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Once a wolf – Video 364 of 366

And thoughts…

This being the last wolf video of the year, I’d like to share some background on the continuing story of the Ravenwood wolves. The image of the wolf skull in this moment has a story with it that I felt you should hear.

Ravenwood is my home tucked in the wilds of Minnesota’s Superior National Forest. It is the area where all the wolves in Nature365 were filmed. It’s a vast wild land that contains the largest wilderness east of the Mississippi. The huge Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is just outside my door. Only two major roads between my home and the North Pole would be crossed if one went that direction. My location is just four miles from Canada.

I moved there many years ago to be close to the only small pocket of wolf population that escaped extermination and near extinction in the contiguous U.S. Wolves have roamed this land since the glaciers retreated 10,000 years ago. They have always been a crucial part of this ecosystem, and were here long before us humans and the white-tailed deer, that we love to hunt so very much. Wolves represent the wild as much as any animal I know. I needed to be close – to live with them to tell their story. For more than 35 years I’ve attempted to do just that through words and pictures. It hasn’t been easy but it certainly has been rewarding and even life changing.

When I first came to the wild Northwoods from the tamed prairie I saw the hatred for the wolf. It is not unique to Minnesota. I have seen that same fear and disgust in my travels all around the world, from Norway (one of the worst examples) to France. I only see a form of curious compassion in countries where the wolf has disappeared. That’s the way it goes – once we lose or destroy something there is often a new and fresher view and understanding. Perhaps a form of regret, and/or guilt, comes over the reflective and collective culture – a looking back.

In my studies and work with animals I have seen that the wolf is unique in how people perceive them. It is the most persecuted and misunderstood animal of them all. That is a story I expanded greatly upon in my book Brother Wolf. It is one reason I chose to spend my life with wolves and tell their story. I had thought over the years the work that some of us had done had made a difference.

I was rather startled by the attention that came my way because of the wolf connection ‘fame’. The wolf became a charismatic figure – it felt like a revolution had taken place. Movies were made like “Dances with Wolves”, hundreds of books were published and wolf centers were built like worship temples – bringing in thousands of people. I needed to retreat deeper into the forest from the rock star – like attention. At the same time I was terribly pleased to see the public’s new love for the wolf.

Then, the reality of a sad and deepening trend surfaced. The “a wolf got my deer” hunting crowd proposed a wolf hunt. Almost over night a bill was written and promoted by misguided legislators to satisfy the angry hunters and wolf haters. I never would have dreamed of such a development. The bill passed. The mystery is how it slipped by with 80% of Minnesotans opposing a wolf sport hunt. It is a complex and old sad story where misperceptions and scapegoating prevailed to achieve political ends. With resentment and competition towards wolves, it became easy to incite the willing with emotional tales that played to fears. Wolves were terrorists in our midst.

All of the wolves that you have been watching on these daily videos are gone now. I have not seen a wolf at Ravenwood in more than four years! Ever since the first wolf hunt the wolf family that I got to know so well was either shot or dispersed because of the stress because of the chaos that developed. As you have seen through the year, the wolf family is extremely closely knit. Not unlike the human family. I have seen the depression and confusion that overtakes the pack’s mood when one or two go missing. Those of you that have dogs know how they react when a prominent member of the human or dog family leaves. Same animal, with the same reaction – dogs are wolves. That’s why I have a hard time understanding the sport-killing concept.

One serious unintended (but not surprising) consequence happened once the hunt was in place. It’s rarely talked about, or even known in wolf circles. I have been in a unique position to see the profound change in a wolf pack caught up in that war… that’s what it looks and feels like to me. That consequence is that once Federal laws took protection away from the wolf and the state Department of Natural Resources allowed a hunt, it caused a kind of subtle permission to degrade the protective status or even “feeling” that wolves were off limits to kill. I know many of the wolves in my pack were killed illegally – the dam was opened and the culture gave its permission with an uncaring wink. I have heard first hand stories of local wolf haters shooting them out of season. Bragging goes on in the local bars; it’s a status thing with some (not all) in the hunting tribe – a badge of honor. One needs to live in the culture to see it. Secrets are revealed. I saw things that are lost to visitors.

Very few, if any have spent as much time as I have – living near the pack and in the midst of several generations of wolves being born and dying. I knew them all – some intimately. I hope this daily peek into my wolf world has helped some understand and see the magic of this remarkable animal. It’s a partnership that goes back 40,000 years or more when man invited the wolf into his family and then they became dogs.

The status of the wolf comes and goes in the Federal legal sense. For now they are safe in Minnesota. That will be challenged again I’m sure. If we care and value this national treasure I would encourage people to make even a small gesture to help. Howling for Wolves is a Minnesota based group that has made a huge difference in exposing the wolf’s plight. Please see their work here and contribute: http://www.howlingforwolves.org. I also am very proud to have worked with my friend Julia Huffman in making her documentary movie Medicine of the Wolf that tells the story of the hunt and reveals some intimate details of my wolf experiences at Ravenwood. One can purchase or rent the movie on iTunes or Julia’s website: http://www.medicineofthewolf.com.

There is a mix of sadness and relief in sharing this story. It has changed my life; things never remain the same – in nature and in culture. A combination of sadness and pride is also felt in seeing this year’s collection of moments end. A total of about six hours has been shown in the Nature365 series. It is at times difficult to see and comprehend how much time and effort I invested into this. When one is in love, measurements don’t matter. I was in love with my subject. I hope those that did not see all of the moments this past year will have the opportunity to view them during the next year as they will be replayed in full on this site.

Finally, my dear friends and colleagues at the editing studio in France did the incredible task of crafting each day from the hundreds of hours of video that I shot over the years. I give my deepest admiration and respect to Laurent Joffrion who conceived and directed this year’s NATURE 365 presentation. Benoit Maximos and Léo-Pol Jacquot patiently worked with Laurent and me through the year. I am indeed humbled and honored.

Jim Brandenburg

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224 Comments

  • Linda nichols 2 weeks ago

    I can’t understand these killing just for the hell of it they won’t be happy until there are no more wolves I can’t stand this

  • nothis 2 weeks ago

    je constate avec plaisir qu’un nouveau groupe de loups est arrivé début janvier

  • nothis 2 weeks ago

    félicitations pour vos petits films. Le monde est cruel avec la vie sauvage

  • KAREN MESSICK 2 weeks ago

    What a sad story. Maybe some wolves will be invited to return to Minnesota. When we as humans in our “great wisdom” decide to disrupt the natural order of nature, it certainly has an effect on all in the ecosystem. We are much poorer for the loss of these wolves. Wonder if the ranchers and hunters would be happy with overgrazing by the deer.

  • Kathryn Menard 3 weeks ago

    I am so saddened and angered to read your essay, after having followed these beautiful creatures for the past two years through your amazing videos. We also have our struggles on behalf of our wolves in Oregon. Your dedication inspires us to keep fighting for the wolves’ survival.

  • Muriel Hachfeld 3 weeks ago

    Thank you, for your dedication to the well-being of the Wolf. Thank you for your shared observations of Nature. You protect these by sharing your wisdom and documentation. Most of those who read and view your work are inspired and motivated to speak and work for the care of life and non-life that create a natural history and spiritual well-being, for the present time and in the future. Thank YOU, Mr. Brandenburg!

  • Thank you for making your wonderful films available to the public. I start each day with nature365.tv , sort of like a devotional. I am saddened to hear the story of your wolves, and hope and pray you will see their return during 2017.

  • Curlie Su

    Thank you so much for your amazing films and your thoughtful words ♥

  • Patty Bashford Seymour 3 weeks ago

    Thank you for sharing this information and for all the beautiful, exceptional videos over the year. I’m so pleased to read that we can see them again in 2017; they never get old. And hopefully, with protections in place, wolves will return to you.

