12 July 2007


We have "seen" some great critters on this trip (many of them would be pretty tasty, we imagine), but, for the most part, we respect and admire wildlife in the wild. To be more accurate, the human has seen critters; we've smelled them. A modernist might consider the human more fortunate as he enjoys the "privileged" sense of sight. We beg to differ: the olfactory sense far outweighs sight in terms of depth and breadth of received information. Human peripheral vision has nothing on our ability to smell all around us! Precisely why we react so enthusiastically when driving through the forest, while the human looks at us and says "huh?" If he could only see half of what we smell!

Anyway, we were thinking about this today because we "saw" a bald eagle! We had seen one very fleetingly in the northwoods of Wisconsin last year, but this one was so clear. It swooped down and then up into some trees, perhaps to a nest? Regardless, it was rather spectacular. Most of our other encounters have been a little too fast for the human to enjoy visually; we, on the other hand, can linger on a smell. :) For example, our one encounter with a bear--a black bear on the Blodgett Creek trail in the Bitterroots: he (or she) was actually on the trail ahead of us. The human thought it was a large dog running off leash, when he realized it was a bear, the animal had scampered off. We were jazzed, though! We could still smell it and were ready to flush it out. Before that, the human did get to watch a mother bear and cub running through a field in the Spanish Peaks, but they were so far away, it wasn't really like being there. Also, our one encounter with the elusive moose was similar. We saw it on the road to Moose Lake, of all places. Even though it fled quickly, the human got a pretty good look: it was a young one, not as big as the one on Northern Exposure nor as developed as the one on Maine's "moose crossing" signs.

We've done alright checking out the wild life. The human hasn't seen any wolves or mountain lions, though he'd like to. And we'd love to see whales, but that probably isn't going to happen. Anyway, we won't tell him all the things we've "seen," he'd just feel left out. :)(These guys, btw, are enjoying themselves at the bear center at Wazzu.)

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