Category Archives: Michigan

Spirits of the Waters

(Me, kayaking on a local river)

Hello again folks!

I am sorry that it took so long to get another post out to you all. Truth be told, I have been struggling with the writing a little bit. It’s not a lack of interest or a lack of material, but a lack of energy and free time. My day job has been really stressful, and that has taken a lot out of me. It makes extraneous tasks a bit harder. More than that, it’s summer, so I have been spending more time outdoors. I have also been spending my time reading on nice days. For what it is worth, the Expanse series of novels is really good. I’m on number four now.

All that aside, today I wanted to continue my series on the spirits. You can find the previous posts about forests here , and about the dead here. It was also inspired by the last fall’s trip to Michigan State University, which you can find here.

I’ll like to add another post to that series today, but before I do I wanted to make a few quick notes. You might be wondering what the point is to all of this? If I may make a statement of intent, the recent series of posts on spirits is for me to hash out some of the details of my own cosmology. I draw a lot of inspiration from my ancestral cultures, especially Finnish and Nordic, but also with some Irish/Scottish/Celtic/English thrown in. That said, it’s been a long time since my family has been immigrants, at least seven generations of my family has been born in North America. As such, while my ancestors inspire me, my animism and spiritual practice is very much grounded in the contemporary here and now. It is one part inspiration, and one part bioregionalism. I’ll talk a lot more about this in the next post, as a kind of ‘hybrid’ form of spirituality.

But I don’t want to go too far down that past just yet. So instead let’s talk about the spirit of the water. In Finnish folklore, these spirits are called the veden väki, the people/energies of the water. I love the Finnish concept of väki, because it has two simultaneous meanings. It means the energies of a place, in a very real physical sense. The cycles of energy and matter in an ecosystem, including the plants, animals, air, and the earth in that system. It is the constant flow of energy that often goes unseen and unremarked. The second sense, is that the väki are the folk of a location, the people; the spirits of a place. Again, this can be in a very physical way. The fish, the water plants, the bugs, the water fowl, all of them. It can also include the more spiritual ‘unseen’, whether metaphors, meaning narratives, or other more metaphysical methods.

(Ludington Pumped Hydro Storage, literal energy)

Why water spirits? Well, first and foremost, water is essential to all life on Earth. The hydrological cycle from ocean to rain, river to lake, is absolutely vital to everything we know. Water is life, essentially and fundamentally. 70% of our planet is covered in water, and approximately the same percentage in our own bodies. That is why the veden väki are often present in healing and sustenance folklore. Water is vitality, vital for healing as well as longevity.

More than this, my home state of Michigan is defined by water and the spirits of water. The very name of the state comes from Ojibwe, mishigamaa, which means “large water” or “large lake.”

(Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan)

The picture of me kayaking above is on a local tributary of the Grand River, whose Native American name is O-wash-ta-nong, meaning “Far-away-water'” thought to refer to the length of the river. The Grand River is the longest river in the state, at 406 kilometers (252 miles) from Hillsdale County to where it meets Lake Michigan in Grand Haven. Through it’s local tributary (and with a surplus of vacation time) I could kayak from my house all the way to Lake Michigan.

In addition, Michigan is bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, which make up 1/5 of the world’s total fresh water.

The state has 11,037 inland lakes and 38,575 square miles (99,909 km2) of Great Lakes waters and rivers in addition to 1,305 square miles (3,380 km2) of inland water. No point in Michigan is more than 6 miles (9.7 km) from an inland lake or more than 85 miles (137 km) from one of the Great Lakes. – From Wikipedia

Aside from Alaska, Michigan has the longest shoreline of any other state, at about 3,288 miles not including islands. This is the same approximate length of the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Florida. There is a reason the Great Lakes region is often referred to as the “Third Coast”.

(The Great Lakes Basin)

It would be easy to cite facts all day, but that is not what I want to do. My homeland is amazing in a lot of different ways, not the least of which that I can bike and kayak so many major waterways without going far from home. Plus the state is like 51% forest, and that surely pleases my Finnish ancestors. This state, this land, is as much the land as it is the waters. Together, the two aspects of Michigan are what make it home for me. It is an essential part of my spiritual practice, as much as it is an essential part of the land that practice is rooted in.

