Category Archives: Bear thoughts

What is going on with the tops of trees?


Trees are the foundation of the forest. If anything really defines the forest (its looks and feelings and general pointiness), it is trees. I have had many thoughts about trees. They are unavoidable since they are so omnipresent. Despite how much time space and time trees take both in the forest and my bear brain, though, there are still mysteries about them.

Like where did they come from?

I do not know, but I also know that might be a hard thing for me to answer. I am not entirely sure I know where I came from, and it seems to me unfair that I would ask the same question to trees whee I cannot answer it for myself.

A more approachable and fair question I have about trees, however, is: what is going on with the top of them? I have certainly climbed my share of trees, but never have I dared to venture all the way to the top. I can only get so high up before it becomes far too scary and shaky, so I have no reference for what they become even higher up. From what I can see, it is simply more tree. But that is from my very limited perspective, and assuming that is unfair to trees and what they might be where I cannot see.

I have a fear that up there is where they keep their mouths. Have you ever seen a mouth on a tree? I have not, but like all things in the forest, surely they consume things, right? So where do trees consume things? It seems, to me, that a good place for a tree to stick a mouth is right at the top of itself.

I suppose a high up tree mouth is not a bother for most forest creatures, but it does make me fear for one type of creature in particular: birds. If trees do have mouths at the very top of themselves, then surely they feed off of birds more than any other food source. This might explain why birds seem so skittish and frantic all the time. It does not explain, however, why birds sleep and nest in trees. If trees eat birds and birds use trees for nesting, then that is a very complex relationship. Nothing I eat sleeps on me (except for some leaves I once found tangled in my fur and had to eat to get them out of my fur).

I hope birds are okay. And I hope they know what is going on way up high.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

A bird dropped a stick on me. Why?


The sky is known for dropping two things on a regular basis: leaves and rain. Those two things fall from some unknown aspect of the sky, an invisible, seemingly random agent of the clouds above with the help of the chaos of the wind.

So when things other than rain and leaves fall onto my head from on high, I know it is most likely not by way of the sky or the wind. The usual culprit is a squirrel. Squirrels love to throw things at me. I am not sure why, but they do it frequently enough that my thought process of things dropping on to my head works on a simple flow chart. Was it a leaf or rain? Probably the sky. Something else entirely? Probably a squirrel.

With so much experience in the ways of things being thrown at me from high above, I have generally held the belief that there is no way something new can happen in those terms. To my surprise, there was at least one more thing that could happen to me when it comes to stuff falling on my head: a bird.

I saw a bird drop a stick on me. I must be specific here. I saw this bird drop a stick on me. It was not as though a stick hit me and then I looked up and saw a bird and assumed. I saw this bird. It was as though the bird delivering the stick directly to my head. It hit the mark, too. The stick hit my ears and bounced off my fluffy fur, hitting the forest floor with the slightest of thuds.

Why?

Why did this bird drop a stick on me? It has been something I have been trying to figure out ever since. Was it really just delivering the stick to me? Did the bird see that I had dropped this stick somewhere and just wanted me to have it back? I did not recognize the stick, but I suppose it was possible.

Did the bird intend to hurt me? Was the stick a pointy painful projectile meant to do harm?

Was my head a future nesting place for the bird? Are more sticks to come?

There is no way to know, and there might not ever be a way to know. This is the truly hard part of this strange occurrence. There are no answers. There are no reasons. I suppose that happens a lot in the forest. Random, strange things happen frequently, and those who have the things happen to them are left to put the mystery together only to realize it is essentially impossible.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

Every place is scary or too mean.


I worry that I hide myself from the greater expanses of the forest too much. I spend a great deal of time in my cave or near the river I like or by the dumpsters I frequent or in the most familiar patches of grass and dirt I know. Rarely do I traverse beyond my known routine, and when I do, it is usually because of an enticing smell or a terrifying sound or an interesting looking rock.

Generally, I am okay with my regular outings, but when I do worry about my routines, I worry about if I am missing out on something. I worry that there are grand, engaging experiences throughout the forest that I miss simply because I am too scared or comfortable to reach them. Experiences missed simply by virtue of proximity (or lack thereof). The forest does not do much to inform me about the possibilities of these events and experiences. There is no master forest schedule that I am aware of (though I have certainly entertained the idea of squirrels having and/or knowing of such a thing and actively hiding it from me for no reason beyond meaningless spite on their part).

When the worry outgrows my desire for comfort and safety, though, I begin to think about how or why I do not search new, exciting things.

And then it all comes back.

Every awful experience I have ever had that happened because of my leaving my routine.

