White Wolf & Sweetgrass


Our final morning at the Grand Portage Hotel & Casino - the Great Rendezvous Place being only place to stay on the rez for our work - I caught the last peek of a stark white wolf as it crept east along the pebbley inlet shore not 20 meters from our hotel window! It was a wolf. A modicum of environmental integrity and inspiring balance. I know this definitively. My site manager saw it two days prior to my and my work roommate's sighting, and the site manager was only in the parking lot when the same creature of the woods stepped out and stared at him from the rim of the parking lot. That, and the person who called me to the window is also another conservation professional; she, my site manager, and myself are all college educated wildlifers. It was large, not so slanted as a domestic dog, and we all agreed the traits of a wolf slinking nearby lesser human inhabited (and remarkably forested) areas is not so uncommon in Minnesota. Fact is, the populations are rebounding enough to constitute their own hunting permits, though how long either of those statements will be a reflection of their accuracy is anyone's guess.

The moment of my first wild wolf did not allow for a photo, but imagine a reverse silhouette. A nearly glowing white wolf padding, head lowered with investigative attention to the blue-grey shoreline, against a panoramic outpouring of a Great Lakes sunrise. It was like that, but with hotel coffee smell where the crisp breaking of dew to the autumn's humidity should've been. By the by, can you spot the baldy (Bald Eagle) in this photo?