Vancouver

Vancouver

Saturday, March 31, 2012

CSI Bear

Today little bear was out for his daily walk down in the nature preserve. he likes it down here. There are lots of trees and bushes and very few coffee cups. Today is a little crisp and the air is quite chilly. Little bear is walking along when all of a sudden he sees the most perplexing sight... a deer leg in a tall bush/shrub. After little bear has barfed his little guts out in the bushes (no pictures, please), he takes another look.

Little bear knows what deer are... he's seen their pictures (and their legs) on the interpretive signs through the nature preserve. He knows what a deer leg looks like... and this is most definitely a deer leg... up in a bush/shrub.

Most perplexing... most most perplexing. What is a deer leg doing up in a tree?? How did it get up there? How long has it been there? What happened to the deer? Where is the rest of the deer?

Little bear climbs up the bush/shrub for a closer look. The leg is caught in the fork of some of the branches. It looks like the front leg of a deer. The lower part, below the knee, still has fur on it. The upper part, above the knee, is just bare bone and some sinew. The leg looks very well jammed into the bush/shrub.

How did it get here? Little bear puts on his little CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) ball cap and gives it some thought. Maybe the snow was deeper in the winter and the deer was jumping along and it's leg got stuck in the bushes. But then were is the rest of the deer? Or maybe, an eagle was carrying the deer leg back to its nest and dropped it and the leg fell into the bush and got stuck there. That makes a bit more sense.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Rich Bear?

Today little bear was out for a walk and came across some more litter. Little bear has had just about enough of this stuff!! These cups end up everywhere... these things called "Tim's"... but these ones also look slightly different. They are red instead of brown. They are covered in writing and pictures...

Hmm... little bear pieces together what they say: "Rrrolll up the Rim to Win"!! Oooh, a contest!! Maybe little bear could win something, like a new house or a new car or a new outfit! Little bear is pretty excited... today is his lucky day... someone was silly enough to leave these cups here (two of them, no less) and little bear is ready to roll up the rim.

Very quickly little bear learns two things... (1) Rolling up the Rim is much harder than it looks. Especially with little bear paws. He just can't get a grip! He struggles and mutters and sits on the cup and pushes and just can't get the rim to move an inch. He decides to ask for help and that is when he learns the second thing... (2) No one ever leaves a rim unrolled! These cups have already have their rims unrolled... and they are not winning cups.

Little bear is a tad dejected... so much for the new outfit! Ah well... there will certainly be other chances in the future. But little bear still has a bone to pick with people who leave cups lying around!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Found: Wilson the Ball

Little bear was out for a walk today... he does like to go for walks. And he was trekking down a trail when he saw a fluorescent coloured object off to the side. He went over for a look-see and found a tennis ball named Wilson.

Now little bear knows what these are used for! Dogs love to chase these and carry them around in their mouths. Little bear isn't going to touch it for that very reason... it is covered in doggie-slobber... for sure. But obviously some dog has lost his ball.

Little bear thinks that maybe there should be a lost and found bulletin board at the trail head... that way he could post a picture of the ball and some dog could phone little bear (on his English cell phone) and little bear could show the dog where his ball is. But... in the meantime, some other dog might come by and steal the ball... so little bear is lift in a bit of a quandary. What to do... he's definitely not carrying the ball home... so maybe he'll just leave it here and hope that the dog owner comes back and finds his lost little ball.

Little bear is quite an upstanding citizen of a bear - concerned about a dog's lost ball... and yet little bear is limited by his size and his abilities. He does what he can... and trusts the universe to take care of the rest. Which is a good lesson for us as well... do what we can and entrust the rest to the universe.

But in the meantime - if anyone recognizes this tennis ball and knows the dog to whom it belongs, give little bear a ring...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bridge over Troublesome Waters


Today little bear found a bridge across the troublesome river. But it was a very different bridge than the other one little bear has seen. That bridge was made out of concrete and metal. It was very solid.

This bridge is a little bit different. It doesn't look very solid at all. In fact, it looks quite rickety. It's made out of wood and cables. The wood looks kind of old... the cables look kind of rusted. Ohhh... little bear isn't too sure about this bridge!

