only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf....

my own conviction on this score dates from the day I saw a wolf die. we were eating lunch on a high rimrock, at the foot of which a turbulent river elbowed its way. we saw what we thought was a doe fording the torrent, her breast awash in white water. when she climbed the bank toward us and shook out her tail, we realized our error: it was a wolf. a half-dozen others, evidently grown pups, sprang from the willows and all joined in a welcoming melee of wagging tails and playful maulings. what was literally a pile of wolves writhed and tumbled in the center of an open flat at the foot of our rimrock.

in those days we had never heard of passing up a chance to kill a wolf. in a second we were pumping lead into the pack, but with more excitement than accuracy: how to aim a steep downhill shot is always confusing. when our rifles were empty, the old wolf was down, and a pup was dragging a leg into impassable slide-rocks. (read the full text here).

- aldo leopold


mr. leopold also made a mean bench. simple and beautiful just like his writing. i want to make one and was sort of surprised to find the specs on the epa's website: to spy a leopold bench in someone's yard is to know something about the family who there resides. here's another version as a pdf, another going off the epa's plans & one last quote to get you stoked to build a bench: leopold bench building is an activity that leaves my hands dirty, body tired, and spirit rejuvenated... the finished product is an heirloom quality useful seat in which to view the the splendor around us.

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