Ayla, April 12, 2004 – August 13, 2018

Ayla was born to Tristan and Erin in 2004. The litter included her brothers, Renki and Ruedi, and sister Kailani. We kept all four pups, and they grew up to be beautiful wolves. Unfortunately, Ayla and Kailani were bratty adolescents who harassed Erin, until Erin lost all patience and chased the girls so ferociously that they ended up hanging out most of the time on the peninsula. Erin was eventually retired from the pack, allowing Ayla and Kailani more social freedom, but their younger brothers, Wolfgang and Wotan, began harassing Ayla.

The RAT Pack of Renki, Ayla and Tristan

Eventually Ayla was driven out of the pack. In 2009 her father, Tristan, and later the same year, her brother Renki were also driven out by Wolfgang and Wotan. We still remember Ayla’s excitement as we led Tristan past her enclosure the evening he was deposed by his nephews. Renki, Ayla, and Tristan formed a pack of their own known as the RAT Pack, with that name taken from the first initial of each wolf’s name. The three of them star in footage in our safety presentation which everyone watches prior to their first interaction with the wolves.

Presents, now!!!

Some of Ayla’s personal quirks are immortalized in that video. In one clip we mention Ayla’s penchant for bouncing at people’s faces and, in the friendliest possible way, planting her nose right in someone’s eye socket. She also used to “bowl for humans.” Humans squatting or kneeling in her enclosure had to keep alert for a goofy Ayla zooming in high speed and low altitude circles. Those not properly balanced were liable to be poked in their middles and literally bowled over.

How Ayla greeted visitors

After Tristan’s death, Ayla and Renki continued to live together much of the time. They were separated on feeding days, since Renki’s insistence that all food belonged to him often led to a thin Ayla and a fat Renki. Between her brother and her active lifestyle, keeping Ayla well-fed was a challenge.

Hunting… is complicated

Ayla was a frequent participant in wolf-bison demonstrations. She was a good hunter, and also tended to provide comic relief by turning herself green rolling in bison poo. Once, the History Channel came out to film wolves hunting bison for one of their programs. Ray Coppinger was also part of that program. The sun sank low while Ray and the History Channel people talked about what they wanted from the segment. The sun got lower. And lower. Finally, Ayla was sent out to do her thing. While Ayla wandered, our neighbor’s pit bull, Brandy, showed up on the other side the fence. Ayla and Brandy started fence fighting, running back and forth along the fence, teeth clacking as they snapped at each other. Monty tackled Ayla before she and Brandy could grab each other through the wire. Catastrophe was averted. Ray Coppinger was impressed to see Monty tackle an aggressively aroused wolf (a female no less – they play for keeps) and not get bitten.

Green, stinky Ayla in the bison field

Ayla unknowingly gained internet fame thanks to the Moon-Moon meme. According to the meme, Moon-Moon was a particularly stupid werewolf. Internet users would seek out pictures of wolves and dogs in ridiculous poses and caption them with jokes. Ayla, ever the goof, frequently had her photos used in the most unflattering ways.

We think she would have laughed if we could have explained the joke.

Training to use the scale

Despite her image appearing in the Moon-Moon meme, Ayla was quite smart. When we started hosting researchers studying canine cognition, she did well, backing up this reputation as a smart girl with data, even if Monty has immortalized some of her comical, “derpy” facial expressions. Some researchers were interested in comparing how social tame wolves could be with humans compared to how social dogs are. One researcher collected data on how long a dog or a wolf would stay with a person who petted it, without giving it treats. Wolf Park staff did the petting. Pat petted Ayla for the researcher, who wanted us to test a very plain way of petting, which wolves find boring: stroking repeatedly from the head, down the back to the base of the tail. Most wolves will tolerate, or even like, about three such strokes. The researcher was using two minutes as her cut-off point. Ayla stood for a few strokes and then wandered off. After the researcher had her data, Pat asked if she could show her how long Ayla would stay if petted in ways she really liked. The researcher was interested, so Pat entertained Ayla with stroking, scratching, tickling and massaging, keeping her engaged and wanting more and more for over two minutes. Wolves are connoisseurs of petting.

We loved our derp wolf

Aspen and Ayla

In her last six years or so, Ayla had recurring spots of hemangiosarcoma on her tongue, which Dr. Becker repeatedly removed.  This led to Ayla having two notches at the front of her tongue, one on either side. It looked as if someone had made cut-outs for her fangs to rest in, or possibly was starting to shape Ayla’s tongue to resemble an oak leaf.

