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The Canadian Rockies Trail Of The Grizzly

(category: Outdoors, Word count: 402)
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Over and over the huge grizzly bear stabs her powerful paw into the mountain river, fishing for her breakfast in the chilly, shallow water. A cool, crisp mountain breeze drifts through the valley; moist morning dew blankets the ground. The soothing sound of running water plays continuously as the sun scales the mountain peaks and illuminates the dawn sky.

There can be few places on earth with the raw, natural beauty displayed throughout the Rocky Mountains. Vast forests race up the huge grey, granite faces until the grade becomes too steep to support the great myriad of roots. Songs of birds emanate through the deep valley as they sing and dance amongst the tall trees. The still waters of the broad lake mirror the gathering, grey clouds forming in the sky. Rainfall looks likely.

Upstream from the lake, the grizzly perseveres in her attempts to catch salmon. Her young cub watches inquisitively; her only chance of survival is to learn the predatory skills of her mother.

A clap of thunder echoes around the valley; angry clouds combine to mask the sun. The light darkens and shadows disappear. Birds scatter from their perches in the lofty trees and circle overhead, assessing what the weather will do next.

The bright morning sunshine gives way to afternoon showers. Rain splashes upon the flowing stream, earning sanctuary for the swimming fish as the grizzly and her cub head for the shelter of the thick forest green.

Observing grizzly bears is one of the most exciting adventure holidays to be had. Vancouver Island Destinations offer spectacular springtime grizzly bear viewing holidays at Glendale Cove, Knight Inlet in British Columbia. Timed to coincide with the end of the grizzly's hibernation period, watch the bears emerge from their winter slumber and tread wearily through the melting snow to feed amongst the river lowlands.

You can observe the bears begin to fatten themselves up, from the complete safety of a river boat. Binoculars are a must for those great close-ups, and an opportunity to witness the bear in predatory mode as they retune their fishing skills. Obviously binoculars help to keep a safe distance, but also allow you to watch the bears act completely naturally, undisturbed by human presence.

Both boat and land viewing tours are available up to the beginning of October. For more information visit the Vancouver Island Destinations web site.

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Bird Watching Presents Christmas Gift Ideas

(category: Outdoors, Word count: 421)
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Bird watchers are rabid about bird watching, and rightfully so. If you are looking for Christmas gift ideas for bird watching presents, here are a few keepers.

Bird Watching Presents

As with practically anything in our modern society, there are all kinds of gadgets and unique gifts that make great Christmas gift ideas for bird watching presents.

1. Electronic Bird Identifier - The Electronic Bird Finder is a device that provides you with the ability to recognize bird sounds and appearances through a comparison with a database in the device. Bird appearances are shown on the device and an ear plug lets you listen to bird calls until you match what you are hearing in the wild with a specific bird in the database. About the size of a pager, the device comes in an easy to carry pouch and is built to take a pounding. You can expect to pay $25 to $50. Just search for "electronic bird finder" on the web to find cost options. .

2. Bird Watcher's Digest - Bird Watcher's Digest is "the" magazine for bird watchers. Great for beginners and avid birding fanatics, the magazine covers unique bird watching locations, birding tips and reviews of Big Day bird watching events to mention just a few items. A one-year subscription will set you back a whopping $19.95, money well spent when you see your friend or loved one hunkered down on the couch and reading away.

3. Trek Pod - This handy device is so cool it should be illegal. The Trek Pod is a multi-function device that acts as a hiking staff while you cruise around looking for optimal bird watching spots. Once you find the perfect location, the staff converts to a tripod you can mount binoculars, cameras and scopes onto. Oh, WHY didn't I think of this?! You can expect to pay $135 for the Trek Pod.

4. Nomad Bird Watching Journals - A little self-promotion. Nomad Bird Watching Journals are great gifts for bird watching enthusiast. Whether they enjoy bird watching tours, backyard birding or bird watching vacations, these journals let bird watchers keep track of sightings, conditions, locations, people met and impressions of the birding experience. A great Christmas gift, you can see the journal by clicking the link in the byline of this article and expect to pay $25 for the journal with case.

Bird watching is sweeping the world. Now you know what to buy bird watching enthusiasts for the holidays.

