Wolf Whelps & Lead Dogs: Tribute to George Marsh, Wilderness Writer

Wolf Whelps & Lead Dogs: Tribute to Wilderness Writer George Marsh



I must have been age nine when the kindly older couple next door gave me a copy of George Marsh’s THE WHELPS OF THE WOLF.

We had been back in Canada almost two years at that time.  First, their dog Pal had befriended me, following me around after school and all of one golden summer, until we moved not too far away to the Golden Grove Road.  “Come in, Brian,” they would say, and in our talks, they discovered that I was enthralled by wilderness writers like Sir Charles G D Roberts, Jack London and Grey Owl, whose works I had found in the school library.  I had asked for Grey Owl’s books for Christmas — it didn’t matter if they were used.

As word got around, that couple and others would give me old and faded (but treasured) books written by almost forgotten writers of Northern romantic adventures.  Writers like James Oliver Curwood, Ralph Conner, James B Hendryx, Gilbert Parker and H A Cody.  They were pleased that a kid of the new generation revered their beloved writers of what to me seemed a long-ago and lost age. [1]

James O Curwood got mixed reviews from me.   Even at a young age, I found some of his story lines corny and overly romanticized.  But KAZAN THE WOLF DOG as well as THE GRIZZLY KING and NOMADS OF THE NORTH became lifetime faves.

Flash-Lead-Dog-George-MarshBut of them all, it was three writers (a Canadian raised in the Northwoods of my native New Brunswick — an Englishman who became a Red Indian who later charmed a young Princess Elizabeth — and an American who was an avid canoeist and Northcountry wanderer) who enthralled me the most, taking me into the living heart of the mythic Northlands: Charles G D Roberts, Archie Grey Owl and George Marsh.  And, as savage as that land was, I wanted to live those adventures with them

With George Marsh, first it was FLASH THE LEAD DOG, which I had read as a library lend.  And then his THE WHELPS OF THE WOLF, a gift.

The hard covers of the latter book were a faded red and kind of loose, which just added to the sense of entering a lost Canadian age.  This old book was a doorway into our nation’s past.  The word WOLF promised a CALL OF THE WILD kind of yarn, and so it was.  On opening THE WHELPS OF THE WOLF, I was surprised at the artist: I had thought that Charles Livingston Bull illustrated ALL Northern novels, including the end papers and frontispiece of FLASH.  But this artist was called Frank E Schoonover.  New guy to me.

As with all of his stories, George Marsh began WHELPS by taking me right into the Northcountry: “The solitudes of the East Coast had shaken off the grip of the long snows. A thousand streams and rivers choked with snow water from bleak Ungava hills plunged and foamed and raced into the west, seeking the salt Hudson’s Bay, the ‘Big Water’ of the Crees. In the lakes the honeycombed ice was daily fading under the strengthening sun. Already, here and there the buds of the willows reddened the river shores…”

And then he introduced our hero, making him a part of that country: “And one day, with the spring, returned Jean Marcel from his camp on the Ghost, the northernmost tributary of the Great Whale to the bald ridge, where, in March, he had seen the sun glitter on a broad expanse of level snow unbroken by trees, in the hills to the north. His eyes had not deceived him. The lake was there.”

And that, my friend, was what endeared me to George Marsh.   His heroes are a bit bigger than life, yes, but somehow like us.  I seemed to know these people.  And they lived in a land of seasons, of waterways and woodlands, of geese and ducks, and salmon and trout — wolves, foxes, caribou, wolverines, lynxes, snow shoe rabbits and sleepy, hungry bears and wild, loyal wolf dogs.  Marsh knew this land intimately.  It was the central character of his writings: every living thing was connected, and the changing seasons affected everyone.  Indeed, I’ve only found three writers since who could write as powerfully about the affect that nature’s seasons have on our human life and soul: Knut Hamsun, Henry Williamson and Farley Mowat.


George Tracy Marsh was born on August 9, 1876, in Lansingburgh, a town on the east bank of the Hudson River, New York State.  His father was Pelatiah James Marsh.  His mother was Lelia E Tracy.  George had an older sister, Mary Ada Marsh, who was born six years before him.

He later said that growing up on the Hudson River had played an essential role in his development.  “I lived most of my boyhood in canoe and shell, but slept and ate at home,” he explained in one interview. [2]


“At that remote period, the Adirondacks had not been converted into a glorified country club for New Yorkers, and I spent many summers camping and fishing in country which now resembles a hand-made rest-cure for millionaires, tailored by captive stage carpenters and scenic specialists; a land, alas! where, now, the only ‘voices of the night’ are those of bridge players, and flappers cooling off between dances.”

His young adult life became one of canoeing and studying law.  “Finishing at Williston, I went to Yale, where I was captain of the freshman crew, later going to Poughkeepsie and to the Henley Regatta with the varsity. Studying law at Harvard, I have since practiced in Providence.  During the war, I served in the Infantry and the Air Service, and was detailed to attend the sittings of the Aeronautical Commission of the Peace Conference.”  He refers, of course, to the First World War.

On September 30, 1915, he married Eva Corliss Weeden, who remained the love of his life.  They lived in Providence, Rhode Island.  They had one daughter, Carol.

“Since the Adirondack days,” Marsh said, “I have hunted and fished in Canada, from western Labrador to Keewatin. Much of the background of my tales is familiar country — river valleys I have traveled, Hudson’s Bay posts whose hospitality I have known.”

In 1906, he traveled into the same old growth pine forests and wild rivers of the Temagami and Temiskaming regions of Northern Ontario that a young Englishman who would soon be named Grey Owl was also discovering. This trip inspired some of Marsh’s early writing for magazines like Scribner’s (including his stirring ballad THE OLD CANOE in 1908) and Outing Magazine.

“In the summer of 1909 I went with a half-breed Cree to the headwaters of the great Albany River, a stream longer than the Ohio, and followed it 600 miles to Hudson’s Bay.  We spent a month on the coast of the great salt bay of the north and saw the immense flights of geese and duck in September.”

As he wrote in an article titled “The Albany Trail To James Bay: Thirteen Hundred Miles By Canoe” (Scribner’s Magazine, April, 1912),  “We had not run many rapids before we realized that our Maine canoes were unfitted for travelling on the great northern rivers. Although very light and easy-running, they were altogether too small for this kind of work, as invariably we shipped water in the ‘boilers’ at the foot of all big rapids…

“A hundred miles up this wild river, which races most of the time, we paddled, poled, and tracked to New Post, where we found Mr. Sidney Barrett, the factor, the most genial and interesting of men. A day with Barrett and we pushed on past autumn woods in the thrall of the Indian Summer, picking up a young moose and racing with a bear on the way. There was snow in the air of the late October afternoon on which we paddled up to the crossing of the new Grand Trunk Pacific, and our days of hardship and delight in the silent places were ended.”

Out of this and similar trips through the wild Canadian Northlands, Marsh crafted his popular fiction.

Using his full name, he published some short pieces and poems in local magazines like The Forum (“Night In The Hospital,” October, 1909).  In 1910, he changed the “Tracy” to a “T” and was publishing poems, short stories and articles in popular publications like The Outing Magazine (May 1910 “The Voyageurs”) and Scribner’s (May, 1916 “The Quest of Narcisse Lablanche”).

By the early 1920s, he had dropped the middle initial, publishing what would be his most popular works under the name of “George Marsh,” in American magazines like Adventure Novels and Short Stories, The Popular Magazine, Short Stories, Complete Northwest Novel Magazine, Blue Book Magazine and Red Book Magazine. [3]

Marsh’s first published book was TOILERS OF THE TRAILS (1921), a collection of short stories. [4]

And then, in 1923, he published THE WHELPS OF THE WOLF.

This story of Jean Marcel was one of a young French Canadien voyageur finding his place in his world, and winning the love of Julie Breton.  The story of Jean Marcel was also the story of an Ungava husky he buys as a pup and names Fleur.   There’s a shortage of good sled dogs in the area and he knows he must build a superior dog team for a successful future.  When Fleur is stolen, he ignores the advice of cooler heads and hunts down the thieves in a canoe chase, killing one of the thieves in self defense.

Later, when he and his hunting partners have run out of food far out in the wilderness (in what the Northern Cree call the Month of the Starving Moon), one of those partners threatens to slaughter Fleur and eat her.  Jean leaves with his husky.  This is a story of love and loyalty, and they save each other’s lives.

Only briefly does Fleur leave Jean, for a few days in April — and that is to mate with a wolf.  “Fleur leave Jean Marcel for de wolf!  Ah,” he realizes, “Eet ees de spreeng!”  And the Ungava husky returns to him.

And the story ends, “…before repairing with their friends to the Mission House, where the groaning table awaited them, Julie and Jean Marcel, accompanied by Fleur, went to the stockade. Three gray noses thrust through the pickets whined a welcome.  Three gigantic, wolfish huskies met them at the gate with wild yelps and the mad swishing of tails. Then the happy Jean and Julie gave the whelps of the wolf their share of the wedding feast.”

The book was a hit.  Marsh had blended archetypal Canadian characters like the proud, quick-tempered French Canadien voyageurs, wily Scottish factors, greedy Easterners, tough wilderness-wise First Nations people — along with the savage wolf dogs and wild rivers and forever forests — with his own experiences and discoveries of the Northcountry.

The success and popularity of WHELPS OF THE WOLF led to a demand for more Northwestern fiction from him.  And for almost two decades, Marsh responded.

Heart-of-King-Dog-George MarshIf Jack London caught so powerfully the violence and tragedy of the North Country; and James Oliver Curwood, the romance and adventure; and James B Hendryx, the exciting exploits of Mounties and outlaws; and Grey Owl, the endangered living forests and the creatures that inhabited them; then George Marsh caught the spirit of the Land itself — the forests and waterways, the wildlife, the people who were part of it all…

George Marsh died on August 13, 1945, in Providence, RI, the day before VJ Day.

Dieu vous benisseM’sieu le voyageur!

