Sunday, 28 March 2010

Beavers and Grey Owl

I have been reading Grey Owl's books again; and through reading a blog about paddles I found these Canadian films about Grey Owl. It is wonderful to put a picture to a name and to see that person, now since long dead, who wrote the book that so moved me and many thousands of other people. Grey Owl was one of the very few people who brought awareness of Canadian environmental issues to a world wide audience.
Pilgrims of the Wild is Grey Owl's autobiography. As a trapper of beaver and other animals, he was devastated by the ways of the-get-rich quick trappers. He then adopted a couple of beaver kittens and he and his wife raised them, vowing never to trap animals for money again. A sticky situation - as he owed a lot of money to the trading post.

His descriptions of beaver are wonderful; he shows them as very hard working beings, felling trees and moving them around to build their dams and lodges. They are also very social and playful creatures.

Grey Owl is worth reading and will inspire; a one-time Englishman who, at the age of 17, went to Canada and fell in love with the vast forests, wilderness and the first nation peoples.