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Stalking Alligators In Florida

(category: Outdoors, Word count: 427)
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Alligators were the furthest thing from our minds as my wife Ana and I traveled along the coast of northern Florida. We had paid $23 to camp in our conversion van at a beautiful state park on the beach the night before. In the morning we saw a dolphin swimming near shore.

Then we heard we could camp for free at the isolated campgrounds which dotted the Apalachicola National Forest. Our frugality sent us into alligator country.

We spent two nights in the dark woods next to the dark waters of a slow river. Our only company was an old guy who seemed to be living there, and a nice couple with their two-year-old daughter. Lester was from England, Kari from Texas, and Indya was born in Guatamala. They met in India, of course.

Our little group circled the fire at night, trading stories, and occasionally sneaking down to the water with flashlights to look for the eyes of alligators. We heard splashes in the night, but saw nothing.

The Lake Talquin Monster

When the old guy told us camping was free at Wiliams Landing, on Lake Talquin, we all moved up there for a week. The hot showers convinced us. We continued trading stories around the fire each night, but now we saw all kinds of wildlife. Armadillos walked through camp, giant grey herons fished just offshore from the van, and there were racoons, owls, squirrels, ducks, and turtles. Then was also the "monster."

March is a great time to get out in the woods in Florida, so I was poking around near a corner of the lake, when I heard the splash. There were no fish that big, I knew, and we had already seen two small alligators sunning themselves the day before. This one had to be a giant. Ana and I returned the next morning, and again heard the splash. It was under the water before we could see it.

In the coming days, we visited the monster each morning once the sun was high enough for him to come out and soak up the heat. We caught enough glimpses to know he was at least ten feet long. Kari and Lester made a "Crocodile Hunter" movie of us stalking it.

In time, it no longer panicked, but just slowly lowered itself into the water, as if getting ready to hunt us properly. We stopped trying to get so close to it. Our gang went to view alligators safely after that, from the tour boat at Wakulla Springs.

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In Search Of Moon Lake A Montana Mission Mountain Oddessy

(category: Outdoors, Word count: 866)
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Montana's Mission Mountains - a phenomena of stunning proportions and striking beauty. I marveled as I waded back between those magnificent peaks. I was following the trail around McDonald Lake and back up Post Creek, off in search of Moon Lake. I had no illusions about the meaning of the designation stamped on the map - Annual Grizzly Bear Closure Area. There was no indication that this was the time for the closure though, so with considerable trepidation I set out on my adventure, figuring they must be off doing other things at the moment.

To get to McDonald Lake, travel Highway 93 between Polson and Missoula, Montana. About 7 miles north of St. Ignatius, you turn right on McDonald Lake Road, following it straight east toward the mountains. Crossing a canal, you turn left and north, following the winding road another mile to McDonald Lake dam. Turning left again, follow the dirt road across the dam, past picnic spots and finally to the trail head at the end of the road.

I am always in awe at the up-close and personal proximity of the surrounding peaks in that area, providing the constant lure to the area. In particular McDonald Peak with the McDonald Glacier towers over me to the south, directly across the lake and creek. Even as I marvel at the majesty of the towering peaks, the imagination takes off, spying a hundred vantage points above me for

the local Grizzly population. I struggle to avoid picturing them sitting "up there", flipping a coin for which one gets first crack at the prewrapped morsel blindly stumbling into their kitchen. The

amazing mountain scene, however, provides an unstoppable appeal, and the logical probability of having a bad day with a Grizzly is low enough that the exploration must proceed.

The first thing you notice as you hit the trail is that it is not overly used. Makes you wonder. Within a quarter of a mile on the trail around McDonald Lake, following a set of mild switchbacks, you find yourself out on a point above the lake, with an awe inspiring view of the lake and McDonald Peak. Many times I've stopped when traveling through the area to walk that quarter mile to that point for "just one more picture", as can be seen on our website in Gallery 3.