“But my days are done where the lean wolves run,
And I ripple no more the path
Where the gray geese race cross the red moon’s face
From the white wind’s Arctic wrath…”

To read more by George Marsh, and hear a new rendition of his beloved ballad, go to THE OLD CANOE – A Classic Canadian Song by George Marsh


==>> To see more about my favourite writers of the Wilderness and the Northlands, go to THE LIFE AND WORKS OF BRIAN ALAN BURHOE  Right Here, Mon Ami!

==>> And be sure to read my popular online short story WOLFBLOOD, a Northwestern yarn in the Jack London and George Marsh Tradition at WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky, & A Wily Old Trapper


– Brian Alan Burhoe


[1] And, these many years later, I’ve still got most of ’em.  And continue to collect any old book set in our Great North Woods.

[2] BRIEF BIOGRAPHIES OF SOME WELL-KNOWN AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS, by Samuel G Goodrich, page 60.  Published by Penn Publishing Company, Philadelphia, 1929.

[3] Recently, THE WHELPS OF THE WOLF has been issued as an individual ebook (as of this writing, it’s available for free through Amazon Kindle) and a Createspace paperback, both editions wrongly attributed to “George P Marsh.”

George Perkins Marsh (1801-1882) was a different writer, considered to be America’s first major environmentalist.  Following the lead of the traditional German conservative land owners fighting the destruction of the Black Forest by the new liberal Progressive industrialists, George Perkins Marsh identified Deforestation as a major danger to the living world.  He pointed out that in parts of Asia, northern Africa, southern Europe and Palestine “causes set in action by Man has brought the face of the earth to a desolation almost as complete as that of the Moon.”

His books MAN AND NATURE (1864) and THE EARTH AS MODIFIED BY HUMAN ACTION (1874) greatly influenced later conservationists such as Teddy Roosevelt.  And 150 years later, the man’s perception proves right on: Deforestation IS the single greatest cause of modern Climate Change and eco-collapse.  Plant a tree!

The editors of a new essential collection of his books titled WORKS OF GEORGE PERKINS MARSH (released by The Perfect Library in Kobo and Kindle editions in 2013) have also mistakenly added THE WHELPS OF THE WOLF to George Perkins’ canon.

[4] George Marsh’s published books are:

Toilers of the Trails (1921)
The Whelps of the Wolf (1923)
The Valley of Voices (1924)
Men Marooned (1925)
Flash the Lead Dog (1927)
Under Frozen Stars (1928)
The Heart of the King-Dog (1929)
Sled Trails and White Waters (1929)
Three Little Ojibwas (1930)
Vanished Men (1931)
The River of Skulls (1936)
White Silence (1938)
Ask No Quarter (1945)

Some of his best short stories are:

Out of the Mist (The Century Magazine, April, 1917)
The Valley of the Windigo (Scribner’s Magazine, June, 1917)
Breed of the Wolf (The Popular Magazine, Jan 20, 1922)
McCleod’s Partner (Red Book Magazine, Jan, 1922)
The Honor of Hugh Garth (Short Stories, Nov 25, 1925)
A Question of Loyalty (The Popular Magazine, June 16, 1928)
The Knife That Burned (The Popular Magazine, June 1, 1929)
The Vengeance of Black Fox (Red Book Magazine, Sept, 1935)
The Twilight of André Girard (Complete Northwest Novel Magazine, Aug, 1936)
Ungava Gold (Blue Book Magazine, Nov, 1936)
Watchdogs of the Northwest (Adventure Novels and Short Stories, Sept, 1939)


Wolf Whelps & Lead Dogs: Tribute to George Marsh, Wilderness Writer

Keywords: annotated bibliography, book list, book review, books, George Marsh bibliography, George Marsh Writer, Great Northwoods, Ungava Huskies

Posted in Book*Reviews, Otherkind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Old Canoe – A Classic Canadian Song by George Marsh


The Old Canoe




The canoe is a characteristic and iconic Canadian cultural symbol.

Our inland waterways were our first highways: we travelled by boat and canoe in summer, often by snowshoe or even dogsled over frozen rivers and lakes during winter.  In the spring came the dramatic log drives: lumberjacks driving logs and timber rafts downriver to the towns.

First Nations people, early European explorers and French-Canadian Voyageurs travelled our waterways from Atlantic Canada to the shores of the Pacific and Arctic Oceans.

And we loved it.

Grey Owl once wrote, “Give me a good canoe, a pair of Jibway snowshoes, my beaver, my family and 10,000 square miles of wilderness and I am happy.”

Avid canoeist and former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau wrote, “Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute — paddle a hundred miles in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.”  It’s a quote you’ll often find proudly hanging framed on the wood panelled walls of our nation’s canoe and boating clubs.

As Justin Trudeau has since said, “My Dad taught us Trudeau boys how to paddle a canoe pretty much as soon as we could walk…” [1]


Although they may never have met, American George Marsh and the young Englishman Archie Belaney both first traveled the forest paths and waterways of the Temiskaming area of Northern Ontario around 1906.  They both fell in love with this North Woods land of wildlife, evergreens, lakes and rivers.  Both would later spill their love and experiences of this haunting wilderness into the written word.  Marsh, as a poet,  short story writer and novelist, would catch the rough romance of the Northcountry.  And Belaney, known as Grey Owl, would gain worldwide fame as the chronicler of its endangered wildlife.

And both became favourites of mine in boyhood.

George Marsh started by publishing poems in Scribner’s Magazine, like his impassioned IN THE ZOO:

See! there a golden eagle broods
With glazed, unseeing eyes
That never more will sweep the snows
Where blue Sierras rise…

What dreams of silent polar nights
Disturb the white bear’s sleep?
Roams he once more unfettered, where
Eternal ice-floes sweep?

George would go on to write such popular Northwestern novels as FLASH THE LEAD DOG and THE WHELPS OF THE WOLF.

His beloved poem THE OLD CANOE first appeared in Scribner’s Magazine (October 1908) and was reprinted at the beginning of his first book, TOILERS OF THE TRAILS (1921), where I first read it, having found the old book in a little second hand shop.  And it became a favourite ballad of mine, along with Frederick George Scott’s THE UNNAMED LAKE and Robert W Service’s CLANCY OF THE MOUNTED POLICE.

We’ve long celebrated the Canoe in artwork, story and song.  Listen…


THE OLD CANOE – A Classic Canadian Song by George Marsh

My seams gape wide so I’m tossed aside
To rot on a lonely shore
While the leaves and mould like a shroud enfold,
For the last of my trails are o’er;
But I float in dreams on Northland streams
That never again I’ll see,
As I lie on the marge of the old portage
With grief for company.

When the sunset gilds the timbered hills
That guard Timagami,
And the moonbeams play on far James Bay
By the brink of the frozen sea,
In phantom guise my Spirit flies
As the dream blades dip and swing
Where the waters flow from the Long Ago
In the spell of the beck’ning spring.

Do the cow-moose call on the Montreal
When the first frost bites the air,
And the mists unfold from the red and gold
That the autumn ridges wear?
When the white falls roar as they did of yore
On the Lady Evelyn,
Do the square-tail leap from the black pools deep
Where the pictured rocks begin?

Oh! the fur-fleets sing on Temiskaming
As the ashen paddles bend,
And the crews carouse at Rupert House
At the sullen winter’s end;
But my days are done where the lean wolves run,
And I ripple no more the path
Where the gray geese race cross the red moon’s face
From the white wind’s Arctic wrath.

Tho’ the death fraught way from the Saguenay
To the storied Nipigon
Once knew me well, now a crumbling shell
I watch the years roll on,
While in memory’s haze I live the days
That forever are gone from me,
As I rot on the marge of the old portage
With grief for company.


In 2005, Marsh’s THE OLD CANOE was put to music by D Bain, for the album SONGS FOR WILDERNESS.  Adapting the second, fourth and fifth verses, D Bain, A Marcon, Maddog Bob and R Munn have recreated one of the great old Canadian ballads.  When asked about “missing a verse,” they replied, “Yep…knew that….couldn’t get past ‘the cow moose’ line without breaking up…so we left it out!”

To hear their rendition, go to THE OLD CANOE…   A great Canadian Camp Song!  You’ll love it!

To read more about the life and literary works of George Marsh, go to Wolf Whelps & Lead Dogs: Tribute to George Marsh, Wilderness Writer

==>> To see more about my favourite writers of the Wilderness and the Northlands, go to THE LIFE AND WORKS OF BRIAN ALAN BURHOE  Right Here, Mon Ami!




“A One Smoke Spell” by Arthur Heming

NOTE ON ARTWORK: The painting at the top of this page — “On Leapt the Canoe Like a Runaway” — is by Frank E Schoonover, 1924, illustrating a story by George Marsh.  The lower painting is by Canadian artist Arthur Heming, capturing voyageurs of the Fur Brigade taking a smoke break in their six fathom canoes after hours of hard paddling.  “The soft rich voices of the crews blended as they quietly chatted and joked…”

[1]  From a campaign speech delivered in Vancouver, British Columbia, by Justin Trudeau.  Justin went on to say, “And like many Canadians, I’ve spent loads of summer nights out under the stars, beside a campfire, getting eaten alive — my Dad never believed in bug spray.  But I’ve always believed that when it comes to our environment, we Canadians get it.  We appreciate its beauty, understand its dangers and know its value.”

In an article for Cottage Life, Justin wrote: “When we hit five or six years old, our dad would put us into the canoe and we’d shoot the rapids on the stream that went down into Meech Lake. There’s a little dam there, and in the spring they’d open the dam, and there would be a huge V and a standing wave. With much trepidation, we’d sit in the front and go down the drop. I look back on it now and laugh, because my father was sterning, and there was nothing I could do from the bow to aim it right—but it was very, very important for us to do it. To get into the bow of a canoe with my father for the first time, to be the bowman for the first time, and to go down this big, scary rapid.”  Cottage Life: Justin Trudeau reflects on his lifelong love affair with the canoe


The Old Canoe – A Classic Canadian Song by George Marsh

Keywords: George Marsh, Grey Owl, Justin Trudeau quote, Mounted Police, Robert W Service, snowshoes, Temiskaming, The Old Canoe, wooden canoe

Posted in An Earth Spirit, Bearkind, Otherkind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Polar Bear: From Nanook of the North to Knut the Baby Polar Bear


Of Polar Bears. As the Water Rises, Their Prospects Fall.


