Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day In the Wild

I don't believe that the human race has the exclusive rights to the euphoric feelings of love. I have seen many examples of true love, suggestive love, companionship and the true devotion that a mother has for her young in the wild too.

Here are two shots of a pair of grizzly bear mates. I think that this is very recognizable body language, even between species about what is going on here. Pretty Boy is enamoured by Lenore, he is in love. He is trying to explain how much he loves her by whispering in her ear, that loving gaze and his gentle nip and tug. Lenore is playing coy, she needs a bit more convincing and sweet talk. She is not about to be swept off her feet by just any good looking rogue.

All of us have seen the love and devotion that our pets or farm animals show for their babies. I have seen it often in the wilderness using bears, birds and many other animals as examples. Mothers will give their lives to protect their babies. This young cub was sleeping in the grass nearby while his mom was grazing nearby. When Mom was finally full, she found a nice comfortable rock to spread out over for her siesta. It only took less than a minute before the cub got up and sleepily, flopped down over Mom's foot. The reassuring comfort of that big pillow quickly lulled the cub back to sleep.

I see very strong love and devotion for the family life in birds too. Many birds such as eagles mate for life. Here we see how dependant the baby tree swallows are for their parents. They would not survive long without the hard work of Mom and Dad working from can see to can't see catching insects to feed their hungry little charges. It must seem a daunting chore to keep these bottomless maws filled.

When we get to see the giants of the deep, Orca whales, they are often travelling in tight family groups called pods. They are most often composed of a few females, calves and a large male. The male is not the leader of the pod, they are matriarchal, led by a female. It is definitely a sight to see when they are demonstrating their power, exuberance for life and maybe even showing off for a potential mate.

Love and companionship requires hard work and commitment for wildlife as well as for humans. The wild animals provide all of us great examples of what it takes to thrive in the wilderness, for the benefit and survival of each of their species.

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