My initial inspiration for this piece came from the wood. I knew it was to be a wolf looking between the trees. A few years later it finally became clear just who that wolf was. My intent was to render her quite real and pensive, yet powerful. Her eyes look not quite at you but through you or beyond you, and the fierce green fire in these eyes will never go out.
The She-Wolf of Aldo Leopold’s Great Regret
"…As she came out of the water we realized it was a wolf, not a deer…a half dozen pups joined in a welcoming melee of wagging tails and play… In a second we were pumping lead into the pack… When our rifles were empty, the old wolf was down and a pup was dragging a leg…
We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes, something known only to her and to the mountain.
Since then I have seen state after state extirpate it’s wolves… I have seen every edible bush and seedling browsed…every edible tree defoliated… In the end the starved bones of the hoped for deer, dead of its own too much, bleach with the bones of the sage…
I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause…a buck pulled down by wolves can replace itself in 2 or 3 years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades."
Excerpt From Thinking Like a Mountain
by Aldo Leopold.
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