So many bad “bare bears” jokes could go with this bad video… but this truly happened one dark and rainy June night at our cabin in the woods.
My neighbor called to say two black bears were lumbering up our road. I grabbed the camera. As I pointed in the anticipated direction of sight, the bears took a detour and marched up to the house. What happened next was truly remarkable. “The he” nearly wined and dined “the she” on our patio furniture and they trotted off into the shadows for some large lovin’.
My husband called the neighbors to take up collection – for a room. We’ll be planning the cub shower next.
Let the jokes begin. So how would you finish this line?
If two black bears fornicate on the front lawn, would anybody…
When we came home from vacation on Sunday, to our delight, spring had fully sprung. Missing crocus season entirely, we stepped off the plane straight into full blooming daffodils. Willows leafed out in tender green waves. Red maples reached out their tiny leaves in search of the sun’s warmth. And our resident bear came out of hibernation before we emptied the last inch of winter bird seed from the storage can.
We had a heads up from the house sitter, mind you, and we would have emptied the last of the seed upon coming home had I not been plagued with a medical distraction. Having gained 12 pounds worth of edema in my legs, I was busy limping through 7 doctors’ consults, from ruling out blood clots to detecting what is likely a strange side effect of taking Celebrex. (Thank goodness it wasn’t the salt in the Margaritas! That, I couldn’t live with.)
Exhausted from it all, Tim and I hit the pillow early and hard by Wednesday. We craved a solid night’s sleep, but it was not to come.
The house rattled and creaked as the wind pushed and pulled, searching for a way in beyond the logs. Crisp brown leaves whizzed past the windows, illuminated only by the lamplight inside. The feeder swayed back and forth from it’s hook, metal grinding on metal. The cedar trellis whipped from side to side. From under my my chocolate knit afghan, as I sat with the dogs basking in the warmth of the fire, I lazily thought, I need to tighten those trellis screws.
In the flurry of all that commotion, something caught Jed’s attention. The curious cat ascended the couch, planted his face in the window and stared into the darkness. Then he started to pace.
Squirrel? I thought. We hear them trotting across the roof some nights. They use the trellis to reach the closest feeder with solid footing. I welcomed the thought.
Having cruised Alaska’s inside passage 2 years ago, I thought it would be fun to produce my own version of Sarah Palin’s Alaska for your viewing pleasure. And why not? Since Palin is as much a tourist in her own Alaskan adventures as this born and bred New Yorker, my series is equally valid yet with no political agenda in sight.
Welcome to Kim Clune’s Alaska, the Juneau episode, where my family and I encounter sea lions, whales, eagles, a glacier, a bear and eat wild caught salmon – sans Sarah.
FIRST AND LAST IMPRESSIONS
When Sarah Palin’s Alaska premiered on Sunday and completely shattered TLC’s ratings record, I’ll admit, I watched – although, when the phone rang, I told my husband to mute the TV so no one knew. Yes, I had the same morbid curiosity as millions of American viewers. I am ashamed, but I secretly wondered, as my friend Deb said, if “maybe she gets eaten by a polar bear.”
That wasn’t out of the realm of possibility. Fishing less than 30 feet from a family of protected brown bears, “it’s clear from the video that she violated the [state] guidelines,” said Alaska Wildlife Alliance director, John Toppenberg, on ecorazzi. Palin did get dangerously close as her daughter taunted both mom and cubs. Obviously, anything goes in terms of fame and a $1.2 million per episode fortune.
Having seen Palin’s version of Alaska, I’m over it. I wonder how many others feel the same. The show focused more on her than Alaska’s pristine wilderness and wildlife. It was never Palin that I cared to see but one must watch in order to comment.
AND NOW FOR THE POLITICS In Defense of Animals
My Alaskan videos may not have a political bent but that doesn’t mean I haven’t got an opinion.
Aside from the ugly Facebook squabbles from the Palin daughters – gay slurs included (apparently acceptable daggers when cubs are defending the momma grizzly), or the endless cycle of speculation about a 2012 presidential run, I’m most disturbed that Palin is portrayed as an everyday naturalist worthy of leading us through the tundra. The bristling environmental hypocrisy is astounding after Palin’s record of:
suing the Federal government for protecting Alaskan Beluga whales as an endangered species
urging the Secretary of the Interior to remove polar bears from the endangered list because it would hurt Alaska’s oil economy
supporting drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Bristol Bay where hundreds of thousands of caribou use the refuge as a calving ground and the Bay is the most important onshore denning habitat for female polar bears
Of course, there are a popular petitions on CREDO and Change.org opposing Palin’s involvement with Discovery Communications, a brand that had traditionally represented all that is good and green on this earth. If effectual, the opposition could resolve Palin’s pleas for privacy on a series she allows to enter her home and the homes of 5 million strange Americans – but it likely won’t. Our only hope seems to stem from a wilderness misstep. Stay tuned …