He sat and looked at it for a while. He watched people walk across it... and it jiggled and squeaked. He watched people jog across it... and it swung wildly and rattled alarmingly. Ohhh... boy. Little bear noticed a sign on the bridge that seemed to indicate the authorities weren't too sure about this bridge either... "PFD's must be worn". In case you don't know... a PFD is a personal flotation device... a life-jacket... which seems like an odd thing to wear when crossing a bridge... unless the authorities were thinking the bridge might collapse at any moment.

Little bear watched the people and none of them were wearing PFD's at least not on top of their clothing. They were also much heavier than little bear... so after much thought, little bear decided to give it a try.

He waited until the coast was clear and there weren't any heavy people coming and then he inched his little bear feet out onto the planks. Nothing... not a squeak not a jiggle. He tiptoed out a bit farther and everything was still OK... With some trepidation, little bear walked into the middle of the bridge. He had done it! It was all down-hill from here.

Whew! Thank goodness little bear made it across the river... without falling into the drink. He took his courage in his little paws and did it. Which is a good lesson for us as well... sometimes things look very scary and we can find all sorts of reasons not to do something but really... it's just a matter of taking out courage in our hands and moving through our fear.

Little bear is a courageous and brave little bear. He's not afraid to try new things... he's not afraid to move through his fear...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Crossing the River

Oh little bear... it was so simple when everything was covered with ice! He could just walk across the ice and cross the river. Now though... now he is perplexed! All of a sudden there is no more ice... just flowing water, which is ice cold, by the way... and little bear doesn't know how to get across the river.

Obviously little bear isn't a great swimmer... he's still quite young and well... he's a little bit afraid of the water. Somehow he's gotten it into his head that if he goes in water, he'll shrink away to nothingness. He read somewhere that wool shrinks in water... and since wool comes from sheep... and sheep are covered in fur (like little bear)... little bear doesn't want to take the risk of getting wet!

Anyhow... little bear wants to cross the river... Today - he came across something that looked like it might work. A narrow pile of rocks went out into the river. From his angle, little bear couldn't tell if they went all the way across, but he thought he would try. Alas, the rocks didn't go all the way across... and little bear sat there at the end of the promontory looking longingly at the other side.

Poor little bear... stymied yet again! But he doesn't let it get him down... he sits there in the middle of the river and enjoys the flow of the water and the view that he gets! Which is a good lesson for us as well... to take advantage of whatever comes and turn it into something else. Rather than being disappointed for a long time, little bear was able to see the benefit of his little adventure!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Time for a Break

Today little bear decided that he didn't really want any adventures. He just wanted to sit still and be with the river. No running around and falling in the snow. No measuring of the melting ice and snow. No wild scrambles up mountains. Today... is a day just for sitting and being with the river.

Little bear does this every once in a while... just goes and sits somewhere and lets the world move around him and over him... but all he needs to do is sit and go with the flow. The river, for all that it is carrying his beloved snow and ice away, is a new thing for little bear. And he feels that he needs to spend some time in its presence. The soothing trickle and quiet flow of the water is balm for his soul (yes, little bear apparently has a soul... don't tell the Catholic police.... they might come and arrest him!).

Sometimes we just need to stop as well... and take some time to just be with nature. Maybe it's in the mountains or the forests, or along the ocean or a river or a lake. But we just need to stop everythign and not do anything... just stop and be... it's good for our souls...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Melting of the Glaciers

Little bear has heard about global warming and the melting of the glaciers and polar ice caps. He's quite concerned about the melting of the glaciers because he's watching it happen in his own backyard! Now, admittedly, little bear isn't a full-fledged glaciologist... but all he knows is that the thick ice in his neighbourhood and down by the river is melting by leaps and bounds.

Today, he went down to the river again, and where yesterday there had been seemingly solid ice... today there is open water! Ohhh... that happened quickly! Little bear stood on the edge of the ice and looked at the layers... he stood on the edge of he ice and looked at the water. Where did all of that ice go? It must have gone somewhere? Or did it just melt?

