Tag Archives: bear blogs

I think I have been here before.


Even though I spend all of my time in the forest, I feel like I have not explored very much of it. Sometimes I will walk for a long time in one direction, hoping to feel the excitement that comes with treading unexplored territory, but I usually get too scared or intimidated by the immense size of the forest to go very far in any one direction. I end up back in my cave, enjoying its comfortable and familiar damp pointy walls.

In an attempt to challenge myself and explore more of the forest, I recently tried fighting the urge to turn back at the sight of the unfamiliar during one of my brief forest excursions. I walked away from my cave in a direction that was not toward the river or my favorite tree or the very interesting looking rock I like so much. I went in a direction that was unfamiliar, and I just walked.

And I kept walking.

Aimless but attentive, taking in the sights and the sounds of the forest as I went.

The more attention I gave to those sights and sounds, the more I began to feel like everything I was experiencing was very familiar. I walked until the sun was almost ready to retire into the trees past my sight, and I did not feel like I had seen anything new. It was all very lovely, for sure. I do adore the sights and sounds of the forest, no matter how frequently I experience them, but everything felt more familiar than I had anticipated. Usually that far into a walk, I would be ready to run in whatever direction I had come from, but where I went felt safe and known. Especially when I got to a cave. It was a nice cave. It was damp and rocky and comfortable. It had a delicious and soft bed of moss in one corner. Another corner had a fine collection of rabbit skeletons. There were some leaves spread about. It was wonderful. It was familiar.

Was it my cave? It felt like my cave. It smelled and tasted like my cave. I had walked away from my cave, though, so I was confused. What was I supposed to do? I did what came naturally to me: I slept in the cave. When I woke, it still felt like my cave. When I went outside of the cave, it felt like the outside of my cave.

Either I had just walked back to my cave by accident or I had stumbled upon an exact replica of everything I knew. I was not sure which was true, so I licked the pile of moss in the corner and napped a little longer. It felt right, and, really, either way, I felt like I was at home.

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.

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Am I supposed to get better at being a bear?


I have no way to tell how good of a bear I am. I do not interact with other bears. I do not receive performance reviews from the forest on a regular basis. No other creature stops to tell me if I am doing being a bear particularly well or terribly (they do stop to screech at me, however, but I am not sure if that counts as a substantial review of my bear performance).

Since I have no way to determine if I am good at being a bear, I really have no way to determine if I should have progressed in my bearness. I have never gotten any kind of clue or indication that I should be getting better at being a bear over some period of time. Should I be a better bear each day? Each year? Is my progress meant to be incremental or something that should be obvious and very easily noticeable?

Or, maybe, I am not supposed to become a better bear. There is a chance that my bearness is not meant to grow. Maybe I am a bear, and I am supposed to be just the bear I am. Not a better one. Not a worse one. Just one, single bear that I already am until I am not a bear anymore.

I do not like that, though.

I feel like there are things about being a bear that I have improved upon. Take, for example, my ability to walk on my hind-legs. For a very long time, I was quite terrible at walking on my hind-legs. I could hurl my upper body toward the sky for only a brief moment before I came tumbling down. Now, I can balance on my hind-legs long enough to reach a branch I need or to get a better look at a bird’s nest. It took time and practice, but eventually I got pretty good at doing it.

I suppose my hind-leg-walking-ability forces me to think about what bearness really is to begin with. Is that something that a bear does? Is it something a bear needs to be good at? Does it really even matter? I like doing it, so I suppose it matters to me, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily matters to being a bear, but it does matter to me, so it does matter to my meness, and I am a bear. The logic gets circular and confusing quickly, but either way, I like walking on my hind-legs, and getting better at it makes me feel like a better me.

I suppose that is all that matters for now. 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? 

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 moon bear to replace me while I sleep.


That the sun has such a lovely complement in the sky, a calm partner who takes care of the forest while the sun goes down to rest or plan or whatever else the sun might do when it falls, is something I have always admired. Sun goes down. Moon comes up. Moon goes down. Sun comes up. So on and so forth, in lovely sync. You can even sometimes see them both at the same time. It is one of the few predictable shows of the forest. The sun will go down. The moon will come up (though, once in awhile, it does not, but that is okay, everybody needs a break).

Sometimes I wonder if the sun or the moon even knows about their respective opposites, though. Does the sun know, or even care, that the moon picks up its work during the cool, gloomy nights of the forest? And the moon? Does it realize that we get most of our warmth and light from the sun?  Does it care?