You may have heard of Senator Nicole Eaton’s recent suggestion to re-designate Canada’s National Animal from the industrious Beaver to the mighty Polar Bear.  It’s a cultural change with which I heartily agree!  The Polar Bear should be Canada’s National Animal.  Polar Bears rock!

It’s only been three and a half centuries since Civilized Humans blundered their way into the high Arctic, and in just those few years have brought mass destruction not only to the polar bears themselves, but to the very world they live in (for the very same reasons, the beloved Penguins of Antarctica are also facing brutal extinction).

From the early portrayals of savage Nanook (the native Inuit word for “Sea Bear”) to the latest protests by animal rights activists over the treatment of orphan polar bear cub Knut in the Berlin Zoo, our concepts of the giant white bear of the Arctic have changed.


Here, from Dr. Jeffrey Lant, is a stirring Guest Blog on our true National Animal:  “Of Polar Bears. As the Water Rises, Their Prospects Fall.

What music is appropriate for the undoubted decline and possible demise of one of the grandest creatures on earth — Ursus maritimus — the Polar Bear?

I have selected Edvard Grieg’s 1867 masterpiece “From the Hall of the Mountain King”, for this is the story of a race of kings, sovereigns all, ruling over a land of snow and ice… a land now melting, imperiling these princes of the North… whose prospects for survival wane as the sea waters around them rise, a rise which threatens human kind, too.

This is their story… and we must heed it for they are not threatened alone. You’ll find Grieg’s suite in any search engine. Find it now… and listen to its evocative, enigmatic sound. This sound will endure…. but will the polar bears whose tale I tell this day?

The seas at the top of the world are rising, rising…

While politicians argue about cause and effect, the undeniable fact of global warming and rising seas is beyond cavil and dispute. Sea level has been rising significantly over the past century, according to a newly released study that offers the most detailed look yet at the changes in ocean levels during the past 2,100 years.

Researcher Benjamin Horton, director of the Sea Level Research Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, found that since the late 19th century — as the world’s industrialization intensified — sea level has risen more than 2 millimeters per year on average. That’s a bit less than one-tenth of an inch… a small amount that signals death for polar bears… and chaos for seaside humans, drip by inexorable drip. It’s all about rising temperatures.

Rising sea levels are among the hazards that rightly concern environmentalists and progressive governments with increasing global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels like coal and oil over the last century or so.

The heat generated works to steadily melt some of the millions of tons of ice piled up on land in Greenland, Antarctica, and elsewhere. Such melting raises ocean levels and this, in turn, raises the possibility of major flooding in highly populated coastal cities and greater storm damage in oceanfront communities.

Polar bears must swim further and further for food…

Researcher Anthony Pagano, a US Geological Survey biologist, at the International Bear Association Conference, has, in his newly released study, made it clear what happens to polar bears as the snow melts and the seas rise. He identified and studied 50 long- distance swims by adult female polar bears between 2004 and 2009 in the southern Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

“Climate change is pulling the sea ice out from under polar bears’ feet, forcing some to swim longer distances to find food and habitat,” said Geoff York, a polar bear expert at the World Wildlife Fund who coauthored the study.

And the cubs simply fall off…

York said polar bears, tracked by satellite devices, routinely swim 10 miles or more for food, principally the seals they dote on and devour. But as the seas rise, these distances increase. Twenty bears in the survey swam more than 30 miles at a time. The longest-distance swim was 426 miles; the longest-lasting swim was 12.7 days, with a few brief breaks on drift ice.

All this is bad enough, but here’s the tragic element: eleven of the bears that swam long distances had young cubs when researchers attached the tracking collars. Five of those mothers lost their cubs while swimming… and thus the breed and its prospects are diminished…

Facts about the threatened polar bears, majestic, now vulnerable.

The polar bear, universally admired, is the world’s largest land carnivore and also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak bear, which is approximately the same size. An adult male weighs around 350-680 kg (770-1,500 lb), while an adult female is about half the size.

Although it is closely related to the brown bear, it has evolved to occupy a narrower ecological niche, with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting the seals, which make up most of its diet.

The polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species, with eight of the 19 polar bear subpopulations in decline. Researchers estimate there are 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears worldwide; they are listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act.

“Nanook of the North.”

Over the course of uncounted centuries, the intricate, necessary symbiosis between the polar elements, the polar bear (one of the most famous bears) and Inuit and other indigenous peoples of the North has slowly, carefully evolved. The Northern people revered the bear whose flesh they enjoyed… they called the polar bear “Nanook”… and took the name proudly for themselves.

In 1920, Robert J. Flaherty made one of the first — and most celebrated — documentaries of the silent film era, Nanook of the North, calling it “A Story of Life and Love In the Actual Arctic.” In the tradition of what would later be called “salvage ethnography”, Flaherty captured (and some critics said staged) the struggles of the Inuk Nanook and his family in the Arctic region of Northern Quebec.

Nanook of the North was released in 1922 to worldwide acclaim.  In his honor, the Government of Canada named an island in the Hudson Bay Flaherty Island.

In 1989, this Canadian film was one of the first 25 films selected for preservation in the United States Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

But the human Nanook, though most assuredly a predator of the ursine Nanook, was never a problem, for he took only what he needed… and was never wanton. He never forgot he needed Nanook. No, he is not the problem, though human kind as a whole most assuredly is. For we as a genus are thoughtless, careless always anxious to shift the guilt, the burden, the responsibility to others for what we have done.

And what’s terrible about this so sad situation is this: we know what to do and when and how to do it. We know the polar bear facts.  We don’t need more learned studies; for studies about the future of the polar bear and its irrevocably changing environment are frequent, thorough, detailed, and unanswerable. We need action… before this matter becomes, like the histories of so many other species, academic.

But, for now, let us end as we began, with Edvard Grieg, master of unsurpassed, haunting melody. A creature of the North, knowing Winter well, he cherished the fleeting glories of Spring. In this spirit, he composed something so beautiful it is painful to listen to. He called it “Last Spring”, and you must go to any search engine now to play it. Let it fill your heart with compassion for the great creatures now completely at the mercy of their greatest predators, us. Let us pray that this song of soul by Grieg remains great music only and that there is no “Last Spring” for Ursus maritimus, beloved of man, dying through the works of man.

For where shall we find your like again; You who thrilled us so?

Where shall we look when you are gone you who have been made by God?

When you are gone who will care for why when your great heart beats no more?

God will know…… but He will not say for we who were bade to cherish failed you.

So now we lament… too late Now we shall know you not and nevermore.

Never to play again under the great Northern Lights once your heaven.

Where then have you gone? You whom we loved, and failed…

– Dr. Jeffrey Lant.  Says Dr. Lant, “I’ve been blessed in my life. No question about it. But, as Browning said, ‘the best is yet to come.’ That’s why EVERY morning, I’m up early, ready to dig into my email and see who I can help today…”  Jeffrey’s books can be found on Amazon.com.

The artwork at the top of page is by Charles Livingston Bull, illustrating the short story THE SUMMONS OF THE NORTH by Sir Charles G D Roberts.

==>> And you’ve got to see my controversial post What is Canada’s National Animal? The Polar Bear!



lone-wolf-storyDo you love wild animal tales?




WOLFBLOOD, a Northwestern yarn in the Jack London Tradition, Free to Read ==> CLICK HERE  WOLFBLOOD: A Wild Wolf, A Half-Wild Husky & A Wily Old Trapper



What is Polar Bear Day?  When is Polar Bear Day?  International Polar Bear Day (IPBD) is held on every February 27th worldwide — an attempt to reveal the dire situation of our Polar Bears and their environment — and our continued attempt to save them.

The Polar Bear: From Nanook of the North to Knut the Baby Polar Bear

Keywords: animal rights, Canadian, civilized bears, the polar bear, knut, nanook, baby polar bear, knut polar bear, polar bears, endangered species, famous bears, penguins, polar bear facts


Posted in An Earth Spirit, Bearkind, Otherkind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment





“People know I like to sing,” Country music legend Kenny Rogers once said. “What they don’t know is I like to cook or better yet, enjoy good food. To me, our ROASTERS chicken is the best!”

Kenny started his down-home Roasters Restaurants in the early 90’s, and when one opened in Halifax, it became our favorite eatery when Mary Lee and I visited the Big City.

In just a few years, his menu had expanded to include Kenny Rogers Roasters chicken, cooked in those wonderful wood-fire rotisseries, as well as fresh-made side dishes, rotisserie turkey breast, honey-bourbon barbecue ribs, pita sandwiches, soups and salads. Other popular items included Miami Subs, their incredible Kenny Rogers Fire-And-Ice Chili and their vanilla muffins.

But by the turn of the century, his ROASTERS chain was in financial trouble. Putting out genuine home-style meals in what too many customers seemed to consider a fast-food market, was costing them. In what, to me, is one of the saddest events in the Great Food industry, Kenny was forced to close a whole lot of his outlets in Canada and the U.S.

And here’s the kicker: although the restaurant chain lost fans in Kenny’s homeland, there are still hundreds of popular much-loved Kenny Rogers Roasters open around the world, where Kenny’s music also remains popular.

You’ll still find them in the Far East Pacific Region, in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei… In fact, Kenny Rogers Roasters is one of the fastest growing restaurant chains along the Pacific Rim.

Why are they still going great worldwide? Because of the quality! Remember it? Remember that country kitchen smell of real cooking chicken when you walked in the door?