Poor little bear... his very world is changing around him and he's not too sure what to make of it. What will happen when all of the snow is gone? It's starting to look very brown out there... kind of blah and drab... and little bear actually prefers the clean whiteness of the snow as opposed to the grey/brown dirtiness of everything that lay underneath the snow!

Which is a good lesson for us as well... sometimes we get so used to the way things are that we don't like anything to change. We want it to stay the same, even though something different is coming. And in order for change to happen, what is presently here needs to go before the new can arrive.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Global Warming

Little bear keeps up on the news. He's heard about global warming and climate change and he's a getting a little bit concerned! He's beginning to see signs of climate warming wherever he goes now! Plus... the sun is definitely feeling warmer than just a mere month ago.

The snow is disappearing... in fact, it's pretty much gone in most areas. It's still present in the river bottoms but elsewhere, there are rapidly melting piles of snow... and puddles everywhere! Plus... all the lovely snow that covered the tree branches is melting and now there are just water droplets everywhere. Clearly global warming.

He's also noticed that the river ice is starting to break up. He was down at the river the other day, and there was actually clear flowing water in some spots and he could see big ice floes migrating down the river. Another clear indicator that the climate is changing!

Little bear isn't sure what to do about this... everything is changing around him! The environment is changing and he's quite concerned. He's read that climate change is supposed to occur over years or even decades... and yet here it's happening within a few months!

With a bit of help (he's not very good with keyboards), little bear learned that there is something called seasons... earth rotation... position of the earth in relation to the sun... tropics of cancer and capricorn.... Hmm... little bear is still perplexed. What is this thing called Spring? Summer? Fall? He doesn't know anything other than Winter! Poor little bear... hes' going to have quite the surprise coming up! But he'll really only understand it by experiencing it!

Which is true for us as well... sometimes we don't really understand something until we've experienced it. People can tell us about it but really... until we've experienced it... it is all just a bunch of words.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bearville

Ohh... little bear... he was almost dancing with excitement today!! He was walking along, minding his own business, when he saw it. Oh my goodness... a whole village that was exactly the right size for little bear!

The houses were the right size! The church was the right size! The grain elevator was the right size! There was a whole little town here, just perfect for him. He decided to call it Bearville... although he did dither about calling it Bearistavilla... but Bearville flowed off the tongue better.




 Oh boy... little bear was all ready to phone the moving company (to move his favourite chair) when he noticed one teensy-weensy, itsty-bitsy detail. The whole village was enclosed behind a fence... with a lock. And there were no "For Sale" signs anywhere. This was clearly a gated-community... hmmph... little bear wasn't sure that he wanted to be part of a gated community. In fact, he knows that he doesn't want to be!!

Poor little bear... so excited and then so disappointed. He had gotten his hopes up only to have them dashed. And then to top it all off, he ended up being relieved that he had noticed the gated community part before he hired the movers! Little bear is learning to count his blessings... and he's also learning that things do work out for the best in the end. And if it looks like it's not working out for the best, maybe that's because the end hasn't been reached yet!

A good lesson for us as well... when things don't seem to be working out... maybe it's just because they haven't fully worked themselves out to the end yet!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bear Lair

Little bear was out for a walk today... he does like to walk! He was down by the river and just poking around when he came across an old broken tree trunk that caught his attention. Hmm... was that a hole up there? He clambered up and had a look.

Yup!! The trunk was hollow!! Wow... this might be the perfect lair for a little bear! It smelled like tree... very nice! It just need a bit of house cleaning... and it looked like it was free! No rent to pay... no mortgage to pay!

Little bear cleaned out some debris and then snuggled into the lair... hmm... not a bad fit, but also not a lot of room to move around. Not a lot of room for his favourite comfy chair either. Hmm... maybe it wasn't such a good bear lair.

