Will he meet Wolverine?
This is the question that arises in the entire last book “Jervesporet”. Bragg Prize Winner Biology professor Dag O. Hessen, however, is almost on the “overgrown tracks” where he and his father saw fresh tracks of the legendary wolverine 50 years ago. And they did not see the animal itself.
The book is subtitled Animal Search, Meaning and Memories in a Shrinking Nature.
Wolverine. 1972. Feb. 28. Saw wolverine tracks on the way from Oxendalen and on to Frisboa (halfway). They crossed the ski track and were so big that I could fit my entire palm on the ground. Length 17-18 cm, width 9-10 cm. Relatively fresh. amazing.
He will use his position for something
In December 2022, Hessen took a break from public debate. He is a well-known broadcaster, was a fixture on NRK’s Big Bang, and last year participated in the debate. There was an uproar.
I’m used to semi-programmed reactions from climate skeptics, but the fact that those I feel I’m on the same side with and am fighting a common battle with have seen it as a betrayal and that I almost ran the errands for the oil. The industry, it meshes very badly with the message I’m trying to get across, Hess told Chrono After he wrote on Facebook he was taking a break from Facebook and from speaking out in the climate debate.
“It was a short break,” Hessen now says, using the term storm in a glass of water.
– Then and there I was a little puzzled. The reactions that came from the green side, the ones who got burned. But for me, mediation has a deep meaning. Of course, I write professional articles, but they reach a smaller circle, and I think it’s my duty to participate in the discussion – even when it’s uncomfortable.
Climate researchers, especially female physicians, have made public the reactions they receive when they speak in public.
“You are an unintelligent cow.” “Shit woman.” “Damn damn it.” “You’re ugly in the face.” “Who do you think you are? Your research is bullshit.” And these were just some messages Bjarkenes Center Director Kiki Cleven showed it to NRK When they wrote in the fall of 2022 about the agitation against climate scientists. And here it turns out that women climate scientists refuse to speak out more than men.
They understand Hesse very well.
– Women are exposed, among other things, to sexual harassment. I have not received such a thing. I’ve always thought that if I got a position to be heard, I should take advantage of it.
So he now relies on notices in newspapers, in book showers, and on other occasions.
There is a bit of horror mixed with joy associated with it. But that is what comes with it. If you say a, you can say b.
Publication without footnotes
Now I stand here again, right where Wolverine’s paths crossed at that time. Fifty years have passed. life. The father is gone, but two new generations have arrived. There are no Wolverine tracks here today, but I had accumulated a half century of motivation and decided to take the time to follow the tracks I came across. Maybe I’ll find another path for Wolverine, and maybe I’ll finally see the legendary beast. If nothing else, I will probably find the remnants of my lost youth, the life I led, and the strong sense of nature I remember from my teenage years.
This is what was stated in the introduction to the book. Then Hesse starts walking. He follows the old ways, spends the night in old cabins and in a hammock outside, and reads old books about wolverine nature experiences. He gets close to animals such as reindeer, moose, foxes and various birds.
– What kind of book did you write?
It might be a mixture of genres. It is based on facts, but it is not a typical non-fiction book. I wanted to try to convey nature’s pleasure, knowledge, and wonder—without footnotes and references, says Hessen, and continues:
Someone asked if this was an autobiography. It is not, and it is not a novel either. I didn’t have the energy to write anything without it having a useful post.
The biologist appears clearly in the book. Hessen writes on species of animals and birds, on insects, on the politics of predators, and on nature as a shrinking pair.
How does nature shrink?
— Around 1972, we started a stock survey, and since then we’ve been on the decline. There is also a drastic change in the rainforest, among other things. Meanwhile, a lot of positive things have happened over these 50 years in terms of animal ethics and conservation, Hessen says.
In the book, he explores two mountain regions. One is where he went with his father, at Ringbo, between Gudprandsdalen and Osterdalen. This is the southernmost area where you can meet wolverines. and the other in Rondane. In addition, Hesse is working with the State Inspectorate for Nature on wolverine tracking. They see the tracks…but not the animals.
