Just wanted to tell you about my weekend camping trip. I took the S.O. to his first Pagan gathering and he had a blast-- so did I
We had 120 Pagans camping at 5000 feet in the Angeles National Forest. It was hazy and icky down in LA but the skies were blue up in the mountains. The Yucca was flowering which is a special treat. This particular type of yucca grows for ten years before it flowers. It then shoots up one flowery spike that can be anywhere from 4 to 8 feet tall. When the flower dies, the whole plant dies.
We had some bears in the campsite this year. We usually have an adult or two who come through at night and try to raid the dumpsters, but this year we had a cub of about 1 1/2 years old who would come through in broad daylight and swipe stuff off picnic tables -- even if someone was sitting at the table... LOL
Ok, so it may not seem funny to those of you who haven't dealt with bears before...
We would just yell at the bear and scare it off into the woods. There are a lot of bears up in those mountains, and seeing at least one when you are camping is not uncommon at all. You cannot feed them though-- ever! If you do and the bears get used to people, the rangers have to destroy them, and that is a terrible thing. We have a saying "A fed bear is a dead bear"
I also walked right into a rattlesnake when the S.O. and I were hiking about 1/2 mile from camp. (Ok, this is the second time I have walked up to a rattlesnake unaware-- the first time was in East Texas 4 years ago). It wasn't a big snake and it just slitered into the brush. We're used to rattlers up here too...
You have to make noise when you are hiking to scare away the rattlers, bears and mountain lions (Yep, we got them too) and you're usually quite safe.
Anyway, it was a gorgeous weekend and I got a bit of sunburn and a few bug bites (and a little ..er... sauced.. at the drum circle last night) but it was a lot of fun