My childhood was spent in the rivers, lakes, streams, and forests of Michigan. The forests defined me, and the waters shaped me. The väki of metsän and veden are part of me, literally and figuratively. They are the spirits of my home, and of Michigan. Finland seems far away, but also very close to home.

Thanks for reading!

Notes/Sources;

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Michigan

https://www.consumersenergy.com/company/what-we-do/electric-generation/pumped-storage-hydro-electricity

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haltija

Scandinavian Folk Belief & Legend, ed. by Henning K. Sehmsdorf and Reimund Kvideland

Finnish Folklore Atlas, by Matti Sarmela

Kalevala, by Elias Lönnrot translated by Francis Magoun

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_River_(Michigan)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Lakes_Basin


Random Roundup 2/8/19

(A hand picked random meme from Facebook for this roundup)

Hello again folks!

I am busy working around on a few different projects, so I wasn’t able to get anything of length ready for publication just yet. So today, I am bringing you another roundup of ideas and news that I think are good ones.

First, something local (for me);

“Consumers Energy says it plans to dramatically increase its reliance on solar energy in the next few decades.

Battery storage can save some of the energy that solar panels produce during the day, so it can be used at night.”

It’s no secret that I’m a big proponent of solar energy, and so it warms my heart to see more and more local projects being installed. I think we need to ambitiously address the problems of the climate crisis, and solar panels are energy storage are a good start.

Second, something that is a great step in the right direction;

“The plan to eliminate coal-burning plants as well as nuclear means that Germany will be counting on renewable energy to provide 65% to 80% of the country’s power by 2040. Last year, renewables overtook coal as the leading source and now account for 41% of the country’s electricity.”

Germany is commiting itself to ambitious goals to combat the climate crisis. The 2018 IPCC report is very clear that we need to drastically reduce emissions and fossil fuel use in the next twelve years, and we are in need of models to show how that change could happen. Germany is offering one such model, and I think the world would be wise to pay attention.

Last, the Green New Deal;

“In very broad strokes, the Green New Deal legislation laid out by Ocasio-Cortez and Markey sets goals for some drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the economy, from electricity generation to transportation to agriculture. In the process, it aims to create jobs and boost the economy.

In that vein, the proposal stresses that it aims to meet its ambitious goals while paying special attention to groups like the poor, disabled and minority communities that might be disproportionately affected by massive economic transitions like those the Green New Deal calls for.”

The IPCC 2018 report and others are very clear about the need to mobilize on a massive scale if we are to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis. Local and regional governments can certainly take up that charge, but frankly, we need all the resources we can get. I for one would love to see the United States step up to the plate here, and I think a form of the Green New Deal is a great start to figuring out what that looks like.

I hope to have more stuff for you in the next week or so.

Thanks for reading!


Spirits of the Forest

“In ancient times, the land lay covered lay covered in forests. Where, from ages long past, dwelt the spirits of the gods. Back then, man and beast lived in harmony. But as time went by, most of the great forests were destroyed…” — Princess Mononoke

Some have wondered where they Great Lakes came from… Long ago, there were Great Spirits of ice and snow. They were so old, and so powerful, that their very bodies lay upon the surface of the land. There was no land in those days, only the endless bodies of the Ice People.

Over long spans of time, the land slowly warmed. The Ice People hated the warmth, and started to migrate towards the north. But in anger of being displaced, they dug up the land, digging great furoughs in the land. But they stayed too long, and the warmth got to them. The Ice People that remained melted away, and the water from their bodies and tears filled the Great Lakes.

Okay, so that is my best attempt at some kind of glacier-inspired folklore for my homelands of Michigan. It’s a little bit science and a little bit animism, and tries to retell the history of how the Great Lakes came to be. The short answer, they were dug out by glaciers. Obviously.

