When Rick Lamplugh arrives at the historic Lamar Buffalo Ranch on New Year’s Eve, he has one goal: to learn as much as possible about the ecology of the Lamar Valley. All winter he will work and live in this remote corner of Yellowstone National Park, home to some of the best wildlife watching in the world. Winter-hungry elk and bison migrate there to graze. Wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions stalk the grazers while eagles, ravens, and magpies wait to scavenge. The snowy backdrop makes the saga of death and life easy to spot. Rick has three frigid months to explore on skis and snowshoes, observe with all his senses, listen to and talk with experts. A literary blend of facts and feelings, In the Temple of Wolves celebrates nature’s stark beauty and treacherous cruelty, while revealing Rick’s inner battles with his human nature.
Prior to publishing In the Temple of Wolves, Rick submitted stand-alone chapters from the book-in-progress to literary journals and contests. Those chapters about living and volunteering in Yellowstone National Park during the winter won the 2012 Jim Stone Non-Fiction award and appeared in the literary journals Composite Arts Magazine, Shoal, and Gold Man Review. Since the book’s publication in November of 2013, blogs based on chapters have been posted on the blogs of Oregon Wild, Coyote Watch Canada, and Yellowstone Reports. Other essays, focusing on the struggle to deal with aging, physical decline, and mortality, have appeared in the literary journals Phoebe, Soundings Review, and Feathered Flounder. Rick lives in Oregon with his wife, Mary. He hopes to observe packs of wolves in the Oregon Cascades one day.