From that point leading back along the north side of McDonald Lake, the overall trail is surprisingly level for trekking into such steep mountains. The trail, virtually following the base of McDonald Peak sits at around 3,800 feet in elevation, with the peak right next to you "up there" at 9,868 feet. Leading around the lake, the trail crosses numerous wide open slide chutes leading clear to the top of the peak opposite McDonald. At another point the trail crosses a moss covered shear cliff, but is wide enough that you don't feel at risk for falling. Past the end of the lake, the trail drops down onto Post Creek, and in the next couple miles leads through an amazing old growth Cedar grove.

Needless to say, my bear paranoias prompted me to pick up a sturdy stick. Not that I'm ready to put up much of a fight. Rather, I whacked that stick on every other rock and tree branch all the way up the trail. Bears really have no interest in spending time with the humanoid species. So if the bear hears you coming, they will interrupt their otherwise busy schedules to find pursuits clear up over the ridge from you. The key is to avoid surprising them. With all my noise, they at least stepped aside to a safe distance from the crazy person.

Past the wonderful cedar grove the trail gradually climbs through a brushier area approaching the upper end of the canyon. I hit a set of 4 or 5 switchbacks leading in a steep climb up a rock face

up the north side of the valley, opposite McDonald Peak. The trail then leads off from here in a loop circling around, crossing Eagle Pass and coming out on Eagle Pass Creek north of McDonald Lake.

Moon Lake was within striking distance. Once past the switchbacks and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the trail leads through some marshier areas in the upper reaches of Post Creek. At last, through the trees Moon Lake came into view, settled in the midst of tall pines. In late June this glistening jewel of a high mountain lake still entertained snowbanks along the shadier shorelines.

Settling on a sunnier lake shore spot under the tall pines I marveled that the Dieties allowed me this unbelievably unique opportunity. Flanked by the massive peaks all around I existed in this exquisitely rugged backcountry spot, far off the beaten path. No other human beings were anywhere within miles of this awesomely gorgeous corner of the world. In an emergency that might be a negative aspect. With the Dieties at my side, I wasn't living to always watch for emergencies, and savored that sense of uniqueness, and do to this day.

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Weathervanes Monitor Your Wind Direction With Beauty

(category: Outdoors, Word count: 377)
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A weather vane, also called a wind vane, is a movable device attached to an elevated object such as a roof for showing the direction of the wind.

The weather vane must be balanced so that half its weight is on either side of its axis, but also designed so that the areas exposed to the wind are unequal. This unequal area causes the vane to rotate and minimize the force of the wind on its surface. The design of the vane causes the end with the smallest area to turn into the wind, pointing to the source of the wind. Because winds are named from their source direction, the pointer enables the viewer to name the wind easily. Most simple weather vanes have directional markers beneath the pointer, aligned with the geographic directions. The pointer must be able to move freely on its axis.

Weathervanes, especially those with fanciful shapes, do not always show the real direction of a very gentle wind. This is because the figures do not achieve the design balance required in a weather vane. Early weather vanes had very ornamental pointers, but modern wind vanes are usually simple arrows that dispense with the directionals because the instrument is connected to a remote reading station. Also modern wind vanes were mounted with an anemometer, a device that measures wind speed.

To obtain an accurate reading, the weather vane must be located well above the ground and away from buildings, trees, and other objects which interfere with the true wind direction. Changing wind direction can be meaningful when coordinated with other apparent sky conditions, enabling the user to make simple short range forecasts.

Another wind direction device is the windsock. These are used at airports to show wind direction and strength. The wind fills the sock and makes it blow away from the prevailing wind. Strong winds make the sock point almost horizontally, while light airs allow the sock to hang limply. Because of its size, the wind sock can often be seen from the air as well as the ground. Even the most technologically-advanced airports still use windsocks today. Weathervanes are not only a signal of ancient history, but also a knowledgeable weather-reading instrument.

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Children S Summer Camps Are They Really Good For Our Children

(category: Outdoors, Word count: 326)
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During the school session, schoolteachers are responsible for enriching your kid's life through various activities and other mental stimulations. But in the summers this responsibility shifts to parents. Summer camps are good for children as well as for parents, as they allow parents to work freely without being worried about their children.

Children summer camps are really good for your children if they provide the following activities for your children.

1) Teens summer camps should provide skill activities, which entertain, teach and prepare students for the rest of their lives.

