Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer Rains


Sometimes I love my job.

Then we have days like today, which kind of make me want to crawl in a hole and cry.

 For the farmers’ sake, I’m glad that we’re getting as much rain as we are.  For my sake, I kind of wish it would quit.  I’m not just complaining about my two wheel drive again.  Okay, that’s part of it.  But mostly, the rain just cramps our style.  It is dangerous to be out tracking with lightning: you’re sticking an antenna in the air, waiting for lightning to find you.  It’s probably dangerous to be out checking hair sites in a thunderstorm: you’re playing with barbed wired wrapped around trees, all of which conducts electricity.  It’s dangerous to drive in lowlands during a rainstorm: your way out might become a new creek quickly. 

But we march on, in our rubber boots and rain jackets, doing what we can to keep our equipment dry and our tires un-mired.  

I suppose we could wait it out, under the canopy, amidst falling branches and natural lightning rods.  But today I had to make a decision: mosquitoes or rain.  I chose rain.  Yeah, it was awful to trudge along under the break in the canopy, but it sure beat getting eaten alive by mosquitoes in the forest.

I just ducked my head, whistled “Into the Woods,” and kept on.


Two days ago was my first night bear.  There have been other night bears, but I’ve always been somewhere else: either cavorting in Athens or working on something else.  At any rate, it was an experience.

Hooker got stuck on West Lake (the road the “yahoos” frequent when it rains) in his 4wd, so Casey and I went to check her traps and his.  Halfway to Hooker’s first trap…the black clouds of summer thunderstorm doom rolled in over our heads.  Hooker called us and told us to haul it, because we had a solid red line coming for us on the radar.  We parked the 2wd, started walking downhill in the mud toward the low forest in which Hooker had just set a trap.  We turn around and see a sheet of rain coming for the truck, so Casey sprinted uphill to get everything important out of the bed, and I sprinted downhill into the dark forest to make sure that trap was empty.  Thankfully, it was, so I ran-trudged back to the truck:

“We have a bear.”  “What?”  “Hooker’s got a bear in the Tarversville Plantation trap. Yeah, I’m serious.” “Cool, Hooker and I had talked about how we hadn’t had a bear in the rain yet.” “Oh, so it’s your fault.” “Yup.  At least we have a bear?”  “True.”

Turns out Hooker had pulled himself out of his high-centered stuck situation, and had gotten to his last trap before we could.  We indeed had a bear.  He drove back to the cabin to get a collar and supplies and food for the hungry people, Casey and I took off toward the bear after the rain lessened.  We bop on up to get a look at the size of the bear in the trap…and there are three bears. 

Now, only one was caught (mom), but there were two yearlings (born last winter, or January-ish 2012) with 
her.  We backed off really quickly, estimated her for 150-180lbs and waited for Hooker.  When he got there, there was banter about how Casey and I got dumped on, and the storm literally went around him, then we told him the yearling situation.  Things got serious quickly.  We prepared three darts, the plan being: Casey is to dart the mom, with Hooker standing by prepared to free-dart the two yearlings if they come too close or present a danger to us or their mother.  I was to record. 

We walked up to the trap, but I hung back to stay out of the way and attempt to lower the stress on mom.  I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but I saw the sign for “toe-caught,” which is where the snare doesn’t catch around the wrist, but catches a few toes instead.  Typically, this isn’t a good situation because the bear can pull out of it.  There was fiddling with the mom’s dart, already in Casey’s blow pipe, then she handed it to Hooker who darted the bear without incident.  Turns out she was solidly caught…by two toes.  She’d torn the snare almost to threads, which is impressive because it’s metal.

We began our work up, keeping an eye out for the adorable and curious yearlings, who hung out about 30-40m away.  Not too close, not too far, and eventually they left.  Everything went smoothly, and we finished as the sun went down around 2100.  We gave her a reversal (the drug we used to tranquilize her has a reversal drug that makes the recovery time quicker) and waited for it to take effect.

We waited until 0130.  The yearlings never came back: my bet is they treed and fell asleep, or ambled into a bed and fell asleep…where Casey and I desperately wanted to be.  We snoozed in the truck and checked on mom every 20 minutes, pulling her legs, flicking her ears, encouraging her to wake up so we could sleep. 

It’s tough, sometimes, to overcome your body’s cries for bed and sleep and rest and no work, but at the end of the day, we have to realize we’re not the most important thing here.  The bears are.  We have a responsibility to do right by them, to take care of them and make sure they are okay before we run off to our air conditioned cabin, our pillows, our running water, and our beds.  If we don’t: if we slack off and are lazy, if the bears suffer because of our lackadaisical behavior…well, you can imagine what kind of guilt that would put on a person.  So you don’t.  You do jumping jacks or take 5 minute naps or have late night talks or whatever you have to do to keep watch over your bears, to finish the drill at 100%.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Letters Never Sent

Since I was a small child, I have found writing to be my catharsis.  It calms me down, helps me parse information, brings out my worries, shows me my fears, and dares me to hope.  From pro and con lists to poems to written apologies, words have for years been my MO.  My parents can attest to the fact that my best, most genuine apologies for childhood rebellions have been in the form of some Lisa Frank paper scribbled upon and slipped under a door, hours after the infraction.  And it is also my parents I have to thank for my continual use of pro-con lists: which, by the way, have graduated to weighted lists since the addition of statistics to my repertoire.  In choosing to communicate primarily by letters and blogs this summer, I am back to having words fly from my brain to paper. 

