Stand back. I am on a tear. A bear tear.
I started this post last week. It was supposed to be all about bears. At last count, six of them had been "euthanized" (go ahead; say SHOT) in this county this season. Why, you may ask. Well, if you ask the DOW (Department Of Wildlife), the damn critters got what they deserved. After all, they were caught raiding kitchens, cars and garbage cans. If you ask me, the problem is people, not bears. People who leave the kitchen window open, JuicyFruit gum in their cars, and a regular smorgasbord of goodies out in their smelly trash every single night. Can you say, bait? So which is worse? Bears in the bushes or the DOW? I won't go into the details of the latest encounter, but trust me, it's a horrific story. Here's the short version:
For weeks, this sow and her 4-month-old cub had been pilfering jelly donuts (garbage) in an alley a few blocks from my house. I dogwalk in the early morning and would see unending upended cans every single day. On the first of September, the dog and I heard a neighbor's quiet "watch out for the bear". I looked up and saw these two.
Here's the mug shot of the latest ursine culprits:
Hours later, the DOW decided the injured mother couldn't adequately care for her cub, shot her and the cub escaped. The best you could say is that they bungled the job. As far as I know, no one has found the poor little guy yet.
I hate helpless; I had to do something. So off I went to Kinko's to have flyers printed. Every morning, I shove one into the gaping maw of every stinking garbage can we come across. Of course, the same people who harbor reeking refuse have no problem trashing the flyers every night.
I generally tend to think that there's just too damn many people. Just like I hate being helpless, I sometimes also hate being right. Case in point: As I headed home from the store this morning, I thought I saw a small curl of smoke behind Mt. Sanitas, the same mountain which is on the western edge of Boulder and backs right up to our neighborhood. In the five minutes it took to get home, the I'm-sure-now-famous wildfire was filling the sky over our backyard with smoke.
Here's the roof of my studio.
I'm going to go ahead and hope the fire's not as close as it looks.
In another ten minutes, the bright sunny day was blanketed
by a thickening layer of acrid smoke,
and ash fell like light snow.
This fire is awful. We always knew it could happen, especially during a hot, dry season like this. Every house, every ranch and every mountain town in the 20 miles west of here has been evacuated. Every canyon road is closed, the wind is gusting up to 65 miles per hour, and the smoke cloud can be seen from Wyoming 200 miles down to Colorado Springs.
I feel truly sorry for everyone fleeing this monster. But while people are being told to take their animals to the County Fairgrounds, I can't help but wonder who told the wild things where to go. I can't help but worry about that little cub.