  • Nova Lockhart

    Thank you for sharing this terribly sad story :’( I feel your pain….. The loss of these wonderful animals because of human ignorance tears at my heart :’(

  • Elaine Johnson 3 weeks ago

    I am sad to realize that all the wolves are gone in the Ravenwood area. I have enjoyed following your video’s this year and I will watch this coming year as well. Thank you for all the time and love you all have put into this project. The love you have for the wolves shows and is shared with us all.

  • Deanne Wild

    I agree with all the others who have commented here…Thank you for all your time and talent. I look forward to the videos every day, like devotions. Thank you! I wish everyone a Blessed New Year! <3 :)

  • Tiffy-D 3 weeks ago

    I have been enthralled with your Nature 365 videos this year on Facebook. As a wolf admirer and advocate, I believe your intimate scenes help us understand, appreciate—dare we hope, even, love—the wolves and their spirits. I have shared your videos to spread the “word,” often without needing to say anything. That is the arresting power of your imagery and vision. Thank you for your dedication and inspiring work.

  • Marcia 3 weeks ago

    Thank you for sharing your most intimate thoughts on the wolves who were your friends and family. It’s so sad that humans are destroying what is so sacred… animals and nature. I will be following you again next year and I never have enough of your wolf videos. You are an inspiration for all of us.

  • Linda Q 3 weeks ago

    Jim, each day’s video changed me–some for a moment, others for a lifetime. My favorites were always ‘wolf and raven’ videos infusing me with warm feelings and non-human perspectives. Perhaps your work will change the human “me” centered perspective of young “pre-hunters.” The rest of us must now do our part to explain and affirm the necessity of the top predator in the northern ecosystem. Many thanks for your inspiring videos.

  • Elizabeth Miller

    Thank you for this and all the work and love for Minnesota’s wild heritage you’ve shared for years. I knew of you long before Chased by the Light. This… this makes my throat ache. And the throat chakra is our survival chakra.

  • Wendy Louise Feiereisen

    Thank you for sharing these glimpses into the wild, Jim Brandenburg. I find this sadness about the Ravenwood wolf pack so heartbreaking. I have lived for many years in the wilds of Northern Wisconsin, so I treasure the experiences I have had personally there. Nothing compared to you, but none the less I treasure them.

  • Such a sad story and one that after all these years must be hard for you to witness. It seems whilst mankind is hurtling towards its own demise (Stephen Hawking and others estimate the human race might have only a thousand years left) it seems hell bent on taking as many creatures with it as it can, through ignorance, stupidity and apparently wilful malice. Pessimistic a thought though that might be, there is consolation in the knowledge that without our interference the world may one day return to its natural state. And your work will not have been in vain.

  • Jackie 3 weeks ago

    Thank you so much for sharing. I’m so sorry for the mistreatment of these animals that we have gotten to know through your hard work. They are truly beautiful and the way they work and live and play together is wonderful to witness. I have enjoyed looking at these videos each day. Thank you!

  • Claire Shouse

    Such a sad story! Minnesota wake up and learn from the experience at Yellowstone and re-introducing wolves before it’s too late for your beautiful environment!!!

  • Vida Noona Stone

    Thank you for sharing this story. It is a sad one, but on the other side thank you for continued sharing of Nature365. It is a most beautiful compilation of your dedication to where and what your love. I look forward to starting my day each day with the beauty of your videos again.

  • Catherine Ravensong

    oh my … how beautifully fitting. My heart swells, yet breaks at the same time. Thank you, Mr. Brandenburg, for this effort and gift. <3

  • Stephan Dietrich

    As always, wow-amazing work!

  • Carol Kelsey 3 weeks ago

    Thank you for sharing the story behind these incredible videos of the wolves. So sad to hear the losses.
    Look forward to what we will see next year.

  • Silvia Silins

    Some people will make any excuse to kill something just for the sake of killing.

  • Becky Orf 3 weeks ago

    I am so happy to hear that these will be continued next year and treasure the opportunity to view them again. Your work has contributed to my coming to care deeply about the plight of wolves. Thank you for all of your time, effort, and love in making these videos–and to all who helped make them available to us.

  • Bryce Hamilton 3 weeks ago

    Thanks, Jim. Your videos were an integral par of my morning medications this past year. They started my days with a great sense of peace and humility. The audio clicks and calls very much added to the impact of your photography. I very much appreciate that they will run again next year as I will once again delight in my daily interaction with them. In addition I plan to make a contribution to Howling for Wolves.

    Bryce

  • Juan Ibarra

    This kind of reality, the way life’s in certain places challenges my sense of what reality is.
    Human being is the worst destructive predator in the planet. It must be quite a challenge to live in town where men degraded themselves, where killing wildlife, particularly wolves , is a rite of passage. Some people have moved very little from their basic instincts. Killing as a way of feeling worthy as a person perpetuates that destructive cycle.

  • This concludes the second year I’ve enjoyed NATURE 365 every morning. And, this year, I shared each episode with my 11 year old grandson in North Carolina. If I missed a day, I’d receive a text message asking, “Gpa”, where’s my video. He loved the wolves and learned about their habits. Thanks for your passion,Jim. We’ll be watching again in 2017.

  • Sk Smith

    Thank you so much for all your work and caring.

  • Karol Miller 3 weeks ago

    Jim, I want to thank you for what a profound influence your book Brother Wolf was in my life. I always felt a connection to the wolf. It bothered me when I heard people say mean things about them. I felt it was wrong and the wolves were being given a bad rap, but I didn’t know why. Then I bought your book Brother Wolf and you opened my eyes to what amazing animals they are and to appreciate how much they are like us. I realized how misunderstood wolves are and that others think the way they do because they didn’t try to understand them. I became involved in the wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone. I still follow the packs from afar and cry like a baby every time one of the wolves is killed by a hunter. In Michigan where I live, our Govenor just signed a wolf hunting bill into law. Our voters in Michigan said no to wolf hunting three times prior, but this bill was quickly passed through congress and signed by Govenor Snyder. Lawmakers even included a provision that makes it immune to referendum votes like the ones our voters passed that prohibited wolf hunting in the past. Our politicians did not listen to the voters of our state and they did not listen to the wildlife experts who wrote a letter explaining that wolves are good for our ecosystem and do not pose a threat to humans or livestock. It’s just so unfair. I don’t understand what lens some people look at life through. It’s a different lens than mine. I wonder how we can all be alike in that we are human and yet have such different levels of empathy for wolves and other animals in the wild. I wish Brother Wolf was required reading in high school. I think the lens some people have would be deeper and more empathetic with understanding. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your work with wolves and for teaching us about them and inspiring us to be a voice for them. You made a huge difference in my life with your work and I am forever grateful.

  • Jim,
    Every time I read your feelings and heartache of the wolves plight, it breaks my heart. I can still remember the first time I saw your photo “Brother Wolf” and how it changed my life. From that moment on I ate up not only your photography but your sincere care for the wilderness and the wildlife that dwell within and the wolf became more than an interest to me, it became a family member.
    My wife and I attended the MN premier of “Medicine of the Wolf” and we both shed tears listening to your heartache and loss. I can’t begin to feel the loss you have suffered at Ravenwood and my eyes are still wet reading this, and I find myself torn between anger for the ignorance of others and the sadness that is befalling our wolves. You have inspired me in not just my photography but in my ongoing fight for the survival of wolves and I am grateful and thankful to have you on our side.
    Thank you so much for all you do for wolves and my deepest thanks for sharing your pain and loss. Speaking for my wife and myself I tell you that our hearts ache with you and our tears flow with grief.

  • Jon Wegznek 3 weeks ago

    Even though I read this last year at this time I still feel a real sense of sadness when reading this. I may not have developed such a close affinity for wolves had it not been for your work. As I have said to my friends and in other posts on social media if I could back into this world I would want to be a wolf. Wolves are strong, caring and powerful animals more so then I am as a human. To see them treated they way they have been is a complete mystery to me. Thank you for all that you have done to promote how wonderful wolves really are.

