I was leaving the Smokey Mountains National park just north of Ashville today and a came acrossed a black bear meandering down the road. As a lifelong hiker I was puzzled to see a bear out of his element. Usually these are reclusive cats that are rarely seen. On my hike earlier, I came acrossed an outback campsite that was closed. THe reason for this was abnormally agressive bears... Things didnt much add up and I really didnt connect the dots till I ran into an offduty park ranger in the city. I told him of my bear experience and he went off on the reason. He said that the bears have had a bad go of it since this drought set in acrossed the region. I told him that next week they should get some remnants of Fay thinking this would cheer him up. Little did I know that storms like bring too much rain too soon. Most of it just runs off and creates erosion damage witout replenishing the water table. He told me that snow is whats needed. He said over the last decade that snow has been slow in coming and sparse in general. He said there are odd happenings in the natural world on the mountains. He said that salamanders have nearly vanished in the park and yellow jackets are now living at 4800 feet. For about an hour, (much to my wifes dismay) we spoke about the signifcance of the climate changes that he is witness to. It was an amazing conversation that I had with this guy that tied everything together. The agressive bears, the bears in the open out of their natural habitat, the salamanders and the yellow jackets.. the bears are starving because there has not been enough snow to water the blueberries during the dry season. The bears are on the move. The salamanders live in both water and land. They are most succeptible to any change in climate having to rely on both environments and the wasps have since moved to 4800 feet since the winters no longer are cool enough to kill em off... Long story short, If anyone doubts global warming just go to the smokey mountains national park and talk to any of the rangers. Oh.. if anyone needs a prosthetic ankle talk to James DeOrio at Duke hospital in Durham NC, since mine performed beyond belief on a three mile hike.