Posted by: David | June 6, 2007

The Bears

Wish I could have gotten a photo of this … I was on the phone with a friend planning for a bike ride tomorrow morning. Here’s a picture of her bike:

Pretty nice bike, huh? The owner’s pretty nice too.

Anyway, I’m on the phone and the dog is going nuts. Running from window to window and down the stairs to the basement. Whining whining whining. Like a whole litter of adolescent chipmunks was loose in the house somewhere. Freakin out!

I finally get off the phone and go to look out the front door. There’s a young black bear in the driveway!! “Oh wonderful!” I say to myself, and I start clapping. Startled by the clapping the cub heads up to cross the road. A few seconds later I spot a mama or papa black bear, much bigger, like maybe around 300 pounds, in the patch of brush behind our propane tank, so I clap some more. Applause doesn’t do it for this parent bear, so I yell at it. It heads up to cross the road too.

Sorry no pix, but for the one of my friend’s bike. But that’s what the dog was all on about. So now you know.


  1. Careful with the pick-i-nik baskets my man. Yogi and Boo-boo might..

  2. Dang, and I have ALL MY EGGS in them baskets!

  3. I just saw a bear in my yard a mere two hours ago! It was *so* cool! He strolled around on the lawn, then stood upon his hind legs, with his front paws resting on the deck of my front porch – sniff, sniff, sniffing toward the door.

    Paulie wasn’t home yet, so I called Char on the phone to let him know, just in case Mr. Bear came in and gobbled me up! Seriously!!!

    Then, when he decided there wasn’t anything he wanted here….(OK by me!) he slowly ambled off across the road and into the woods. WAY COOL!!!

  4. Note: There was supposed to be a space between “up” and “on” in the hind leg sentence….I’m just sayin’!

  5. Yeah the bears are everywhere these days! I’ve been hearing of sightings from lots of people! And you’re the first to sight one “upon” his hind legs! Way cool indeed!

  6. Wow, you guys are in bear country-fun times! Thank you for the grammatical correction on your previous post, Bonnie. The grammar police are always watching! 😉

  7. Yeah- lots of black bear sightings this spring and early summer.

    But I still like “upon”! It gives the bear some dignity missing when on all fours …

    Come and GET me, grammar cops!

    And I think that I may have the POWER, as Owner Of This Blog, to push the “Edit Comment” button!

    I’ve never tried it, but maybe I could turn the original “upon” to “up on” and then delete the subsequent grammatical correction, thus making Bonnie appear to be even MORE PERFECT than she already is?!

    Should I try this? Should I click the Edit Comment button and alter the past?

    I seem to remember some rule or something about not altering the timestream …

  8. !!!

    This is the first time in my life that I see an American saying something about grammar. I once tried to explain a brilliant google forum poster the difference between “its” and it’s”, but then I thought it was a fad to mix them up because everybody did it.

    I thought that “upon” is new. I learnt English at school. I thought the best example was “Nasreddin climbed up the ladder and ON TO the roof” which became “onto”.

    And I do not know whether seeing a bear in your front yard is a joke.

  9. Well cantueso it looks like you must’ve read my entire blog by now. I hope you’ve had as much fun reading it as I’ve had writing it. I appreciate your commentary!

    I try to use good grammar and I’m a pretty good speller. However, unlike yourself, I’m pretty much limited to one language (uni-glot?), studied a bit of French in school, but never used it. Terribly underexposed to the literature of the world too. So that makes me American, huh? The blogosphere and other proletarian internet endeavors have taken a severe toll on spelling, grammar, punctuation, and upper case letters, which are nearly extinct. As far as it’s and its, there, their, and they’re, well they’ve always been trouble. Too bad. The apostrophe, however, is ever popular and is often misused. So that’s something, huh?

    The bear sightings were very real, we live in a pretty rural area, and the bears have adapted well to humans and their homes, often destroying bird feeders to get at the seeds. Check this post for more wildlife adventure. We also see lots of deer, turkeys and all kinds of birds, which make for some nice photos.

  10. It must be rural indeed.

    Don’t these bears eat Americans? That would be reported here as “American Blood Was Shed”.

  11. No, I have not yet read your entire blog. I am a slow reader. As to the story of the chipmunk monitored by your dog:

    Do you know a bilingual poem by Ch. Morgenstern about a sparrow that monitored a kangaroo ? The sparrow was terrified at the idea that he was being watched by the kangaroo.

  12. Cantueso you’re maybe thinking of the grizzly or brown bears which live in the western uplands of North America. They are more agressive and larger than the black bears we see here in New Hampshire. While both species are dangerous, the grizzly, (Ursus arctos horribilis), has surely eaten more people. The black bears around here tend to be seen from behind as they flee. Which is why I’ve never managed to get a decent picture of one.

    Regarding the eating of Americans, I imagine that their meat is very tender and well marbled with fat. Mmmmmm!