From hat and coat to mobile phone
Young Hesse, who discovered the Wolverine Trail in 1972, was on the brink of life. He was 15 years old at that time. Two years later, he was on a trip with a friend through Jotunheim. The professor says he shaped that trip.
Later, he took his children outside, giving them the opportunity to be happy in nature. One of the sons became a biologist.
W: In the book, the father describes how a message comes from the son who is on the maps of nature. Guess what animal he meets?
Hessen also describes how he and a companion planned a trip like the one they took in the early 1970s. They must realize that they are getting older.
– Is he the old, backward-looking man he portrayed in this book?
– I will not say that life is coming to an end. But in any case he is nearing the end of his working life, Hessen says, and uses the term “August Life” to refer to himself, who is 67 years old.
He thinks about how different things are.
– It was 1972, however, on the eve of the time when men wore hats and coats and mothers stayed at home. The Second World War was far away, and it might also have been a Napoleonic War. But today the period from 1972 to World War II is shorter than it was from 1972 to today.
While on the flight, he puts down his watch and puts his phone on airplane mode. It’s not that the professor is against digital technology, but he calls himself a time slave.
– I have a tendency to check the watch, and I’m always in a hurry to do something. I think it’s good to have checkouts, something the cruise cabins are now advertising – cell phone free zones. But one must say from home!
Hesse was on the jury when WWF’s World Nature Fund, the Norwegian Tourism Association (DNT) and Norsk Frilovtslev were to create List of Red Listed Nature Experiences Ten nature experiences that people fear losing. The list includes both silence and untouched nature.
Nature expects nothing from you. Once you leave the eternal login, Hessen says, it becomes free space.
Do you think animals?
Suddenly he is there. the wolf.
A dog slithers out of a birch forest and crosses the road no more than 100 meters in front of me. Something in appearance makes me freeze. Quietly, almost confidently, he strode across the saddle path, before disappearing into the woods on the other side. Was it then a remarkably large and long-legged fox? and it was gray? No, I’ve seen many foxes in my life, and this wasn’t one of them. Dogs are excluded, because there are no people in the mountains here. Then it hit me that it was a coyote. You’ve just caught your first glimpse of a wolf in Norwegian nature.
In the book, Hesse describes how predatory animal policy led to the almost complete extinction of large predatory animals. This is no longer the case.
Today it exists, according to The Great Norwegian Encyclopedia, about 350 wolverines in Norway. The animal is the largest in the marten family. Hence, it is not related to bears, but rather to other smaller predators such as lynxes, otters, and snow mice. The snow mouse in particular is also depicted in the book. She appears and catches a little mouse with her when Hessen goes to get firewood from the outhouse.
“Awesome,” Hessen says of the experience.
– A wolf is not a threat, and one should not feel threatened by a wolf either – although the place where I met the wolf was close to where I was sleeping in the hammock. There are very few wolf attacks.
Wolverine is the stuff of legend, with his massive claws. Surprisingly, says biologist Hessen, so little is actually known about the large animal’s identity records. And he reflects on this in the book when he finds the skeleton of a deer, and he talks about a wolverine who went up high, high, a place where he wouldn’t be able to find food.
– We know that animals play, and marsupials in particular do. But I think large animals have a much wider range of emotions than humans think.
Request an autopsy
Perhaps it was already in 1972, or even earlier, when Dag O. Hesse to become a biologist. His father was a veterinarian, and the son describes in the book how he had his father perform an autopsy on a dead animal they found in the mountains. The teenager himself wrote down the observations he made in nature, great and small.
He was between studying medicine and biology. I was told that as a biologist you can only become a teacher. It’s a professional group that I have a lot of respect for, but it wasn’t yet what I saw him lead me on. I would like to get a job with some research.
Today, he heads the Center for Biogeochemistry in the Anthropocene, an interdisciplinary center that includes staff from the Department of Life Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences and Department of Chemistry at the University of Oslo. He actually became a professor in 1993.
with bare teeth
Will Hess meet Wolverine?
This Suga is not saying anything about it. But he met Wolverine thirty years ago.
– You were so close. Jump out of the woods. Then he bare his teeth at me. It was absolutely magical.
The text excerpt in italics is from the recent book “Jervesporet” by Dag O. Hessen, published by Cappelen Damm.
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