Friday, September 28, 2007

I've been busy in the basement making a furry grizzly bear outfit for K-5th grade kids to wear. I think it will be an effective way to captivate their attention if they watch classmates reenact scientific research on wildlife. I believe it will be a lot of fun and they will be less likely to forget.

It's almost done! The claws on the furry mittens are the same size as actual grizzly bear claws. The fur fabric looks very much like the real grizzlies I saw while in Denali National Park - more blond then brown.

In the early stages, when I was working on how to make it fit kids in a wide size range, I had my niece try it on. She's almost seven. She jumped on the couch, looked in the mirror, then rolled on the floor laughing and laughing. It was rewarding to bring such joy.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I guess I'm turning into a nerd. On a recent trip to Alaska I had high hopes of casting a grizzly bear track. In my suitcase, I packed a 2 pound tub of casting compound and a garden trowel. The garden trowel got my suitcase searched.

Unfortunately, those grizzlies are smarter than you think. They hang out by the muddy river banks and leave perfect prints in May. But in May, the campground by the muddy river banks was closed. At the end of June, when I was there, they'd moved on to the tundra with their cubs. The spongy tundra has lots of grizzly food, but wasn't a great spot for finding the crisp clear tracks I was seeking. Anyhow, when I returned home and unpacked my suitcase, the tub of casting goop had gone on a nice trip, but that was about it. Thankfully, I was able to find an awesome replica of a real Montana grizzly track. It has long claws sticking out of it and is very impressive.

The videos on this website are really meant for kids. It's a place for them to see wildlife and science that they may not have the opportunity to see elsewhere. So, when I get a comment on the video like "that was incredibly stupid," I'm going to delete it. And when I get a comment on my blog pointing readers to a t-shirt website, I'm going to delete that. Very interesting that both comments came from someone named Rodrigo. Hmmmm.

Currently, I am working on 2 more videos. The first is about grizzly bears and has footage of cubs. The second will be a short clip about scientists studying wildlife in Alaska.