In my last post, I made brief allusions to the fact that in Finnish folklore the spirits of the dead and the spirits of the land are deeply intertwined. This makes sense, from both a practical as well as a spiritual perspective. In the words of Mufasa, when we die our bodies become the grass. The vast majority of humans, animals, plants, and every other being on this planet return to the Earth when we die. We become part of the land, whether we are buried or burned.

The spirits and inhabitants of the land are often referred to as Mann haltija literally land spirits. The land itself and the spirits of the land are the oldest beings, and have been here long before humanity first crawled out of the evolutionary past.. The plants and animals have millions of generations of dead. In Finnish folklore, these spirits are often the protectors of the land. The dead are protectors of the living, and the forests were here before the people. In this way, ancestors, the dead, and the haltija in general is deeply connected to the land, and the Earth.

For example, we can still find the fossil remains of the first forms of life that appeared on Earth billions of years ago. The memory of the Earth is deep, and those dead are still remembered by the land beneath our feet. According to the folklore, those dead spirits can also watch over their living descendants, and the species that came from them. The First Oak, would be the haltija that watched over and guarded its kin, and helped to maintain the cycles of life and death for the species.

That is why the spirits of the dead and the land are deeply intertwined. My homeland of Michigan has a deep forested history, and even today the state is over 50% forests. This is interesting to consider when you figure that the Native Americans have been here for generations, and that the Forests were here long before them. And the lakes and waters before that, and the glaciers before that. That all that ecological history, is still with us. Still below our feet. Still part of Michigan’s animistic and physical being.

Spirits of dead wolves still watch over their living kin, along with spirits of birds, and trees and forests. These are the spirits of the forest, and of the land. The mann haltijas, and also the Spirits of the Forest.

The Spirits of the Forest

The metsän väki serve as guides and mentors to us all. Their roots go deep into the ground, to the waters of the dead, drinking of the wisdom and memory of the Earth and our ancestors. Their trunks exist upon the land, in our own world of humans, animals, and plants. Their branches stretch towards the heavens, towards the stars, the spirits, and the heavens.

In Finnish, the metsän väki are the people of the forest, the spirits of the place, and also the inherent ‘power’ of the place. The spirits, and the Spirit, of the Forest. They are the living beings of the forest; all the different species of trees, of animals, plants, fungus, bacteria, and all the others. They are also the ecology of the forest, the complex system that involves not just the biology, but also the air, water, and earth of the physical landform. The metsän väki are the cycles of matter and energy that maintain and regulate the entire system. From the acorn to the rotting trunk, these are the metsän väki.

Finland, like my own country of Michigan, is also a heavily forested land. It is no surprise at all that the forest played heavily into their folklore and their spiritual beliefs. However, in my own home, there is a deeply disturbing past when it comes to the forests. Historically, after the arrival of Europeans, Michigan was basically the source of lumber for a growing America.

The vast majority of our old growth trees were logged and taken away in the 18th and 19th centuries. There was a great podcast series by Michigan Radio, if you care to listen that covers a lot of this history. Still, that history weighs on my mind. Those trees and habits were displaced, and in no small way our forests have not been the same since. Those old forests would have been something to see!

Yet, there is a deeper, more animistic connection here too. In the same way that the destruction of habitats can destabilize ecosystems, a similar idea is present in the Finnish concept of väki. Displaced spirits can become angry, or ‘insane’ if they are not treated properly. The dead can become enraged, just as in Princess Mononoke. They can make people sick, or become ill themselves. There is a real ecological and spiritual connection between the health of the metsän väki, and the physical health of the forest.

If you want to read more about my experience with forests spirits, you could start here.

Not only does that leave room for further investigation, but it also makes me deeply uncomfortable. Again, perhaps Jigo in Princess Mononoke said it best;

Hiisi

In goes another layer deeper as well, the connection between the dead, the living, and the land. In Finnish folk beliefs, there is also the concept of the hiisi. These were also spirits, or ghosts, that could help (or hinder) the living. Spirits of the dead were often honored in forest groves, natural land formations, and stones and rocks.