I have a feeling that the two are completely unaware of one another, which makes me wonder about any possible complements I might have that I am unaware of. The idea of some moon bear out there in the forest, doing bear things that I do during the day just so the forest can have some kind of bearness going on even while I rest, is very intriguing to me. I would love to know that bearness similar to mine is being represented in the forest even when I am unable to represent it.

I stayed out late recently to try to find out. I walked about the forest as the surprisingly bright moonlight flooded the forest floor and guided me. It was nice to feel the cool night air, but it was unfortunate to not stumble upon any such moon bear. I found no bears at all. I found no moon-anything at all. The only moon there was was the moon itself. I entertained the idea of maybe all the trees I saw being moon trees because of their overwhelming darker, calmer colors, but then I remembered that was just because they were not bathed in sunlight.

I went back to my cave. I slept. I woke up wondering if I had just missed the moon bear. Maybe it was looking for me, the probably sun bear, at the same time I was looking for it. Maybe it was taking its rare break from its duties like the regular moon does ever so often. Maybe the moon bear exists and we are not meant to meet. Maybe it is possible to see us at the same time, at the right place, at the right angle, but we can never see one another. We just chase each other instead, never actually meeting.

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.

Bear instructions.

No bear ever sat me down and told me how to be a bear. How to push my paws into mud because it feels nice. How to avoid dipping my nose into the river while lapping up a refreshing drink. Why dipping my nose in water is bad. How to climb trees and not embarrass myself in front of birds (something I am still not great at). How to get into dumpsters. How to communicate with other dumpster dwellers. How to pick out a good stick. How to be a bear.

I had to figure out how to be a bear by myself for the most part. It involved a lot of guess work and mistakes and one time I almost drowned (the nose in the river thing was a hard lesson to learn). I have been considering creating and sharing a set of instructions on how to be a bear. I think it would be nice if other bears, even other creatures interested in being a bear, could have have some guidelines on how to be a bear.

I have no idea what exactly would go into the instructions. Surely the water and nose thing. But what else? What actions and experiences make being a bear? Do I catalog how I walk and eat and think and that time I saw twenty birds yelling at the empty vessel of a flattened raccoon? I am not sure what is most important about being a bear.

And I do not even know if I am the best creature to determine what is most important about being a bear. Surely there are other bears who have important ideas of bearness that differ from mine, and who am I to tell any creature that those views are any worse or better than mine are?

I suppose I cannot determine what the best practices for being a bear are. I can only determine what the best practices for being a me are. And I am 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? 

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 approach humans: an important guide by a bear.

humans yell (2)

If you spend enough time in the forest, you will eventually come across a human. Humans are by far the strangest creatures in the forest (and I have my doubts as to whether or not they even actually live in the forest). If you do find yourself in front of a human, it is important to know some facts and guidelines about them, their demeanor, and how/when to approach/avoid them.

Before I go into depth about being actually around a human, I will explain some of the things I know (or speculate about) them:

  • Humans live in plastic triangles (tents) when they do live in the forest
  • Humans carry a lot of things with them
  • Humans also leave a lot of things behind when they abandon their triangles
  • Humans are protective of their dumpsters and keep their most valuable objects in them (including grease stained napkins)
  • Humans come in a great variety of shapes, colors, patterns, and textures
  • Humans are very loud and will direct their loudness at you
  • Humans stay in small groups (2-4)
  • Humans love hats
  • Humans are easily startled
  • Humans can fly (not proven)
  • Humans cannot run fast

Humans seem very scary upon sight, but it is important to remember that humans are generally just as afraid of you as you are of them. That might seem untrue when you hear the way they yell at you when they find you pawing through their seemingly abandoned tents, but always remember: humans are more loud than they are scary.

So what do you do when you find a human or, more likely, a human finds you? You can remember the steps of engaging humans with the helpful acronym H.U.M.A.N:

How many are there?

  • How many humans are there? Are they clearly in a group? You are far less likely to encounter a single human, so remember that even if you only see one human, there are likely more close by.

Understand their motives.

  • What do these humans want? Most humans seem driven by a desire to leave things around in the forest and yelling. If you see a human, he/she is likely about to do one of those two things: yell or drop something. You can tell by looking at their mouths and hands. Is the human’s mouth open? He/she is probably going to yell. Is there something in the human’s hand? He/she is probably about to drop that something and leave it there. Just wait for the human to leave before you take it so you can avoid the yelling, which leads of us to…

Making sounds?

  • Is the human making sounds? If so, that human is probably about to yell. Is the human yelling at you, specifically? Maybe at another human? Maybe at the trees? Maybe the human is just yelling because he/she likes to yell? It can be hard to tell, but nobody likes to be yelled at or be near someone who is about to yell, so remember how much humans love to do it.

Assess the situation.

