Wednesday, April 23, 2008

High Goals

from Health Beyond Civilization Remedial health for the aspiring indigenous soul

Having established a certain degree of grounding in our experience of our own health, it’s worth it to start exploring goals.
I’d like to set the bar sky-high by looking at a few accounts of, for lack of a better term, superhuman feats.
Ernest Thompson Seton, in Gospel of the Redman, wrote,
The most famous runner of ancient Greece was Pheidippides, whose record run from Athens to Sparta was 140 miles in 36 hours. Among our Indians, such a feat would have been considered very second-rate. In 1882, at Fort Ellice, I saw a young Cree who, on foot, had just brought in despatches from Fort Qu’Appelle (125 miles away) in 25 hours. It created almost no comment. I heard little from the traders but cool remarks like, “A good boy”, “pretty good run”. It was obviously a very usual exploit, among Indians.
The two Indian runners, Thomas Zafiro and Leonicio San Miguel, ran 62 1/2 miles, i.e. from Pachuca to Mexico City, in 9 hours, 37 minutes, November 8, 1926, according to the El Paso Times, February 14, 1932. This was 9 1/4 minutes to the mile.
The Zunis have a race called, “Kicked Stick.” In this, the contestants each kick a stick before them as they run. Dr. F. W. Hodge tells me that there is a record of 20 miles covered in 2 hours by one of the kickers.
The Tarahumare mail carrier runs 70 miles a day, every day in the week, carrying a heavy mailbag, and he doesn’t know that he is doing an exploit. In addition, we are told: “The Tarahumare mail carrier from Chihuahua to Batopiles, Mexico, runs regularly more than 500 miles a week; a Hopi messenger has been known to run 120 miles in 15 hours.”
The Arizona Indians are known to run down deer by sheer endurance, and every student of Southwestern history will remember that Coronado’s mounted men were unable to overtake the natives when in the hill country, such was their speed and activity on foot.

Read it all

Monday, April 21, 2008

here's the chance to go to school on what master naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton called "the oldest of writing",tracks.

A new approach to the art of tracking mammals.

Blest with a Magic Power is he,
Drinks deep where others sipped;
And Wild Things write their lives for him
In endless manuscript.

-Ernest Thompson Seton
("The Trailer")

YOU WAKE ON AN UNNATURALLY bright winter's morning and, squinting, peer out your bedroom window. As unexpected as enchantment, a half-foot of snow has fallen while you slept, and you're fairly pulled out of bed by the childish urge to be the first to mark the clean white sheet that's settled over your yard. Ignoring coffee for once, you dress quickly, fired by the adrenaline high of dramatic weather, and rush outside . . . only to find that smaller feet have written where you'd hoped to scratch your name. Put your petty disappointment aside; here's the chance to go to school on what master naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton called "the oldest of writing",tracks.

From Mother Earth News. Read it all here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

'Immersive' museum to showcase N.M. -

'Immersive' museum to showcase N.M. -

This new museum, The New Mexican History Museum, opening next year adjacent to The Palace of the Governors, plans an exhibition featuring Ernest Thompson Seton in 2011.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Reading Copy » Blog Archive » Slow Food and Ernest Thompson Seton

Slow Food and Ernest Thompson Seton

I cam across this blog entry from abe.books. So Wild Animals I Have Known is a best seller one hundred and ten years after it was first published. Incidentally, both Blue Skies Today and our sister site Blue Sky! - The Ernest Thompson Seton Pages ( had record-breaking numbers of visits over the past week too, presumably due to the BBC special. Unfortunately, we have not been able to view it in the U.S. because the website blocks viewing outside the U.K. Hopefully, it will be shown on PBSinthe future.

Slow Food and Ernest Thompson Seton

On the back of a BBC2 feature titled Lobo: The Wolf that Changed America, Ernest Thompson Seton’s 110-year-old classic Wild Animals I Have Known shot to No.1 on’s bestseller list last week.

Seton was one of the key pioneers of the Boy Scout movement, which incidentally is celebrating its centennial this year. You can read about it on our Boy Scouts feature.

Also on the top 10 is W.M.W. Fowler’s Countryman’s Cooking. The book was first sold 40 years ago by Willie Fowler in his local pub and was forgotten until recently when it was rediscovered in a charity shop and republished. Featuring traditional English countryside recipes the book is a gift from the heavens for slow foodies.

