Posted by: greentangle | April 22, 2017

Arts and Sciences

I strolled for science this morning. I don’t like to carry signs, so I wore this shirt instead. The government thinks it’s OK to kill hibernating bears? Well,

I haven’t seen any news coverage or crowd estimates of the Duluth march but apparently there were over 10,000 people at the St. Paul march. We didn’t have that many of course but it was a large crowd–maybe over 1,000.

I’m not actually a science worshipper–I think being too rational can take a lot of the pleasure out of life. I was there to support sciences such as ecology and conservation biology, but I oppose messing with genes and have no interest in seeing all human disease cured so we can overpopulate the planet and drive species to extinction even faster.

I was in the middle of the pack–here’s some of the people in front of me

 and some of the people behind me.

There were lots of good signs.



Note the NO SCIENCE = NO BEER sign in the corner of that one. This is serious!


After the march I went to a restaurant for lunch and got the following in my fortune cookie. “A different world cannot be built by indifferent people.” I’m not gonna get all optimistic on ya, but jeez!

Then I stopped by Electric Fetus for Record Store Day and heard Sarah Krueger sing a couple songs. My current favorite musician Anders Osborne was on NPR this morning talking about the group he started to help sober musicians stay that way.

There were lots of dogs walking with us today.


I didn’t see any cuter than this pup.


In a few days I’ll be taking a much needed vacation from my two part time jobs, leaving Duluth for the first time since I got back from Yellowstone almost a year ago, and heading over to Marquette to see my favorite dog and his human.

Posted by: greentangle | April 20, 2017

People are Grizzly Food

Posted by: greentangle | April 14, 2017


A famous Yellowstone wolf died this week. She was the wolf I had a solo encounter with five winters ago when hiking above Mammoth Hot Springs. I considered myself very lucky to see her with no other people present and no roads in sight. One of my top YNP memories.

The NPS press release follows. Although it states the nature of the initial injuries is unknown, it also encourages anyone with information to call them. Doesn’t sound like they’re looking for a killer bison, and usual NPS policy is not to interfere with natural processes by killing a dying animal. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more.

Well-Known Wolf Severely Injured and Killed in Park

Date: April 14, 2017
Contact: Morgan Warthin, (307) 344-2015

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY – On April 11, 2017, hikers discovered a severely injured wolf inside Yellowstone National Park near Gardiner, Montana.

Park staff investigated the situation and concluded the wolf was in shock and dying from the injuries. “Staff on scene agreed the animal could not be saved due to the severity of its injuries. The decision was made to kill the animal and investigate the cause of the initial trauma,” said P.J. White, Chief of the Wildlife and Aquatic Resources Branch. At this time, the nature of the initial injuries is unknown. An investigation into the cause of the injuries has begun which will include a necropsy.

Park staff identified the wolf as the white female of the Canyon Pack, one of three known white wolves in the park. This wolf lived to 12 years, twice the age of an average wolf in the park and had a broad range that extended from Hayden Valley to the Firehole River area to the northern portion of the park. For these reasons, the wolf was one of the most recognizable and sought after by visitors to view and photograph.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the Yellowstone National Park Tip Line at 307-344-2132 or e-mail us. For more information, visit

The park will provide more information about the investigation when it is available.



Posted by: greentangle | April 3, 2017

Bears Repeating

I read a couple more Yellowstone books last month. Not because I’m having new thoughts of returning (if that ever happens, it will be at least two years from now after I’ve started collecting Social Security and stopped working any regular jobs), but because they’d reached the top of my to-be-read interlibrary loan books list.

Yellowstone Ranger is by Jerry Mernin, who worked 32 years in Yellowstone, retired long before I got there and died while I was working there. The book of his writing was put together after his death. He grew up in Yosemite where his father was a ranger, and first worked there as well as at Bryce and Grand Canyon before staying at Yellowstone until he was forced to retire due to age. He then became a backcountry volunteer until he was physically unable to continue.

As you’d expect from the time period involved, the book is filled with old school attitudes, suggesting a carload of hippies get haircuts and shave so they’re less likely to be considered suspects, sexist not as vulgarly as Trump but in a more chivalrous manner. In keeping with policies of the time, he shot and killed a lot of bears, though often wishing he hadn’t needed to do it. With my fear of heights and falling, his descriptions of rappelling into the canyon to retrieve bodies had my stomach flipping.

One of the most interesting parts of the book to me was his speculation about the identity of the bear which killed a Swiss camper in 1984 and was never captured or identified. He suggests that a bear captured and killed several weeks later at Fishing Bridge campground was the same bear, although this differs from the NPS conclusions about the age and size of the bear in their report about the camper’s death.

The second book was Taken by Bear in Yellowstone by Kathleen Snow, which gathers information on bear attacks in and around Yellowstone. As you might expect from the title, this is a fairly sensationalistic book. A very large percentage of the text comes directly from NPS and other agencies’ reports as well as newspaper articles and trail guides, with detailed descriptions of the attacks and the bodily damages caused by the bears. And what comes across is how completely unpredictable bears are. Playing dead and not resisting often seems to help lessen the attack–except when it doesn’t and the bear wants to eat you, or is pulling you sleeping from a tent.

The book seems like a school paper—I don’t think I’ve ever read a book which had less text actually written by the author. Which may not be a bad thing considering a bizarre paragraph in which she tried to excuse photographers who are killed after getting too close to bears by comparing them to hunters. Except that the hunters either accidentally get too close to bears or are deliberately trying to kill them, while the photographers are simply acting irresponsibly. I don’t excuse either group, but they’re not comparable.

Still, it was useful to have all the bear incidents in one book, and as someone familiar with Yellowstone, it was interesting to plot out all the locations against my memories and experiences. One of those attacks involved someone I knew when I lived in the park. But other than the completeness for this particular location, a much better book on the topic of bear attacks which includes several of the Yellowstone incidents is Mark of the Grizzly by Scott McMillion.

Posted by: greentangle | March 4, 2017




Posted by: greentangle | February 19, 2017

The Fox and the ELF, aka Mourning in America

Here’s a link to a podcast episode about ecoheroes, ecosaboteurs, ecoterrorists, (depending on who’s doing the describing), which wonders if the time may be ripe to see an upswing in these activities again now that the US government has declared war on our planet, and what the public reaction might be.


The podcast begins with The Fox, a Chicago area biology teacher who started marching to a different drum for science back in 1969. Apparently, his efforts turned into family affairs, which I think would be a great tradition to pass on, and also had some support from local police. Here’s an article by someone who knew him.


There’s passing mention of Greenpeace and Ed Abbey and Earth First!, but the second half of the program focuses on the Earth Liberation Front. Following is the trailer for the documentary film If A Tree Falls (that’s a link to the film’s website) about ELF which is discussed with the filmmaker. I remember watching the movie, but apparently didn’t write about it at the time on either of my blogs.



For some more straightforward podcasts about nature, check out Something Wild, also from New Hampshire public radio.




Posted by: greentangle | February 18, 2017

Ducks on Ice





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