With a bit of a struggle, little bear extricated himself from the trunk and jumped down. Hmm... he was a bit dusty... and clearly there was a lot of dusty stuff in the trunk! Little bear likes cleanliness and tidiness... so this might not be the perfect bear lair. Plus... it looked like it might get quite wet in a rainstorm. Ah well... little bear will continue his hunt for the perfect bear lair!

A good lesson for us as well... little bear isn't just going to settle for any bear lair... and neither should we!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bear Trap

It doesn't take much to catch a little bearista bear... all it takes is some chicken wire and a curious bear! Little bear learned that the hard way. He decided that he wanted to climb the chicken wire to see what the little tree was like... and once he had tumbled down into the enclosure... he found out that the chicken wire was bent inwards and... well... little bear was trapped!

He wasn't too afraid though... he knew he had a friend who would scoop him out and set him back on his feet. Little bear clearly hasn't learned the lesson from blue milk can! Or maybe he needed to learn a different lesson. Maybe he needed to learn that even though something looks innocuous, it can still be a trap! And that even though his little friends aren't with him... he can still call on others to help him.

I suppose that's a good lesson for us as well... to just ask for help when we feel like we are caught in a trap. We tend not to do that though... we tend to muddle through or stay stuck... spinning our wheels in the mud and digging a deeper hole for ourselves. Ah little bear... good lesson!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Big Birds

Little bear was down by the river again today... what can I say... little bear likes the water! "Where do you want to go today, little bear?"... "River, River, River!!!". So, down to the river it is!

Today, little bear was actually at the water's edge and examining some of the rocks and how the water flowed around them, when he heard a weird noise. It wasn't the squeaky metal gate sound from a few days ago... No, this time it sounded like a car horn... honk, honk, honk. Little bear stopped walking (good move, little bear) and looked up in the sky.

Oh my goodness... a whole flock of big birds with long necks! Wow!!! And as little bear watched (without moving), the birds circled around and then landed in the river right in front of little bear... with a splashing skid and some honking.

Oh little bear was excited! He didn't dare move though... as he didn't want to frighten them off. The birds paddled around and a few went to the far side of the river and stood up in the shallows and looked at little bear. Wow...

Little bear learned that these birds were called Canada Geese and that their presence meant that winter was almost over and spring was coming. "Winter? What's winter? Spring? What's spring?" Ah yes... little bear is a winter bear - he hasn't experienced any other season. He doesn't know anything other than snow and ice and leafless trees and brown grasses. He is in for a big surprise in a few weeks!

Which is a good lesson for us...we go through seasons in our own life, and sometimes we aren't even aware that there is something else out there. Are we prepared to be surprised?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Black Rocks

Today little bear was down by the river again, but he keeps getting distracted from the flowing water by all sorts of other interesting things. For example, today there was the mystery of the black rocks!

Little bear has seen enough rocks to know that they come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes... he's turning into quite a little earth scientist and naturalist actually. But today, he was poking along the river bank and came across this...

There were these black things in between all of the rocks... they sort of looked like rocks... but not quite... and when he examined it much more closely, he discovered that the black stuff was kind of soft and not hard like real rocks.

Plus, there were some branches that had black stuff at the end of them as well... Hmmm... little bear was a tad perplexed. The black stuff wasn't everywhere - it was just in one localized area.

What could it be?? Little bear muttered and stalked around the black stuff and put his thinking cap on... but he doesn't have enough information at this point. He'l file it away for later processing! Or he could just ask for an explanation... which he does... But that doesn't help him much either! The black stuff is the remains of wood after it has been burnt in a fire. Uh... little bear knows fire from candles... but he is having trouble picturing how wood fits into this! Little bear is assured that he will meet a wood fire at some point! Which is enough for little bear. He is content to know that at some point in his future, he will encounter something magical called "campfire"...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Scaling Cliffs

So little bear was walking along the river bank today... the idea of flowing water is quite intriguing for him, and he wants to explore a bit more! So he was walking and walking through the bush,  but when he came to the edge of the river... well, he found himself in a bit of a pickle!

There was a cliff down to the river! A steep, undercut cliff. Poor little bear. He lay down on his tummy and had a look over the edge and decided that it was far too far to jump! Mind you, he did get a good look at the different layers of soil underneath all of the grass! Hmm... he can get a very good idea of what lies under the grass by looking at this cliff... but first he needs to get down.