A forest where the spirit of the dead was honor was called a Hiisi forest, a spirit forest. A place where the spirits and ancestors dwell. By sacred trees, in sacred groves, or upon stone altars Finnish people would leave offerings, sacrifices, and honors for the dead. I’ve talked more about what that looks like here Reflections on the FFA. 

However, as Christianity swept into Finland, hiisi and the concepts around it actually became a profane idea. Hiisi were no longer spirits or ancestors, but devils and evil demons. As a result, it’s fallen from use; in the same way that a lot of old sacred sites were cut down, or had churches built over them. Still, I think the spirits still linger in those places, just as they still linger in the forests of Michigan.

Which is a great place to stop for the moment. There is a lot more that could be said, but I will save that for future posts. As always;

Thanks for reading!


Spiritual Calendars

Let’s start off with updates. I have been really, really busy lately. I have been working my way towards the publication of my fourth book. I have all the artwork back, and soon as I finish formatting it will be ready for proofing.

I will be finishing up a commission for a friend’s wedding this week. It has really been a fun project. I wish I could talk more about it, but for now it will be considered a secret. Once it has been delivered, and if I can get permission; I will be happy to talk a little bit about it.

In addition, hunting season is only a week away. I am well into my spiritual work for this time of year, which is one of the busiest for me. This year is going to be break neck busy. Not only I am still building the shop, but have plenty of mundane as well as social commitments. Time in the woods is also required, of course. In many ways, I wish I had the luxury to just take the whole month of October off. Alas, I have bills to pay.

Okay; enough of that for the moment.

Today I want to talk about calendars. These things are pretty common in pagany circles. You’ve heard about the Wheel of the Year right? Pretty much anyone that has come into paganism at one time or another is introduced to these concepts.

So it probably wouldn’t surprise you if I said that I too have a calendar. Or more accurately, I have several different layers of calendars I integrate together. I “layer” them, for lack of better phrasing. Hopefully, you will understand as I explain this all a little bit more.

The Physical (Naturalistic)

It is a common caveat for me that you should look for the mundane explanations first before you look for spiritual ones. For example, if you fall off a cliff and land unceremoniously on your legs at the bottom. All of sudden, you find that one of your legs hurts a hell of a lot, and won’t carry you’re weight any longer.

It is unfounded to assume that the spirits are causing pain in your leg. Chances are, you have damaged or broke one of the many bones in your leg. Or ligaments, or muscles, or some other thing. Legs are pretty complex after all.,

The point being, explore the physical reasons first. Sometimes a spoon is just a spoon folks.

And sometimes its demon possessed cutlery from hell.

The same is true for calendars for me. I start with a base level of physical calendars. Just like most folks in the west, most of my days are counted on the Gregorian Calendar. You know, days, weeks, months, and all that.

For both spiritual as well as physical reasons, I also track the astronomical cycles. The phases of the moon, the rotation of the Earth, our revolution around the sun; equinoxes, solstices ect. I also live in Michigan, and we are a solid four season state; so I also get to observe the march from construction season to winter…

I mean spring, summer, fall and winter.

I also get to observe the stars, which change over the year in location and rotation across the sky. When I was younger I use to have them all memorized. I still remember both of them, but some of those skills have gotten rusty from disuse.

For those that are interested, Paths Through the Forests has a fair bit of good writings.

Agricultural

585px-wheel_of_the_year-svg

(From Wikipedia)

This layer is often referred to as the Wheel of the Year. At it’s core, it is mostly an agricultural calendar. Our entire civilization is sustained by an agricultural sustenance base. The Wheel of the Year corresponds to this rather nicely.

I grew up in farming country, and spent my share of time helping out on farms. I understand that winter is typically the fallow time (unless we are talking about Winter Wheat, or livestock). Most of the fields have been harvested and lie dormant.

With spring, comes an assortment of “sowing” holidays. From Imbolc through Beltaine, you get a host of associations with plowing, planting, fertility, and all the generalities that are associated with farming. Ostara falls on the Vernal Equinox, and Midsummer at the midsummer solstice.