Top 10 bestsellers for for the week of March 31-April 6

1. Wild Animals I Have Known by Ernest Thompson Seton
2. Countryman’s Cooking by W.M.W. Fowler
3. The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh
4. Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide by Sandra Ingerman
5. The New Strategic Selling by Stephen E. Heiman
6. Ulysses by James Joyce
7. Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill
8. Cancer Vixen: A True Story by Marisa Acocella Marchetto
9. Paul for Everyone: Romans by Tom Wright
10. Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Farm School

Farm School

This is a fantastic website and blog which should appeal to Seton afficionados. Here is a link to a great comprehensive post about Seton on that site.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A man, a wolf and a whole new world - Telegraph

Steve Gooder tells the tale of a British-born hunter and his mighty foe - and how their duel in the dying days of the Wild West led to the birth of America's conservation movement

It was the moment Ernest Thompson Seton had been waiting for. After months of frustration, the professional wolf hunter finally had his quarry in his sights.

Ernest Thompson Seton (top) and the photo he took of Old Lobo caught in four steel traps

He raised his Winchester rifle and prepared to put a
bullet between the eyes of "Old Lobo", a notorious wolf that had killed hundreds of cattle.

But, face to face with his adversary for the first time, something deep within the hunter changed. He slowly lowered his gun and decided to take Lobo back alive.

The year was 1894 and it was a moment that would prove a crucial turning point, not just for Seton, but also for the fate of America's wilderness and its wild creatures.

British-born Seton had grown up with wolves on the Canadian frontier and written the definitive manual on how to catch them. More than two centuries earlier, his Scottish ancestors had helped wipe out the last of Britain's wild wolves.

Yet there was another, less bloodthirsty, side to Seton. His backwoods childhood had left him with a real love and fascination for nature and he would eventually go on to become both a leading light in America's emerging conservation movement and a tireless advocate for the protection of wolves.

It all began in October 1893, when Seton travelled to a remote corner of New Mexico "to catch vermin". What had once been the land of the Apache and the buffalo had now become the domain of cattle ranchers, and the last remaining wolves were being picked off as fast as the bounty hunters could trap and shoot them. But a few "outlaw wolves" still eluded capture.

Among these elite survivors was a reputedly giant beast, known as Old Lobo, who had thwarted every attempt to kill him. Seton was merely the latest in a string of would-be assassins who had come and gone.

BBC - Science & Nature - Natural World

BBC - Science & Nature - Natural World: "Lobo - The wolf that changed America
Wed 2 Apr 8.00pm (GMT) BBC Two

Ernest Thompson Seton's account of how he hunted a cattle-killing wolf became a pivotal part of American history, helping to change the way people see wolves and the wilderness. In his efforts to find, capture, and kill Lobo, Seton came to understand the animal's intelligence, loyalty and warmth. Although he finally succeeded in his task, he never killed a wolf again. A combination of wildlife and history, this film is based on the personal diaries of Ernest Thompson Seton himself."

From Michelle Styles in the U.K.

Ernest Thompson Seton Read it all here

On Tuesday, BBC2 will broadcast a programme about Ernest Thompson Seton, one of America's early environmentalists. He was born in South Shields, Durham, grew up in Canada and spent the end of his life at Seton Castle near Santa Fe New Mexico. And as it happens someone my father knew as a boy when he lived in Santa Fe. Seton was an old man at the time, and my father always spoke of him with awe.
I can remember watching the Walt Disney movie about Lobo the wolf and my father getting out Wild Animals I Have Known and showing me Seton's signature. Seton had signed the book for my grandfather and had included a picture of a hangman's noose with the words -- hang Hitler. My grandfather was an officer in the US navy. My grandmother and father had moved to Santa Fe during WW2 because my father suffered from asthma. Seton lived a few miles from Santa Fe. My father as a boy was quite active in the boy scouts which may be why they knew him. Seton was one of the founding members of the Boy Scouts and wrote the first Boy Scout manual among other things. However, at that point, Santa Fe was not a large place...
My father was very impressed with him and had me read Wild Animals I Have Known after I watched the programme. Seton was a natural storyteller and brought the various animals to life, so it was a delight to read.
The book now sits proudly in the bookcase in the dining room. My children have all enjoyed the stories. And it is a book that should be read by anyone interested in natural history and conservation.
Seton's daughter Ann wrote historical romance novels under the pen name of Anya Seton. I did not realise this until yesterday, but thought it interesting.
Anyway, I shall look forward to watching the programme. Seton's book apparently had a profound influence on David Attenborough. And he deserves to remembered.


posted by Michelle Styles @ 11:07 AM