What’s so Grand about the Canyon?

animal wisdom earth wisdom grand canyon mindfulness Oct 11, 2023

My beloved Glenn and I just returned from a road trip to the Grand Canyon. We love road trips. The worst part of the trip was leaving our three dogs (and a variety of cats) home. Guess what we talked about? A travel trailer. (We’ve done this before with two dogs and three cats. It worked.)

If you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, I’d definitely put it on your bucket list. Be prepared for people, even in the first part of October. It’s right up there with Yosemite as a place people want to see. Some are there just to say they saw it, but many others were there to breathe in the history, the immensity, the spiritual connection. And the animals.

The animals were the best. I could eliminate all the human chatter into the background if there was an animal to focus on. I did a lot of focusing.

Friend Squirrel came by and posed for us. He brought his own food, and sat cutely with it in his paws gnawing on what looked like an acorn (lots of gambel oak in the neighborhood). 

On one part of a hike we were going up a steep hill and I was concentrating on surviving the climb without passing out - concentrating so hard that I walked right by an Elk that was about six feet off the trail. D’oh! There were several others and when we became aware of them we backed off and took a few pictures. Elk were everywhere, and we only saw one stupid human who thought it would be great to get her camera as close to the Elk as possible. Fortunately, lady Elk was in a good mood and left stupid human alone. A boy Elk might not have been so accommodating.

One of my power animals is Cougar (or Mountain Lion), and while we (thankfully!) didn’t see any in the flesh, I did “adopt” a lady Cougar through the Grand Canyon Conservancy (more about them at https://www.grandcanyon.org/). I named her Leona. I also brought home a grey fox (Mr. Grey), and a squirrel (no name). I’m a sucker for soft furry animals, and probably have way more stuffed animals than a woman in her late lane of life should have - but I don’t care. Mr. Grey is very cuddly and was a decent substitute for Ry, who likes to snuggle against my shoulder at night.

Squirrel, Mr. Grey and Leona

But the best, the absolute best, were the antics of my other power animal, Raven. They played. They counted coup with one another. They rode the thermals. They would give a call and then soar right over your head. I loved watching them. They hung out with some hawks and condors, too, but the ravens were the stars of the show in my mind. I hope you can see the video at the beginning of this blog.

You don’t have to go to the Grand Canyon to appreciate the nature around you.  I wish we had squirrels, but instead we have rabbits. Magpies, too, which are a hoot (I always think of Heckle and Jeckle). There are some really messy pigeons who have taken up residence in our barn. It was okay when there were only two, but they seem to have acquired a few pals and are becoming a bit of a nuisance, just because they leave feathers and droppings everywhere. Time to get an owl statue and see if we can discourage them from coming in!

What is in YOUR neighborhood that you can watch and learn about? And would you like some pigeons?

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