    I don’t know the poem, but I would be terrified too if a kangaroo was monitoring me.

  13. But if the bear felt cornered for some reason, he would attack. wouldn’t he? The only wild animals around here are the fighting bulls. Those are kept on very large farms, but every now and then it happens that somebody does not see he has crossed a fence. Those wild bulls do not attack people except when somebody gets in between a bull and his herd.

    In Spain, the same as there, people keep picking up neologisms, things like “entertainment value” , Obama’s “momentum”, “potus”, and “the WMDs”. So years ago they picked up “opt for” and then one day a lady on her Sunday bike ride accidentally got into a bull farm and a bull came after her. And the journalist wrote that the lady OPTED FOR jumping off the bike and running.

    How did it end?

    Yes, a good way to get a black bear mad at you would be to get directly in its way. The last recorded human death caused by a black bear in New Hampshire occurred in 1784. So even us dumb Yankee hicks manage to keep clear of the bears.

    I think it’s cool the way neologisms sprout like fungi. Most shrivel just as quickly. Opting is so much more intelligent sounding than “choosing”. There’s an implication of calculation in the word opt. Don’t you think? It’s another shade of that ever present fantasy of choice.

  14. I read the story of the squirrel eating a bird. All Americans are very much aware of nature. It is still very powerful there. Here, as in Switzerland, nature has become a solemn backdrop for Sunday picnics.

    Wildlife? I once saw a praying mantis fight a cat. And I have sometimes watched a spider kill a fly, but I can’t hold out very long. And the most cruel thing I saw recently was in an (name of shop where men buy nails and hammer and saw) catalog: they were selling a contact glue to catch mice.

    I’ll have you know cantueso that that bird eating squirrel is the one whose likeness I use for my avatar. It was a feisty little critter, even after being shaken out of its tree.

    And I have to challenge you on that “All Americans are very much aware of nature” statement. First of all, I would discourage any such generalization for a given cultural group, but in particular I disagree with your picture of nature as a “backdrop”. That is an illusion of you city dwellers. Furthermore Americans, if they are “aware of nature” at all, it’s as an adversary, or something to be ‘tamed’ or controlled. Again the city dweller’s illusion. Try taming the sunspots, hurricanes, giant meteorites, or the viral forms which cause AIDS. You live in a body and cannot escape nature.

    I agree with you on the glue mouse traps though. When the cat has failed, I use the kind of mousetrap that kills the mouse quickly.

  15. But compared to humans, nature is still immense in the US. Here in Spain it is big, but no longer immense, and in Switzerland it has become that backdrop. It has lost all of its power and glory, though not necessarily for photography and the like, but in fact.

    Even my grandfather told me of people who no longer understand what a mountain is and take a train up and plan to run all the way down.

    They have to be rescued by specialized helicopters or in winter by specialized dogs.

    Thanks for that perspective. I can’t escape the feeling that nature is shrinking here all the time. Too much sci fi I guess. Although, when it comes to power and glory, photography from the Hubble Space Telescope cannot be surpassed.

  16. And the bears : when I was in 1st grade, about 7 years old, the teacher told us stories about the original inhabitants of my part of Switzerland and told how those people had to fight the grizzli bears.

    And for a long time I could no longer sleep in the dark, and now I still simply hate all bears.

    Grizzly bears are truly “ursus horribilis”. They hate you too.

  17. I cannot find the post where you asked me what I would think if I were a (cannot remember what).

    I cannot remember either what my answer was, but here comes something from higher up:
    “in his (famous) essay “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” Thomas Nagel mentions the possibility of cognitive closure”

    Wittgenstein: in order to be able to draw a limit to thought, we should have to find both sides of the limit thinkable (i.e. we should have to be able to think what cannot be thought). It will therefore only be in language that the limit can be drawn, and what lies on the other side of the limit will simply be nonsense.”

    Chomsky: Thus, through the philosophical study of language, we can identify the boundaries of philosophical inquiry.
    Noam Chomsky argues that the cognitive capabilities of all organisms are limited by biology, e.g. a mouse will not have human grammar.

    End of quote wikipedia
    (I have never read Wittgenstein, but the idea that knowledge is defined by language and cannot go beyond language has laways been mine. Einstein and others go beyond, but cannot formulate the results except mathematically.

    I think that you may be referencing some of our email discussion. I was disputing your stance that reality was anchored in thought and language. We reached a definite boundary. I asked how you thought that our fellow beings (cats, dogs, etc.) apprehended their worlds without words, knowing it was a silly question. I thought I could penetrate the boundary with that query. Guess not.

    Wittgenstein put it nicely didn’t he? And Mr. Chomsky is a pleasure to listen to as well. Incorrect though I may be in the final analysis, if there should ever be a final analysis, I will stick with my theory that reality has anchors beyond all of our thoughts and words. I understand that this is essentially a religious point of view, and yet reject religion. So there.

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