Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bear Tales



In the middle of a lot of hard work, I've also had some really great adventures. In spite of lots of rain, I've managed to hike out to the Treadwell Gold Mine twice, walk through the little town of Douglas three times and get within 10' of a brown bear.

My father carries the energies of the 'Bear Totem' so things having to do with bears, bear paws and bear power animal medicine are always fascinating when I am working with family energies at home in Alaska. So, it didn't surprise me one bit to discover that several bears had been sighted prowling through the Douglas Island neighborhood...looking for fast food restaurants and 24 hour cafes that most of us called dumpsters and garbage cans.

This particular little fellow was making the rounds of several neighborhoods and was spotted by one of my cousins from his hillside 'picture window.' The Douglas phone lines lit up like the 4th of July to let me know, and off I raced( camera in hand as I cruised through town in my dad's car, looking for the little fellow. I saw so many gatherings of people, I thought for sure he still had to be around, but they ended up being groups of skateboarding kids or their group visiting parents. So, after 3 levels of hillside streets and about a miles worth south to north, I almost gave up.

But, then I decided to head down to my brother's and lo and behold! I could see another people gathering on our main street. Bear sighting! The little fellow had apparently been looking for me ;) for as soon as I showed up he hopped the fence right right into my brother's back yard. My sister-in-law and I raced through her house, yelling to lock up the dog and peering through windows for a photo op.

Little Bear jumped the fence and headed up the mountain, but I hopped back in the car, SIL riding shotgun with my camera and off we went. When looking for bear, you look for 1)groups of people 2)the local police with their bear horn and finally 3)the bear.

Two streets and a cop later, there he was! And he headed straight for us! My SIL got so excited she zoomed when she should have clicked and we almost lost the photo but managed to snag these shots.

It was so exciting. I ended up being hemmed in by two police cars (literally, I was in the intersection backing up crookedly) and could have been cited and ticketed for interference. But I was all ready with my 'mea culpa' and my I'm sorry officer, I'm from Oregon' speech. But I flashed my dimples and my camera and got off with a grumpy look through their windows.

Last year, they had to catch and release almost 40 bears in one season in Juneau-Douglas. Luckily, this one wasn't held hostage nor did he have to meet his maker (which only happens if they chase a dog or head towards a human) and was allowed to go back up the mountain with a couple honks of the bear horn.

SIL and I headed back to her lovely yard and had a bear power ceremony with candles and sage and talked about bear's message to us ....let's see, what might it have been...'all that is hidden is not lost, but soon found' or perhaps 'determination and perseverance through crossroads creates opportunity'.

Note, my leather camera bag in one photo...yep that's a bear paw design. Must have been fate ;)

2 comments:

  1. Oh how exciting! I don't think I would have been brave enough to go looking for it though.

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  2. My son LOVED these pics!!! With no chance of ever seeing a bear here in Australia, he was captivated.....and how lucky for u to get with 10'!!!!
    Hugs xxx

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.