Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Redoubt and Black Bear

The excitement with the volcano continues, but for Anchorage, the worst seems to have passed us by. Luckily for us, the winds have been traveling north, so we haven't had any ash in the area. Flights heading north have been cancelled, but traffic to the south seems to be running smoothly today. It has given us plenty to talk about, though. I heard that we had 5 major eruptions at last count (could have been more or less, so don't quote me on that!), and the largest ash cloud shot about 60,000 feet in the sky. That impressive, by anyone's standards! Not much to see on the Redoubt web cams, though.

Apparently I was not the only one around here with visions of Spring dancing through my head this past week. A large black bear woke from his winter slumber last weekend, and decided to head out and pick up a little snack. Unfortunately, most snack foods for bear are still covered by several feet of snow. Mr. Bear was cruising around the park near the Campbell Airstrip. Enter a gentleman out for an afternoon of fresh air and exercise. (Once again, reinforcing my theory that exercise is not always good for you.) Mr. Bear said "Why lookie here! Fast food!" The gentleman took offense to this idea and proceeded to climb a tree. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but don't black bear climb trees? Aren't they EXCELLENT tree climbers? Why yes they are, but if you are in the woods with a hungry bear, no other humans around, and no way to escape said bear, you at least want to make him work a little bit for his meal. Now we have a man in a tree with Mr. Bear hanging out down below, tying to decide whether he should shake it a little and see if the meal will fall down or just head up and fetch it. Luckily for the man, another group of hikers came upon the scene, and they happened to have some dogs with them. The dogs chase the bear off and the man climbs down to safety. They all head back to the trial head, with Mr. Bear following at a not so discreet distance. The next time this gentleman considers a brick walk through snow during Spring Breakup, he might think again. Hmmmmm. That second cup of coffee is sounding pretty good, and maybe I'll just walk around the mall a bit after breakfast. Who needs all that pesky fresh air anyway?

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