  • T. Lance Evoy 3 weeks ago

    Jim and Laurent,
    Thank you/merci for this uplifting magnificent year of clips. One of the first acts of my early morning is to view the daily clip and send it on to specific friends.
    I have been blessed to see wolves in the wild along the north shore of Lake Superior while photographing. Your advocacy work Jim, shown so dramatically in Nature 365, is filled with such love, dignity and sadness. Ne lâche pas, as they say here in Québec.
    In solidarity,
    Lance

  • Time passes…Goodbye 2016! Hopefully we won’t say the same to the sensitive environs or creatures in the obvious, turbulent years ahead. My soul is inspired by the wolf.

  • John Wolf

    I don’t see a written story???????

  • Bettie Nielsen

    Thank you for your amazing heartfelt dedication. The loss of any of our wolves is sickening. :(

  • carol alexander 3 weeks ago

    Jim, your work has gone immeasurably far to help people understand and respect the wolf and its embodiment of the wild. I have wondered if people’s fear and hatred of the wolf is in direct proportion to a deep-seated, unacknowledged understanding that the power, courage and absolute loyalty of wolves to their families are greater than our own. I feel a consuming respect for the green fire when I see your work and, in particular, this year of moments has touched me to the core. Thank you for all you do. I am sorry for your great loss.

  • Evelyn Smith Boeckman

    Please read at the end of this article.

  • Carol Carlson 3 weeks ago

    Thank you for your tireless efforts. Many of us are with you in heart and soul. Please keep pushing these very important facts and messages. And, please from the bottom of my heart, please consider keeping up with the daily 365. i do love and look forward to them.

  • Barb Anderes

    Thank you so much for sharing the information regarding the wolves – I had no idea and am saddened by your story. I look forward to your daily video – each day I can’t wait to see what you will share! Your videos make my day!!

  • I’ve enjoyed your videos every day over the past two years. I love wildlife but didn’t know that much about wolves; it was so interesting to watch them interact and see that they’re just long-legged dogs. I’ve been so sorry to read about what happened to them. The legislative process in this country can be dumbfounding.

    I hope that someday the wolves return to your “neighborhood” and that you can observe them there firsthand once again. Thank you for all of your and your team’s efforts to bring these scenes to us!

  • Susan DeLegge

    I cannot thank you enough. I have often thought of the hours it took to film this. In stressful weather conditions, some cases many mosquitoes. Hours of thinking about where you go tomorrow or at night on a full moon. What route to take in so you are not filming your own tracks. Hours/days waiting for someone to come in front of your camera lens. I had not thought about the editing and putting together of the film. Thank you every day you give me a moment of peace and natural beauty to enjoy and keep in my mind for the day. I am saddened that we are allowing hunting. I know many have tried to stop it with no success.

  • Patrice Zinkova

    thanks for your story/blog about your experience with the wolves & sadness in their elimination. I’ve been attracted to wolves for decades through Native American studies & culture. Man’s misunderstanding is quite normal in our society, sadly. Can we ever truly appreciate our brethan?

  • Chris 3 weeks ago

    Thank you so much for all the films! I really loved all of them. And now i am absolutly in love with wolfes…. they are back in Germany now and i really Hope so much that people over here start to see them the way you showed to all of us!!

  • Laurie 3 weeks ago

    Outstanding. Sad to hear their story though, I had no idea. I lived in MN for 10 years before moving to Florida for 8. Been back in MN for 2 years now. My daughter has grown up outside as a geocacher and her love of nature at 4.5 years old is fun to watch. We have loved the 365 story and thank you for letting us be a part of the journey.

  • Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for this entire series. I’ve watched it daily for the past 2 years and am delighted that you are making it available for yet another year. In addition to your messages about the invaluable and delicate BWCAW, it’s flora and fauna, each vignette is a profound meditation and a great way to start each day. Again, thank you!

  • Kathy C Goode Mcknight

    One of the many who look forward to seeing the Ravenwood wolves every day, I am also one of the many sharing your feeling of heartbreaking loss.

  • Thank you for bearing witness to the wolves, their lives and their passing. It is true, once one falls in love with a place, an animal, a species, the planet, it has the power to change our lives and the lives of others in unexpected ways. I feel gratitude to you for sharing your love and therefore cultivating it in others, inspiring them to act on behalf of wolves and wilderness. Many of us have been heartbroken and angered by the actions of the legislators who are supposed to represent us, by the DNR who is supposed to conserve our wildlife and wild places, and those whose driving impulse is to kill and destroy what is precious. I encourage anyone who cares about wolves to donate to Howling for Wolves, they need all of us to support their efforts on behalf of these amazing creatures, our relations.

  • Sidney 3 weeks ago

    How do we let this killing go on? Why are we silent where it would matter. Talking among others who believe as we do doesn’t really help stop it – it is just a release for our own sadness. Is it the NRA and its money that allows it to continue? Will this incoming administration turn a blind eye and not even support the EPA? How are some so blood thirsty and others so caring. I personally am going to continue supporting environmental/animal charities and will add the one Jim mentions above. I will continue to write my congressmen and Senators. If each of us who are expressing such sadness in these comments would become vocal and supportive of efforts to save our wolves, we just might be able to accomplish something and even see an increase in wolf population and human understanding.

  • Thank you so much for these videos….especially with the wolves. I think I loved wolves from the time I could walk…my first dog, a German Shepherd, was named Wolf…I was less than two years old. Thanks again for these wonderful beginnings of each and every day.

  • Lindsey Burns 3 weeks ago

    Thank you for your work . I live 40 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico in a state forest. Your view is quite different from mine. We have coyotes, not wolves. My chicken pen is fenced with 2 by 4 wire to keep them safe from raccoons, etc. I don’t see snow but I do have lots of winter residents like goldfinchs. My day is always improved with your post.

  • Frank Falkstein 3 weeks ago

    Thank you for the beautiful, poignant videos. Thank you for these moments of respite and reflection.
    To me, the wolves are a symbol of profligate and precipitous destruction of our precious natural resources.

  • James A. Smith

    Thank you for the sharing on a daily basis of your amazing videos. To say that 2016 has been a somewhat very strange year given politics, the loss of many artists and musicians, the one thing I could count on every day is the videos that you have provided, expressing the beauty in the world that we live in. Looking forward to 2017, a little more observant of what nature provides in the world around us.

  • Jeanne M Shelton 3 weeks ago

    Thank you so very much. I have a daily practice to start my day. Nature365 hits my mailbox @ 8 a.m. I time my arrival @ my computer to coincide with that. I often watch my Nature365 more than once before moving on into my day.

    Nature365 is one of a few things I contact every day: Daily Zen, Mike Dooley’s Message from the Universe, Dr. Greger’s 5 minutes of nutrition wisdom, and NYT’s Daily Briefing and you.

    Such a great gift. Thank you…I look forward to another year with you.

  • kerry kubota 3 weeks ago

    The total, absolute love and respect you show for these animals, inspires us all.
    Thank you.

  • Regina Tisovich

    And the circle continues……sad as it seems !!

  • Sandy E Schruder

    Thank you, Jim Brandenburg, for sharing your experience and photos of your wolves. Here in Canada the various governments are allowing the killing of wolves when the vast majority is against it. So very sad and mostly senseless.

  • Artemis Lampathakis

    A beautiful sadness…..

  • Sue Fox

    Thank you for sharing your gift of vision and love. The loss to our planet is indescribable and unspeakable.

  • Bonnie Lundberg

    Very nice write up, so sad. Thank you for all your video’s

  • Susan 3 weeks ago

    Your story breaks my heart. It also makes me very angry. It’s difficult to comprehend how such a thing could happen in a civilized society. I’ve loved every minute of your videos this year. They’ve been the perfect way to start my days. Thank you.

  • Michelle 3 weeks ago

    I cannot thank you enough for launching this project and seeing it through. My professional work is in environmental law and policy, and I can get caught up in the details of permits, regulations, meetings, etc. I needed to have a moment each morning to just appreciate the natural world, even from my computer, to remind myself of why I work to protect it. Thank you for your beautiful images, and in particular, your window into the world of wolves. I am so sad to see the 365 days come to an end. I wish there were more, but realize how much work it took for your team for this one year. Thank you for your artistry, your passion, and your advocacy.

