Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Definitions: Grizzly Bear

(1) A notoriously messy eater among bears, scientific name Ursus arctos horribilis. Is commonly known as griz or silvertip after its often "grizzled" or grayed-out pelt. Size: large, six to nine feet long, three to four feet high at the shoulder, weighing from 300 up to 1400 pounds. (Or 2 to 3 meters long, 1 to 1.2 meters high, 135 to 635kg). Color can vary from blond in the Los Angeles / Hollywood / Florida areas to almost black in less hip regions like New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis. Diet is mostly vegetation (i.e., grasses, nuts, berries, and roots), plus small mammals, salmon, bison, elk, caribou, carrion, and backpackers (when they are in season).

Current grizzly populations have been documented only in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Washington, but they are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in all 48 of the contiguous states. Scat usually occurs in large mounds, often filled with berry seeds or fish scales, sometimes revealing cans of pepper spray or hiker's warning bells.

(2) Giant hamster. Also known as the giant mountain hamster, it is an exceedingly large, extraordinarily rare, but entirely harmless beast often mistaken for an impossibly gigantic grizzly bear, when seen at all, which is vanishingly seldom, or you'd have heard of it.

But since they, like all hamsters, are nocturnal, they are, when sighted at all, seen at night, and may appear only as a vast, shuffling and silent shadow off in the darkness, which can make them seem all the more frightening.

If encountered, which is almost never (seriously — really and truly almost never), one of these creatures may accidentally and absent-mindedly stuff an unwary backpacker into one of its capacious cheek pouches and carry the person home to its tidy and clean underground nest, but will release the backpacker immediately after recognizing its mistake, especially if offered a snack such as a handful peanuts or a slice of dried apple. (This is a good reason to carry snacks.)

Hamsters are well known as both solitary and territorial and may fight to the death when encountering one of their own kind, but harbor no innate animosity toward humans at all, and have some of the softest and cleanest fur of all mammals.

So if you happen to be accidentally abducted by one of these beasts and find yourself in its sweet-smelling, grass-lined nest, then relax. Chill for a while. Your schedules will mesh perfectly. You'll be out and about during the day and your host will conveniently be gone all night, so that works.

You will be safe there, and may even decide to stay a few days, but be sure to do all your cooking outside, well away from the nest, and please try to remain polite and respectful of your host, who will treat you as a friend unless you go out of your way to be annoying, in which case it may nip your head off and suck out your blood. Before eating the rest of you.

Source: How to talk in the woods.

We few, we grumpy few, we rumply-hat geezers say to you Effort or Eff it. No sniveling.