Thursday, August 28, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Well, he did it. Grant Cunningham, a member of one of my running clubs, backpacked the entire 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine. That's about 2000 miles more than I have completed. Grant started in March and finished at the end of July. I'm extremely jealous. See the blog of his adventures in my "Buffaloes and Friends" links at right. I hope he'll post a final entry about his journey. Quite an accomplishment, Grant.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
"For most of our time in the park, there was a heavy pall of smoke in the air. Elk and bison in varying stages of consumption stood forlornly in the gray smoke and overcast, breathing hard for precious oxygen. For me, the saddest memory is of the noble bison. These stalwart icons are in no small part symbolic of our national heritage. They are a vision of strength and stamina, but the fire took a toll on them, if not from the flames themselves then from the deadly smoke that lingered long after the flames were abated.
"Granted the smoke took a grim reaping on many animals in the park, but it was the bison that appeared to suffer most. Driving throughout the park, we would see them standing, head down and gasping. Often they stood near geysers and fumaroles for added warmth to ease their pain.
Many of these bison displayed bloody froth draining from their nostrils. Rangers informed us this was an indication that carbon particles from the smoky air had accumulated to a harmful level in their lungs, resulting in not only pneumonia but abrasion to soft lung tissue from the simple act of breathing.
"As the problem progressed, these animals could not even forage for food because of shortness of breath. In time they simply dropped in their tracks and remained there forevermore."
Only nine buffaloes actually perished during the 1988 fire, but it must have been painful to watch the suffering wildlife. Let's hope the current fire, believed to be started by a downed power line, is extinguished as quickly as possible.