  • Your old friend from Luverne ,Jim Groth turned me on to your photography and videos.It is such a good way to start the day with a minute of raw nature.Thank you so much.

  • Debra Mettler

    So sad that and tragic that they were wiped from this Minnesota landscape.

  • Pat Gómez

    Gracias por compartir, algunos no tenemos la dicha de poder admirarlos en su habitat, para mi es alimento para el alma sus videos feliz año.

  • Denise Strobel

    This video brought tears after reading about the wolf. I miss them and only knew them through your videos. Thank-you for sharing this part of your life.

  • Deb Mettler 3 weeks ago

    This is so sad if we do not learn to live with nature instead of destroying it. one day there will not be a picture of the last wolf skull but one of the last human skull as we destroy our race.

  • Orval Lund 3 weeks ago

    Great work, Jim. Keep it up, Wolf Brother.

  • Femma Van As

    Thank you for this amazing work. I am in Canada and live next to a protected park where there are wolves and bears. It is a huge job though to keep it so. There are too many visitors and roads keep stealing habitat. I see a lot of what you filmed and it is truly beautiful. I enjoy a clip every day, it is my medicine!

  • Danielle Blanchfield

    Thank you for sharing this. I know it can’t have been easy to share because it brought me to tears thinking of all the wolves that have lost their lives this year. I wish I could help more but I don’t know how.

  • Thank you for your love of wolves and for your attempts to educate us about this wonderful complex unique animal.

  • Robert Ingelson

    I have a copy of Brother Wolf an excellent book

  • Sally Patrick

    A painting in film.

  • Louise Viscel Mercurio

    So sad for the beautiful wolves. Thank you for another year of amazing videos. You were the “Zen” that began every day.

  • Colleen M. Patrick

    Great image as our year ends. Jim!

  • Victoria Thor

    Thank you for your beautiful work and dedication to our MN wolves. <3

  • Trish McCarthy

    Thank you for your heart felt story and dedication to these great creatures!!

  • Jennifer Clark

    “Same animal, with the same reaction – dogs are wolves. That’s why I have a hard time understanding the sport-killing concept.”–I am right there with you. I am grateful that you have captured some precious moments of them on film. So tragic they are gone.

  • Jeanne Hertan Savoie

    My heart breaks with the passing of each and every wolf. Whether it was a murderous kill or starvation, we must continue to work for the protection of these keystone animals. R.I.P.

  • Sally Davis

    Such a sad tale Jim. No wolves for four years has brought me to tears.

  • Run Free <3

  • Sophia Runner

    DOMMAGE POUR CE LOUP DUR LA VIE

  • leti perz 1 year ago

    Thank you for your dedication, I love wolves and it is devastating what is happening to them, as I read the story it was hard to hold my tears back, I am a firm believer in prayers, so very night I ask and plead for the protection and safety of the magnificent creatures such as the wolf. Thank you for sharing this wonderful pictures and videos of the wolves. Your work is very important. . God bless you now and always! Happy New Year.

  • Yes Jim you are correct about Norway, here is a country that purports to be at the forefront of conservation and shoots itself in the foot on many occasions. Farmers there have huge power out of all proportion to their numbers and the Wolf is the scapegoat for crap farming practices. Sheep are literally set free into the forests and left to their own devices, the inevitable happens when predators and livestock meet and are not protected or monitored properly. This laziness causes tragedy for the sheep and Wolves!!!!

  • Kelly Shea 1 year ago

    Mr. Brandenburg,

    Thank you so much for your dedication. It seems I have loved wolves most of my life, but have only seen them through the lenses of people such as yourself, in zoos, and sanctuaries.

    My first wolf photo/print is still on my living room wall after over 20 years, and it is one of yours. I have more wolf photos on other walls in my house! I will never understand the hunter’s thirst for killing these beautiful animals. I have written emails to Congressional leaders, to no avail. I pray the US comes to it’s senses before these special animals are decimated.

    Thank you for your beautiful work, in photos, and now in video.

  • Stephanie Gray Lawson

    Thank you so much for showing the family and beauty of the wolves. I did think they were still there and after the sorrow I am glad to have seen them. Your work is very important

  • Maureen 1 year ago

    I have followed the sad history of wolves throughout the United States for many years. I will never understand the hatred towards them. As you have said so many times, they are an integral part of the ecosystem. It saddens me terribly to hear that those beautiful pups and their parents are all gone now. Thank you for your efforts to bring sensitivity and understanding towards these wonderful creatures.

  • Sheila Redman 1 year ago

    Thank you for all you’ve done for our beloved wolves. I will enjoy watching these videos again through the coming year.

  • Thanks for the gift of your daily videos. Outstanding stories told through your photography. But what a sad ending with the disappearance of your Ravenwood pack. Unfortunately, the role of predators in the ecosystem is so often misunderstood. Hopefully, your 365 series will help to educate people.

  • Deborah Stewart 1 year ago

    Wolves are such intelligent, beautiful and social creatures. I’ve delighted in watching them via Jim’s footage. This commentary, which comes as no surprise to me, is still devastating. Thank you, Jim and nature365 team, for the wonderful work you do and the love you hold for nature. I will be making a donation to Howling for Wolves.

  • Mr. Brandenburg, you writing is as beautiful as your videos. I’m profoundly moved by this, and grieve with you.
    It’s been a joy to look at the natural world through your eyes…Thank you, and much love.

  • Ben and Barry Wolfe 1 year ago

    Jim…we want to thank you for the “gifts” you’ve provided us over the years through not only your photos, which we have a few (including the wolf paw that you shot and used for the cover of your book, Chased By The Light), but also by your dedication, passion, and “voice” for the wilderness and the animals that make it their home. We live in the Isabella area and only yesterday saw a wolf cross the road near our place…and yes, we said “thanks for the gift!” All the best in your adventures and again, thanks for the past year, and Nature 365. And finally, whenever we are in Ely we can’t help but be drawn to your art gallery to look around and try to imagine the world through your lens! Ben and Barry Wolfe

  • Paula Frakes 1 year ago

    This has been an inspirational series for me in so many ways. Thank you for doing what you do and sharing it with us. Life is changing so fast. Wilderness and wildlife are greatly effected by the changes happening to us all. Hopefully we will realize before it’s too late that it’s better to collaborate and live in harmony with nature rather than dominating over it. May your year ahead be filled with many pleasant Nature surprises. Your Nature Friend Paula Frakes ( originally from Luverne MN now in Coon Rapids MN )

  • David A. Mack 1 year ago

    Jim;
    I am a 70 y/o retired burned out OB/GYN surgeon in Oregon, w/o a single gene of artistic talent in my entire DNA strand. But seeing your exhibit in Red Wing 5 yrs ago, following your works, has been very inspiring both for my mental status and changing me from a culture of hunting to preserving. In addition, Tom Mangelsen’s work with grizzles, Franz Lanting and Art Wolf’s professional mentorship has helped me more fully understand the plight of our wildness from many fronts, the most visible of which is “Bubba” that you refer to in your post. Is there some way to move Bubba from killing to shooting with his camera instead? It all requires the same patience and skill.
    I know you personally understand burn out, but is there some way you can offer photography classes to those hunters and others like me to act as emissaries on this most important mission of preservation techniques??
    Thank you for your work.

  • Mary Callender Andrews

    Fun to see another “Callender girl!” My dad’s name is Angus, so we are very Scottish! My middle name is MacPherson. :)

  • Louise 1 year ago

    When I am lucky, art touches my heart. Your images, delivered as a daily meditation, have been a remarkable gift to the world. Thank you from my heart.
    I appreciate your words about the wolves you watched and shared.

  • Lori Roach 1 year ago

    Thank you all for this yearlong spiritual journey! Thank you also for bringing your personal experiences with Wolves to the forefront. We, as a nation, need to wake up to the plight of wildlife, in particular, the wolf. Education and strict laws that deal with hunting are needed.

