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Monday, June 08, 2009

The Hanta Haunting, or Dicey Micey

VERY early this morning, in a "western cabin" at Zion Lodge, Nod leaped out of bed exclaiming "do you hear that?", which I did not, having put earplugs into my delicate shell-like orifices. I arose grumpily and groggily to find we had been invaded!
To backtrack ... Yesterday afternoon, we attended a ranger talk at Zion about the dangerous wildlife in the area. After explaining to us that the abundant rattlesnake population were gentle shy and retiring, she showed us a photo of the Most Dangerous Animal on the Park ... namely, the deer mouse. Apparently, while 1% of rattlesnake bite victims die, the death rate for hanta virus victims is 35%. Not only that; the local rodents carry bubonic plague!
So, when we found we had mice in the room with us, we were concerned! We tried to sleep but then the devils started gnawing on the walls or something, the sound echoing throughout the room. By this time there were several of the adorably cute fiends in the room with us, following us to the dressing room, climbing the chimney, zipping under the bed and playing hide and seek on our pile of jackets in the chair.
We packed in a flash and ran out into the brightening courtyard, thence to the lobby to check out. (we got a Mouse Discount, by the way).
Because we left at such an early hour, though, we happened upon a small group of Bighorn Sheep on the way out of the park, a first for both of us. Then we drove to The Navajo Bridge over the Colorado. We had heard that there were California Condors being released there. Once we arrived at the bridge, we asked the ranger about the condors; she said onewas on the arch of the bridge. While we were looking for this juvenile, though, an adult condor soared over our heads! The condors, whose numbers had dropped to 22 in 1982, are now 330 worldwide but still rare and vulnerable. Go Condors!

1 comment:

HeadBurro Antfarm said...

Well you learn something every day... a ruddy mouse! and the plague still in the US. Yikes!