I am back after about two weeks. That is why there have been no updates. I saw some pretty neat things that I will cover in the next few days of entries.
Let's start with the critter news. Everyone always likes my stories about those.
The other day in the park, a manatee gave birth to a new calf. I was not here for the occasion. Momma manatee was thrashing around at the boat basin the other evening, and the next morning had a manatee calf about 3 ft. long. Unfortunately I missed it, and did not see them down there today, on my first day back at work.
I spent a couple days with Jimmy Sawgrass, who is doing a Native American program at the summer scout camp, Camp Lanoche. Nobody does it like he does, and I will talk more about this later. I have known Jimmy for many years, and he is a very generous and kind individual. He created a museum in the old Rotary lodge at camp that is spectacular.
Anyway, Camp Lanoche has a bear problem this summer. Bears are seen quite frequent, and three have been taken out of the camp already. Building in the area and the lack of food from droughts and fires has driven the bears into the camp area. I never saw bears during the many years I spent at camp.
One of the camp staff members is from the Dominican Republic; not a place that sees many bears, but he has quite a story to take home with him. Being on staff, he has a small refrigerator in his tent. One evening, he was taking a snooze, and woke up to see a bear looking in the tent. The bear grabbed the whole fridge and took off with it, and emptied the contents nearby.
All trash is put inside buildings at night, and the scouts are told not to have any food in the tents. Including candy.
My friend Mr. Hague of troop 625 said that last summer on a backpack trip in the mountains, one kid has his pants stolen by a bear in the middle of the night. He was not wearing them at the time, fortunately, but it did have some skittles in one of the pockets that the bear ripped up to get. I am sure he probably had a spare pair of shorts or pants to wear, but he learned an important lesson when hiking in bear territory.