribal dance in New Mexico called the “Butterfly Dance.” Traditionally, Hopi youth perform a social dance called “The Butterfly Dance” in late summer.

Attempts are ongoing in the Southwestern United States to reintroduce the Mexican Wolf, the most genetically distinct type of gray wolf. Efforts have not met with the same success as the reintroduction of wolves in the greater Rockies. For updated USFWS Mexican wolf information, click here and here.

And for wonderful poetry, go see what Jama’s got cookin’ for the
Poetry Friday Roundup.
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How's Your Wolf Awareness?

© Robyn Hood Black
It's

WOLF AWARENESS WEEK!
October 16-22, 2011

I celebrated with Luna and Rio at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve today. Their coats are starting to thicken up for colder weather.

If you love wolves, check out all the great online resources at the International Wolf Center. There are pages for kids, teachers, and wolf enthusiasts of all ages.

And, if you're in north Georgia, I'll be presenting a session with wolf information next month at the Dahlonega Literary Festival on Sat., Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. at the Children's Stage.

Check back Friday for a wolfy Poetry Friday post. Read More 
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A Pack of Poets

SCBWI Southern Breeze Poetry Retreat with Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Twenty poets gathered in the north Georgia mountains last weekend for an SCBWI Southern Breeze poetry I coordinated with special guest,
Rebecca Kai Dotlich. That thunderstorm mentioned at the end of last week’s post from Rebecca’s poem visited us more than once at the Center for New Beginnings
in Dahlonega, Georgia. We enjoyed sessions with Rebecca, who said her favorite poems offer a *surprise*, wonderful food and fellowship, individual critiques, and sparks of new poems begging to be written.

For more information and pictures, visit my POETRY page and also attendee Jean Matthew Hall’s blog. Doraine Bennett blogged as well at Dori Reads.

This week I also had the privilege of speaking to some upper elementary and middle school writers at Lakeview Academy’s Writers Camp! What a talented group of creative young people.

But wait – there’s more. It was also Zoofari Camp this week at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, and I popped in over there, too. I love talking about writing and also wolf education, so it was a great experience. I even brought Rio down from his pen to say hello to the campers (from a safe distance!). See pictures on my WOLVES and STUDENT GALLERY pages.

Back to the retreat – Rebecca was a terrific good sport out in the woodsy, rustic environment – particularly considering we learned “woodsy” and “rustic” are not really her thing! I have to say I loved running half-wild through the woods as a kid, and I guess I’ve never outgrown it.

Thinking about that, I dug out this poem written soon after I started volunteering with wolves three years ago. (I know – it’s a little strange! But it still applies.)


"Breath of Fresh Hair"


Sometimes the wolf smell lingers
on my skin or in my hair –

I like catching a whiff on my sleeve
in the grocery store.

I hate to wash it off in the shower.

It’s not a scent for civilized company.

It’s the smell of secrets,

of murky mist –

heady and heavy,

wild and holy.


©Robyn Hood Black
All rights reserved.

Please visit the Poetry Friday Roundup at
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Summer Camp at Chestatee Wildlife Preserve

Just a quick shout-out to folks who might know youngsters in the Dahlonega, Ga., area who are crazy about wild animals - There's about a week left to sign up for the "Zoofari" Summer Camp at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve. The camp is for kids ages 7 to 12 and is scheduled for June 13- 18, 9:30 to 3:00 each day. Click on over to the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve website and find the "Summer Camp" tab to learn the details.

I'll be there sometime during the week presenting a session on wolves. Arrwooooooo! Read More 
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Check out Elizabeth Dulemba's Coloring Pages!

My friend and award-winning author-illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba took a special liking to the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve's new baby zedonk. So today, for the Coloring Page she offers each Tuesday on her website, she has an adorable picture of a zebra! (And a picture and links to some of the online zedonk coverage.) Check out www.dulemba.com

But first, read what she has to say about why she offers these fun, free coloring pages to her happy followers:

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Link to Interview

Thanks to Mayra Calvani for posting an interview with yours truly on her great blog!

http://mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com/2010/07/interview-with-childrens-author-and.html

Check out her website, too.
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Life is full of Surprises

Mine certainly has been lately! This past week, I found out the Intervisual Animal Vault series has been discontinued, including WOLVES. I have some copies I'll reserve for school visits, since I like to donate one of each of my books to school media centers. But I'm sad it's out of print. However, I'm happy that I could help collect and send off some copies for use in a very worthwhile and innovative arts in education program in West Virginia.

In cheerier news (is cheerier a word?), take a look at the photo to the left.  Read More 
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Awrrroooooo!

Happy July!

You're probably thinking I crawled into a wolf den to hide for a couple of months. Not really, though maybe not that far off....

First, I've been continuing to heal with this torn Achilles. Thanks for the well wishes. I'm doing much, much better - even driving now - which is a relief to my chauffeuring teenagers and to myself! Still a month or two of physical therapy and such to go.  Read More 
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Happy Birthday to Juno and Luna!

Juno and Luna, the two gray wolves I volunteer with at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega, Ga., turn two today!


I made them a birthday cake this week; I'll post a couple of pictures on my WOLVES page as soon as I get my new computer all connected. (Can you say, always remember to back up your stuff? At least I had backed up a good bit.)
Happy Spring to you and your pack.... Read More 
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Frisky Fall Wolves...

I have the amazing privilege of volunteering at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega, Ga., - http://www.chestateewildlife.com - with Juno and Luna, the wolves whose pictures you see here and there on my website. At a year-and-a-half old now, they are magnificent creatures.

When I visit them, we generally work on manners (socialization), and I also enjoy observing their antics. Today they were particularly playful.  Read More 
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