These are followed, after Midsummer, by many of the “harvest” holidays. Lughnasadh – Samhain, with Samhain being the pinnacle of “harvest” festivals. Mabon falls on the Autumnal Equinox. * Samhain also is a big time for ancestor veneration and remembrance.

In Finnish folklore, the first of the harvest belonged to the ancestors.

There are also additional/alternate dates for Germanic/Heathen pagans. I tend to pull from this one too.

1024px-heathen_holidays

(From Wikipedia)

There is plenty of good information out there in internet-land.

Hunter’s Year

This part is another layer added onto the above calendars. Even as a hunter, I still exist in the real world, and an agricultural society. So instead of being an “alternate” calendar, it is just one more layer of interwoven meaning into my life.

In many ways, this calendar is still kind of a work in progress. That being said, it has still developed to the point where I am comfortable sharing it. It is based in a lot of my research into hunter-gatherers, as well as my understanding of the year, as well as the legal structure of hunting activities here in Michigan.

While it is not exact, and allows for plenty of nuance, it gives a rough framework in which I work.

For example, under naturalistic and modern pagan cycles, From Vernal to Autumnal equinox is called the “light half” of the year. From Autumnal to Vernal equinox is the “dark half” of the year.

As such, I have taken to calling the dark half of the year; Season of the Wolf. The light half of the year is called the Season of the Bear.

The Season of the Wolf has not real set start or end date, but really covers most of fall and winter. It is the time of the hunt, and of winter. It coincides with deer hunting season (and several species of small game) here in Michigan. Bow season starts October first, and runs through the start of the new year, with firearm season in November.

The Season of the Bear starts in the spring, and starts the season of foraging and fishing.** It corresponds roughly to the light half of the year.

You might be wondering why I choose to name these seasons after Big Name predators. Well, part of is my associations with the wolf. I’ve not kept it a secret or anything. Wolf HAD to be in there.

However, I actually have sort-of logic attached to it. Some of the hunter-gatherer I have researched have strong associations to both the bear as well as the reindeer. The reasoning being that bears hibernate in the winter, and so that is when the Season of the Bear ends. When they wake up in the spring, the Season of the Bear begins. Reindeer too, have seasonal migrations in both the spring and winter when they move between their feeding grounds. Reindeer have a love of certain temperature ranges, and they migrate to stay in that range. They move north in summer, and come back south in winter.

I have talked a little bit about these things here.

Now, like I said this is really a general outline of a work in progress. Obviously bears don’t go into hibernation exactly on the autumnal equinox, any more than reindeer migrate and exactly that time. That is part of the reason I called them “seasons”, as they would roughly correspond to different halves of the year. It only gives maybe 6 months of flex or so…

In addition, hunting and fishing seasons are defined as much legally as socially. Any hunting/fishing season can be changed. These also can vary from state to state. In general though, spring/summer is a great time for fishing and foraging, and fall/winter is when numerous species (including deer) are up for hunting.

A work in progress at the end of the day.

Thanks for reading!

 

Notes;

*In the northern hemisphere. All dates are on the opposite side of the year in the southern hemisphere.

 

Sources/References;

Paths Through the Forests

Wikipedia (Wheel of the Year)

Bears and the Ancient North


A Win for Wolves

This is something that I really wanted to write about. Recently, a federal judge passed a ruling that relisted the gray wolf as an endangered species, effectively bringing and end to the wolf hunts here in Michigan, as well as in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
It should be obvious from this blog where my loyalties lie in this regard. I am… overjoyed. This is a huge win for wolves.
In some way, I am really happy the fed stepped in to resolve this matter. At the same time, I feel a little conflicted on the matter. On some level, I am a person that believes that local matters should be settled locally. I am a little on the fence about the fed stepping in to tell us how things should be done. However, that being said, it is frankly obvious to me that the state of Michigan was incapable of handling this matter. Our legislature ignored the will of the people on several occasions and even mooted two ballot questions, both of which passed with large margins against the wolf hunts and the power grab by the Natural Resources Commission. In addition, this is a multi-state issue, which falls within the federal purview.
At the same time, this judgment negates several state laws, one of which allows pet and livestock owners to use lethal means against wolves caught in the act of depredation. This is another thing I am on the fence about. Let me be very clear, I am against killing wolves generally. I am strongly against the hunting of wolves, as I had made clear on several occasions. At the same time, I am for coexistence as well. Both wolf and human concerns need to be taken into account. I have to wonder if the same judgment that protected the wolves against the hunts has also robbed farmers, ranchers and pet owners of a useful tool?
Granted, they still have the use of plenty of non-lethal methods that have been proven effective, fences, guard animals, as well as a support net of state-based compensation for lost animals.

