In The Call of Sedona, Ilchi Lee writes about the amazing landscape to be found in this region. What we tend to overlook as we gaze out across the land is the myriad of wildlife which dwells here. It is fun to imagine the hundreds of eyes that may be observing us from within the camouflage of the territory at any moment!

Although much wildlife is hidden from view while hiking the trails of Sedona, you may eventually encounter the javelina (pronounced ha-va-LEE-na). Although they seem at first glance to be a kind of pig, they are actually the collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu), also known as Mexican hogs and “musk hogs” due to the animal’s potent scent glands.

If you see one javelina, it is a sure bet there are more nearby. You will want to avoid engaging with these creatures, especially when there are young ones in the herd. A herd can number anywhere from just a few to 100 individuals! Allowing them their space and the room to continue on without interference is a good lesson in respecting nature: Javelina can be dangerous if provoked.

Many believe that the sight of a particular animal crossing your immediate path might be a “spirit message” concerning something that needs to be understood or realized in this very moment. Some may feel such encounters are communications from their “totem” animal, delivering awareness of characteristics that are needed now for problem solving.

It is fun to keep this idea in mind as you hike around Sedona, paying particular attention to what animal crosses your path, and what meaning you might derive from the encounter. For example, the characteristics attributed to a javelina are a strong connection to others in the herd; they are adaptable, thick-skinned animals who can and will defend themselves and their family when needed, but shy away from confrontation if possible.

Nature is always speaking to us: from the highest branches to the lowly worm, we need only open our eyes, our ears, our mind, and our heart to the messages she carries on hoof, wing, and wild calls across the land.

Lynn A. TrombettaBy Lynn A. Trombetta: A freelance web writer on topics of art, music, and wellness, Lynn is also a wildlife artist/photographer, professional flutist, recording artist, and published author.