In January, 2018, Renki passed away leaving Ayla without a companion. Of the 2017 puppies, Aspen had proven very gentle with her and was able to have periodic playdates with his elderly auntie. Later in the summer, Ayla and her half-brother, Wolfgang, began having playdates, which were extremely pleasant for both of them.

Ayla and Renki

Ayla departed this life peacefully at 7:25 p.m. on Monday, August 13. She’d been living with cancer for many months. Given her advanced age and health, our vet had recommended against surgery. We’d done our best to make her final summer pleasurable and comfortable. For three days prior to her death, she had refused food, which is often a sign that the end is near. We gave her a final day to see if she’d turn around, and then decided it was time to say goodbye.

She had a final visit with Wolfgang that afternoon, and visits from her many human friends. They came bearing food, but the only thing to spark her curiosity was a blueberry Slurpie. She took a few licks, and that was all. She welcomed everyone with a smile. She showed no sign of pain, just weariness. Dr. Becker came out that evening. The necropsy results revealed multiple cancerous spots and tumors. It confirmed surgery wouldn’t have significantly extended Ayla’s life. Instead, we’d been able to give her a final good summer. Memories of how much she was enjoying herself and her playdates with Wolfgang, fence fights with her “frenemy” Timber, and visits from human friends are our best comfort now that she is gone.

Wolfgang and Ayla

She was cancer survivor and we hope her documented battle with The Big C may ultimately help other canines.  For ourselves, we will always remember her affection, occasional silliness, smartness, her hunting skills, and her beautiful howl with love.

Goodbye Ayla. Rest in peace.

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STEM Day Celebration!

Identifying butterflies with the Chicago Field Museum

What an amazing day our first STEM Day turned out to be! We are so grateful to the groups who came out to present their fields, and the families who came to enjoy science-based activities. With the kids heading back to school, we hope some young people will be inspired in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering (and Ecology!) and Mathematics. Thanks so much to the Imagination Station, Indiana Network of Genetic Councilors, “You be the Chemist” Chemical Education Foundation, West Lafayette Public Library, Indiana State Museum, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Chicago Field Museum, NASA and the First Robotics Team of Lafayette. We hope we’ll be able to offer more amazing programs next year.

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Join Us For Tipping Point THIS THURSDAY, August 16!

Update: New Guest Speaker!

Join us at 5:30 pm this Thursday, August 16th, for a great chance to meet Gabriel Grant, CEO of Human Partners and cofounder of the Byron Fellowship Educational Foundation!

Think about the last time you tried to talk with someone about political, social, or environmental issues who didn’t already agree with you. How well did it go? You may be passionate about your cause, but ultimately success depends on your ability to communicate and inspire others. Within this short workshop, you will take on transforming one stuck conversation for yourself and learn how to create clear-cut and actionable pathways for hard conversations that effectively share what you most care about.

Gabriel Grant’s life is in service of creating a world where all life flourishes together through people experiencing their life as a calling. His work supports organizations in crafting cultures of purpose, trust, and engagement by aligning the pursuits of personal, organizational, and planetary flourishing. Over the past fifteen years, he has provided training for more than one thousand purpose-driven leaders and world-class change agents, including social entrepreneurs from more than 20 countries and sustainability directors and vice presidents from more than 150 major brands. He is the CEO of Human Partners and cofounder of the Byron Fellowship Educational Foundation and has authored several books and peer reviewed research papers on the topics of sustainability and expressing purpose in one’s life and in the workplace.

Gates open at 5:30, and the talk begins at 6 pm.  There will be time for Q&A following the presentation!  As always, nonalcoholic beverages, and beer, will be sold by People’s Brewing Company of Lafayette.

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Join us for Tipping Point September 18, 2018!

Join us at 5:30 pm Tuesday, September 18th for a great chance to meet Allyson Mitchell, the Executive Director of the Indiana Recycling Coalition, and learn more about recycling in Indiana!

Allyson Mitchell. Photo courtesy of Indiana Recycling Coalition.

Topics include:

  • who/what/why of the IRC
  • what happens “after the blue bin” for all 4 commodities
  • the state of recycling in Indiana
  • how you can help/be involved

Gates open at 5:30, and the talk begins at 6 pm.  There will be time for Q&A following the presentation!  As always, nonalcoholic beverages, and beer, will be sold by People’s Brewing Company of Lafayette.