So little bear wandered to the left and wandered to the right... but the cliff looked like it continued for a very long way! But what was this?? Little bear found a big tangle of roots coming out of the soil near the top of the cliff and hanging down the face of the cliff.

Maybe he could use those roots? Little bear schimmied down the first root wad and then came the tricky part, choosing a nice strong root and getting a hold of it... but he managed it. And with a bit of trepidation and some tense moments, little bear lowered himself down the root and soon he was standing on terra firma again!

Way to go little bear!! He looked up at the top of the cliff and decided that having a root or a rope handy was very helpful when scaling mountains or cliffs!

Which is a good lesson for us as well... we might find ourselves in a place of stuckness. We look to the left and we look to the right, and there is nothing that we can do to get ourselves out of this place of stuckness. Seemingly...

Maybe what we need to do is look at what is in front of us differently. Little bear thought he could never get down the cliff... he thought he had to go around it... and yet... when it came right down to it, the solution was right in front of his little bear nose... he just had to see it!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Water Bear

Well, little bear was so tired after yesterday's stair adventure that he didn't have the energy to relate his experience at the bottom of the dam.

So... what did little bear find? Well, an awful lot of very cold water! Flowing out the bottom of the dam... flowing out of pipes, flowing away from the dam and down the valley. Wow... little bear hasn't come across flowing water before outside... he's seen it inside but... outside... nope, that's a different story.

Little bear is pretty impressed! The dam looks very big from this angle... very big! He wonders what is on the other side of it... is it all just ice? Or is there water there too? Or do they melt the ice to make the water?? Questions, questions!

Little bear is pretty clear though, that he needs to pay attention when he's around the water! He's already slipped a few times on the rocks and almost went splat into the water! Doing a face plant in snow is one thing... doing a face plant in the water is a completely different thing!

Which is a good lesson for us as well. Paying attention to our surroundings... because things are never the same twice over. Things change... ice melts... rivers shift... people change!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stair Bear

Today little bear decided that he was going to go and see the bottom of the dam... it looked very interesting and he was kind of curious to see what was down there.

Well... little bear had quite the adventure getting down there! Little bear had never come across such a long set of stairs in his life! One or two stairs... or even 10 or 12 were fine... but this was dozens... maybe hundreds! Oh boy... little bear was going to get his exercise today!

Whew... little bear did his little bend down and hop down routine over and over again until he was getting dizzy... and his legs were turning to mush... plus... there were big patches of ice on the stairs and he almost wiped out several times. Boy oh boy... was he ever going to write a letter to the city about how they should be maintaining the stairs and... grumble, grumble...

By the time little bear got to the bottom of the stairs, he was quite steamed about the whole thing... but then he had the wind taken out of his sails. Across the bottom of the stairs was a chain with a big sign that he could only read once he got off the stairs and turned around...

Oops... big oops... So that was why there was some broken yellow tape up at the top of the stairs. Guess he should have read that! Little bear has learned a valuable lesson today - always pay attention to stuff around you! And getting grumped and steamed about something is pretty much useless...

Which is a good lesson for us as well - we like to get grumped and steamed because we think that someone else has done something wrong... or not done something right... because we don't like to acknowledge that maybe we have a role to play in that as well! Good lesson from little bear!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dam Bear

Today little bear was almost at the end of his walk when he came across a huge structure... like huge! One side of the structure had ice backed up behind it... the other side... well, it was a long ways down! A long ways down! And there was flowing water down there too.

What could this thing be?? Little bear didn't have far to look. There were some signs near the structure and little bear learned that the big structure was a dam... It had been constructed a very long time ago and provided fresh drinking water to the inhabitants of the city... and some power too.

Little bear was quite fascinated by this... he had no idea that such things existed... Tomorrow little bear might take a look down at the bottom of the dam... just to see what is there... He's had enough ice to last him a lifetime and the sight of running water has his curiousity piqued!