The more I think about, the more I want to explore the issue in more depth. It is my opinion that humans have become arrogant. We think we are masters of the planet, and human concerns almost always trump the concerns of biodiversity, or the well being of other beings. Just as an example, a few of the post I saw on Facebook and other places concerning this judgment. More than a few of them made me sick.
As a sampling, I read everything from “the wolves are killing all the deer”, which is flat out false. There are many factors involved in the state of the deer populations, the largest of which are human-caused. Car collisions and human hunting, along with things like starvation, exposure (last winter was a brutal one) and predation. Also, since when did deer belong to human hunters alone? Wolves need to eat too. As well as the countless other species that wolves feed indirectly, scavengers and decomposers.
It only gets worse from there. The most sickening of comments advocated for either poaching, often exemplified by what is often referred to as The 3 “S’s”. Shoot, shovel, and shut up. As in kill the animals, bury them, and don’t talk about it. That is despicable. From both an ethical as well as a legal standpoint.
The worst offenders, however, advocated straight up extinction. As in, wolves need to be eradicated. This is a tough one to stay level-headed about. It angers me at a deep primal level. If the target was humans, this would be considered genocide and cold blooded murder. But, wolves are animals, not people right? WRONG. Oh so wrong. Animals are people. Non-human people, sure, but they have as much right to exist as we do. The amount of ignorance, heartlessness, and just plain stupidity of such a statement is more than words can describe. What’s worse, many of these people consider themselves hunters. It makes me ashamed to carry the title. Hell, it makes me ashamed to call myself human.

Let me be clear, THAT IS NOT OK.

In fact, that kind of thinking is the reason wolves, as well as many other species, are on the endangered species list to begin with.

Existence is not just a human right, but the right of all living things. We are part of nature, not above it or outside of it. We need to take a good long look at the way we are doing things. The gray wolf is only one of countless species we have nearly pushed to extinction. That is not an error I wish to see repeated. Hell, countless species are going extinct every day because humans cannot get our shit together. It is really time to rethink the way we do things, if there is still time.

What I am advocating here is a balanced coexistence. Wholesale eradication of a species is not an option, nor should it be. Neither should be arbitrary, and pointless hunts. The concerns of all parties need to be considered, and not just from an anthropocentric point of view. Wolves have as much as a right to exist as humans do. Their ecological role as a keystone predator is immense. At the same time, human concerns need to be addressed as well. Depredation is a concern, especially for those that earn a living from livestock. Ranchers, farmers and pet owners have the right to protect their livelihoods as well.

So, let’s find a balanced approach, one that allows the coexistence of BOTH species.

Sources;

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2014/12/19/great-lakes-wolves-ordered-returned-endangered-list/20655023/


Howl No on 1 and 2

It is once again the time of year for politics, and generally I try my best to avoid such things. However, this year there is an issue on the ballot that I feel particularly strong about, and I wanted to voice that opinion. Can you guess what it is?

The wolf hunts here in Michigan. That’s right. I will admit I have a bit of a pro-wolf bias, but even as a hunter I see no good justification for these hunts. Let me just lay it all out there for a moment. When I hunt, I intend to use everything I take, and if not I will find someone that can. Burying the remains also does happen, but that is only as a last resort or when the spirit specifically demands it. There are ethical concerns, conservation/ecological concerns, as well as spiritual concerns.  It gets complex real quick, and I’ve talked about it before. So moving on.

