Saturday, June 19, 2010

In the Evenings

Friday I took a nice little camera-free walk after work, about a mile down to the corral with stunning views in the distance. I think I've given up trying to identify anything with the field guide I have which just has a photo and very brief description of each species, usually 4 or 5 per page. But I saw a bird flying with a lovely coppery color underneath.

I came back through the terraces where I saw a chipmunk, smaller than I'm used to seeing, nibbling on an apple core, a killdeer eating in the shallow water near Palette Spring, and a slim 3 or 4 foot snake slithering under the boardwalk. Then I poked my head up the beginning of the Beaver Ponds trail, past the bear silhouette and warnings on the trailhead sign. I didn't see any in person, but a grizzly was shot and killed this morning about five miles away from the park's east entrance. The bear had killed a man Thursday, a few hours after being trapped and tranquilized by researchers.

If you'd like to see some photos of the locally famous grizzly with four cubs (and also a badger family among other critters) who I saw on my first day here, there are some great photos here and here and probably in other topics there. I disagree (to say the least) with many of the opinions which get expressed in some topics there (such as Sea Shepherd being called ecoterrorists--I think it would be more appropriate to refer to the many rodeos around here as ecoterrorism), but that's a great site to keep up with what's going on here.

The elk had left civilization for a couple days, but they were returning just as I reached the dorm Friday evening. There were several adults with several young, and the calves were frisky. Cavorting. Frolicking. Gamboling. Getting up on their back legs and sparring with each other. I watched for quite a while before heading in to get the camera. When I came back out they were all lying down except this one who soon joined them.

Tonight there was a double rainbow just before 8:00 as I wandered waiting for the employee pub to open. It was my first time there and I only bought a pizza--nothing spectacular but it's nice to have the option. I just wish they opened earlier.


Allan Stellar said...

I read about the mauling by the Griz. I was hoping it wasn't you. How do you feel about putting the Griz down?

greentangle said...

Hard to really say without knowing what was done to the man's body, but it seemed like a pretty quick decision to me. The bear was just recovering from being trapped and tranqed, probably not in the best of moods--it seems like you'd give a little slack considering you're the ones who put him in the bad mood.

Or maybe that's exactly why they didn't--I'm reading a book about tigers in far eastern Russia and how the tigers hunt people who have tried to kill them.

Just read this morning that a black bear got killed by a trap near Old Faithful. Apparently very injured and near death anyway, but you'd think in a major national park in bear country they'd have a better variety of equipment.

greentangle said...

Here's a good article summing up and with the latest info about the griz.

Northland said...

Like the FS said, one tragedy followed by another.The researchers seemed to do things properly, one thing is for sure, being in the vicinity of a recently snared, tranquilized and handled grizzly is asking for trouble. The man would of had a chance to survive if he had pepper spray and the wind was blowing toward the bear.That is a big "if".
A grizzly was shot in Denali NP a few weeks ago by a man who was taking advantage of the new law that allows people to carry handguns in National Parks. It supposedly charged him and his wife. Too bad for the bears in both cases.
Glad that you are having a fun and profitable time of it there.

greentangle said...

Thanks, Northland, glad to know you're back there taking care of the UP. On the Lamar Valley bus tour I took, the driver was very vocal about his opposition to allowing guns in the parks. I was surprised to hear him express it; maybe it was because there were only a few of us and he'd accurately sized us up.

Came home today to the dreaded "You might be getting a roommate" sign on the door. Oh well, it might not be terrible and I've had a good run of having a room to myself. Even with a roommate, my living conditions will still be much better than almost all the employees here--doubt I would have lasted in the room at Canyon.