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December 3, 2005

spotting vultures, playing with prides

Black Vulture Coragyps atratusOn Saturday I went out with a friend to the Maryland side of Great Falls National Park. I'd never gone to that side of the park but the scenery was similar although many of the trails along the Potomac were closed due to flooding. We managed to spot a bald eagle and many black vultures, but that was about it. I found that my new camera from work takes great pictures, as seen here. I hope to get out for the annual Christmas bird count later this month on December 17 since I'll be here in DC and it's fun to do. The last time I spotted a red-headed woodpecker, the first spotted at our assigned site in many years.

On the way there I found out where Glen Echo Park was located, and learned I could probably ride my bike there for a long trip if I wanted to.

Dave SalmoniDinner for a pride, anyone? Tonight on Discovery on a show called Into the Lion's Den, hottie zoologist Dave Salmoni believes humans and lions can learn to live with each other in the same territory. For three months he walks, unarmed, ever deeper into the zone of a wild pride of lions.

Oh lordy, here we go again. As detailed in the Warner Hertzog documentary Grizzly Man which I wrote about a while back, I predict a fine meal of raw hottie zoologist in the future if he's not careful. But I suppose risk is the whole appeal of the sensationalist documentary, again at the expense of the animals who will eventually make the mistake of linking human to food and having a nice dinner - and ultimately being killed as a result. While I'm glad to see the guy actually has street cred in the zoology field in this case, I'm always leery of anything that smells of Disneyology sentiments of humans becoming "one" with any group of large predators that subsist on red meat. Lion: "You walk funny, you smell good, and I'm hungry - let's become one my way."

The macho element of man against animal is equally risky, as in the case of the obnoxious Aussie Crocodile Hunter dangling his baby in front of the beasts, or macho Texan snake handlers. Many of these foolish and hypermasculine stunts of male compensation often end in a lesson in natural selection and poetic justice. Jimbo recommends naturalists that respect nature and keep a wise distance (in most cases) and give sound information and advice, like Jeff Corwin (he cracks me up) and the Kratt Brothers, who are both cute and have nice legs.

Photo of the surging Potomac River below, taken on Saturday. Of course I was sure to show respect for the dangerous flow by respecting its banks and staying clear of the waters. An average of seven people die every year in this area, most of whom either do not heed signage warning them to stay clear, or underestimating the force of nature:
surging potomac river

Posted by jimbo at December 3, 2005 12:17 AM


Amazing picture of the Potomac, Jim. Where's all that water come from? Extra-heavy rain somewhere upstream, or is it normal for this time of year?

Posted by: Chris at December 4, 2005 7:53 PM

I watched a few minutes of "In the Lion's Den" and had had enough after hearing him refer to the animals by Disney names and talking like he has some kind of psychic connection with them. I'll put him in the 'Crocodile Hunter' camp of dumb-ass naturalists.

Posted by: jimbo at December 4, 2005 10:21 PM

Oh, I remember what a tizzy all the public TV girls would be thrown into whenever the Kratt Brothers came to the studio for a visit! I was always trying to catch a glimpse of their tanned calves as they wandered the hallways.

Posted by: Sparky [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 5, 2005 12:45 AM

Jeff Corwin is definitely one of the hunkier naturalist guys on TV but sadly he is married. I think your fisheries stud takes first prize with his brains and brawn.

Posted by: John at December 5, 2005 9:34 AM

I've always assumed that the Kratts called themselves brothers for Disney purposes and that they were secretly married and frequently bone like little monkeys between shoots.

Posted by: Paul at December 5, 2005 1:03 PM

Jeff Corwin? Yuck. And he's wrong- a lot.
The Kratt Brothers take that cake. Did you see the naked hot-tubbing with snow monkeys episode? Fantastic.

Posted by: 'monster at December 5, 2005 1:23 PM

OMG, did the levee break again?!?!

Posted by: GURL at December 5, 2005 1:39 PM