Now for a small bit of history. Wolves in Michigan were put on the endangered species list in 1965. In 2008 a law was passed that allows lethal methods to be used on wolves if they are found attacking dogs or livestock. Wolves were officially taken off the endangered species list in late 2011 – 2012, and the first wolf hunt was sanctioned in 2013.

The short history is only the beginning however. The whole legislative process concerning the wolf hunts has been filled with lies, half-truths, fear mongering, and downright corruption on the part of Michigan politicians. That is almost a bigger issue than the hunting of wolves. Our politicians have deliberately and intentionally ignored the will of the people when  it did not agree with their agenda. No, I do not think wolves should be hunted. But a corrupt and incapable government is just as bad, if not worse.

As far as the “sound science” line of argument is concerned that comes from pro-hunt groups, I have yet to see any convincing science that lays out a case to hunt wolves. In fact, the first link below is a report from two world renowned wolf experts, and they do a pretty good job arguing against any pro-hunt arguments.

I think this whole business has more to do with corrupt politics than it has to do with science, and that is a problem. When politicians, our so called leaders , ignore the will of the people they govern, that is a problem.

The wolf hunts are not “sound scientific” wildlife management, nor are they good policy. The hunts are not about conservation, and are more reflective of the sad state of our political climate in Michigan.

So yes, I intend to vote NO on proposals 1 and 2. And yes, I realize that these referendums have no real bearing at this point. That is how much those in Lansing value my voice, and the will of the people. None at all.

I also intend to vote against any incumbent that had a hand in this.  It is time for a change in leadership.

Links;

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Evaluation-MI-wolf-harvest-Vucetich-Peterson-1May2013.pdf

http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2014/08/michigan_wolf_hunting_a_timeli.html

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/11/michigan_wolf_hunt_rolf_peters.html

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/11/michigan_wolf_hunt_adam_bump_m.html

http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/contributors/2014/09/20/wolf-hunt-vote/15908551/

http://keepwolvesprotected.com/

http://keepwolvesprotected.com/fiction

http://www.outdoorhub.com/news/2014/08/28/michigan-conservation-act-passed-wolf-hunt-protected/

http://www.ammoland.com/2014/09/science-based-wolf-management-hunting-now-the-law-in-michigan/#axzz3EX6LaEJ7

http://michiganradio.org/post/lawmakers-vote-allow-wolf-hunts

http://www.citizenswildlife.com/

http://michigan.gov/documents/dnr/Rationale_for_the_Wildlife_and_Fisheries_Committees_Recommendation_to_Adopt_Wildlife_Conservation_Order_Amendment_No_6_of_2013_as_Modified_Herein_420752_7.pdf


Midwest Vikings? Part 5

I have noticed a notable uptick in the stats for my “Michigan/Midwest Vikings” posts. I wonder if it has anything to do with the below?

This is something that came across my Facebook today. There was a discovery in northern Michigan, Cheboygan for those interested, of possible Viking artifacts. Right here in the Great Lakes!

Just a few words of warning about these kinds of artifacts. I have written a great deal about the other finds, and there has not been anything I have found that has been definitive. Don’t get me wrong, I want to believe! I really hope some of my ancestors made it this far.

But these kind of things can be faked, hoaxes or what have you. This happens a lot, the history of archaeology is full of them. I would almost say they would be easier in this day and age, with the viral nature of the internet.  Also they could be trade artifacts that moved independently of the people that made them. They could have also been buried by some Scandinavia/Norse colonist centuries after the Vikings. There is a lot of variables here.

I am eagerly awaiting on the follow up research from U of M (if there is any, see below.), and I am hoping this turns out to be authentic.

Here is the link to the article;

http://worldnewsdailyreport.com/usa-viking-artefacts-discovered-near-great-lakes/

 

Update on 5/28;

After this was pointed out to me by a friend; Below is the disclaimer for the website.

“World News Daily Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within worldnewsdailyreport.com are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to politicians and/or celebrities, in which case they are based on real people, but still based almost entirely in fiction.”