Gnarly weddings, arachnid entertainment and gorilla gifts (Heard Around the West) — High Country News – Know the West

Accidents and accidents from different parts of the region.


Weddings are not usually described as “squealing.”But the word seems right for a ceremony on the beautiful shores of Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park. As videographer Stanton Giles filmed the August wedding, his camera panned from the groom’s vows of eternal love to the dramatic pandemonium across the lake: a bear charging out of the bushes, a moose handling a calf as its mother watched. Giles told Newsweek that the bride and groom were in their vows when the wedding party noticed what was happening and were forced to put the festivities on hold until the bear killed the calf. “He was there all the time it took to kill the calf.Giles said. “As soon as it died and stopped struggling in the water, he dragged it back into the trees.The shocked guests weren’t sure how to react, Giles said — this sort of thing rarely comes up in etiquette manuals — but suggested turning up the music “to drown out the sound of death.The entire three-minute-and-30-second scene was videotaped for posterity and uploaded to YouTube, where it has been viewed more than 400,000 times. Nature is both beautiful and terrifying. Weddings held in the great outdoors sometimes give new meaning to the words “till death do you part.”

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Armando Wave/High Country News

As house pets go, tarantulas are a treat. Creepy crawlies aren’t for everyone, but arachnid fans in Corsegold, California, want everyone to love them as much as they do. The 25th annual Corsegold Tarantula Awareness Festival, held on the last Saturday in October at Corsegold Historic Village, honors their contributions to the ecosystem. noted that the festival featured pumpkin cheesecake, a costume contest and a tarantula-inspired poem, not to mention a chance to meet, touch and hold the honored guests. Festival organizers are trying to educate the public and destigmatize hairy spiders. Another tarantula festival was held in La Junta, Colorado during the first week of October. According to, the participants celebrated the arachnids and their annual mating ritual, which did not involve the dating app “Spinder,” according to what happens naturally on Comanche National Grassland’s more than 443,000 acres — instead of spiders like Burning Man, more legs to dance.

Speaking of feet, a partial human foot was found inside its owner’s shoe in August at Abyss Pool in Yellowstone National Park, near West Thumb Geyser Basin, ABC News reported. Could this gruesome discovery be connected to the 21 other amputated feet that have washed up on the shores of Canada and Washington in recent years? Ever since a girl found an Adidas sneaker on August 20, 2007 while hiking on Jedediah Island, near British Columbia and Vancouver Island, authorities have been baffled by gruesome finds. Just six days later, a black-and-white Reebok appeared on Gabriola Island, 30 miles away. After that, other disembodied legs floated around the Salish Sea. However, there is an explanation. Forensic scientists use body dissection, footwear fashions, and DNA research to arrive at a cause, and no, it’s not aliens. Or serial killers. Or shark attacks, or overzealous pedicurists. Big Think explained that sea scavengers and bottom feeders generally sort out dead bodies in the sea. However, the feet may be lifted off the surface with the help of lightweight materials found in recent generations of sneakers. Sneakers made after 2000 are made from lightweight foam and have air pockets inside. Authorities used DNA evidence to identify most of the feet. Yellowstone Cal remains a mystery, though we can’t help but wonder what else lurks in the West Thumb Geyser Basin. Some things are better left unknown.

We’ve long admired the intense yet evocative prose of small-town police blotters. Occasionally an item rises almost to poetry. Alert readers John and Eileen Eavis sent us one such clipping from the Seward Journal, whose Public Safety Report compiles data from a variety of sources, including police, fire and EMS dispatches and court records. How can one not be curious about something like this: “A caller reported at 2:09 p.m. June 19th that at 8:36 a.m. June 19th a person in a gorilla suit trespassed into their yard and abandoned a chicken.” That“Just the facts, MomAs the old Dragnet TV cops would say, but sometimes the facts are enough.

Tiffany Midge is a citizen of the Standing Rock Nation and was raised by wolves in the Pacific Northwest. Her book, Bury My Heart in Chuck E Cheese (Bison Books, 2019), was a Washington State Book Award nominee. She lives in north-central Idaho near the Columbia River Plateau, Nimipuu’s native land.

Tips on Western oddities are appreciated and often shared in this column. Write [email protected]Or submit a letter to the editor.


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