Wednesday, July 29, 2009

and Bears...OH MY!

In the last two weeks, we have seen such a plethora of wildlife it is hard to know where to begin, so I will start with the big stuff. Our first major wildlife encounter was with a Moose, who came strolling across the highway directly in front of us. Stopping 45’ combined feet of truck and trailer on a moments notice for a moose will pucker the sphincter.

Unfortunately, this graceful but oddly physically awkward creature that is a cross somewhere between a horse and a rhinoceros, moved so fast I was not able to get a picture before he headed off into the woods. But beautiful he was.

Our next major encounter was with a mama bear and two cubs. We were in Red Lodge, MT on what appeared to be garbage pickup day, and she apparently was teaching the kids to dumpster dive. This is the constant dilemma between man and nature. As the bear moved through the neighborhood checking out the garbage cans, one of the neighbors came out with his gun. While I hope he was just shooting to scare the bears, and not at the bears, I am not sure. Anyway, the bears come down to the city because the man leaves his garbage out there, so the man shoots at the bears for eating the garbage…brilliant.

I got a couple of shots of mom and the kids at a respectful distance before the gunfire scared them away. I hate to think that that is how mom is teaching them to survive when there are hundreds of square miles of forest around them, teeming with quality bear food sources including myself, but I suspect that is the case.

Survival of the fattest.

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