  • Luellen 1 year ago

    Jim:

    Thank you for telling us your story. It fills me with sorrow to know those wolves are gone. It is indeed amazing how people can hate them so, because they really are so closely related to the dogs we love.
    I look forward to reading your book and looking for the documentary you mention. Many blessings to you and the wolves of this world. Thank you so much.

  • Tom Dunne 1 year ago

    From both Medicine of the Wolf and your writings, you have obviously made a profound contribution to the understanding preservation of wolves. Often when cold facts and statistics aren’t enough to resonate with people, a personal perspective has a more powerful and lasting impact and this is underlined by the sincere and heartfelt thoughts above. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for these magnificent animals.

  • Monica Nyblom 1 year ago

    Thank you so very much for the wonderful videos. Only one complaint..too short! Looked forward every day to them. My heart breaks for the Wolf.

  • Barbara Long 1 year ago

    Thank you so much Jim for sharing your experiences with us this past year. It was a wonderful way to start each day. My friends have also been impressed and moved by your videos. I’m so sorry that the wolf population has been decimated but hopefully through your (and other’s) efforts, they will return.

  • Brenda 1 year ago

    All I can say to you Jim, is “thank you” for sharing your world with us. It’s been a bright moment I’ve looked forward to every day of my life over the last year. I’m going to be selfish and saying that I hate to see it go!!! I’ve always been a lifelong advocate for wildlife, especially for the down trodden- the wolf, the black bear, etc. It’s so sad to think that people see these animals as a nuisance and don’t take the time to understand their complex social patterns. People don’t realize how we actually need them for not only the wildlife ecosystem but as the world’s ecosystem. I will, until the day I die, try to do my part to be a voice for all of them!! Peace Jim…

  • Patrick Cicognani 1 year ago

    Thanks to your beautiful videos, this year has felt wholesome,because of the immense presence of Nature in our lives, that your art has reminded us so well. I live in the Hautes Alpes mountains in France, and the hatred of the wolf ,recently returned, is sickening.
    Best wishes and thank you again

  • Martha 1 year ago

    Thank you, Mr. Brandenburg and Messrs. Joffrion, Maximos and Jacquot for your wonderful Nature 365 series. I have watched every day. And I, too, grieve for the wolves.

  • Susan Barton 1 year ago

    Thank you for sharing your love story.

  • Nancy 1 year ago

    Love.. simply
    love!!!

  • Anonymous 1 year ago

    I bid this endeavor adieu with bittersweet emotions. Each day of the year I have eagerly watched and shared your work.
    I am blessed to live where there lives a small pack- still. I pray they make it.
    Miigwech

  • Cathy 1 year ago

    Thank you for the every-day beauty of nature that you have presented on this page all year. I got to know the page only in July so feel like I missed so much. I hope you continue your beautiful videos and commentaries.

  • kerry 1 year ago

    Thank you. Trust me, your work is not in vain. Slowly but surely, you are awakening many people to the importance of maintaining and respecting all life on our planet. Your essay was simply beautiful.
    I look forward to next year.

  • Sadly, I think there are those that look for any reason to kill something just for the sake of killing.

  • Thanks Jim, for your incredible video series and especially for your kind words about brother wolf. You would think that the hunting tribe would be the most in touch with the simple truth that the wolf needs to keep its place in the eco system. But everywhere one looks we see a need to protect the earth and its bio systems from humans. I sense how saddened and frustrated you are, but please keep up the good work. The 80% folks need to elect better representation. Your words and images will help.

  • Marilyn Rundberg 1 year ago

    “Trophy Hunting”is such a horrible treatment of living things! I love to target shoot, and it is with great satisfaction that I can blast a clay pigeon out of the sky and nothing had to die! I hope your video brings awareness of the Intricacies
    of the wolf pack.

  • Dawn Wait 1 year ago

    While I have treasured every day of your series, seeing this last video, reading their story, and your insights shared brings even more meaning to it. I learned so much about the wolves just by watching them live. I share in your loss at seeing them die. I too am appalled at the ‘war’. We as humans have much to be learned from animals and their sense of family and community. Sometimes mankind’s ignorance overwhelms me. Will we ever learn. We can only keep trying, educating, sharing and combining our efforts to defend our natural wonders before we lose them all. Thank you again for all that you’ve shared and continue to share with us.

  • thank you for sharing this. my heart is broken that the Ravenwood wolves are gone. I pray that people wake up and realize what these beautiful animals bring to the world, before all of them are gone.

  • oh my, dear sir, this story of you and the Ravenwood wolves is beyond words … thank you for sharing

  • I love the way the shadows receded into the woods… beautiful.

  • Jane 1 year ago

    My thought: Wolves are one of the most powerful symbols of the wild. America is a Nation that has always treasured wild spaces. “Don’t fence me in” was an early rallying cry among western settlers. I believe wildlife, including wolves, belong in America, strong and free: a part of our culture and our heritage.
    In 1995 wolves from Canada were released into Yellowstone National Park – it was a great success, yet here we are twenty years later and we are still struggling to teach the importance of the wolf in the wild. Wolves are in great danger in Alaska’s Denali National Park should they go beyond park boundaries also. Oregon is delisting wolves in some areas. Excitingly here in California where I live, we saw the first wolf travel from Oregon into our state in decades. Fortunately they are protected for now in Calif. I only hope with enough education and perseverance one day the wolf will be left alone to roam and be free as he should.
    Thank you Jim for being one to help this be true some day.

  • Four years gone! Jim, that is awful. You told us bits of the story during the year, but it was easy to slide into a ‘some of them are still there’ mindset. How heartbreaking for you. You have my deepest respect for the work you have done and the record you have made over all those years.

  • Thank you for sharing your story and wilderness with the world. I will miss your daily presentations. Have a great New Year.

  • Olga 1 year ago

    no grave stones mark their permanence
    only skulls lay rest amidst the snow
    their story, echoes in a howling wind
    the forest; now loud with silence
    empty are the dens of the fallen
    ravaged by storms of men
    yet, graced we become
    as they live
    in the heart and eye of a soulful one
    snows melt into spring
    and life… comes anew
    bringing forth their rooted bones
    where truth and courage grows
    voices that flood the dams
    crumbling walls
    form new paths
    there, a sun breaks the darkness
    and so, shall we.

    Thank you Mr. Brandenburg…. for caring, loving , sharing and giving spoken word and images that embraced compassion- understanding- honor and respect for the wolves. AND for being part of Medicine of the Wolf…. we all need this medicine…. with much respect and appreciation, Hugs. Olga

  • Corina 1 year ago

    Jim, Laurent, Benoit, Leo-Pol: 1,000 thanks of deep gratitude of your gift of this past year of videos. They have made a huge difference in my life and in my mornings. My heart breaks with yours for the wolves, and I do think the pendulum will swing the other way again and your work will again make a difference. Thank you for the info on how to help wolves and about your documentary. I will continue to do my work in my corner of the world for our earth (Pacific NW). Sending prayers of thanks to you all and best wishes for a wonderful new year.

  • Such a gift you have given us. Thank you Jim Brandenburg. I will send a contribution to Howling With Wolves.

  • Danièle 1 year ago

    Thank you very much for sharing such a moving experience … I am french and I am very sad that so many wolves are killed in my country. I am volunteer in a wildlife protection center and I hope that wild animals will be more respected in the future.
    Thank you for your movies, I really enjoyed them

  • Barb 1 year ago

    Wow – love, love, love all the videos these past 52 weeks — reminiscent of the book “Chased By The Light”, in a way. Wonderful stories from Mr. Brandenburg, too, and so happy we will all be able to watch these videos again in 2016. Happy New Year, all.

  • Thanks for all the great videos and the story of “your” wolves. But, their disappearance is a bit curious, living not too far away (on Lake Vermilion – likely less remote than Ravenwood?) there are many wolves around here. They are seen often by many. In fact, a few weeks ago there was a wolf kill on the lake a few cabins away. Last winter there was a kill just off the dock here, a doe which had previously been attacked as she had appeared in the yard scavenging spilled bird seed with a missing eye, torn up face and one ear was almost gone. Not complaining as wolves are liked and appreciated but just curious as to the difference between here and there. There are many deer and other hunters around here too, maybe more than there. Any explanation?