>>> So if you can’t travel to Kuala Lumpur for a taste of Kenny’s popular “East Meets West” chicken – if you want to prepare a delicious meal to impress family, friends or even a hot date, here are this ol’ cook’s recreations of Kenny Rogers Roaster’s most popular recipes of all time…


–Kenny Rogers Roasted Chicken–

1 whole chicken

1/2 cup rock salt

2 tablespoons calamansi juice (Key Lime juice is a good substitute)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup corn oil

2 tablespoons chili ketchup

2 teaspoons well-pounded garlic

1/2 teaspoon pepper mill grind black pepper

1/4 teaspoon mustard


Rub the chicken with rock salt. Rinse and pat dry. Place the chicken in a bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients and let stand in the refrigerator for at least 8 – 24 hours.

Cook slowly, basting with the remaining marinade from time to time.

>> If you don’t have a chicken rotisserie, it’s actually worth getting one. The electric ones don’t cost that much – and the result is healthy and downright delicious. However, you can certainly still cook ‘er up proud in the oven! Either way, you’re going to get the best old timey Country Cooking can provide.


–Kenny Rogers Roasters BBQ Sauce–

1 cup Applesauce

1/2 cup Heinz ketchup

1 1/4 cups Light brown sugar, packed

6 tablespoons Lemon juice

Salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon Paprika

1/2 teaspoon Garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon.


In heavy saucepan bring mixture to boil.

Stir constantly about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn heat to low and continue to stir (about 3 to 5 minutes) making sure sugar is completely dissolved.

Allow to cook without stirring for 15 minutes on lowest possible heat, uncovered. Transfer to top of double boiler over simmering water if to be used as a basting sauce for ribs or chicken during baking; or cool sauce and refrigerate covered to use in 30 days.

This BBQ Sauce freezes well.


–Kenny Rogers Corn Muffins–

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon mustard (if you prefer, honey mustard makes a sweeter substitute)

1 teaspoon ketchup

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

2 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon concentrated hickory liquid smoke flavoring

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon water.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cream together butter, sugar, honey, eggs and salt in a large bowl. Add flour, cornmeal and baking powder and blend thoroughly. Add milk while mixing. Add corn to mixture and combine by hand until corn is worked in.

Grease a 12-cup muffin pan and fill each cup with batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins begin to turn brown on top.

Or Try…


–Kenny Rogers Fire-And-Ice Chili–

1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks in syrup

2 pounds lean boneless pork roast cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion chopped (1/2 cup)

1 clove garlic minced

1 28-ounce can tomatoes cut up

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 4-ounce can diced green chili peppers drained

1 green pepper chopped 3/4 cup)

1 medium yellow onion chopped (1/2 cup)

2 cloves garlic minced

1/4 cup chili powder

4 teaspoons ground cumin

1 to 3 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped jalapeno pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

Chili toppers: sliced onions, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese.


1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice.

2. In a Dutch oven, cook pork, half at a time, in hot olive oil till brown. Return all the meat to the pot. Add the first chopped onion and 1 clove garlic. Cook over medium heat till onion is tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the reserved pineapple syrup, undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, green chili peppers, the green pepper, 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, chili powder, cumin, jalapeno pepper and salt.

4. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer the chili for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the pineapple chunks. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes more.

5. Let diners add their own toppers. Makes 8 to 10 servings. Note: To increase the spiciness of the chili, add 2 more tablespoons of the jalapeno pepper.


–Kenny Rogers Vanilla Muffins–

125g butter

80g sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 eggs

125g flour

2 tbsp milk

50g buttercream


1. Cream the butter and sugar till white as the night.

2. Add in the eggs one by one and beat it like you mean it.

3. Sift the flour and fold it in slowly (you can use the beater).

4. Blend in the milk.

5. Add in the buttercream.

Dig In and Enjoy!

Brian Alan Burhoe



Here’s a note: if you DO find yourself in the Far East, you can still get those great chicken meals, as well as items like Classic Chicken Focaccia, Beef Bolognaise Spaghetti, BBQ Baked Beans, Home Made Muffins and Chocolate Fudge Cake.


Keywords: chicken breast recipes, chicken recipes, chicken recipes quick, easy, in oven, marinade, pot pie, rice casserole, slow cooker


Posted in Otherkind, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cracker Barrel Restaurant Recipes for Home Cooking

I’m a Down-home cook and so my fave restaurants tend to have a country flavour.  Remember Kenny Roger’s Roasters?  And the Colonel’s back in the day?

The first Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Restaurant opened in Tennessee in 1969.

Dan Evins, of Lebanon, Tennessee, always said his mission was pleasing people, which he would explain meant “mutual respect.” So even now, “the mashed potatoes are scratch-made every day, the made from scratch biscuits come served with real butter, and the unique items in the gift shop offer genuine value.”

And Dan continued, “Things are likely to stay this way, too. Call it nostalgia if you want, but the goal isn’t simply to recreate a time gone by – it’s to preserve it. Because the way we see it, the lifestyle of rural America isn’t about where you live. It’s about how you live.”

The owner’s philosophy was plain and simple: “If everyone who walks in our front door gets a warm welcome and a good meal at a fair price. If they enjoy browsing through our old country store. If everyone who works with us or whom we do business with is treated fairly and with respect. If we do all those things, well, then we figure the business will take care of itself.”  Still that way.  [1]

You’ll find everything you love about country cooking at Cracker Barrel Restaurant, plus a few items that might surprise you. Their country cooks have added some new things they know you’ll like. And of course, you’ll still find old favorites like Meatloaf, Chicken n’ Dumplins, Roast Beef and plenty of tasty country vegetables on the menu.

Among their most popular items are: Fried Chicken Livers, Hickory Smoked Pork Barbeque, Grilled Pork Chops, Fried or Grilled Chicken Tenderloin, Beans n’ Greens (a cup of Pinto Beans and Turnip Greens served up with onion, relish & Corn Muffins) as well as their famous Half Pound Hamburger Steak, Sugar Cured Ham, Homemade Beef Stew and Farm Raised Catfish Fillet (deep fried or Spicy Grilled).

>>> I love recreating popular restaurant recipes, so here’s their most popular meal of all that you can easily prepare at home – Cracker Barrel Chicken & Dumplings Full Meal Recipe:


–Cracker Barrel Chicken & Dumplings–

> Chicken and Broth:

3 quarts water

1 3-4 pound chicken cut up

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 small onion sliced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered

1 bay leaf

4-6 whole parsley leaves

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

> Dumplings:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons of salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon of salt, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and parsley to the pot. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook the chicken, uncovered, for 2 hours. The liquid will reduce by about one third.

2. When the chicken has cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside. Strain the stock to remove all the vegetables and floating scum. You only want the stock and the chicken, so toss everything else out.

3. Pour 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) of the stock back into the pot (keep the leftover stock, if any, for another recipe-it can be frozen). You may also want to use a smaller pot or a large saucepan for this. Add coarsely ground pepper, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the lemon juice, then reheat the stock over medium heat while preparing the dumplings.

4. For dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and milk in a medium bowl. Stir well until smooth, then let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to about a 1/2 inch thickness.

5. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch squares and drop each square into the simmering stock. Use all of the dough. The dumplings will first swell and then slowly shrink as they partially dissolve to thicken the stock into a white gravy. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick. Stir often.

6. While the stock is thickening, the chicken will have become cool enough to handle. Tear all the meat from the bones and remove the skin. Cut the chicken meat into bite-size or a little bigger than bite-size pieces and drop them into the pot. Discard the skin and bones. Continue to simmer the chicken and dumplings for another 5-10 minutes, but don’t stir too vigorously or the chicken will shred and fall apart. You want big chunks of chicken in the end.

7. When the gravy has reached the desired consistency, ladle four portions onto plates and serve hot. Serve with your choice of steamed vegetables, if desired.


–Cracker Barrel Country Cornbread Dressing–

2/3 cup chopped onion

2 cups chopped celery

2 quarts of day old, grated cornbread

1 quart of day old, grated biscuits

1/4 cup dried parsley flakes

2 tsp poultry seasoning

2 tsp ground sage

1 tsp coarse ground pepper

4 ounces margarine

1 quart (32 ounces) plus 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix onion, celery, grated cornbread, and biscuits, parsley, poultry seasoning, sage, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add melted margarine to mixture. Stir until well blended.

Add chicken broth to dry ingredients and mix well. The dressing should have a wet but not soupy consistency like a quick bread batter (banana bread or cornbread).

Divide mixture evenly into two (8 x 8 inch) pans sprayed with non-stick spray.

Bake uncovered for 1 hour until lightly brown on the top.


–Cracker Barrel Buttermilk Biscuits–

8 servings…

2 c Bisquick

2/3 c Real buttermilk

1. Work together Bisquick and buttermilk to smooth dough. Dip hand in just enough Bisquick to kneed dough in bowl until smooth and elastic.

2. Shape dough into 16 thin patties, placing 1 atop another forming 8 biscuits in greased 9? round baking pan. Bake at 450 16 to 18 minutes or until golden. Wipe tops at once in butter. They split easily because of the way you formed them with the 2 pieces.

3. To make BONANZA Copycats, add 4 ts sugar. Shape into 6 patties, 1? thick, 3? round. Place close together in greased round baking pan. Wipe tops in soft butter. Bake 450 18 minutes or until brown.

4. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Split with thumbs instead of cutting with knife. These do not keep well. Right out of oven wipe tops again with dabs more butter to keep surface soft and tender.


–Cracker Barrel Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake–

4 servings…

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa

1 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 cup Coca-Cola

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.

Heat butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola to boil and pour over the flour mixture. Mix well. Add eggs, buttermilk, vanilla extract and marshmallows and blend. The batter will be thin with marshmallows floating on top. Bake for 45 minutes.

> Frosting:

1/2 cup butter or margarine

3 tablespoons cocoa

6 tablespoons Coca-Cola

1 box confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Boil first three ingredients. Remove from the heat and blend in the sugar and vanilla extract. Spread on warm cake.

