NATURE NUGGETS: WOLVES & EAGLES & BARE BONES BY SALLY BAIR

April always brings to remembrance the astounding sight of wolves and eagles in my backyard. Living in the country, my niece and I saw lots of deer, foxes, chippies, squirrels, and black bears. We even had a bobcat visit our yard one day, and a fisher. But never wolves. And surrounded by a thick grove of cedars and shrubs, it would be unlikely an eagle would visit. But one day they did come, to within fifty feet of the house.

Winter Kill 

Imagine our surprise to find a dead deer at the edge of my small backyard and a gray wolf lurking nearby! Another wolf came out of the woods and trotted over to the carcass. Spellbound, we watched as it pulled the flesh apart, fully engaged and intent and oblivious to its surroundings. It tells a lot about trust, as she (it must have been a she) counted on her mate, the one who stood like a sentinel at the edge of the yard, to protect her.

Throughout the sunny day, the two took turns tearing pieces off the carcass. Though snow still covered the ground, the temperature rose. I wondered if the carcass would begin to smell bad before the pair finished eating its now-rotting flesh. But their determination and focus kept them going.

When they did leave the site for a few hours—maybe to nap after their bellies were full—a pair of eagles lit in a cedar nearby. How they were able to find enough room between the crowded branches to fly down to the ground still makes me marvel at God’s creatures’ abilities to adapt.

The eagles fed on the carcass until the wolves returned. They took turns, it seemed. And by the end of the second day when I ventured over, nothing remained but bones.

When I think about the memorable scene, I’m reminded of what Jesus said. “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26)

Yes, the deer was killed. But it likely was one ready to die from age or injury. We do live in a fallen world, after all. But God takes care of His creation and knows, according to His Word, every time an animal falls. Imagine how much more He cares for us!