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Twister 2006 – 2018

Saying goodbye is always hard. On Monday, June 4, we said an unexpected goodbye to our coyote, Twister.

As a young pup, Twister and Willow were brought from a USDA facility near Logan UT, where they studied non-lethal methods of controlling coyotes’ population. They were raised as brother and sister, but each had a separate set of parents. We quickly found that coyote pups developed faster than wolf pups.  At an age when wolf pups would be struggling to raise their heads to look over the nursery barrier, the coyotes had scrambled up on top of it and were poising themselves for an exploration adventure!  They were very glad to be moved to an outdoor nursery enclosure that became their home as adults.

As the coyotes matured, we found that they closed their friendship circles to new humans.  As with wolves, their hormonal profiles changed on an annual cycle with them becoming less mellow around mid – fall. During that time, we did more training through the fence and cut back on interacting with them inside the enclosures. This was so that they had less opportunity or temptation to practice aggressive behavior toward us. With the return of spring, the coyotes resumed being cuddly, and Twister particularly liked his “me time” with Monty, or Dana, or Pat while we did “ears and cuddles.” On those occasions we put fly repellent ointment on their ears and did some training with them both for fun and behavior management. Monty did most of the cuddling, but Pat also got some requests for tummy rubs and some affectionate licking.

In the past few years a lot of our interns have been particularly interested in creating varied enrichment for the wolves. One of the favorites was a variation on “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest”, from the title of a popular vegetarian cookbook. The interns not only made an edible forest of broccoli, they populated it with small figures of people, made out of peanut butter and flour, running away from the “giant” coyotes. At other times the interns hid things inside cardboard tubes for the coyotes, made them a hanging ball out of fire hose, and decorated trees with dead mice. They also liked preparing stuffed watermelons and pumpkins and piñatas for the coyotes for Fourth of July, Halloween, and the animals’ Birthday Party.  Twister was particularly happy with the birthday piñatas. This year he managed to bag both of them!

On June 4, while making evening rounds, we found that Twister left us suddenly. His death was a complete surprise. He seemed fine that morning. When our vet examined the body, the findings were inconclusive, but the most likely causes of death were heart attack, stroke, or seizure.

It is some comfort to remember that Twister had just had a very enjoyable three-day weekend during Ken McCort’s seminar. Twister was always happy to see Ken, whom he had known since he was a pup. He really liked working with Ken, who challenged Twister engage his brain and think. They both usually finished a session with tired brains. Ken said for years that you have to be on top of your game as a trainer every second you are with coyotes – they are that smart and that fast.  Ken also noticed a behavior in Twister that he had previously only seen in birds: blazing eyes. When Twister was stimulated by training, and getting close to a threshold where he was so excited he couldn’t think, his pupils expanded and contracted in rapid alternation. This is called “blazing.” It was a sign to Ken that he needed to give Twister something to solve right away. Tom O’Dowd, our video photographer, shot footage of the seminar, Twister’s last.  Tom was also a coyote fan.  He wrote this on hearing of Twister’s death:

“I can’t properly express my sorrow about having to suddenly say farewell to Twister. My first thoughts are of how many people his life changed, all of the Wolf Parkers from Andrew and Jessica, who brought Twister and Willow home, and all the others who learned from scratch how to raise coyote pups. We had lots of wolf pup time but except for Pat and Monty, nobody had raised coyote pups. We learned not to underestimate their physical or cognitive abilities.

Those two were spectacularly challenging to predict. They had a script that we couldn’t read. As they matured, we were gifted with a fresh cornucopia of behavior, so similar to wolves in some ways, but definitely a different species. They taught us so much and I am grateful and humbled by learning what I could.

I was always happy to join Willow and Twister in their enclosure as one of the few that they welcomed. I felt a strong connection when Twister came up to share a lick or get a scratch. He seemed to appeal to me for a momentary respite from the Willowesque drama. If I felt a brotherhood from our creatures, Twister is one who also wanted that close contact.

As soon as I heard, I reflected on Twister, Ken, and me having a visit yesterday. Twister responded so strongly to Ken. He would choose Ken to hang out with anytime. He was the ideal classroom exhibit when Ken worked with him. I’m glad I had many opportunities to be present while Ken and Twister negotiated with each other over the years.

