I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

Well, teacher Pam Randles and her Takshanuk Watershed Council Citizen Scientists from the high school, and Chilkat Forest Investigators from the elementary school have solve the mystery of the woodchuck living in our chicken coop. They caught the shy little guy on a remote control camera, and determined that he was an arctic ground squirrel who was out of his territory, which is usually alpine areas. I said “was” on purpose, because he is now dead. He was hit by a car near the house, so my husband picked him up and put him in a bag in the freezer and called Pam. She came to get him, and when I handed her the sack, she opened it up right away, looked at the frozen, smushed little guy, turned him over, and said “yup, that’s an arctic ground squirrel.” I apologized that he was dead. “It’s not your fault,” she said. Then she said this would be a good end to  the lesson, since the young naturalists would be able to confirm their identification and dissect him. In other environmental news,  nature is still very much running wild around here. The singing wolves kept Pearl (and us) up all last night, the seals and sea lions are thrashing after salmon night and day, and the bears are practically plowing up all the beach meadows digging for roots, but you can’t blame them, there’s  so much to do to prepare for a long winter, and so little time left. (And in the wayward squirrel’s case, none.)