If you recall from the last two updates Garcon had recently learned Baba Yaga was in Mordavia, a Gnome had come to him without his humor, a talking skull wanted to up its style, and he’d just been giving a rehydration potion from Dr. Cranium.
Perseii spent the rest of the day wandering the wilderness until nightfall. Once the sun had gone done though he started heading towards Erana’s Garden in the valley. We’re not looking to go to the garden but there is something we want on the western edges of it. Along the way Jackson returns into some of the valley’s nightlife:
California Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos californicus)
The California Grizzly Bear, once considered its own species Ursus horribilis, was a subspecies of the North American Brown Bear or Grizzly Bear. The California Grizzly was very closely related to the Grizzly Bears of the southern coasts of Alaska. The bear was known, and lauded, for its size, strength, and beauty. The bear shared its physiology with the Kodiak Bear, though it appears to not have had the pronounced shoulder hump those bears do.
Experts estimate that the California Grizzly population was approximately 10,000 at its peak, around the 1820s and 1830s. The bears were a common sight to the Indians, the Spaniards, and the flood of Americans arriving during and after the Gold Rush. The animal was endemic to the lowlands and foothills of the state from the Sierras down to the deserts in the south. The expansion of humans into California and Grizzly habitat after the Gold Rush lead to direct competition between the two species. California newspapers of the late nineteenth century were replete with accounts of grizzlies raiding livestock and occasionally killing humans. By the end of the 1800s, the animal could only be found in the Santa Ana Mountains, the Southern Sierra Nevada, the mountains of Santa Barbara County, and the San Gabriel Mountains.
It is believed the last California Grizzly was killed in 1922 in Tulare County.
They are at least as active, however, on their legs as on their wings. The hop of the bush wren is a remarkable performance. During the first salutary movement the bush wren carries himself parallel to the earth; at the termination, however, of each leap he telescopes upwards on his toes, momentarily erecting himself in the oddest way to his full height. When the two movements are blended in rapid action, what with his whitish feet, short toes and long thin legs, and tightly folded body plumage, he resembles in no small degree a barefooted bairn running on sands with tucked-up garments firmly fastened around the waist. He passes through the darkling underscrub like a forest gnome, like a woodland brownie.
~Guthrie-Smith, Bird Life on Island and Shore, 1925
The New Zealand Bushwrens were a group of nearly flightless wrens, consisting of three subspecies, endemic to the three islands that make up New Zealand. The birds were small (about 3.5 inches in length and 16 grams.) with bodies that were mostly covered in yellow feathers with dark green to purple feathers covering their faces.
The Bushwren was driven to extinction due to the introduction of invasive species to New Zealand. Rats, Mustelids (ferrets and martens), and felines all decimated the population which had no history of mammalian predators. The last members of the species were died in the 1970s after a failed attempt to preserve them by moving them to a small island uninhabited by the invasive species.
Last year (link below) I commented on the very large amount of TV that I watched over the course of 2015. I said that I wanted to watch less TV and do more of other things or try and make TV a more social activity. I did watch less TV in 2016 and near the end of the year, I did begin watching it more socially with friends. I can’t say that the time I freed up not watching TV went towards more ‘useful’ projects though…
Stand outs for 2016? I’m upset there is no more Poirot for me to watch. House of Cards got weird. I want more Galavant. I need more cooking shows and Top Gear is very, very addictive. Clickthrough to see the list.