I’m quite pleased that we got great video of this character over the weekend. His lessons will stay with us both for a very long time.”

Tom’s mention of “Willowesque drama” refers to Willow’s ability to control the beginning, end, and tone of her interactions with Twister.  While she was not quite “She Who Must Be Obeyed” all the time, Willow was definitely “She Who Cannot Be Ignored!”  The coyotes competed for human interaction and attention.  This spring, Ken’s friend Chirag Patel did a seminar as well.  He came up with protocol to minimize and, we hoped, eventually eliminate the squabbles Willow started when we did morning and evening rounds. We were already seeing his training plan bear fruit.

As our wolf population aged, some of our old choristers lost their voices, but the coyotes were more than willing to join in on Howl Nights and make the earth and sky resound with their yip howls.  Twister is gone, but he will definitely never be forgotten!

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Another Walking Success!

Thank you everyone who joined us in person or in spirit for Walk for Wolves! The weather was beautiful, and the animals were fortunately active. It was an eventful day all around.

The puppies needed another year before they were ready to lead the walk, so Monty and his Leonberger led off the first lap. She enjoyed visiting all the different booths, especially the volunteer demonstrating how we prepare food for the wolves.

Our special guests included Bill Marion and his amazing Frisbee Dogs, Dawn of Promise’s Llamas talking predator deterrents, and Columbian Park Zoo with their unique assortment of creatures.

The betting for the most popular wolf contest was fierce! Despite having passed away in January, Renki still managed to win thanks to some sponsors who still love him. Ayla came in second, so she received the formal dinner. Aspen came along as her date. Interns Dariyenn and Megan did an amazing job putting together a meal for them. They certainly enjoyed their dining experience.

The bison herd is up to three calves. We auctioned off naming rights to the two newest. We’d like to introduce you now to ‘Hodor’ and ‘Mud Tumble’. We think that’s all the calves for the year, but there could always be surprises!

Hunter celebrated her birthday with a dine and dash. Happy birthday, little girl!

Did you miss the chance to get a Walk t-shirt? We’re doing another run due to their popularity. Pre-Order and we’ll ship to you as soon as they’re ready.

Upcoming Events
May 26 After Dark
June 9 Enrichment Day
June 23 After Dark
June 20 Watermelon Party

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A Very Merry Birthday

Wolf Park celebrated another anniversary, and all the animals’ birthdays! For this year’s birthday, everyone received piñatas! That was fun for everyone. The interns had fun making piñatas with the appearance of frogs, caterpillars, and elephants! The wolves had a great time ripping them apart. As seems to be the trend lately, we didn’t get very good photos of the Threebies during the event, so they received a second set of piñatas the next day. Kanti and Bicho decided they were scary the second time around. They ripped them apart in the end.

Two bison calves have arrived! The first was born just before the Birthday Party. We let the public write down name ideas and did a random drawing. We’d like to introduce you to the first calf of the year… Vanshi! Unique choice! The second calf will be named during Walk for Wolves.

Spring is here at last, after infrequent snowstorms. Monty loved getting beautiful winter photos in April. Everyone else is happy to see flowers again. The Canada geese have returned to the pond… and the puppies are making life much harder for them than the adults did. Good luck, geese!

Walk for Wolves is just days away. We are busy prepping the facility, activities and animals. We have some great special guests coming this year… There will be llamas! This is our big fundraiser for the year and we want it to be a huge success. Come out and be a part of it. If you can’t make it, donate online and help this be our best year yet!

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Gypsum’s Goodbye

Gypsum was born at a facility in Minnesota on May 6, 2013. Ten days later, he arrived at Wolf Park. Along with his sisters, Ifa and Hunter, they became the first socialized grey foxes at our facility. Even at that early age, with his eyes barely open, he was already climbing up shirts and curling up on shoulders.

He was the favored sleeping companion by almost all who assisted in raising the kits. He was an amazing snuggler. He was also a little thief, so it was important to clear out pockets before he had a chance to investigate them. This continued throughout his life. He even managed to nab a set of car keys and cache them. Over his first few months of life he had a tendency to play hard and sleep hard. It was not unusual for him to be carried, sound asleep, like a baby back into the nursery after a big day outside.