  • Use the previous steps to create an assessment of your current human situation. You need to understand everything about what the human is doing and what the human wants. Once you have all of the details assessed, you must…

…Now run.

  • Always run away from humans. They will not chase you and, even if they do, they are not very fast. Frankly, you should probably just skip to this step of the process for every encounter you have with humans.

Humans are scary, there is no around that, but by using the H.U.M.A.N process (or at least the last step of it), you can avoid being yelled at by them.

Good luck with your future human encounters.

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.

I do not know what I cannot do.

forest rules (2)

Some tiny rodents spent a great deal of time building a tiny stick structure inside my cave.

Did you know you were allowed to do that?

I did not. The thought of doing so had certainly crossed my mind before. I had, on numerous occasions, considered building tiny structures within my cave (which is, itself, a kind of structure). I figured it was not allowed, though. Who would let such strange things happen with absolutely no consequences at all? Certainly, there had to be some rules on this matter.

It turns out there are no rules on this matter.

Or any matter, that is. Not in the forest, anyway.

After I accidentally slept on the rodents’ tiny structure (again, not against the rules but I am sure someone (probably the rodents) frown upon it), I decided I needed to try to understand the do’s and don’ts of the forest. After all, what if I was breaking forest rules, upsetting whoever created those rules (likely trees but a council of raccoons definitely seemed plausible as well).

I went exploring for answers.

I had no idea where to begin, so I just started doing what I like to do when I do not understand something: ask local squirrels and just sort of shout out my questions until someone or something answers them or I get sleepy and nap wherever I am standing.

My search was mostly fruitless.

Rob (the squirrel) (from whom I often seek perspective on various subjects because he thinks so differently compared to most things that think) said that there were no rules anywhere, that the word was meaningless, and that I should do whatever I please all the time until I die because that is all there is. Then he bit me and ran.

I suppose it would be nice to do anything I wanted forever and always, but I did not like Rob (the squirrel) biting me, and it would have been nice had there been a rule against that.

This was a complicated matter. What can you do in the forest? What can you not do in the forest? Who decided such things? Did I get any input on these decisions?

I still do not have the answers. I do my best to do what I think bears can do (eat grass, nap, stare at things, etc.) while trying to avoid what I think bears probably cannot do (get along with deer, fly, not nap, etc.).

It is intimidating to think I have to be my own rules compass, but if the forest cannot provide a set of rules for me and other creatures to follow, what am I to do?

Honestly, I just hope I am doing it right.

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.

Hiding day.

hiding  (2)

Yesterday was a hiding day.

I do not know from what I hid, but I hid from it for quite a long time. I frequently find myself using a nice hiding day to keep away from whatever emotions, deer, bad weather, or rowdy squirrels could potentially give me trouble in a given day. It is nice to just hide away sometimes.

This particular hiding day, however, I wanted to know something: what happened when I hid? Did my worries and troubles really go away? Did the forest worry for my presence, perhaps even going so far as to send search parties out for me? Did anyone actually know where I hid?

There were so many mysteries on hiding days. Another mystery I had to figure out was how I would collect data on a hiding day. How could I hide and understand how the forest functioned while I was hiding? I would have to trust a friend.

I considered trusting Rob (the squirrel), but I knew he would do what all squirrels do (lie). Instead, I decided to ask a very friendly blue bird who nested in a small bush outside of my cave. The bird agreed to fly around the forest during my hiding day, seeing if anything out of the ordinary would happen, particularly things that seemed dependent on the presence of a bear (me).

Then I hid.

I hid inside the very bush where my new bird friend usually nested. It was a good hide. I spent practically all day sitting and hiding and enjoying some peaceful napping and staring.

Then the tiny blue bird came back and reported what he had found.

Nothing.

He told me that the forest had remained the same throughout the day. Nothing of notable importance had shifted in any way he could discern.

Everything was fine.

Without me.

Everything kept moving as it always had and likely always will.

It felt strange.

I thanked the bird for its time and observations and went to my cave. I napped some more. It was difficult to sleep with the knowledge of how unimportant I was to daily forest activities.

I had a dream where the bird, though observant and thorough, simply missed all the tiny aspects I impacted on a daily basis. He missed how the floor of my cave grew cold without me. He missed how Rob (the squirrel) was likely even more aimless and crazy than usual without my presence to balance him. He missed how the deer across the river probably did not even go to the river when I was not there. He missed that his day had even completely changed because of a simple request from me. He missed how the sun came up a few hours later and left a few hours earlier and how the moon did not shine as brightly as it usually did and how the sky fell a few feet downward and…

But that was just a dream. And a nice thought. But maybe he really did just miss a couple things.

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.