Ranger Kathryn's Arches

April 1, 2010

Tricky teeth

Filed under: 1 — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 9:34 am
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Deer jawbone, used in "Table of Wonder" demonstration

A table of hands-on “cool stuff” ALWAYS draws people to it, whether in a visitor center or on the trail. The one I am developing beckons people to put their hand into two curtained boxes and see if they can tell the difference between a carnivore jawbone and an herbivore jawbone. I originally thought that only kids would be enticed by the boxes, but NO; everybody wants to touch the bones.

It’s very effective to use a mountain lion skull and a deer skull. Both live in our park, and they illustrate the complex predator-prey food web wonderfully. I ask the kids, “If a cougar can eat one deer a week, and something happens to the cougar, what happens to the deer population?” It’s even MORE fun to ask ranchers that hypothetical question.

A visitor hiking in the backcountry last week reported fresh mountain lion tracks way out by the Colorado River on our eastern boundary. She told me where to find them; I’d like to take my camera out there and look.

March 12, 2010

In which Olive is injured

Filed under: 1 — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 1:05 am
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3:53 pm, a few miles east of Cortez, Colorado, I see this sign:

A pretty common sign in the west

3:55 pm, a mule deer forgot to look for traffic.

Olive (my Prius) is painfully injured. More so is the deer, which cartwheeled off my right quarter panel and into the ditch, and tried twice to get up but couldn’t.

Olive's injuries. Passenger door won't open.

I was blessed to have a maroon pick-up pull up right behind me as I put my flashers on and pulled over. A young couple got out and helped me pull my fender off the tire. The extremely helpful guy checked under the hood for internal damage, had me turn my wheels, examined the rims, and felt confident that I could make it back to Moab fine as it appeared to be all cosmetic damage. Both of them told me they were so very sorry that this happened, and that this stretch of highway was like running a deer gauntlet.

Hold your values tightly, and your possessions loosely.

Leave a comment if you have ever hit (or been hit by) a deer, and state the repair cost.

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