2) Youth summer camps should cover topics like note taking, reading, writing, relationships and communication, problem solving and creativity, test taking, memory, and more.

3) Unique learning environment with extensive trained counselor will provide supportive environment to enjoy summer camp.

4) If your child is interested in music, drama, sports, or computer camps then it is better to send them in day camps.

But it will be better to make an intensive research and questioning before your child attend any camp. You should know what will be the daily schedule of your child, how he or she will enjoy free time, what will be the menu, how often they will be allowed to take food and the ratio of counselor to camper. How you will be informed in case of any emergency and what kind of medical facility and training the camp offers.

The best way to know about any individual camp is just by visiting someone who has had child at the particular camp. The main thing, which should be considered, is the age of your child and his interest. Give your child lifetime memories from children summer camp. Choose the proper summer camp for your child and then send him to have the time of his life without any hesitations. Childrens summer camp is a gift any parent would love giving his child.

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Arrowhead Hunting And Rock Collecting

(category: Outdoors, Word count: 522)
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We weren't planning to go rock and arrowhead hunting in Arizona. My wife and I just liked that hotspring in the desert. It was agood place to escape the Michigan winter for a while.

Then we met Felix, an old Mayan Indian living in an old RV. After sharing meals and campfires for a week, he took us into the desert to show us ancient metates (grain-grinding stones) and arrowheads. We also found hundreds of beautiful rocks of every type, including Apache Tears, Fire Agate, and various quartzes.

Irina, a nineteen-year-old "rainbow kid," who had been living in her van for months, rode with Felix in his old pickup. We took our van. We spent two hours at the first stop. The recent rain had made the rocks and artifacts stand out, washing them clean. We were mostly just rock collecting.

Irina and my wife Ana found odd pieces that may have been arrowheads. We found old pottery pieces too, and Felix came back with half of a pot painted with an intricate design. It was probably hundreds of years old. Felix had been in the desert for years, and kept seeing things we missed.

Pony Express Ruins

At our second stop, Felix showed us ruins of an old Pony Express station. Unmarked and forgotten, the grass-and-mud-block walls were still partially standing. I realized we still hadn't seen a single other car. There are some isolated areas in Arizona, and this is one of them. We started arrowhead hunting around the ruins, because Felix insisted the building would have been fired upon by arrows.

Up the hill behind the ruins, Felix showed us rocks with six-inch wide holes a foot deep or more, and perfectly round. They were filled with water - their purpose, according to Felix. We like water with fewer bugs, but he and Irina drank the water collected in them. It was a peaceful spot, overlooking the valley below.

Arrowhead Hunting Success

Over the hill, we had some luck searching for rocks and arrowheads, but not like Felix. We saw hundreds of pieces of pottery, but all very plain looking. He found pottery that had beautiful designs on it, and metates. He found a tiny clear quartz arrowhead, perfectly made, that had probably been used to hunt small birds two hundred years earlier.

Each of us wandered a bit. Ana and I made it back to the van first, and when Irina and Felix returned, we cooked beans with instant rice on our camp stove. After the meal, we said goodbyes, and traded addresses. They went back to the hotsprings, while we headed the other way with bags of rocks, an antelope antler, and two broken arrowheads.

For interesting rocks, go out after a rain and you can see Fire-agate and Apache Teardrops laying on the sand. For the best rock collecting, visit the designated rockhound areas in southeastern Arizona. As for arrowhead hunting, and ancient pottery, enjoy yourself, but it may be illegal to keep any artifacts now. The BLM office in Safford can give you directions and more information.

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The Wasp Killer Secrets

(category: Outdoors, Word count: 555)
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Kill hornets and wasps by using the very best wasp killer.

Even if you've chosen the very best the right wasp killer you must effectively identify the insect. If you are unsure you should get a good quality hornet and wasp killer! However never confuse wasps with bees. The humble bumble bee is very important in plant pollination and avoids having to sting as it die as a result.

Wasps & hornets by comparison are very different! This is important to learn how to use the right wasp killer effectively.

The type of wasp killer you use is important.