  • Thanks for all the great videos and the story of “your” wolves. But, I am a bit curious as to their disappearance, i live not too far away (on Lake Vermilion – less remote than Ravenwood, i think) and there are many wolves around here. We see them often. In fact, a few weeks ago there was a wolf kill on the lake a few cabins away. Last winter there was a kill just off my dock, a doe which had previously been attacked as she had appeared in the yard scavenging spilled bird seed with a missing eye, torn up face and one ear was almost gone. I am not complaining as i like wolves but just curious as to the difference between here and there. There are many deer and other hunters around here too, maybe more than there. Any explanation?

  • Nancy Hemberger 1 year ago

    Today’s video was very moving and beautiful, powerful. Your words, tragic. Exquisite pictures and videos of our Earth’s wildlife abound in books, television, and the internet, but all too often, the powerful words that tell the real story for so many of them, are missing. You told us that story today, Jim, and as much as it pains me to know the truth, it needs to be said over and over and over again. Someday, but probably not in my lifetime, humans will amend their ways and stop the slaughter and perilous imbalance we have today. I will continue to do all I can to heed the warning.

    On a happier note, I cannot give enough praise for your artistry. Along with your collaborators, you brought rare gifts, the wild, to our homes on a daily basis, and I have treasured them. Your impact has been immense. Thank you.

  • Thank you, Mr. Brandenburg. Thank you for sharing your remarkable ‘love story” of the wild. Thank you for letting us feel that passion within ourselves too. You have given us a great gift. If people would only realize that we are but “part and parcel” of the wild too … and that when we destroy the wilderness, or treat it with disrespect, we are destroying our very own moral character right along with it.

  • I have enjoyed these videos every single day. Thank you for all your work, and for drawing attention to the plight of the wolves.

  • Janet 1 year ago

    Thanks for the information! You are truly blessed with your photographic ability. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • Susan Myers 1 year ago

    Thank you for your passionate life’s work — wolves are essential! We in Michigan suffered the same problem of having a hunting season rammed through, the overwhelming majority of citizens opposed the hunt. The second year, the hunt did not take place. It seems a small victory for an animal that plays such an intragral role in balancing nature.
    My hope for you and the people of Minnesota is that wolves return soon to Ravenwood.

  • Your videos have been such a blessing everyday…watching the wolves gave me an even bigger love for them. I do wish we could learn from our mistakes, but it seems we keep repeating them. Thank you for investing your time, talent and energy in them, and showing us the family unit of wolves…I do understand the separation anxiety that dogs (wolves) go through at the loss of a pack member! Thank you for sharing them with us and their plight…I love them and am saddened that they are a controversy here in OR too!

  • Kevin Schumacher 1 year ago

    Thanks..I watched each day with fascination and forwarded many to my 3 year old granddaughter so she could imagine the wild.

  • Christy Price 1 year ago

    Thank you, Jim, for all the magical peaks you have given me into northwoods of Minnesota! Saddened to hear of the disappearance of the Ravenwood wolves, prayers for their return… Looking forward to sharing this explanation with others on FB. Peace to you…

  • Linda Mallery 1 year ago

    My heart breaks for the wolf. Such a beautiful and misunderstood animal. Thank you for allowing us a peek into their lives. Peace to us all.

  • Alison McCaull 1 year ago

    I’m right there with you–your words express my exact feelings for wolves, and I have been fascinated and in love with them since reading “Julie of the Wolves” as a young child. I live in Oregon, where I’m sure you know that wolves are making a gradual comeback. I worry about them and the fact that they were delisted prematurely. (Who am I kidding–to me any delisting is premature. They deserve all the protection they can get.) I, too, don’t understand the culture of hatred that surrounds them, and have discovered that there’s no convincing for those who have made their minds up. I am envious of your experience living so close to the wolves for so many years. It’s the kind of thing I dream about. I can only imagine the sorrow you’ve felt watching them disappear. Thank you for sharing your videos–they have been the highlight of my mornings. I hope one day to see wolves in the wild and that one day people will understand the error of our ways regarding wild animals and the natural world.

    Thank you,
    Alison

  • Thank you for this beautiful series. The sad reality of the the Ravenwood wolf story is a meaningful way to end this series.
    This story is a hard reminder that when we lose respect for the bounty of our earth home – it will disappear. The beauty of our ecosystem is how everything is intertwined, has purpose. To disrupt that purpose affects the whole.
    Our children and future generations are worse off for these losses.

  • Frances Dack 1 year ago

    You will, I’m sure, be inundated with responses to your essay and thoughts, so here’s one more: thank you, thank you for sharing those intimate and mostly peaceful moments in nature. I look forward every morning to this.

  • People destroy their own world, not just in eliminating wildlife such as the wolf and coyote, but man made items as well. Here in CA mom & pop businesses are nearing extinction as local govts want “nationally known” businesses whose owners only care about profits not customer service.
    A few years ago we had a coyote problem in this area. A woman on my street was up in arms about them eating cats but she left cat food on her porch for the stray cats and got indigent when I told her she was supplying a food source for the coyotes.
    Hopefully some day we learn and quit going from one extreme to another.
    Thank you Jim for your years of dedication.

  • Anonymous 1 year ago

    Having been variously through the years the cat lady, the duck lady, the squirrel lady, and the raccoon lady, I can truly relate to your grief. To love and become attached, however much at a respectful distance, to a group, and to learn that they were destroyed by our fellow human, is one of the greatest challenges of the heart. It’s wonderful that you had these French friends to help you assemble the material – and what an excellent job they did. I’ll be watching and listening for your next work, Jim Brandenburg. May the ravens cheer you on.

  • portelli 1 year ago

    c’est des décors merveilleux que vous nous offrez, mais je ne pratique pas l’anglais, alors j’aurais aimé avoir la traduction de votre commentaire<<<<DOMMAGE<<<<<

  • Very moving story. I’ve been an admirer of yours since the early 90′s. I love your books, photos, and narratives. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Thanks for shinning the spotlight on wolves, their beauty and family groups. Love this video. Keep up the important work you do.

  • Thank you very much for sharing your story. And for sharing a glimpse of these wonderful animals.

  • Such a sad, moving, haunting, thought-provoking post!! Thank you for this entire year. Looking forward to watching them again in 2016.

  • Sharon Palmer 1 year ago

    Thank you, Jim, for sharing this poignant story of the Ravenwood wolf family. Parker & I treasure the memory of our time there with you, especially the hike up the hill under the full moon to listen to your wolves—a once in a lifetime experience for us. We’re so sad to learn of their demise. Thank you for keeping them “alive” this the past year with the remarkable daily videos from that part of Minnesota (as well as the videos from southwestern MN). The way you have woven together your deep love of nature and your great gift as an artist is rare and beautiful to behold. Thank you for your important part in encouraging so many of us to do our own part in helping to maintain the precious places of wildness that remain on planet Earth.

  • michael guest 1 year ago

    Very interesting video. We still must take action to save the wolves before they become extinct.

  • Thank you for sharing over the past year your many years of observing the landscape around you and the animals that inhabit it. I’m deeply saddened by the loss of the wolves and hope that there is some recognition of their value before it is too late.

  • Sandra Polizzi 1 year ago

    My heart is broken to read that the wolves I watched through the year are no longer there in Ravenwood. Tears well up when I read about a hunt and the slaughter of these magnificent creatures that have allowed us to live with them. I cannot thank you enough for sharing your life and photography with us and I hope we meet again in words and pictures. please continue to fight for the right of The Wolf.

  • I hope everyone reads your letter. You speak eloquently. Thank you.

