Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Area 51

Last night I got caught up watching this Wisconsin Public Broadcasting show about things of nature around Wisconsin. I assume each state has something like it. In Oregon, I believe it is called Oregon Field and Stream or something such. I had not planned to watch, but it was on after another show that I had not planned to watch and could do nothing about it as the remote was out of my reach. It was in Charles's reach but he was snoring so comfortably I really couldn't bring myself to disturb him. Or myself, as I had melted into the corner of the Really Big Chair that we curl up in to watch TV together of an evening. So it was a helpless situation. I watched the story about the people who watch the sturgeon. I watched the story about which I can't even remember. I then watched the story about the bears. Hibernating mom-bears with wee cubs. Bears that need studying by biologists because, well, that's what biologists do. So, basically, this team of folks in big winter coats find a bear den and scope it out to make sure mom is sleeping. They then inject her with a syringe of tranquilizer, pull out the freaked cubs, which they tuck in their coats to keep warm, and pull out mom. They stick probes in everywhere, draw blood, and do other such things to assess her health, noting proudly that they do so much to her so they will not have to come back and disturb her as often. They then return her and the cubs (who now smell like smelly biologists) to the den and cover the entrance, finally placing this complicated pattern of tobacco in front of the den as an offering to the Native American spirits. None of the biologists seem to be Native American, but that is apparently beside the point. It is at this juncture I begin to empathize with all those crackpots who claim to be abducted by aliens, having been probed every which way and then returned with no concrete evidence of the experience except for the knowledge that things do not smell right and the presence of some weird pattern of seeds or something outside the bedroom door. Maybe I owe them an apology. Maybe there are roving bands of biologists who have run out of bears.

A note to other Wisconsin wildlife: To the rabbits who live just down the road from our driveway. Perhaps you could move your daily pre-dawn game of tag to a better lighted time or a venue other than the middle of the still-icy road. Lives could be lost and then someone would be sorry.



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