Does a Bear Sh*t in the Lincoln?

The answer to that question is, “Thankfully not this time.” One did, however, carefully explore the interior and exterior of my car, completely decimate a container of peanut brittle, leave a trail of leaves and other detritus in the front seat, and paw prints on the hood, before going on its merry way.

Paw print in the frost.
Someone’s been sitting in MY chair….

I’d love to say that Studly Doright was to blame for leaving our car unlocked next to the cabin we’ve rented in the Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, TN, but it’s all my fault. I must’ve forgotten to lock the vehicle when I went out to fetch my bottle of wine.

The preliminary damage report doesn’t appear to be too awful. The seats aren’t ripped, neither is the headliner. He or she didn’t mess with my favorite throw blanket in the backseat. There are claw marks on the exterior of my once pristine Lincoln. The one we save for long trips. The one that is two years old and just barely has 10,000 miles on it. Sigh. But, as far as bear intrusions go, this one could have been a great deal worse.

I just hope our little friend doesn’t expect me to entertain him again tonight. I’m not Goldilocks, after all.

Peace, people!

Connecting Dots

I’m a big fan of NPR (National Public Radio). While I’m running errands I listen to NPR in the car, and I always feel a bit smarter and better informed afterwards. I’m probably a genius by now, but that’s a conservative guess.

Yesterday I listened to a TED Talk program on NPR about how people are losing their ability to listen. We’re so consumed with our electronics and so bombarded by constant information that we’ve begun to tune out real conversation. The speaker, Julian Treasure, offered five exercises to help improve listening skills. I’ve shared it in case you’re curious.

I also listened to a segment about bears on the RadioLab program, the most fascinating of which was a piece on the phenomenon of polar bear/grizzly bear hybrids. A hunter in Alaska related his tale of tracking a polar bear who uncharacteristically, for his species, was breaking into cabins. The hunter shot the bear, but he knew it wasn’t a standard, run-of-the-mill polar bear. Its coloring was odd and its fur patterning didn’t fit a standard polar bear.

The bear was studied by geneticists and confirmed to be a hybrid of two different bear species. Not only that. It was a second generation offspring–one of its parents had also been a hybrid. So unlike other animal kingdom hybrids, the offspring are capable of reproducing.

Further testing on other hybrid bears indicated that all of the hybrids are descended from just one female polar bear who had produced three litters with two different male grizzlies. This is mind-blowing. The researchers pondered on why this particular female had been attracted to male grizzlies.

I’d like to offer my theory. I think those male grizzlies were just better listeners.

And that’s how you connect the dots.

Again, if you’re interested in the bear episodes here’s the link to the program. The one about the hybrids is the last on the link.

Peace, people.

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