It’s served warm with premium vanilla bean ice cream. Enjoy a real Cracker Barrel tradition!

Dig In and Enjoy!

Brian Alan Burhoe


[1] Not that Cracker Barrel doesn’t lead the way into a greener future (or maybe they still remember when country skies were clean and blue – and the brooks were filled with fish).  Supporting the drive into a cleaner country with EVs (electric vehicles), they started by providing a high-powered charging station in their home base in Tennessee and have added more charging stations at their restaurants in the Fort Worth and Dallas area of Texas, as well as Arlington, Burleson, DeSoto and Mesquite, with more to come.

Cracker Barrel Restaurant Recipes for Home Cooking

Posted in An Earth Spirit, Bearkind, Otherkind, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Fave Atlantic Seafood Recipes: Lobster chowder – Atlantic Scallops au Gratin – Baked Stuffed Haddock




I’ve been asked, “What do you love to cook at home, Brian?”  Well, I’m a Maritime Canadian.  The Atlantic Ocean is just over there.  I loved cooking seafood in restaurants for years, and still throw together some of the traditional dishes at home.  Here’s a few of my fave seafood recipes…

I graduated Prince Edward Island’s famous Holland College Culinary Course over three decades ago, training under Chef Leo Leclair, a true gentleman.  And finished my apprenticeship under Chef Ernie in PEI’s North Rustico seafood restaurant IDLE OARS (seen above) [1], before moving on to Nova Scotia – all the while cooking and tasting the great Atlantic Coast recipes.

To experience seafood at its best, you can get it directly off the fishing boats.  What’s better than a fresh-caught, just-cooked red lobster on the plate?  It’s all in getting the perfect crustacean.   Hint: Like the Old Fisherman we get our live lobsters from says, “The blacker the shell, the harder the shell.  The harder the shell, the more solid the meat.”  [2]

But with today’s high tech refrigerating, you can also get fresh and freshly frozen fish and shellfish in your local markets that really make for easily-made, delicious meals.

If you want, you can go Novelle Cuisine. Prepare entrees like Tortellini with Smoked Atlantic Salmon, Lobster in Puff Pastry or Mushroom Caps Stuffed with Periwinkles. Great stuff!

If your family loves Seafood, go for the above. But if your family isn’t used to the more inventive recipes, I’ve gathered some of my most popular recipes, both for restaurant and home cooking.

>>> So if you want to prepare a delicious meal to impress family, friends or even a hot date, here are a few of my favourite easily prepared Atlantic Seafood Recipes…


Charlottetown Lobster Chowder

4 medium sized potatoes, diced

1 large onion, chopped (Vidalia or yellow onion)

2 C water

4 tbsp real butter

4 C Lobster meat, cut up

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

4 C whole milk

2 C whipping cream

3/4 C butter

Cook potato and onion in water until almost tender.

Melt the 4 tbsp of butter in frying pan at low temperature and add Lobster, cooking until red.

Add fried Lobster meat to the potato-onion mix.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add the milk, cream and 3/4 cup of butter.

Heat just until it starts to boil, then turn back temperature to a simmer.


Atlantic Scallops au Gratin

2 tbsp cooking oil

2 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1 1/2 C whole milk

1 lb fresh Atlantic scallops

Chopped pimiento (for color)

Dry cracker crumbs

Grated cheddar cheese

Blend together the oil, cornstarch, pepper, Worcestershire Sauce, salt and dry mustard.

Add the milk and cook until it thickens.

Throw in the scallops and pimiento.

Grease a casserole (8 C size).

Add the cracker crumbs (regular unsalted crackers will do, but I like to crush some Ritz Crackers) around the edge.

Sprinkle the grated cheese in the center.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1/2 hour – – or until scallops are done.

Makes 6 servings.


Baked Stuffed Haddock with Mushroom Sauce

2 lbs haddock fillets

>> Stuffing:

2 C cracker crumbs

1 tsp Sage or Summer Savory

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp onion juice

2 tbsp melted butter

1/2 C milk

Pat haddock fillets with paper towel.

Mix all dressing ingredients together.

Put half the fillets on greased pan, spread stuffing on top and put other fillets over the stuffing.

>> Mushroom Sauce

3 tbsp butter, melted

3 tbsp flour, sifted and blended into butter

2 C milk

1 tsp sea salt

1 10 oz can Cream of Mushroom soup

Cook until thick in double boiler, stirring constantly with a fine whisk to keep sauce smooth. Add mushroom soup last.

Pour sauce over the fish.

Bake the fish in this sauce in a 400 degree oven. Test for doneness before removing from oven.

Makes 6 servings.


And – Here’s a personal favorite that’s gaining popularity in the restaurants:

Macaroni Grill Baked Creamy Seafood

4 tbsp butter

1 C bay scallops, rinsed and drained (8 oz)

3 tbsp sifted flour

2 cups half and half

1-1/2 cups asiago

2 cups medium, peeled, deveined cooked shrimp

1 6 oz. can clams, well drained

1 to 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

oil, for frying

1/2 12 oz. package won ton.

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add scallops and stir fry over high heat until just cooked through; set aside in bowl. In same skillet, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 min.

Whisk in half-and-half and continue whisking until mixture comes to a boil. Boil 1 min, whisking, until bubbly.

Turn off the heat. Add Asiago cheese, stirring until melted. Stir in the scallops, shrimp, and clams. Spoon into a 9″ glass pie plate. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake in a preheated 350 deg. oven for about 15 min., until the top is golden brown. Meanwhile, heat plenty of oil in a deep fryer to 375 deg.

Fry 3-4 won ton skins at a time, a few seconds on each side, until just golden.

Drain on paper towels. Use won tons as chips for dipping into baked seafood appetizer.

Please Note: If you don’t feel inclined to fry the wanton skins to make chips, the seafood appetizer is also delicious with tortilla or pita chips or crackers.

Dig In and Enjoy!

[1] The Idle Oars Restaurant was a great place to learn the cooking trade.  It was owned by Vincent Blacquiere and his family.  North Rustico was a fishing village, and we drew on local suppliers to provide truly local cuisine.  The Hook, Line & Sinker Lounge downstairs presented many class acts, including the Halifax-based rock group, Triangle — the amazing Platters — and Ryan’s Fancy.  Dennis Ryan and the boys filled the place every night.  Nice guys.

Leo Leclair was an injured combat veteran of WWII.  After the War, he returned to PEI and founded the Fisherman’s Wharf Restaurant.  Leo played an important part in popularizing different seafood dishes, including lobster.  His “secret ingredient” in many recipes was canned turtle soup.  He helped create the modern Holland College Culinary Arts program in Charlottetown.  I’m not the only student who liked Leo.  I think we all did.  He was a gentle and knowledgeable chef.

[2] More Hints for cooking live lobster: I once saw a renowned Toronto chef drop ’em in with the rubber bands still on.  Even this ol’ cook knows that the rubber can affect the taste.  Take off the bands.  And he dropped them into a half full pot of boiling water.  Way too much water, dude!  You just need a few inches of boiling salted water.  Put them in head-first (more humane) and let ’em steam (more flavour).

When getting fresh lobster right from fishermen (or women), ask them, “Do you use fresh bait or salt bait?”  Mary Lee insists on fresh bait when possible: “Salt bait gives the meat a stronger, slightly fishy smell and taste.”  And she’s right.



My Fave Atlantic Seafood Recipes: Lobster chowder – Atlantic Scallops au Gratin – Baked Stuffed Haddock

Posted in An Earth Spirit, Bearkind, Otherkind, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RAISING CHICKENS: 5 Reasons to Build a Backyard Chicken Coop

5 Reasons to Raise Chickens & Build a Coop


Thinking of raising your very own chickens?

Why not?  Building a great chicken coop to house little yellow poultry chicks has become a growing, popular — and profitable — new backyard hobby.  Some are starting from scratch.

The result is a bunch of happy hens that — unlike commercial chickens and eggs — will be free of steroids, hormones, antibiotics and a Witch’s Brew of chemicals.  Free Range Hens are about as Back To The Land as most families can get.  In a time of Animal Rights, it’s a humane vocation.

Raising chickens should not be a fuss. There are actually several reasons why people want to cultivate chickens in their backyard.

Reason 1 – Chickens love leftovers.

A chicken’s appetite is incredible. They can eat almost everything, even their own kind! You can now say bye-bye to those unwanted leftovers being left rotten in your fridge. You feel less guilty of throwing them out into the garbage can. Plus, you can save on chicken feed. But be very careful with what you give for it may be their last supper. Tone down on the onions and garlic.

Reason 2 – Eggs!

Who doesn’t love fresh eggs? Have them boiled, scrambled, sunny side up, etc. Admit it, pets that live comfortably inside your houses don’t give anything more than barks, meows, purrs, and sometimes, chirp. Well, hens, on the other hand, have lots of benefits. One of the many benefits chickens give is their egg.  Growing happy, free range chickens on wholesome scraps (no chemicals or mega anti-biotics) gives you natural, healthy hens.

You can eat fresh eggs right from the source. Either raw (good for pregnant women) or cooked, eggs taken from chickens minutes or hours ago are more tasty and nutritious than those purchased in the grocery store. You’ll notice the texture and color is way different than that of the fresh ones.

Reason 3 – Source of natural fertilizers

Your lawn or backyard has never looked better. Chickens love to freely walk around. Chickens also love to peck on anything they see that can be considered as food. And what is food to them? Possibly anything that’s organic. If you let your chickens roam around your space, you will find out how reliable they can be. They eat pests living in your backyard – grubs, beetles, insects, earwigs, and anything that comes close.

After the digestion has set its due, they will transform what they’ve eaten into poop. But this is not just any kind of poop but a treasure called natural fertilizer. And you know what natural fertilizers do right? They keep the soil healthy for plants to grow. Cool.  GREAT FOR YOUR GARDEN!

