The Edge of the Wood would like to remember all the women in the late 1800’s early 1900’s who rallied against the use of bird feathers in millinery. Millions upon millions of birds lost their lives to the trade. Socialites and bird loving women rose up to convince all women that enough was enough. Sara A. Hubbard, director of the Illinois Audubon Society, said “I expect to live to see the time when the wearing of bird plumage will be a brand of ignorance.” Is this a problem today? Yes. Roosters, ostriches and swans are often live plucked and killed to satisfy the fashion industry. Let’s take a lesson from our turn of the century sisters. After all bird feathers are beautiful but belong on birds, not people.
Here at the Edge of the Wood we are not sure if the residents organize into pee-wee soccer leagues when our backs are turned, but we do know they are extreme parkour practitioners. Squirrels have padded feet that cushion jumps from up to 20 feet and can run 20 mph. So next time you are choosing up sides for soccer, you might want to look up in a tree and ask a squirrel. Just make sure the ball isn’t made of peanuts.
Here at the edge of the wood we know that a baby squirrel is much more adorable than a baby computer, but are they as smart? According to scientist Frans De Waal, “A growing body of evidence shows, that we have grossly underestimated both the scope and the scale of animal intelligence. Can an octopus use tools? Do chimpanzees have a sense of fairness? Can birds guess what others know? Do rats feel empathy for their friends? Just a few decades ago we would have answered “no” to all such questions. Now we’re not so sure.” As scientists develop tests that are animal centric, not human centric, they have, “Moved from viewing animals as instinct-driven stimulus-response machines to seeing them as sophisticated decision makers.” So, it seems our animal friends have beauty and brains.