The time I got locked in a dumpster and then some humans sprayed stinging mist at me and tipped the dumpster over so I rolled out? That happened because I tried a new dumpster, one I had never been to but had an incredibly smell to it I wanted to investigate. Blinded by the awful mist, I ran through the forest wildly until I eventually hit a tree and napped until the sun was up.

Or how about the time I tried to enjoy the offerings of a human lake? The water ended up burning my eyes, and the humans who lived near the lake sprayed more awful mist at me (you can guess what I did afterward).

Then there is the long, flat black rock. I have followed it far beyond my cave before to end up finding nothing new or of interest. Just more forest and smashed raccoons. A sad, difficult rock that seems to exist only to crush unsuspecting forest creatures. It was a sight I could have lived without experiencing.

There have been good times found far and beyond my cave, though. I once found a very cool and fish abundant part of the river I go to. I followed it upstream until I was able to see more fish through the water than I had ever seen. I jumped in. The water so cooler than I had ever remembered the river being. The fish were so plentiful that even my slow, uncoordinated paws were able to catch them. It was nice. And I would not have experienced it without going outside of my comfortable routine. Are the plentiful fish worth the potential of stinging mist, though? I do not know, but for now, I suppose I will go where my bearness leads me, whether it be the comfort of my cave or some new, terrifying adventure.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

I fell into a hole I dug.

Digging is one of the more fun activities anybody can do in the forest. If you have movable limbs that are harder than soft soil, you can dig, and you should dig. The rush of cool soil lining the creases of fur between toes makes digging worth the effort and energy.

I learned recently, though, that reckless digging can have some harsh consequences.

I have no idea when I dug the hole that swallowed me whole. It must have been me, however. There is no other creature in the forest who can dig as big of a hole as I can (as you might be able to guess, I tried to blame the deer across the river, but his hooves are more likely to be used to judge me rather a fun activity like digging). I found the hole through a simple walk in the forest. I was staring up at the sky, admiring the clouds and the sun and the tops of trees, and then it got quite dark suddenly. Before I could figure out why, I was in a hole.

At first, I growled at the soil around me. Surely it was the soil’s fault, the fault of the forest, the fault of everything around me. I growled at the darkened sky, blaming its erratic and senseless change. I growled at everything I thought could be held accountable in even the slightest manner.

Then I growled at myself. It was then I realized who could have dug a hole so large and so randomly. It was my fault. It was my fault that this hole in the forest had tried to eat me, I practically fed myself to it with my irresponsible digging. There was no reason to take out my anger on the forest. The forest had not done anything. I wanted it to have done something. It would have been easier if the forest had done something wrong to me, but it had not. It was just me.

Once I got back on my paws, I shuffled out of the hole and got back to the safety of the forest floor. It was bright again. I shook off the dust from my fur and continued walking, heading to nowhere in particular but filled with a want to do better, whatever that meant for me, a bear.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

Sing me your song, dumpster-bird.


Sing me your song, dumpster-bird,
and tell me what you must have heard.
What is it that you fret?
Is anything a threat?

Do you get a shiver
from the deer across the river?
Or give a second take
to every single snake?

Do you think about what worries me?
How one day I simply might not be
the thing I have always been,
a bear in all my where and when?

What happens when your birdness goes?
And you lose your dumpster sows?
Does the thought sit in your brain
just as a permanent stain?

Or maybe you do not care
about birdness or that I am a bear.
You enjoy your dumpster treats
and ignore where your end meets.

How do I do it, my trash-friend?
How do I endure the harsh wind
of doubtful, haunting thinking
that feels ever so sinking?

Sing me your song, dumpster-bird,
and help me feel assured
that forest life is fine
as long as I have mine.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

The bear I might become.


I am not sure what kind of bear I am supposed to be (I do not even know if I am supposed to be a bear, really, but that is another topic all together). That worries me occasionally as I have noted before: what if I am doing bearness wrong? There is another issue that grows from that moldy idea resting in my bear mind: what kind of bear am I supposed to become?

Not doing bearness right in the current moment is fixable, I suppose, but that fixing is very dependent on my knowing what kind of bear I want to be. When I think about that, I usually do not have an answer. I am a bear. And I want to be a bear. That should be good enough, but I still feel a strange push from myself to define my bearness, my being a bear. I feel a need to know what kind of bear I am and what kind of bear I want to become.

When I think of the kind of bear I have been, it does not help matters. Most of my past bearness is me being okay with being a bear and that is all. I liked being a bear because I was a bear. There was no need to categorize my bearness.

I am a bear, so I am a bear.

At least, that is how it used to be.

As I continue being a bear, however, that need to define and categorize and further understand my being a bear grows. And its growth always brings frustration because I have no answers that satisfy the need. I am a bear is all I have on the topic, and I believe I will be a bear is all I can predict about the topic. I hope the bear I am is the kind of bear I need to be later.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

Not all birds are nice.


