1.The study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, esp. in relation to climate and plant and animal life
Around sunset I saw a bear wandering around a nearby field. How cool is that? It’s easy to get jaded but I’m still pretty stoked when I see a bear. Unless it’s messing with my garbage cans or on my lawn, it’s something I appreciate.
I wouldn’t have noticed but the cranes (who might be velociraptors) were carrying on like a couple of meth heads with an air horn. I’m not sure if they’ve got a nest or what, but they were royally pissed at the bear. Cranes can make a racket!
The bear, for its part, was wandering around a wide open plowed field in a way that ground based wild animals shouldn’t. It was the behavior of a creature with zero fucks to give. I’m assuming it had a case of post hibernation munchies and was hoping for a crane egg?
Sadly it was too far off to observe closely. It was at bipod and spotting scope distance rather than a more useful offhand shot or “par three” distance. Them’s the breaks.
For the squirrel’s followers out there, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Bert. For one thing Bert is in a Subaru headed for Portland. For another this particular bear didn’t look racist.
In other phenological observations, a couple weeks ago I passed one of those Smokey Bear signs; you know the kind I’m talking about… where there’s a USFS emblem or a Smokey Bear or whatever and an arrow that points to the current “fire danger”. I passed it during the middle of an ice storm which had coated everything in creation with a quarter inch of ice. Sleet was freezing on my windshield damn near as fast as the defroster kept it at bay. I was in 4×4 and white knuckling down a dirt road at the speed of fear.
Helpful Smokey was holding a red sign that said “High Fire Danger”. It was soaking wet and coated with ice; which means Smokey was so out of touch with reality that he should get honorary TSA sponsorship.
Smokey predicting extreme fire danger in a snowstorm is usually a sign of delayed springs. I take it as a sign of firefighters who are super impatient for the season to change. They’re gonna’ die if something doesn’t start burning. I feel for them. They’re smelling overtime and ready to go ape on the first spark of spring. Hard to say, but either the storm was anomalously late, someone is jumping the gun on smokey’s setting, or it has been set to “High Danger” since Halloween. Can’t tell.
Incidentally, I did a few controlled burns (legally!) on my yard before the ice storm. Flame wasn’t carrying in any particularly exciting manner. But I had stopped and shelved the drip torch the weekend before the storm. So hang tight lads, the season ‘aint far away.
Bears with zero fucks to give annoying nesting (presumably) velociraptors/cranes is a sign spring is nearing an end and the brief northern summer is about to turn the dial to eleven.