April 04, 2006

Exit Glacier and Glorified Vultures

Today I got to see just how far Exit Glacier has moved in the past couple months. I haven't been out there since November, but my boss asked if I wanted to come along with him to take measurements for our new visitor center desk. Of course I said ok, despite having four weeks worth of work I need to get done in the next ten days.

So we hopped on the park's snowmachines and buzzed out there. And I mean buzz in the slow, ponderous bumble-bee type of buzz sort of way, not the fast, zippy dragonfly way. In fact, if you check out the spedometer in the picture you'll see that it is reading a big fat zero. That's because the machine went so damn slow that it realized measuring our speed in miles per hour was rather pointless, so it never bothered to actually move the needle. I was actually moving, however, when I took the picture.

Once we got to the glacier things went a bit more smoothly. It was actually enjoyable to go slowly because there were cool ermine and moose tracks everywhere to look at. The thing I was most interested in finding out was how much the glacier had moved forward during the winter. Last time I saw it there was a sign sitting in front of that big pile of dirt. Well, as you can see now, there's no sign. The ice has completely buried it. If you look closely, you'll be able to see a similar sign on the left side of the image. Well, if you were to draw a line to the right from that sign for about twenty or thirty feet you'd find the location of the other sign. That is, if there wasn't several thousand tons of ice on top of it.

And if you missed it last night, The Daily Show aired a segment on a recent law passed in Homer, Alaska, making it illegal to feed Bald Eagles. Keep checking that site and sooner or later they'll have the segment on there for download.

Honestly, though, I don't see what the big issue is. Nothing good could ever come from encouraging hundreds of hungry, aggressive birds with large talons into a residential area. Not to mention all the dead eagles that will result from them perching on utility poles (FYI - don't click on that link if you don't want to see an electrocuted eagle).

What's the big deal with Bald Eagles, anyway? I mean, any bird is inherently cool, but what makes these so special? They're just glorified vultures, really.

Perhaps my aversion to Bald Eagles comes from seeing crap like this and this and this and this and this and this and this and, worst of all, this plastered on cars, t-shirts, hats, websites, windows, foreheads, and front yards for the last four and a half years.

Luckily, it seems that the nationalistic zealotry that infected every corner of this country for so long is beginning to wane, and people are actually starting to think for themselves once again. Novel idea, I know...but hopefully it will catch on.


sonja said...

I don't know, I kinda liked the bad-ass eagle giving us the finger. And the sensitive weeping eagle.

Anonymous said...

Paul, Sarah & I were looking @ the "HITS" map & wondering who all the people in Japan, Europe & South America were. Janine

P. Ollig said...

Most of those are people I paid to visit my site so I could have more dots than Chris.