Not all birds are nice. I am sorry if this is a controversial statement, but after much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that not every avian creature has my best interest at heart. In fact, some birds are downright malicious toward me for reasons I have not yet discovered.

The first bit of evidence to support my claim presented itself quite awhile ago. I was sitting under a tree branch outside my cave, enjoying the cool shade and thinking about things I like to think about when I hide from the sun’s heat (being a bear, the migration of squirrels, do squirrels migrate?, wait, what is migration?), when a hawk (at least, I think it was a hawk) swooped down and thrusted its sharp feet at my face.

Why did the bird (I am pretty sure it was a hawk) do this? Had I insulted it? Was there food beneath me and the bird wanted me to move? Was the hawk disappointed with my lack of knowledge regarding squirrel migration? Can birds read my thoughts?

There was no way for me to know. The hawk fled away as quickly as it had swooped in. At the time, I wrote the encounter off as a misunderstanding. Perhaps birds spend so much time in the air, they forget how things that live on the ground (me) do not enjoy being swooped upon.

But a similar encounter happened just last night. Another bird (probably a hawk again) swooped down into my cave as I slept and spent the night screeching at me. I had not invited the hawk in nor had I asked for some sort of horrible wake-up call. The hawk had simply taken it upon itself to come into my home and yell at me until I left my own cave. At first I thought maybe there was some sort of ownership dispute regarding my cave, but I then remembered that birds (especially hawks) do not live in caves. Also, it was definitely my cave, I am sure of that.

I stormed back into MY cave and demanded that the hawk leave. After some more screeching, clawing and flapping, the hawk fled.

I did not sleep the rest of the night. The whole incident was just too unpleasant. Instead, I decided to lay in the mouth of my cave, eat the eggs I keep finding in the tree by my cave, and watch for more malicious, unprovoked avian attackers.

I am sorry for whatever I did (if anything at all). I just wish all birds were nice, but so many of them do not seem to be.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

Bread dread.


During a rather exhausting yet fruitful dumpster excavation I discovered not one, but two, discarded loaves of stale bread that I had never come across before. Eager to taste my findings, I raced back to my cave with both loaves, still in their plastic sleeves, dangling from my mouth. Their stale ends bounced off one another like bells as I trotted through the forest. The crinkly sound their bouncing produced made me quite happy. I would have smiled if I were not so fearful to lose my bounty.

Once in my cave, I placed each loaf at separate sides of the flat rock surface I sleep on.  I sat between the loaves and sniffed each one, trying to decide which to try first. The loaf to my left smelled of seeds and mold. The loaf to my right smelled of pumpkin and dumpster juice. Both were so enticing. Both were wonderful candidates for consumption.

I was torn.

Which loaf deserved to be eaten first?

What if the first loaf I tried was so delicious that no other loaf could compare? Perhaps the second loaf would be disappointing. What if neither were tasty? Or worse yet, what if both were equally enjoyable leaving me satisfied for a short time but yearning for either to have once again?

A torrent of dreadful thoughts filled my head. There could be no way of knowing how to proceed. The lack of conviction I felt made my heart sink.

These loaves. These two potentially wonderful (or disgusting) loaves of bread haunted the very nature of my being.

I needed to properly ponder my dilemma. A nap was in order.

I sprawled out on my back between the loaves and tried my best to drift off to sleep, but the loaves would not let me rest. I knew they were there, waiting. They were waiting for me to decide.

I rolled over on my left side. The exotic aroma of moisture and seeds from plants I had never encountered filled my nostrils. My mouth watered. I reached for the loaf but stopped paw inches from the loaf. I wanted to tear open its wrapping and clamp my maw around its crust.

No. Not yet. I was not ready.

I flipped to my right side. The other loaf’s intoxicating smell tormented me no less. The familiar scent of pumpkins and sickly sweet liquid found in all fine trash receptacles beckoned me. It took every ounce of strength not to abscond with the second loaf and eat it behind the acorn tree near my cave, away from the prying eyes (seeds?) of the first loaf.

These dueling breads played their cruel game for far too long. There was no rest to be had.

I had to make a choice.

I told the breads I was going out for some fresh air. I asked if either loaf needed anything.

Neither responded, but they seemed content.

I wandered out into the forest and came to a sunny clearing. The foliage swayed gently in the breeze. Other woodland creatures chirped and croaked and tweeted around me. The world seemed at peace. I wish I could have been part of that world in that moment.

