Tag Archives: trees

My donations to the forest.

I recently decided that an unfortunate-accidental-sleepover-incident involving a raccoon and the fur on my back had a wonderful silver lining: I was able to donate a few tufts of fur from my back that were ripped asunder by an alarmed raccoon to the forest. I left the little balls of hair on the forest floor with the hopes of some fur-needing creature wandering by and happening upon them.

It was a nice feeling. Not only did it distract me from the pain of my back, but it also led me to thinking of different ways I could donate things to the forest and creatures who were in need. In that spirit, I started to leave little things around the forest I no longer had any need for. My claw tips. My left over leaves. Some acorns I found in my cave. One of my rabbit skeletons (an old one I never really licked anymore). A branch I could not eat all of. Some plastic bags that got stuck on my head for a full day (I was happy to get rid of them).

I kept giving and giving, and it felt great. I no longer had the burden of these possessions nagging my thoughts, and, with any luck, some creature who needed these things would find them, get their use out of them as well, and, maybe, pass them on to other creatures.

I started to think about how much of the forest I experienced is a donation from other things, too. The trees lend me their leaves. The sun gives me its light. The rabbits leave behind their skeletons. I borrowed all of these things, and there was no need to keep them in tiny piles in my cave forever like I usually did. They had a greater purpose that could not be fulfilled while they sat in my cave, doing nothing. The forest seemed to thrive off this uplifting cycle of borrowing and lending and donating and accepting. It was a nice realization.

I hope that I am able to give more of what I can give as I keep going throughout the forest. Who knows, maybe one day some creature will collect my bear skeleton and get some kind of use from it. I hope that is not for awhile, but it is a nice thought.

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.

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I destroyed some very good leaves.

I recently found a bundle of absolutely terrific leaves just sitting about the forest floor. I stared at them for awhile, admiring how perfectly crinkly and brown and orange they seemed. After taking in their lovely aesthetic, I rolled around in them, as I have done with many leaves I have seen for as long as I can remember.

This has been a routine, normal thing for me to do for a very long time, and before now, I had never put much thought into it beyond the simple pleasures it had brought me. It was almost as if I had always assumed leaves were there for me to roll around in. Now, I am not quite sure the truth is anywhere near that.

After the last time I rolled around in perfectly crinkly leaves, I took a moment to look upon the destruction I had unleashed onto them. They were completely destroyed, dilapidated, decimated. Ripped asunder by my careless rolling. My want for the crunch of their tiny leaf selves beneath my not-very-tiny bear body overshadowed my ability to consider what they were being put through. I had ended so many leaves just because I liked to roll around on them.

The mangled leaves got me thinking about how often I must ignore the results of me pursuing my interests and wants. How often do I do something for me, all the while ignoring how everything else in the forest is affected? When I break a branch on a tree while climbing it, I focus on the hurt I feel when I hit the ground, but what about the tree? Does the tree not also feel hurt with a once perfectly good branch ripped from itself? Does the water in the river have any interest going into my mouth and through my bear body? I have certainly never asked it.

When I thought about how my actions affect everything in the forest, I started to realize that most of my forest interactions are positive for me and horribly negative for the other party. Of course, some are unavoidable. Sorry, river water, but I need to drink you and you show no protest against it. But do I need to roll around on leaves? Of course not. I do not know where to begin when it comes to making sure there is a balance between my actions and ensuring their positive affects on others, but maybe it begins with being more aware I am not the only creature, the only thing, the only being in the forest. I am one, single bear among many other creatures and such, and understanding my own bearness certainly must involve knowing how it affects those others.

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 do not know where to go.

It is easy to get lost. Of course, there is the normal getting lost way of getting lost. The kind that involves losing track of which trees I have smelled before and which rocks are the exact lumpy ones I usually use to find my cave. This kind of getting lost happens frequently, and when it does I usually stare off into the distance of trees and leaves that make up the forest background, and I wonder where to go. This kind of getting lost is easier to handle than other kinds of getting lost. As I wonder where to go, I raise my snout into the air, get a good whiff of something interesting, and then I am no longer lost. I am then pursuing something new, something interesting.

Sometimes I get to that feeling lost moment, the one where I am staring out into the forest, and I actually know where I am, I am not physically lost, but I am still not sure where to go or why I would go there. In those moments, I just stare and wonder where I should go, but no smell nor sight nor sound will budge me. I do not wonder where to go. I simply do not know where to go, and even when I think of somewhere to go, I convince myself that there is no real reason to go there. In those moments, I do not know where to go even though I know exactly where I am and where I normally go.

Those moments make me feel very stuck. More stuck than anything has ever made me feel stuck. I once put my head through a broken fence to reach the bottom of a dumpster leaking what looked like a very wonderful sauce, and when I tried to retrieve my head, the fence held onto it and refused to let go, and that level of being stuck is still nowhere near how stuck I feel when I do not know where to go.

It feels everlasting, and it feels very bleak and empty and hopeless. I recover from it eventually, of course. I get my thoughts back in my head and I remember where I need to go, in some capacity, but in the moment of not knowing, I am quite scared.

Maybe it is about purpose? Maybe in those moments I need to remember why I am a bear, all the reasons I might have for continuing to be a bear. Of course, that presents a whole different set of problems that I have never been able to overcome.

Maybe it is about that interesting smell? Maybe in those moments I should ignore the blankness  and hopelessness and just go toward that interesting smell, even if it is not really there. At least then, I have an idea of where to go.

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 cannot but help to stay in the forest.

The forest is not always an easy place to live in. For every soft, lovely clump of moss there is among the trees, there is some agonizing terror that creeps into your brain or body and tries to remove you from the forest, whether physically or mentally.

As I continue existing in the forest, it feels as though these terrorizing things affect me more frequently and to a greater extent. Because of them, I often find myself overwhelmed and unwelcomed by the forest, like I am some parasite it is trying to destroy. When the wind blows a sharp stick into my nose, how could I not feel like the forest does not want or need me? When every squirrel I see gives me a mocking glare as it hurls menacing chuckling sounds at me, how can I continue to think the forest is not trying to get rid of me? When even my own cave floods with water, ruining my collection of rabbit skeletons and interesting soft things, is it even possible for me to assume that I am wanted among the trees?

I have convinced myself, time and time again, that the forest is no place for me, a bear. I have even cautiously approached the idea of finding a new home, if a place outside of the forest even exists. I have never ventured far enough to know if one does exist, however. Something always keeps me here, keeps me among the trees.

It is the soft, lovely clump of moss that keeps me. Not that single thing in particular, of course, but things similar in disposition. The interesting things. The lovely things. The kind things. How there is always fresh water in the river. The amazing manner in which ants create their homes. The surprising passivity of spiders. The moments absent of deer. The flowers. The trees. The soft dirt. The taste of rabbit skeletons.

There are so many good things in the forest.

Also, there is me. As much as the forest sometimes seems like it wants to chew on me and eat me and then regurgitate me out of itself, I am, ultimately and truly, part of the forest. And the forest is part of me, part of who I am and how I understand everything, including my own bearness.

So for now, I will keep being the forest, even when the forest does not seem interested in my being. I believe I have earned that at least.

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.

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.

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.

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.