Wolf Haven, located out on the mound prairie near Tenino, about an hour and a half drive south of Seattle, is a sanctuary for displaced and captive-born wolves.
The wolves live in large enclosures as couples, male and female, one pair to a pen. Native gray wolves, like these, are not bred, since they are not endangered.
As the docent was talking to us near the first pen, a wolf somewhere on the sanctuary began to howl. Soon there was a chorus of howling all over the compound. What a greeting!
Another enclosure held Mexican wolves. This pair is past breeding and is on display. Since Mexican and red wolves are endangered, the sanctuary has a breeding a and release program for them.
There are about 50 wolves in the sanctuary, and I was disappointed that we only saw three pairs, but I do understand the reason. A sanctuary is for the animals, their needs and their comfort. It is animal-centric, rather than human-centered.
As we were wrapping up the tour, standing in front of a coyote pen, The howling commenced spontaneously again. Hello and goodby!
Since Tom and I had other places to be, we did not stay for the prairie tour, but because we arrived early, we did venture out just a bit.
I mentioned that this is a mound prairie. Scattered over a large area of this part of the state are mounds of earth, up to six feet high and 55 feet in diameter, evenly dispersed. While many theories have been offered as to why they exist, no one knows for sure.
Ox-eye daises and other wild flowers are in bloom on the prairie.
Here also is the cemetery for the departed wolves. Wolves live in the sanctuary until they die, enjoying a much longer life than animals in the wild. They are honored in death with marked graves.
We were off by 11:15, headed back to Seattle, where, already geared up, we caught the 12:45 light rail train into the city.
The sky was clearing as we looked out over the valley from the train. It turned into a beautiful afternoon, perfect for soccer in Seattle. The Sounders match began at 2:00.
It is Pride week in Seattle and the LGBT community is being honored with lots of rainbows,
including tifo produced by the Emerald City Supporters.
The afternoon was beautiful, the crowd of 47,000 was colorful, the setting was wonderful, but the game was not so pretty. It ended with a disappointing 2-0 loss to NYCFC.
We marched off into the city, and caught the light rail back home in time to see most of the US Men's National Team play for third place in the Copa America. They lost too, to Colombia, but it was a respectable 1-0.
And now we are tired, and settled in for the evening.
More adventures tomorrow.