  • Thank you for your beautiful depiction of wolves and allowing me to be a part of this world every day. I have a great affinity to the wolf and have been saddened by the events in my home state of MN. I plan to go to the website for 1) a financial contribution and 2) to gain enough background information so that I can nag my legislators when this issue rears its ugly head again.

  • Joan Baustian 1 year ago

    Jim….because of you, I have respect for wolves. I was also dismayed by the hunt. I have your
    poster of a wolf family on my bedroom wall. In Luverne, I love to visit the gallery.
    Happy New Year….may it be filled with many blessings.
    Sister Joan

  • Keven Jansen 1 year ago

    Jim, I also grew up in Luverne and like what you have done for our home town. I have followed N365 all year and really appreciate the work you have done. I have a hunting shack just south of International Falls and have seen many wolves over the years and totally understand what you say about the illegal activity against the wolves. Don’t hear many wolves anymore at night, but the area has not been logged for a number of years and the deer have moved to better habitat and along with them the wolves have left. Fortunately, I think the wolf population is still there although fewer. I hope it comes back with the closed hunting. Camp Ripley at Little Falls has seen an increase in the pack size and hope this continues. Please keep up the good work.

  • So sad to read. The local government here in British Columbia is currently proposing an expansion of the wolf hunt in our province. If you have a moment to sign, there is a petition against it on this site:http://pacificwild.org/take-action/campaigns/save-bc-wolves

  • Verna 1 year ago

    Thank you for all you have done and for the wonderful videos. You teach us much and we are grateful. Best wishes in the days ahead as you continue to photograph and document your world, our world around you. God bless.

  • The previous comments say it all, better than I could. I will add my most sincere appreciation and thanks.

  • A Cahill-Makowsky 1 year ago

    Thank you for my morning ritual to start the day with a little piece of nature. They also served to remind this armchair warrior what the fight is about, and to see what I may never get to see. A gentle reminder to all, don’t wait to make that trip and immerse yourself with the natural world. Whether it’s 1 mile or 1000 miles from you, go as soon as you can, as often as you can. One day it may not be there, or, if it is, you may no longer be able to go. Peace.

  • This photo of a skull hits me harder than the photos of the living wolves. It seems so noble and yet savage, with those teeth exposed, and the skull just out in the snow. I guess that retells the story that is so well depicted in these wonderful videos. Thanks for all of it.

  • Jim,
    I have come to love your work and artistry over the past 5 years when I happened to stumble upon it when visiting Duluth, MN one year. Since then I have seen your prairie exhibit near where I live and had even made the trek to visit your Ely, MN gallery during my yearly visit to Wisconsin’s north woods. I have always been touched by the natural world around us and love the perspective you bring to your work. It certainly shows your love, respect, and admiration for nature, especially the wolf.

    It greatly saddens me to learn this wolf pack is now gone from your home. I’ve come to know them through your work – especially the pup “Blackie”. I was very sad to hear about the wolf hunt being reinstated and confused because they didn’t seem overpopulated. I also knew that the moose population has also declined in MN and that the DNR there doesn’t know why. I hope we can all help to continue to raise awareness and educate those who do not understand the facts since we are all stewards of this planet. Education is power.

    Thank you for this daily gift I have enjoyed so much and for sharing your extraordinary talents with the world to help us see nature in a new and different light.

  • Thank you for sharing these videos and the reverence for nature and particularly wolves. I sit hear in tears to learn that the wolves are no longer. Hopefully, your important and beautiful work can educate people to see how wildlife and wild places deserve our respect and protection.

  • Mary 1 year ago

    Thank you for your compassion, vision, and work for the wolves. I’ve always found your work beautiful and sad at the same time. I spent much time during my college years with advocacy groups trying to educate people for the reintroduction of the wolf. I don’t understand – and probably never will – the mentality that drives the hatred for such a beautiful animal. Thank you for sharing this story and your work. It’s beautiful and important.

  • Thank you for this gift of 365 days. I will miss it greatly. I look forward to your next endeavor.

  • Loretta Popp 1 year ago

    Mr. Brandenburg — the destruction of this wolf family is heartbreaking. I can only hope that your deeply moving footage and telling the wolves’ story will inspire compassion and respect to replace cultural fear and that horrifying lust for killing. I spent several astonished hours at the International Wolf Center in Ely several summers ago, and am stunned to realize that their resident wolf pack may eventually be the only wolves left in our north woods. The attitudes toward the wolf parallels that toward the black bear . . . no doubt you are aware of Lynn Rogers’ decades of research in the Ely area (www.bearstudy.org) and his commitment to public education regarding bears (www.bear.org). His groundbreaking research and techniques for studying the black bear has resulted in the Minnesota DNR revoking his license to do that research. Apparently the freedom to kill bears and wolves is of far more importance to the “government” of natural resources than learning about these animals and that it is possible to share the woods as mammals with more in common with us than differences. Your work, and Dr. Rogers’ work, keeps me from total despair at the dark side of human beings. Thank you.

  • Sheryl Cater 1 year ago

    JIm, Thank you for your beautiful tribute to nature and more specifically wolves. I used your daily videos as story starters for my elementary students . Each video contributed and inspired children to appreciate nature where they may never have been able to view it themselves. Working with the International Wolf Center in Ely, MN provided us with a wonderful curriculum along with allowing us to track those wolves remaining.
    With gratitude,
    Sheryl Cater
    Gifted Educator
    Eden Lake Elementary
    Eden Prairie, MN

    • Olga 1 year ago

      Dear Sheryl;
      what you have done is invaluable and so critical. The hearts and minds of our young people; the future…. need to be exposed to compassion, beauty, capacity for respect and coexistence… By bringing this into the classroom; you opened doors, minds and hearts. Thank you.

  • Anonymous 1 year ago

    I have 4 of your laminated pictures of arctic wolves that I bought more than 20 years ago that are still proudly displayed in my dining room. I’ve always loved nature and especially wolves.

    Thank you for sharing your love of the wolves with me!

  • April 1 year ago

    Thank you, Jim. I truly believe the story you have told and the videos will have amazing impact. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • Alice C. Miller 1 year ago

    This makes me SO sad for the wolves, for you, for us all. Thank you for your beautiful work with these magnificent animals. We can only hope the rule writers evolve before it is too late.

  • carol 1 year ago

    we are honored by your willingness to share your heart and soul. thank you

  • Skswany 1 year ago

    Beautiful and moving series. It takes individuals such as yourself to bring the message of the wolf to people who have no understanding of them or the environment they need to live in. I will watch the Medicine of the Wolf. Thank you for sharing your story and theirs.

  • A four-letter word for you from deep in my heart: L O V E. Love for your work, love for the wilderness, love for the denizens that make it their home. Thank you for bringing them into mine.

  • Marion 1 year ago

    Thank you, Jim, for all the videos this year. All were so enlightening. I’m sad to see Nature 365 ending. Viewing those few minutes had become my morning ritual. I know I’ll be able to revisit them and enjoy them all once again. They’ll all seem as new as the first visit.
    You’re an incredible photographer. I’ve always regretted that Bob and I never made it to Ravenwood to visit you and Judy.
    The best to you all in 2016.

  • Doris Doherty 1 year ago

    Thank you Jim, for this daily visit to nature. Thank you for sharing the beauty and your deep respect for nature in beautiful video and thoughtful reflection of few or many words. I have shared your site with many friends and family (one who live close to your area). I visit your wilderness with new appreciation. Am looking forward to your sharing in the new year.

  • Lucy 1 year ago

    Many thanks to all concerned who daily provided us with wonderful scenes of Nature over different seasons. We have been truly blessed by your photography and dedication to wild life. I’m sure the scenes have added to the appreciation we all have of wildlife. Thanks again.

  • Kiki Sonnen 1 year ago

    I am thunderstruck to learn the whole wolf pack of your land is gone. I am so sorry for you, for the pack, for us all. Bless you for your work.

  • Jeff 1 year ago

    Thanks for the daily trips to the wilderness this past year! Can hardly wait to get back to the Gunflint or Echo Trail next month!

