The Power of Fear in the Thawing Arctic

How long did I walk in the footsteps of the bear? It was a warm day, 20 years ago and 80 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the sky translucent blue behind low mountains. The tundra, just starting to turn autumn crimson and saffron, held all my attention. Eventually, I looked down at the trail. And there: the ovoid front paw prints, claws puncturing a constellation into the mud inches above each toe, trailed by back feet as long as two hand spans. Grizzly. Next to them, indentations from my boots. Both filling slowly with water. ….[READ]