The advice, is offered for those who want to kill not just wasps but also their nests with the right wasp killer, applies if you need to know the best way kill yellowjackets, hornets or any other wasps. The "how to" of being a wasp killer:

Next, if you need to retrieve the wasp's nest you must get appropriate coverings. All wasps do get extremely aggressive if disturbed! Destroying the nest will not do it. You need to learn to use a wasp killer correctly on a nest or they'll merely rebuild their nest.

The most appropriate time of the day to approach a nest is at night when every wasp is present. It's possible for you to use WD-40 to spray the wasps but you need to cover all of the nest because if you miss they will be alerted. Therefore I think it's best to have high strength wasp killer.

At night when there is no sign of any wasp activity apply your wasp killer directly into the nest. Make sure you have pre-read the instructions! You do not want to be reading the instructions while performing the job as the wasps have been known to attack.

Never stand just under the nest as the insecticide will will fall on you and you might not correctly soak the nest. Ensure you have good access to the nest's opening so that you can get as much wasp killer inside it as you can.

Make sure you have an escape route!

Another method is freezing the nest. Again any method that shows you how to eliminate wasps should be performed at night. Cover the nest with a heavy plastic bag and seal it. Cut down the nest and freeze it. It's an effective effective but risky way of eliminating wasps. Use a high strength wasp killer.

The hardest part of learning to eliminate wasps is learning how to deal with hidden nests. Many times these are concealed in attics or behind walls. If wasps are present but there's no nest you must be extremely careful when you try to find it. Wear the proper clothing, or call a professional.

Professionals can be costly however they use great wasp killer. However, you can do the job yourself with the advice given on this wasp killer article. Before you try it though you should study the main things to know outlined so you know the best wasp killer to use.

If you do not have a wasp problem but just need your garden and home free of them then why not try cheap wasp killer traps.

So now you have the knowledge how to be a wasp killer go get them!

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Why You Should Plan Your Camping Vacation In Advance

(category: Outdoors, Word count: 577)
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Are you interested in taking a camping vacation with your romantic partner, your friends, or your family? If you are, have you already started planning your camping vacation? If you have yet to start planning your camping vacation, you may want to think about doing so soon.

Although it is nice to know that you should think about planning your camping vacation in advance, you may be wondering exactly why you should do so. In all honesty, you will find that there are a number of different reasons as to why you should start planning your next camping vacation in advance, as well as a number of benefits to doing so. Just a few of those many reasons and benefits are outlined for you below.

Planning your camping vacation in advance will help to ensure that you are able to get a reservation. Camping is a popular activity, especially during the spring and summer months. What does this mean for you? It means that you are likely one of hundreds of people in and around your area who are also interested in having a fun filled camping vacation, possibly even at the same time as you. Unfortunately, many campgrounds are limited on the amount of space that they have. To ensure that you are able to get a camping vacation reservation, you will want to make your plans in advance.

In addition to getting a reservation, planning your camping vacation in advance may also help you get a better camping spot. What many individuals do not know is that many campgrounds allow their campers to choose which specific locations they would like to camp at. By viewing a map of the campground in question, you may find that the perfect camping spot is located next to a lake or one that is close to a hiking trail. With that in mind, however, it is important that you know that the longer you wait to make your camping vacation reservations, the less "prime," camping locations you will have to choose from.

Planning your next camping vacation in advance will also give you more time to prepare for it. For instance, what type of foods would you like to bring on your next camping adventure or what type of games would you like to play? These are questions that you should ask yourself, as it may make it easier for you to prepare for your vacation. By making your camping vacation reservations in advance, you can determine, ahead of time, whether or not the campground has a lake, hiking trails, or electricity. This can make it much easier to prepare for your next camping vacation, as well as ensure that you have all needed camping supplies and camping equipment pieces.

It is also important to mention having a memorable experience. Planning your next camping vacation in advance is likely to make your experience a more memorable one. As it was previously mentioned, when you plan your camping vacation in advance, you are better able to ensure that you have all of the needed camping supplies and you may possibly even be able to even handpick your camping spot. This is likely to improve your camping trip.

The above mentioned reasons are just a few of the many reasons why you should think about planning your next camping vacation in advance. In all honesty, only good can come from doing so.

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