Another rainy day. Today there was a major thunderstorm as well that caused the electricity to flicker on and off. Sitting inside and watching the rain sure gives a person time to muse about a variety of different topics. Today’s topic? Well, given that I am out in nature, let’s chat about the unseen in the wilderness…
About 11 years ago, I spent a summer doing research on frogs in Creston, British Columbia. It was bear (both grizzly and black) and cougar country. I had a few encounters with black bears, also with coyotes, but I never once saw a cougar or grizzly, even though they were known to be in the area. Encounters with predators are rare in nature. They avoid you whenever they can. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t know that you are there. I have read a number of books about predators. Many of them say that often times when you are hiking in backcountry, these animals will see you, and you will be completely oblivious to them. It is an interesting thought. What makes the idea even more incredible is that theses are not small animals. A grizzly, for example, can weigh around 300 kg. I have often hiked through the wilderness and wondered what might be watching me… cougars in British Columbia, leopards in Africa, jaguars in Costa Rica…
What else could be out there that quite simply avoids us? Big Foot? Now, I am not a firm believer in cryptozoology, but I am intrigued by the possibility of sasquatches, yetis, and the like. Just because we have not documented them scientifically does not mean they do not exist. The estimated number of species that live on the planet Earth is 8.7 million (this can vary depending on your source). Humanity has only identified about 1.2 million of those. Granted, the vast majority of species yet to be discovered will probably be small. But, there are undoubtedly larger animals to be found as well in the undeveloped corners of the world.
Creston had an interest in Big Foot. The Kokanee Beer Brewery is located there, and their mascot is a sasquatch. There was a restaurant with a similar theme. The Kootenay region is known to Big Foot enthusiasts as a sighting hotspot. I don’t doubt that many sasquatch stories are fabrications. But, behind every legend there is often a truth… and with so many people supposedly seeing these creatures even in the present day… They can’t all be liars. Most people are inherently good and truthful, right?
So, next time you are out hiking in the woods, take a moment to reflect about just who you might sharing the space with… it can be a very humbling thought.
Until next time,