Reason 4 – Low Maintenance Pets

Unlike dogs who need combing and brushing everyday to keep their fur alive and shiny, chickens doesn’t need such soulful treatment. All you have to do is provide them their daily needs like food and water. You also have to clean their pad at least twice a month and change the bedding, too. In return, you can gather all the eggs. Aside from just gathering, you can also start a small business of your own by supplying poultry stores with fresh eggs or chicken meat.

Reason 5 – Grass and weed clippers

Got that right. Now you can save on mowing your own lawn by getting yourself chickens! For chickens, grasses, weeds, and leaves are treats. It’s like a lifetime dessert offering. It’s like having a cow in your own backyard. They will dig through whatever it is without even complaining about the hard work. Chickens will clip it then clean it all at the same time.

With these reasons, why bother getting yourself a dog or a cat? No offense but they can’t even water the plants nor lay eggs for breakfast.  In cases of chickens, you can have a best friend, a lawn mower, a supplier of organic fertilizer and an egg producer all in one.

So how do you prepare for the arrival of the chickens in your own backyard?  You have to be geared up before presenting your not so baby chicks outside the world. The transition period can be quite stressful — or downright easy and exciting — IF YOU ARE READY.

You have to purchase a NUMBER of items for your chicks to stay comfortable from where they would lay. You need to pamper them so that they’ll be successful layers, or ready for outright selling, depending on your  plans.


1. Food

Without this, who will live? The food you will give will entirely depend on the kind of chicken that you have. But to sum it up, just give something that is complete. It must contain the right food substance that your chickens will need like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and minerals and if the budget can still take it, buy them vitamins. There are two kinds of feeds: conventional and organic. Either of the two can be purchased online or at an agricultural poultry store.

If the time has come for your chickens to lay eggs or is about 20 weeks old, purchase a layer feed. But if they are younger than 20 weeks, starter feed is highly recommended.

2. Waterer and Feeder

Purchase a waterer and feeder that are suspended from the ground. They should hang at least a couple inches off it. A very good advantage when purchasing such items is that they will prevent your chickens from jumping on top of it and smudging off their feet filled with feces inside the container. An automatic refill feature is also included which is very reliable during times when you have to go somewhere and will take you a couple of days before you come back. Worry-free.

3. Home: Chicken Coop

Being a starter in the world of raising chickens, one of the important thing you should consider and is also necessary is the fact that you can protect your raised chickens without even being on a shot-gun watch for 24 hours every waking day; that is why you have to build at least a pen that will last for a very long period of time. Before building, planning and gathering is the very first step.

A complete Chicken Coop is the best protection for hens – providing a cozy home, safety from predators and shelter from the storm.

4. Bed

Yes, no matter how absurd it seems, you have to provide them with the proper bedding to keep them warm, comfortable, healthy and happy. But this doesn’t mean that you have to buy them sheets from Best Buy. Beddings can be in the form of a pile of clean haystack, old or used newspapers, or if you wanted it to be extra special, there are beddings that can be bought online or in a poultry store.

Beddings are best inside the coop where it can provide chickens a soft surface to roam around with. Beddings are also beneficial for your flock because it absorbs the odor and droppings. You don’t want a foul-smelling coop, right? Another advantage of the bedding is that is saves the eggs from cracking making it an area where eggs are safe to land.

There are a lot of bedding varieties. But whatever the bedding that youÂ’ve chosen, always make it a point that it is at least two inches thick and is truly absorbent.

5. Dust Baths

If you see your chickens digging a shallow hole and creating a mess with dirt, they are dust bathing! Chickens enjoy bathing in dust. But did you know that when chickens take dust baths, they are actually protecting themselves from parasites and those creatures that find it interesting to live inside their legs and feathers. Therefore, it is necessary to have dust baths.

If you have a dry area in your chicken run that has patches of fresh ground, it’s the perfect spot to do their thing. But if your pen consists of entirely cement, worry not, because there are artificial dust baths available in agricultural stores.












RAISING CHICKENS: 5 Reasons to Build a Backyard Chicken Coop

Keywords: animal rights, baby chicks,backyard chicken coop, chicken coop plans, chickens for sale, chickens laying eggs, free range chickens, hen house, laying chickens, organic, raising chickens

Posted in An Earth Spirit, Bearkind, Otherkind, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FEED THE BIRDS: Make Edible Christmas Tree for Bird Feeding

Edible Christmas Tree for Bird Feeding

It’s here!  Winter.  In the True North, we’re seeing shorter winters.  Climate Change: along the coastlines, warming oceans are keeping back some of that Arctic air.  One result is the slow drifting of more southern species into our land — many of those creatures being suddenly distressed when a real old-fashioned Arctic Low settles in for a few days — snow, ice and freeeezing winds.

So we feed our fledgling friends.  In our case, that means welcomed bread, etc, for our local crows and ravens.  And scattered seeds for the little fellows.  With migratory bird populations dropping because of Human stupidity and greed, there’s nothing unnatural in feeding every bird we can.  It’s one couple’s small attempt to restore the balance.  We can all do it, it’s easy.  Feed the Birds!

Here, from Grandma Pearl, is a project we really like, made just for the Season.  Listen to her…

Create An Edible Christmas Tree for the Birds

It’s easy and fun to include our backyard bird friends in the holiday festivities by creating a tree full of special treats just for them. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does take a small commitment of time. This would be a great family activity. You might even start a new family tradition, while making your winter backyard bird gang very happy!

What you will need:

A tree that is near other shrubs or trees
22 gauge wire (Hobby or Craft store) and needle nose pliers/wire cutters
Small nail for making holes
Small aluminum dishes approx. 4″ diameter
Larger aluminum pie plate for rolling pinecones
Dried cranberries, apples, apricots, raisins or other dried fruit
Oranges and grapefruits cut in half
Whole peanuts in the shell, either salted or unsalted
Shelled peanuts, either salted or unsalted
Dried pinecones (directions follow)
Peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
Sunflower bird seed
Popped popcorn
Red yarn for securing dishes, fruit cups and pinecones to branches
Scissors to cut yarn
Waxed paper

To dry pinecones: lay pinecones out in a single layer on several thicknesses of newspaper; let air dry naturally for 3 or 4 days. This should dry the sap, making it easier to work with the pine cones.

Choosing a tree that is near other shrubs or trees will give the birds an escape route, as well as a place to perch while eating their holiday treats. If you decide to use orange and/or grapefruit halves, the weather should be relatively cool (under 40 degrees F) so that the fruit cups will not mold before the contents are eaten.

Begin by using the wire cutters to cut the wire into pieces approx. 10″ long for the pinecones and fruit cups, and 12″ long for the small aluminum pans. With the nail, pierce a small pan on one side below the rim. Then make another hole directly across from the first one. Since it may take several days for your edible tree to be discovered, it is a good idea to make 3 or 4 drainage holes in the bottom of the pan with the small nail. That way any rain or snow will not spoil the contents!

Push one end of the 12″ long wire through the hole from the inside to the outside of the dish, leaving enough wire to twist several times in order to secure one side of the handle. Repeat with the other side using the needle nose pliers to bend each wire end downward. This ensures neither the birds nor you will be harmed by the sharp wire end. Fill each little pan with an assortment of dried fruit, popcorn, peanuts and sunflower seeds. Be careful not to fill it too full or it will tip and spill when it is hung on your tree. Tie yarn to the handle so that it can be secured to a tree branch when you are ready to hang your ornaments.

Next, scoop out the orange and grapefruit halves. It’s okay if you leave some of the fruit inside. Save the scooped out fruit and refrigerate. You can use it for a fruit salad of your own! Use the end of the 10″ wire to pierce the fruit half on either side. Pull the wire through the hole on one side of the fruit half to make a handle, just as you did with the small aluminum dishes. Don’t forget to make 2 or 3 holes in the bottom of the fruit cup for drainage.

Now make a mixture of peanut butter, raisins and birdseed, and fill the fruit halves. Cut a length of red yarn and tie to the handle of the basket. You will use this to secure your treat dishes to the tree branches. Hang these individual fruit baskets on different tree branches for the birds to enjoy. Once the birds find your tree, the dishes and fruit halves will need to be refilled regularly.

I’ve found that by adding another wire handle that crosses the first handle making an extra will give your aluminum dish more stability, and keep it from tipping and spilling when the birds land on the rim. But even if some of the seeds land on the ground, there will be other birds like juncos and doves that will find those seeds. You can tie the yarn around the center for hanging. Or your tree may have larger branches that allow you to slip the handle right over them without tying yarn to them.

Wrap a 10″ piece of wire around and under the top layer of pine cone scales leaving a long enough piece to make a loop for hanging. Twist the wire together and bend the ends over so they will not hurt you or the birds. Then lay out a piece of waxed paper on a flat work surface. Pour birdseed into a shallow aluminum dish and set it on the waxed paper. Spread peanut butter onto a pinecone with a spatula working over the waxed paper to catch any dollops that might fall off.

Next, roll the peanut butter pinecone in the birdseed, gently shaking off the excess. Cut a length of yarn and tie it around the top of the wire handle. You will use this to secure the ornaments to the tree when you are ready to hang them.

If you wish, you can add raisins, craisins or dried cranberries to the birdseed mix for the pine cones. Or you can pierce the dried fruit pieces with wire to hang individually, or to make garlands or wreaths.

A tree full of treats like this will attract birds like chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, woodpeckers, blue jays, cardinals and juncos. This is a fun and easy way to get kids involved in learning about feeding and identifying birds. They can note which ones show up at their tree, as well as what they prefer to eat.

Be Patient! Birds are naturally curious, especially chickadees. It may take several days or more, but if you build it, they will come! By the way, if you can choose a tree that is easily seen from within your house, you will have a ringside seat to a holiday show courtesy of You and Mother Nature!


