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Scree - October 19, 2010

mountain goat on Mount Quandry

While running yesterday, I almost ran into a pickup truck. It was painted in camouflage and I just didn't see it! So what was the driver hunting anyway - pedestrians, bicyclist, or runners - like me. A camo truck on the street should probably be illegal.

Vote for me, I'll outlaw camo painted trucks.

At the Denver airport (DIA), automobiles are being vandalized by small animals. It was not the dreaded porcupines who disable vehicles at trailhead parking lots; but instead bunnies. Evidentially the rabbits are being accused of eating the wiring on the cars. Of course the car was a VW Jetta... didn't the Jetta used to be named the VW Rabbit?

(NBC News)

"A fish jumped out of the water and speared a 45-year-old woman kayaker in the chest in the Florida Keys, causing injuries that required her evacuation by boat and helicopter to a Miami hospital, the U.S. Coast Guard said Monday."

First there were rabbits eating cars now fish are attacking... The fish really hurt the woman causing damage to her lung and rib. Maybe the fish was attracted to her bathing suit top - much like humming birds being attracted to the color red. Ah, there should be grant money to fund a study on why a houndfish attacked a woman in a kayak.

I hope she has a speedy recovery.

(NBC News)

Over the weekend, a hiker was killed by a mountain goat in Olympia National Park, Washington. The goat had been noticed prior to the incident as being aggressive, but there have not been any goat/human fatalities on record. The hiker was just trying to shoo the goat away.

We have been very close to goats numerous times in the mountains. Most goats seem unafraid of humans; but goats adapt to human behavior. The goats in Chicago Basin have learned that human urine is a good source of salt, they aggressively scavenge for the salt residue. On Mount Evans, the goats are quite different, they hardly acknowledge that humans exist as they graze in the high meadows.

Mountain goats are wild animals though and should be treated with respect. I have seen bears in the wild that seemed so tame that they wanted you to pet them and a marmot that was so aggressive I thought he was going to bite my leg. Wild animals are unpredictable. Use caution around all of them. Prior to this story I would not have even thought of a goat attacking; but now I have another reason to carry pepper spray.

(Peninsula Daily News)

At Fall Creek Falls State Park, a child being held by his mother at the base of the falls was struck by a large rock which came down from the two hundred foot cliff. What a sad story.

"Investigators are looking into the chance someone could have thrown the rock down into the gorge from an overlook or whether it may have been a freak accident."

The baby being injured is terrible; but the thought that someone threw the rock is appalling. Never throw rocks, let your children throw rocks, or allow anyone around you to throw rocks. Never.

Wishing the best to the child and his family.

(News Channel 5)