  • Donna Dacy 1 year ago

    Thank you for sharing the story of the Ravenwood wolves. With tears in my eyes and pain in my heart I read their story. This is one of many similar stories of a species that has been decimated by uneducated humans. Uneducated about how nature maintains balance. Greed and personal gratification ….. So very sad.

  • Thank you for sharing your talents and compassion. There are many that are so saddened by the ugliness that befalls innocence due to greed, ignorance and fear – I am hopeful that this and many other species can survive and thrive another day.

  • Jude 1 year ago

    Jim, I want to thank you so much for these beautiful little films. I look forward to them every day.
    I was deeply saddened, some months back, when I read that the whole wolf pack had been killed.
    Strangely enough, my view of wolves was changed for ever as a child, some 50 odd years ago, by, of all things, a Disney nature film about wolf families. I have never forgotten it.
    I too share your films now and again. They are little gems.

  • Thank you very much for sharing your videos, and your thoughts, with us. As with most, I suspect, I enjoyed immensely your video of the wolves, and your commentary about them. Very enlightening.

    MK

  • Judy 1 year ago

    Thank you for these wonderful videos and your commentary. It has been a wonderful journey and I look forward to seeing them again in the new year. THANK YOU, Thank You, thank you!

  • Thank you for sharing your insights and experience with the unique social netfork of the pack and the tragic consequences of the sport hunt.

  • With tears in my eyes and pain in my heart, I read the story of these beautiful creatures. Humans are the most cruel species on the planet. What else can I say…I am ashamed of what happened.

  • catherine matthews 1 year ago

    Thank you. I found you only recently, so I look forward to living this series over the coming year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. cm

  • A moment of joy (nature) and sadness (Wolf), the wolf it’s such a special animal. We have once see a Wolf in Alaska, it’s so amazing to meet this animal.
    Again thanks for al the nice movies you give us the last year, every day a special moment to start our afternoon (Netherlands) we enjoy it!! Thanks and a very Happy 2016, Enjoy Life and Nature.
    Greetings Huub and Tonny

  • Janet MacKenzie 1 year ago

    Oh my. My quest is to return someday to MN and the country and nature that envelopes it. I have begun and ended each day with nature365 and shared the video site with nature oriented friends. They may not understand MN as I do but the depth of their commitment to see, love, understand and advocate for nature in all its forms is remarkably satisfying to me. Northfield was my home. Northern MN was my refuge. Thank you for nature365.

  • Rick 1 year ago

    Jim-
    This is my first time commenting on your wonderful pieces of work. I am a MN resident and I cannot tell you how disappointed I was when the wolf hunt was approved. It was a sensation that you could not explain. All I ever knew was that the beloved wolf was protected and for good measure as we almost lost them entirely at one point. Then the DNR comes out and says we have an EXCESS amount of wolves which enabled the wolves to once again be hunted for trophies. After the wolf hunt our wonderful DNR says that there wasn’t as large a wolf population as suspected but again still allowed a wolf hunt the next season, just lowering the amount of wolves to be hunted. This is our DNR, the same department that allowed the walleyes to diminish to almost extinction on Mille lacs lake. The department that realized the Moose population is near extinction for a reason they can’t figure out and still allowed hunts for them. Something is wrong here and needs to be fixed. I apologize for the political rant but it is very frustrating to see.

    • Jude 1 year ago

      Never apologize for caring

    • Please don’t apologize for caring and questioning. Many of us in MN agree with your view of the MN DNR. My teen says DNR stands for Destroy our Natural Resources.

  • Leslie Jackson 1 year ago

    Mr. Brandenburg,
    I cannot thank you enough for the glimpses you gave us of what life is like in an area most of us will never travel to. Your video, and the editing, are beyond compare. Please know that there are many of us who cherish wild things, and wild places so much that we will do whatever is necessary to preserve both. Unfortunately, in the US, money speaks louder than anything…which is why wolf hunting was allowed to rear its ugly head again. Just when I think we’re truly evolving as a species, as a culture, I realize we are not–at least not most of us. Again, thank you for the gift you provided to so many of us who still have a piece of wild inside.

  • Such a moving story. So sad that four years have passed and all this is gone. When will mankind learn.

  • very very special. sad to read that all of the wolves in this video are gone. there are so very many smart mouthed idiots in this world. go get ‘em is their motto for everything. We here in Jersey have legalized bear hunts. We just had a bear “attack” a man who was trapped in the bear’s “cave”. he was a scout leader. he should NEVER have gone into the bears cave. he is fine. but he was wrong. we actually feel killing these innocent creatures is fine. justified. I’m sorry, but only man could be this way. Only man.

  • Thank you for the narrative that accompanies this video. May your work raise consciousness. May humans listen, watch, feel and love.

  • Blair Bigelow 1 year ago

    Here in western Massachusetts we have many coyotes (plus black bears,white-tail deer, even moose), and I understand many eastern coyotes have some wolf DNA, the western coyotes migrating east having bred with Canadian wolves. You undoubtedly know all this and more. I have no problem with hunting if the animal is eaten; “trophy” hunting, on the other hand, is grotesque, pathetic, and phony, puffing up one’s manhood by shooting an animal two hundred or even a hundred yards away! It’s a kind of schoolyard bullying.

  • Mandy 1 year ago

    Thanks, Jim, for sharing and opening up this world to us. You’ve done immeasurable good in bringing the humble majesty of wolves to so many people. In sharing these videos, you’ve helped us all understand them better and further the message that we must all speak up for wolves. I’m sorry to hear the wolves are gone from your area, but as Carter Neimeyer has reminded me more than once, when left alone, wolves are resilient and will be back. I hope so.

    My small effort is the FB page, Protect NW Wolves. Ive testified at public hearings in washington state as a concerned citizen, and sent countless letters and made angry phone calls. Once or twice ive even written and called to thank lawmakers for doing the right thing by wolves and other predators. I’m interested in helping to change the culture and smash the negative and undeserved reputation wolves have.

    You’ve educated and inspired us to educate and inspire others in these videos and Medicine of the Wolf, which is a beautiful film. Thank you for so many things. xo

  • A lot is (and has been) said about how environmentally friendly Norway is. I have been living in Norway since 1998. It’s not environmental friendly at all. We are lucky because we are only about 5 million people in Norway. If we were 50 million, for instance, behaving the same, it would be a disaster, believe me. In addition, there is also a totally idiotic hunting culture here. The other day, somebody I know went on a sea kayak trip to shoot at eider ducks. WTF.

    • Jude 1 year ago

      Anne, this needs to be know more about! People have a false idea about Norway.

  • Howard Vrankin 1 year ago

    Thank you, for your profound contributions to vision and understanding – through books, video, on-camera personal narratives, galleries and the one day seminar I shall never forget. This series re-connects me with all of that, but more importantly with our natural world.

  • Thank you for all that you have done to bless my secluded life! Beautiful! Blessings on your next journey! Aho!

  • Such a combination of love and sadness/tragedy.

  • Denise Grant 1 year ago

    Love the sound effects. Goes with the presentation.

  • I appreciate and am saddened by today’s narrative. Thank you for your role in raising awareness regarding wolves and their honored place in the natural world.

  • Thank you Jim for this past year’s look into your back yard. Hope the wolves will return to Ravenwood and stay there safe and forever! Hugs, Inge.

  • I’m very moved by the story behind the Ravenwood wolves. I will definitely see the documentary Medicine of the Wolf. Thank you for sharing this story and I really appreciate the work you invested.

  • As much as I have enjoyed your videographic series, I have always wanted some narrative to explain the nature we were seeing. Today is just what I was looking for — sadly. Years ago, when I first read Nicholas Evans’ fiction account of the battle over wolves (“The Loop”), I first became aware of this true dilemma and it has haunted me since. Thank you for sharing not only your series, but your story.

  • Very, very moving….thanx for sharing this! I hope that we will learn to respect our wildlife.

  • Thank you for a fabulous trek through the woods with your pack. Looked forward to each morning’s nature meditation, and shared many of them on my page. Happy New Year!

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