— Grandma Pearl (Connie M Smith).  Grandma Pearl lives in a beautiful wooded area of New York State.   She writes about “backyard birds, wildlife, nature, flowers, herbs, old barn wood and garden decor, among other things. The works of Tolkein and J.K. Rowling, lively Olde English and Irish folk music all speak to me.”  Her blog is http://grandmapearlsbackporch.blogspot.ca/

Grandma Pearl on our favourite birds: “I have heard raven and crow used interchangeably to describe any large black bird. In fact there are many ways a common crow and a raven are alike. They both are the same color, all black from beak to legs. They both exhibit boisterous, aggressive behavior if they feel threatened. It is not uncommon for either of them to drive off an owl or a hawk. Both are highly intelligent, playful, and are good at solving puzzles. I witnessed a crow open my suet basket with ease and fly off with its prize! So thievery is on their agenda as well.”

See our The Raven: Thief, Trickster & Black Thunderbolt


FEED THE BIRDS: Make Edible Christmas Tree for Bird Feeding

Keywords: animal rights, crows, ravens, what birds eat, wild birds

Posted in An Earth Spirit, Bearkind, Otherkind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SPIRITUAL WORDSMITHS: The Best Writers of Christian Fiction


The Best Writers of Christian Fiction

As I write this, Christian fiction continues to sell.  And continues to grow in readership.

The #1 Christian bestseller on Amazon is SOMEWHERE SAFE WITH SOMEBODY GOOD: The New Mitford Novel by Jane Karon.

Others in the Top 10 include THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA Boxed Set by C S Lewis, ANGELS WALKING by Karen Kingsbury, AD 30 by Ted Dekker, THE SECRET OF PEMBROOKE PARK by Julie Klassen and THE RED TENT by Anita Diamant.

The rise of fiction written for and embraced by men and women of the Faith continues to stump many purveyors of modern culture.  Considering the almost deadly stranglehold that modern media has taken on Western culture, spreading its own amoral codes of greed, materialism and selfish conduct on the world scene, this search for a life based on timeless spiritual values, family loyalties, honour and loving relationships confounds this dark dominant culture.

But a kind of Spiritual Revolution IS happening.  And at its forefront are older and newer writers who are giving us imaginative, soulful, sensitive writing that just keeps increasing in popularity.

Who are these writers?  What have they written?

C S Lewis.  Born on November 29th, 1898, in Belfast, Ireland, Clive Staples Lewis gained world fame for his Christian-based writing. Although his non-fiction, such as “Mere Christianity,” “Miracles” and his autobiography “Surprised By Joy” continue to be published, it’s his works of fiction that have made him a worldwide sensation. Some of his ideas of Christianity and mythology came out of discussions with other members of the Oxford literary group called the Inklings (which included his close friend J R R Tolkien).

His Chronicles of Narnia continue to be best sellers and the basis of a series of movies. Narnia titles include “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Prince Caspian,” “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” and “The Last Battle.”

Lewis’ Ransom Trilogy was a science fiction sequence written for adults and dealing with theology in a more serious tone. Set on Earth, Mars and Venus, the stories told the adventures of Elwin Ransom (based on Tolkien). The second novel, “Perelandra,” presents a new Garden of Eden on Venus, and gives us one of the most picturesque visions of another planet ever written.

Janette Oke.  Janette Oke (nee Steves) was born on February 18th, 1935, in the Canadian western community of Champion, Alberta. She grew up on the vast Canadian prairies, steeped in its folkways and history (including the revered history of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police). She also grew up with the independent, conservative values of the time and place, becoming a committed Evangelical Christian. She graduated from the Mountain View Bible College in Canada.

Her first novel was “Once Upon a Summer.” Published in 1981 by Bethany House, it was a Christian novel that blended history, romance and faith.

Her second novel was “When Calls the Heart” — the first in her Canadian West Series — and a bestseller. “When Calls the Heart” told the story of teacher Elizabeth Marie Thatcher who arrives from the cultured East and faces a rougher place and culture than she had expected. Her faith is tested. But she meets her Mountie. The novel was a success.

She has gone on to sell millions of titles and is considered the originator of modern faith-based Christian fiction. Other titles include “A Bride for Donnigan,” “A Quiet Strength,” “A Woman Named Damaris,” “Another Homecoming,” “Beyond the Gathering Storm,” and “Prairie Dog Town.” Many of her books are available in boxed sets.

Janette Oke has received the 1992 ECPA President’s Award and the 1999 CBA Life Impact Award for her “significant contribution to the Christian book industry.” She has also won both the Gold Medallion Award and the Christy Award for fiction. Janette and her husband, Edward, still live in Alberta, Canada.

Frank Peretti.  Called “America’s hottest Christian novelist” and “a sanctified Stephen King,” Frank Peritti is a top selling Christian author, with millions of sales.

Born in the Canadian western town of Lethbridge, Alberta, in 1951, Peretti grew up in Seattle, Washington. After a stint of playing banjo in a bluegrass group and studying English, screen writing and film at UCLA, he assisted his father in pastoring an Assembly of God church and began a writing career.

Following his first sale, a fantasy novel entitled “The Door in the Dragon’s Throat,” Perretti published “The Present Darkness” in 1986. Considered the first of the new Christian fictional revival, it is considered his masterpiece and still continues to sell and draw new fans to his published novels. Other literary works include “Piercing the Darkness,” “Prophet,” “The Oath,” “House” (coauthored with Ted Dekker) and “Illusion” (published in 2012).

Karen Kingsbury.  Born in 1963, Karen Kingsbury lives with her husband, Donald, and six children in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington, close to the Canadian border.

With millions of sales, her series of Christian novels include her Firstborn Series, Redemption Series, Red Glove Series, 911 Series, Women of Faith Series,and her newest, the Sunrise Series. One of her first Faith-based books, “Deadly Pretender,” was made into a CBS Movie-of-the-Week retitled, “Every Womans Dream” for broadcast.

Called “the queen of Christian fiction” by TIME Magazine, Karen said, “Fans say that they are closer to God and each other after reading the stories the Lord has given me to write.”

Terri Blackstock.  Terri was born in Belleville, Illinois, on Dec 7, 1951.

With over 30 titles published, Christy Award winner Terri Blackstock’s book sales are in the millions. Her Christian fiction novels include “Last Light, Restoration Series #1,” “Dawn’s Light, Restoration Series #4,” “Sweet Delights,” “Double Minds,” “Predator,” the Christy-winning “Intervention,” and “Downfall, Intervention Series #3.”

Terri’s advice for aspiring authors is: “Don’t get it right, get it written. I used to spend weeks writing and rewriting the first three chapters, until I heard this bit of advice. Now I write the first draft without judgment, and rewrite extensively on the subsequent drafts. Just having the book on paper-even if it’s terrible-makes the rest of the job seem easier.”

Ted Dekker.  Ted was born in 1962 in the wilderness of Netherlands New Guinea.  His parents were Canadian and American missionaries.   In an interview, he said, “I grew up in one of the darkest places in the world you can imagine, in the jungle, with cannibals…we’re talking about animism, heavy spiritualism, tremendous amounts of fear.  Co-workers of my parents were killed and eaten. By cannibals…”

Now living in Austin, Texas (with his wife and two of their daughters), Ted Dekker has published over 40 novels. He writes Christian fiction in the Thriller/Suspense genre. With titles on the New York Times Best Seller lists, his novel “The Bride Collector” was nominated for a 2011 Christy Award.

Other novels include “Immanuel’s Veins,” “Boneman’s daughters,” “Adam,” and, coauthored with Tosca Lee, “Forbidden, Books of Mortals Series, #1.” His novels have been published in eBook format, Spanish eBook, audiobook on CD, MP3, paperback book and Large Print version.  His next work will be published in 2015: titled AD33.


And new voices are joining the chorus every day.

Brian Alan Burhoe

Brian Alan Burhoe is the author of numerous articles and stories reflecting his interest in our spiritual connections to our Sacred Land – from his first short story ORNITHANTHROPUS – to his latest yarns of Civilized Bears.

==>> To see more, go to The Life & Works of Brian Alan Burhoe


Note: The above image is a fave of mine: the Statue of the White Angel holding a laurel crown at Schwerin Castle in Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Northern Germany.


SPIRITUAL WORDSMITHS: The Best Writers of Christian Fiction – A Christian Book Review

Posted in An Earth Spirit, Book*Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DREAM DICTIONARY: What Your 12 Most Common Dreams Mean




12 Most Common Dreams

“Both dreams and myths are important communications from ourselves to ourselves.” – Dr. Erich Fromm

I’ve always had a fascination with the meaning of dreams, especially after a long yarn with science fiction and fantasy author/editor Lin Carter at Detroit TriCon ’72. [1]

Lin Carter was a compelling little fellow who came across as a kind of old-time Southern gentleman, a cross between Doc Holliday and Colonel Saunders, complete with fancy walking stick.  A bit full of himself, but I liked him (he had read and liked my first published story “Ornithanthropus,” which had a lot of buzz then).  His love and knowledge of imaginative literature was immense and enthralling.

I knew of Lin already as the author of THE WIZARD OF LEMURIA, which introduced his Thongor the Barbarian character, and as editor of Ballantine Books Fantasy Series, giving us writers such as William Morris, Lord Dunsany, Evangeline Walton, Hope Mirrlees and H P Lovecraft.  Lovecraft’s earlier work, THE DREAM-QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH, remains one of my fave fantasies.  Lin’s introduction to each book in the series was a wondrous journey in itself.

Lin believed that dreams were the source of the primal motifs of mythology, folk tales and the best fantasy fiction.  He spurred me to continue along that road — Carl Jung being our mutual guide.

Somewhere along that trail, I devised this little Dream Dictionary of our 12 Most Common Dreams.  In various incarnations, it’s appeared on different websites and blogs, often without credit.  It’s free to copy, folks, but a credit would be nice.

In dreams, we are free.  Free to unfold our spiritual wings and meet our brightest and darkest selves.  Though for some reason we tend to remember our bad dreams the most, eh?