A robin landed on the ground beside me. It bobbed its tiny head up and down, hunting and pecking for morsels of food. It would snap up something in its beak and immediately drop it if the findings were unsatisfactory. There was a utilitarian rhythm to robin’s method that made me envious. After several rejections, the robin found a rotten berry and swallowed it down. But the tiny bird was far from satisfied. It snapped up a blade of grass and gulped it down without reservation. Next it ate a dried up worm followed by the meat of a cracked acorn. The robin did not discriminate as harshly as I had believed. If there was something the bird found pleasing to its palette (do birds have tongues?), that morsel would be swiftly eaten.

I realized I was being foolish. As a bear, I consider most things a food source. Just because the loaves back at my cave were new to me, didn’t make them anything necessarily special. They were food, plain and simple.

My choice had been made: I would eat both loaves. Perhaps even at the same time.

I thanked the robin and headed back to my cave.

When I arrived, both loaves were gone, most likely spirited away by some invasive forest creature (probably a raccoon and/or six muskrats). I was silly to think they would be safe unattended. They were too delicious for this world.

I was breadless. I had let them slip through my paws. But perhaps, I didn’t deserve such wonderful bread.

I ate some sticks instead. They were good. Just not bread good.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

 

How to feel safe in the forest.


The forest is insanely, chaotically, erratically dangerous. There are so many things that can eat you. So many things that can burn you. So many things that can make horrible screeching sounds at you. So many things that might mock you just because you accidentally tripped on a rock and rolled into some mud and then decided to sleep there because why not? It was comfortable.

Since there are so many threats in daily forest life, it can be difficult to find comfort and solace in even the briefest of moments. Usually, I am on edge. I feel like I have to be prepared for anything the forest might hurl at my defenseless fuzzy fur. Practically speaking, there is no way to avoid anything the forest wants to do to you. If something in the forest wants you hurt or humiliated or nonexisted, it will likely happen.

But that does not mean you cannot at least feel safe. It is important part of living in the forest: convincing yourself that you are safe from its intrinsic dangers and thrashing. Here is a brief list of ways I make myself feel safe. Please be aware, these things might not actually make you safe in the forest, they certainly make me no safer, but they do make me feel safe (for a list of ways to actually feel safe in the forest, please refer to my guide: Here are 100 tips on how to stay safe in the forest).

How to feel safe in the forest: 

  • Place soft leaves on head
  • Sleep under something heavy (rock, log, etc.)
  • Ask a neighbor to watch over you as you sleep and hope that you do not ask the raccoon I asked because she just bit my face and scratched me while I was asleep and that was not nice or neighborly
  • Find a very nice cloud and stare at it and pretend everything else happening around you is not happening, even the clawing and biting of a vicious raccoon, why did you do this to me, raccoon? That was not nice
  • Make fun sounds
  • Try walking backwards so you will not need to face the horrors of the forest
  • Pretend the hawk you saw was actually very friendly
  • Ignore the dead frog you saw hanging on a stick, being eaten by so many ants
  • Did they eat him while he was alive? There is no way to know so try not to ever think about it
  • Do not think
  • About
  • The
  • Frog
  • Listen to the calming sounds the forest has to offer: the gentler breezes, the soothing crickets, the
  • sound of infinite ants eating a frog as he desperately tries to escape and
  • Ignore those sounds, those are bad sounds that will not help you feel safe
  • Avoid shadows since there might be snakes in them
  • Keep your eyes closed
  • Never open them
  • Ever

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

 

I made some new sounds?


I like to believe I know my sounds. Most of them are very “grrr” or “arrrrr” based. Sometimes my nose makes “choooo” sound and my padded paws pressing the ground make a sort of short, stout “shtump” sound. I like that one when it gets against crunchy autumn leaves and changes to a “chashtump” noise. That is a good sound.

As of late, however, I have made some interesting new sounds. I thought it would be best to examine them to better understand them.

Rawchacha: I made this sound when a fly got caught in my nose. When I spun my head around to shake it out my mouth flew open, sending the noise from my teeth tongue. I think it is supposed to a sound indicative of something unpleasant or intrusive.

Hrrraccckaaa: This noise was my instant response to a horrible itch I had inside of my throat. Rarely do my insides itch, and when they do, it is truly awful. Making this sound actually alleviated the itch, however, so it has a practical use.

Hurrrc: This is a noise I made when I suddenly awoke from a horrifying dream about ghost-fish chasing me underwater, nipping at my ears and screeching through their gills. I have not had this dream a second time yet, so I do not know if this noise is ghost-fish exclusive.

Kawwwwwfp: This noise was very sudden and very random. I did not anticipate it. I was sitting in a dumpster when it happened, staring at the inside wall of the dumpster. It was strange.

Pafurp: On second thought, I would prefer not to go into how this noise was made…

Hirk: This was the noise I made as I attempted to mock the deer across the river. He does it better than I do though.

Fishurpppppp: I made this sound when I dipped my head in the river. I cannot say for sure that it is not heavily influenced by the fish in the river.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.