Gypsum was shy of crowds, and often displayed the typical elusive nature of grey foxes during open hours. He had a select group of humans that he loved. For those lucky few, he enjoyed licking the inside of their noses, cuddling, and receiving belly rubs. During sponsor visits and seminars, he would come out and sit on his “safe stones” and watch. Eventually he would work up enough “brave juice” to approach close enough for someone to toss him a treat.

Gypsum’s social circle was small, but his personality was mighty. The world was his to conquer. He once threatened Kanti, who was so frightened that he ran away and hid behind Bicho. Gypsum was convinced wolves were easily defeated ever after.  He absolutely loved his walks. That is often how he connected best with people he didn’t know.

He lived life to the fullest. In the fall of 2014, Gypsum tried to swallow a mouse whole and got it stuck in his insides. The wonderful team at Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital removed it. Gypsum spent several months inside recovering from his surgery. His human friends kept him entertained with toys, strange foods, and books on tape. It was during this time that he developed his signature “What’s up” move – a nod that was captured when he pushed his cone up allowed his handlers to continue to work on relationship building with him.

Even though he enjoyed both of his siblings, he was exceptionally close to Hunter. They were never far from one another. Whenever one came back from a walk, there would be instant face greeting. We put face greeting on cue with “bisou”, the French word for little kiss, as the cue signal.

On Monday, April 2, Gypsum started acting not quite right. He had been dealing with a lot over the weekend (tours, kids) and we let him sleep. On Tuesday, he didn’t get up for medication rounds. We checked on him, and he just wasn’t his perky self. He didn’t want scrambled eggs (a favorite food) and, after a physical exam, and there was a concern about his stomach being tight. We took him into the clinic for a check-up but that was inconclusive. The game plan was bland diet, fluids and re-assess over the next 24-36 hours. We kept him inside. Kimber and Dana spent a lot of time watching over him. On Tuesday night, Gypsum went downhill and was in a lot of pain. We took him back to the clinic Wednesday morning, and the decision was made to do exploratory surgery. There was an odd mass that had started leaking fluids and his internal organs weren’t healthy at all. The only humane choice was to say good-bye. Even though he had a small social circle, Gypsum had a mighty personality and will be greatly missed.


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It Might Be Spring

 “March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb”, goes the old saying. But in the mid-west, it’s hard to know what the weather will do day-to-day, and even hour-to-hour. We’ve seen it all this spring – from flowers to snow showers. The wolves tell us they’d be happy if it stayed below freezing forever and always, but the rest of us would like to know if we can put away the shovels yet.

Spring means the wolves are calming down after the intensity of breeding season. This means we can resume letting Timber have play dates with the boys. We think she was happy to see Wotan.

The Easter Party occurred the week before Easter. Despite intense winds and threatening snow, visitors still came out to hunt for eggs and hide treats for the wolves. The pups had their first Easter, and definitely enjoyed the search. This holiday really belongs to the foxes, though. They LOVE eggs.

The weather warmed up for a few days after that. And then along came Easter Sunday. It snowed four inches. April Fools?

The weather is appreciated by wolves and photographers, of course. It’s hard to convince staff photographer, Monty Sloan, to leave the enclosure so the rest of us can warm up. Spring photo shoots are in full swing. Mostly they go well. And then there are the other times when the puppies steal someone’s hat.

Not a behavior we want to encourage, but they looked very cute destroying it.

Admittedly, Khewa looks cute forever and always.

Upcoming Events
April 20 – Wolf Park Day – Open 1-4pm
April 20 – Cookout Howl Night – 6 – 9:00pm
April 21 – Animals’ Birthday Party
May 5 – Walk for Wolves!

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Gnome Gnews is Good Gnews

It began with a casual remark from Monty, our resident space alien: “It must have been eaten by gnomes.”

The Wolf Park staff had been discussing how to stop losing the clips we use to fasten gate latches, which had taken to disappearing.  Of course we can replace them, but some latches do best with clips of a size that isn’t available locally anymore.  This is a relatively trivial problem, like sand in your socks, but with time and frequent repetition (a phenomenon referred to by behaviorists as stimulus stacking), minor irritations may cease to seem trivial (and more like cockleburs in your socks).

Until that casual comment during a staff meeting, I had thought it likely that some of our clips had simply reached their time of pupation and had changed into something that doesn’t resemble their previous form, much as safety pins pupate and turn into wire coat hangers.  (Back in the last century, my high school science teacher explained the curious and exasperating life cycle of safety pins and wire coat hangers.  Safety pins are a larval form of the wire coat hanger.   When you go through a period where you can’t lay your hand on a safety pin anywhere, but the amount of wire coat hangers in your closet has burgeoned out of all proportion to how many garments are in need of hanging, a pupation season has just ended.)

But perhaps Monty was right, and gnomes were afoot, or around, or possibly ajar.  Were gnomes indeed stealing our gate clips?  How could one tell?  My knowledge of gnomes comes primarily from the invaluable works of Messrs. Poortvliet and Froud.  It didn’t seem likely the gnomes studied by Mr. Poortvliet would eat metal double ended snaps or boat clips.  Those gnomes seem a lot like us, only gnicer.  They don’t seem to intend animals, or us, any harm.  However, appearances can be deceiving.  For example, squirrels will eat, or at least gnaw, car wiring, which is gnot something you would expect of them.  (If you see a squirrel standing up on its hind legs under your car, beware!  It may look like a little furry mechanic, but it isn’t.)

Less is understood about the gnomes in Mr. Froud’s books, but they seem to be a more sinister species (or subspecies) than the ones described by Poortvliet.  However, gno mention is made of this kind of gnome, either, consuming or hoarding fencing equipment.

Perhaps we had been missing something that was hiding, as it were, in plain sight.  Gnoticing that our resident space alien uses human artifacts in ways they were gnot intended, such as making crop circles in cakes, I have been looking for other things that seem a little off, having a certain something that makes them, despite appearances, gnothing like gnormal.

Take, for instance, burdocks and cockleburs, aka “Gnature’s Velcro.”  Every year, to the exasperation of both species, we humans find these in our wolves’ fur.  They make unattractive mats in the wolves’ fur, exasperating our photographer.  Sometimes the wolves act as if the burrs feel irksome, and we agree with them when we remove them from the wolves’ fur.  (Gnote: the wolves stay much happier if you pull the fur away from the burr, rather than the other way around.)

Wolves can pick up burrs directly from the burr bushes, but burrs can also be placed on their fur deliberately.  Over the years we have occasionally stuck burrs on wolves to distract them from certain behaviors and divert them to grooming themselves instead.  (We don’t put them in places where they will be hard to reach or painful.) But our wolves get burrs even when we aren’t around, so it’s possible that some of those burrs were put on our wolves deliberately by…some other force.  Why might gnomes want to stick burrs on wolves?  If you search the internet, you can find videos of humans enjoying bounce sports in combination with a Velcro wall.  They jump at the wall from a trampoline or “bounce house” floor, and stick to the wall.  Are some of the burrs in the wolves’ fur from gnomes daring each other to jump at the wolves, stick to them, and ride around?  While I can easily imagine adolescent gnomes daring each other to stick to, and ride, wolves, this doesn’t make it so.

Also, if you search L-Space, you can find literature describing, or accusing, elves of riding horses at night, leaving the horses tired and sweaty by morning.  They also are said to braid amazing knots into horses’ manes to hold on by, and possibly for decoration.  Once again, there are other ways horses’ manes can get knotted.  Some horses’ manes tend to twine into strings when they have been left ungroomed for a while.  Add to this a horse that tosses its mane when restless, or bothered by flies, and the horse itself can create amazing (and frustrating) macrame in its mane – sections sporting three-strand braids, while other sections look like some scouts went wild trying for a knotting badge!  These knots and braids look as if they were made by dexterous fingers – and maybe some of them were.  But knot by human hands!

Agnother possible clue, or then again, maybe gnot:  We have noticed that this year Timber seems calmer.  She can still be very very very bouncy, but she just doesn’t do it as often.  Our first thoughts were that she is maturing.  This may be a contributing factor, but maturity does not always curb excited effervescence in animals.  My first horse had a lot of energy into his teens and early 20’s.  If I had been able to do about 18 miles of trail riding on the Flying Red Horse during Saturday and Sunday, he was quite cheerful and ready to go on Monday, but also calm and biddable.  If Timber were giving rides to gnomes (or elves) in the evenings after the Park has closed, it might explain her more peaceable gnature in the mornings.

Is Timber calmer this spring because she is giving gnomes rides when gno humans are around to see?  Are gnomes absconding with our gate clips?  I wish I gnew.  More observations are gnecessary.  If any of our Gentle Readers have any observations to contribute, please contact us.  Gno man is an island.  The Truth Is Out There….

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