Dreams and Nightmares – Dream Interpretation: Bet you’ve experienced most or all of these…

ANIMALS**  Wild animals denote troubles or fears, even misfortune. Domestic animals, especially pets, usually mean good fortune. Their demeaner is significant. A fierce animal is a warning. A calm one indicates happy times. Animals often represent the primal side of our makeup and the dreamer’s relationship with the animal tells how much control they have over that part of themselves. The most common animals in our dreams are:

….BEARS* Northern cultures, including European, once believed that the Bear was Humankind’s closest blood relative.  To them, Bear symbolized great power, both spiritual and physical.  Modern city-centered cultures see the Bear as Danger, unless they are dancing, caged — or dead.  Dreaming of Civilized Bears reveals your power of imagination, spirituality and sense of humour.

….BIRDS*  depending on the kind of bird, this is usually a sign of prosperity and unexpected happiness for you. Large birds are the symbol of Freedom. Singing birds, of happiness.  Crows and ravens bring spiritual messages.

….CATS*  an age-old symbol of the Feminine; the elegant and mysterious elements of our lives. To dream of a friendly cat, means you are developing your intuitive powers. If you are attacked by a cat, beware of an enemy pretending to be a friend. If you hear a cat screeching, beware of gossip. A purring cat promises happiness.

….DOGS*  #1 dreamed animal! Traditional symbol of the Masculine; courage and loyalty. A friendly dog denotes coming domestic happiness. A vicious dog warns you of financial or health concerns. A howling dog warns of separation from loved ones.

….HORSES*  a symbol of animal power, strength and energy. To be riding a beautiful horse denotes you will achieve much power in life. A wild horse, out of control, is a warning to curb your own passions. A sick horse cautions you of ill health.

….INSECTS*  usually represent small, nagging worries. Things that “bug” you. Traditionally, they can represent relatives. How you handle the insects in your dream, tells you how to handle these worries.

….RATS*  beware of deception! Especially from someone close to you. The dream-meaning of killing a rat is one of success.

….SNAKES*  lead us not into temptation. A symbol of betrayals and enemies. If a snake bites you, beware of a quarrel with a friend. Your dream will show you who your enemy is.

….SPIDERS*  traditionally a sign of good fortune. Money, and much of it!

….WOLVES*  a balance of the Dog’s loyalty and courage with Nature’s ferocity. Be prepared to face a disastrous turn of events. You can overcome if you have powerful allies.

AUTOMOBILE**  The great modern symbol of power, status, vitality, sexuality. Life itself. Automobile dreams are very common and have many meanings in dream analysis. It depends on factors like — who is driving? Is it a pleasant journey or a treacherous one? An old clunker or a luxurious new car? Beginning a drive in an automobile generally means that you are in the beginning stages of a new life-plan. Where the car takes you metaphorically shows you where your life should be going. If your car breaks down, you could be placing your trust in someone not worth it.

CELEBRITIES**  Meeting a famous person can indicate a profitable new offer will be made. There will be a change for good in your life. A goal can finally be obtained. Celebrities are our cultural heroes, and to dream of them can mean that it is time for you to join their ranks.

CHASE**  To dream of being chased by some frightening being can mean that it is time for you to set out on your destined path. But you are refusing to let go of elements in your life that are hindering your quest. If you are caught by that being, you have much work ahead of you. If you escape, you are almost free — your life-quest is taking a new road.

DEATH**  This dream’s analysis depends on the emotional content — if you awoke with a dreadful sense of real death, it could be a true death-dream and you have sensed someone’s passing. This happens to sensitive people. The elderly may have dreams that prepare them for their passing. If, however, you dream of death without having dark emotions, it has the meaning of release from current worries and actually signifies its opposite: a recovery, a rebirth is about to occur in your life.

FALLING**  The most common dream of all. It can mean the dreamer is in fear of losing respect or status; or of financial difficulties; or fading physical vitality; or losing someone’s love. If you land and awaken suddenly, it is literally a “wake-up call” to attend to matters in the physical world. If you land but the dream continues, then the answer to your dilemma is being given to you in that dream

FLYING**  The great Mythical symbol of Freedom. The meaning of flying dreams is one of good omens. You instinctively know the goals in life and how to seek them. Whether it’s love you seek, or a place in life, or fame and fortune, you will fly over earthly obstacles and find your happiness. Recurrent flying dreams indicate great fortune. All Traditions explain flying dreams in the same way. If you are in your own human form, you will find happiness in an ordinary but successful life. If you are a bird in your dream, you will be most fortunate in life and attract good luck. If you are a Winged Human (Greek term: Ornithanthropus — “Winged man”), you are bound for a highly creative and fulfilled life.

HOUSE**  A symbol of many meanings! If Falling is the most common dream, then a House or Apartment is the second most common. In a dream, a house usually represents You. ROOMS represent different aspects of yourself. DOORS are opportunities. If it is your own home, you are on a solid spiritual foundation. If you dream that you are in a strange new house, it indicates your future, what you must do. The BEDROOM has many obvious meanings…the BED is the most common dream object of all. The BATHROOM…from bathing to using the toilet, are common situations.

LOST**  The meaning of this dream is literal. You are lost in your life, adrift. Something is gone from your life — Love, Career, Spirituality. The SETTING of your dream, where you are lost, holds the answers to your salvation….LOSING SOMETHING PRECIOUS is a variation of the LOST dream; the object lost being the key to the dream.  A common lost object is TEETH – symbolizing your anxiety about a change in your life you are going through, or about to experience.

NAKED**  Most often, this is not a sexual dream. Usually this common dream is a dream of inadequacy: you don’t feel prepared for some event, or for life itself. This dream may have an element of comedy — lighten up! Don’t worry. Traditionally, this has been a dream of money luck. Buy a lottery ticket.

SEXUAL DREAMS**  The meaning of sexuality in dreams depends on the emotional element. If you wake up sexually aroused, that is common. Sexuality is a fundamental part of living and sexual dreams express part of your being. Only if the content is disturbing or if your arrousal is more intense from dreams than from waking experience, do you need to explore your dream’s meaning. If you dream of sexual experience but are not sexually aroused, the traditional meaning is one of general happiness. Your love relationship is deepening or about to be renewed. The most common sexual dreams are:







Curiously, a more recent sexual dream is….SEX CHANGE.

WATER**  Traditionally, calm water means good times ahead, clear sailing. Rough waters: caution, reconsider your actions. To drown can be a warning — but also indicate your need for more spiritual examination.

….BATHING*  warm water fortells of increased love in your life or of spiritual rebirth.

….DRINKING WATER*  if the water is clear, the dream augurs financial security, prosperity. If it is cloudy; financial problems.

….SWIMMING*  a complex dream, where meaning depends on all the details: conditions of water, weather… Generally, to be swimming is a sign of current good health. If you are swimming naked, you feel energized and ready for the successes of life that are arriving.


+++A Dream Dictionary: Other Common Dreams+++

FOOD** preparing or eating food in a dream, means coming happiness in your life, domestic contentment. Being hungry or thirsty indicates a dissatisfaction in your life, often spiritual.

PREGNANCY** Dreams during pregnancy are common, usually reflecting your worries over the health and welfare of your unborn baby, not a prediction of things to come.

In this materialistic, irreligious age, GOD and the DEVIL appear less in our dreams, than in our grandparent’s time. When they do appear, however, the meaning is much more imperative than in by-gone times.

Dreaming about SCHOOL, TEACHERS or an important exam are usual for adolescents (definitely falling into their “most common dreams” category) — but have a more critical meaning for adults long out of school.  (Thinking about it, I haven’t had a school dream in decades, thank God.)

PEOPLE in our dreams can be extensions of ourselves or represent external forces — they represent the most complex element of your dreams, requiring an in-depth analysis. The most common people are: PARENTS, PARTNER, FRIENDS, EX-LOVER, STRANGERS, a BABY…

THE FUTURE.  I’ve been asked, “Brian, can my dreams predict my future?”  Sometimes.  Even Jung said he thought they did “sometimes.”  Basically, he thought that dreams might show us the possible paths we might follow.  Seems to be the best take on it.

While we enjoy reading our Horoscopes, the only predictions that have ever proven to be personally true (and were they ever!) have been from some of the top Numerologists.  We like to get a free reading now and then… CLICK HERE NOW TO GET YOUR FREE NUMEROLOGY READING!


– Brian Alan Burhoe

Brian Alan Burhoe is the author of numerous articles and stories reflecting his interest in our spiritual connections to our Sacred Land – from his first short story ORNITHANTHROPUS – to his latest yarns of Civilized Bears.

==>> To see more, go to The Life & Works of Brian Alan Burhoe


Note on Image At Top Of Page: Artwork by Gervasio Gallardo, a detail from the cover of IMAGINARY WORLDS: The Art of Fantasy, by Lin Carter, Ballantine Books, New York, 1973

[1] The Detroit Tri-Con 1972 was a Science Fiction/Fantasy/Comics Convention held at the Detroit Pick-Fort Shelby Hotel.

Round the clock movies — enjoyed the Vincent Price marathon.  Huckster room was a treasure trove of old SF and new underground comix.

PZO8005-Cover.inddGuests included cartoonist Russell Myers of Broom-Hilda fame.  Artists Gray Morrow, Al Williamson and Rick Yager (Buck Rogers strips).  Writers John Jakes, T Casey Brennan, among others…

Leigh Brackett, who wrote of ancient Mars with poetry and dreamlike imagination, as well as screenplays of fave movies of mine like John Wayne’s Rio Bravo (she would later work on the film script for The Empire Strikes Back), was also at TriCon ’72, sitting with her husband Edmond Hamilton.

Leigh was one of the essential writers in my formative years and I just wanted to go over and thank her.  I didn’t.  One of my few regrets.


DREAM DICTIONARY: What Your 12 Most Common Dreams Mean

Keywords: civilized bears, common dream teeth, dream dictionary, dreams and meaning, dreams and nightmares




Posted in An Earth Spirit, Bearkind, Otherkind | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment