* Christine's new book release - Looking for 527 *
Christine has collaborated with collage artist Susanne Belcher in Looking for 527,
a book inspired by the alpha female of Yellowstone's Cottonwood Pack who was killed in Montana's 2009 wolf hunt.
The book combines Susanne's haunting images with Christine's essay and is available on Amazon.com.
All royalties are directly donated to The Yellowstone Park Foundation's Wolf Project.
** June 2013 **
While the rest of the country began its slide into summer, Yellowstone could not decide whether it should cling to winter or spring.
High peaks capped with snow towered over the greenest valleys we've seen in a long time. Bison and their calves, red and brown dots, covered the hills
enjoying nutritious spring grass. Antelope leapt through the meadows with their tiny fawns. Cold crisp mornings gave way to warm, sunny afternoons.
Like the first visit after 527F was shot, I wondered how it would feel returning after the loss of '06 last December.
The despair that lingered after that tragedy has not entirely disappeared, and I felt it among the crowds watching '06's pups fend for themselves
in Lamar Valley as they hunted and hurried back to the den to care for their own pups. Most of the old Lamar Canyon Pack are now Wyoming collared wolves;
a few, including 755M, the alpha male, have remained in the valley where we hope they stay. The landscape changes in many ways and the loss of Yellowstone
wolves to last year's hunt has reduced wolf sightings to brief, but treasured memories. I commented to one volunteer that it was like 1998,
when we were lucky to even see a wolf. The years when we rushed back and forth from Lamar Valley to Slough Creek to Hellroaring to Antelope
Creek watching several different packs, barely seem believable.
Our focus on wolves gone, this spring we let Yellowstone come to us. That same volunteer says every wolf is a gift.
Well, Yellowstone has many, many gifts.
- Christine Baleshta - June 2013