Even so, there are words I have written that will never be read by another pair of eyes.  These words never read fall under the category “things better left unsaid.”  From laying my heart bare to a crush, to exclaiming at someone I dislike, to tattling on a person who has wronged me, these words have escaped to paper, but lay latent there.  Catharsis does not always require publicity.  Sometimes, to my blog readers, it might appear that way—sorry, I’m not sorry if you think I’m verbose—but truthfully, there are many words I write that I keep hidden. 

Maybe you don’t need to know exactly how I feel when I see that person, or the mean words that fly across my eyes in anger, or the pitiful words that pour down my cheeks when I feel mistreated.  I am not talking about a diary that I keep under my bed, locked with a silly thing that could be broken with a swift tug.  I am talking about legitimate letters: dated, addressed—as in, Dear [insert Name here]—and signed—as in, [insert adjective/adverb here] Annaliese.  I have quite a number, stuffed into various journals, hidden at the bottom of desk drawers, in sealed envelopes begging for a stamp and a postmark…but thankfully, I know better. 

These letters are written in the heat of the moment, in the thick of emotion: when logic has left and in its place is only cyclonic fire.  By no means are they halting, fragmented sentences.  Instead, they are quite eloquent, intelligent, and haunting—for one reason or another.  I hope they are not my best works, but from a literary standpoint, it is entirely possible.

These words could be beautiful, but they are not tempered with logic, grace, or love, and therefore are not suitable works which I should disclose.  That crush could very well know—through other means—what I wrote in his letter, or he could very well never realize how much I thought of him.  That person I felt like I hated?  Well, after forty eight hours, her letter was a sign of just how cloudy my judgment had been.  The wrong was soon righted, through other avenues than my vindictive, condemnatory letter.  These letters, however fiery, over exaggerated, or mean, serve as weighty reminders of what lies beneath the grace and logic to which I cling. 

These sentences bring forth within me a gratitude for discernment, self control, tact, and grace that have at times laid a heavy hand on mine, dousing those infernal passions. 

Yes, indeed, zealous and telling as they are, these are best as letters never sent.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Big Bear

The mojo broke this week.

In a big way.  We caught 5 bears!  FIVE!  The most memorable two were caught Friday morning (oh yeah, a two bear day) when the three committee members came into town.  Both were in traps Casey set (which is really exciting for her!), and she happened upon both of them. 

She, Ben (visitor), and I took the first one:
150lb male bear...paw.
Hooker, Josh, and the committee took the other one:
388lb male bear
Um. Yeah. Dassa big bear.  
Josh-ism for the day: the only way to make that bear bigger is to put Annaliese next to it.
I mean, it's the truth.  This guy was huge.  I wasn't even sure how to get next to him to take this picture.  His head was giant.  He was just...giant.  283 more pounds than me.  WHOAH.

Okay, gushing over.  I'm just glad that the committee got to see some actual bear work while they were down for the day.  I know it meant a lot to the students to be able to show them how things work.  And I know it was fun for the committee to be involved, particularly with such a stellar bear.  

I told you last week that I'd try to take pictures of Albert Jenkins Rd when it was dry so you could see the potential catastrophe of rain...So here are some shots of the worst hill:

 Nuts, right?

Anyways, not much new to report on the bear stuff.  The previous blog is really where my mind has been this week, and thus where my words are.  Don't get me wrong, the newness isn't wearing off, the excitement isn't dimming.  I still get flutters when we get a bear, and my eyes shine a little brighter when I get to touch them.  But there are only so many things I can tell you about our day-to-day life.  So you get to listen to my thoughts on everything else too.  That's part of the title: Wondering Wanderer.  Sometimes work is just work, and it's what fills the spaces that is more important.

It's all in the Timing

In high school we student-directed a play…or a series of vignettes…called “It’s all in the Timing.”  It was a theatre of the absurd script, which is fascinating to watch and insanely difficult to master as a director and an actor.  The dialogue is fraught with comedic opportunity, but without a solid handle on the timing, everything just seems…well…absurd.  Thankfully, our high school actors and actresses were up to the challenge, and we were successful at a comedic night of dinner theatre.

No, that play doesn’t have anything to do with bears.  Well, it does a little.

Apropos of nothing this morning, scenes from that play popped into my head.  It puzzled me at first, for I hadn’t thought of that in years (probably since we put it on five years ago).  But not long after those hilarious lines floated through my head, another, not so hilarious line floated through.

Everything in life is all in the timing. 

Everything.  Think about it: how many friendships do you have, or have you had, that started simply because the two of you were in the same place at the same time?  Imagine your life if you hadn’t mistaken that person for someone else, or walked into their house for a party, or sat down with them (strangers, at that time) for lunch because you didn’t want to eat alone?  What if you didn’t sit next to that person in that stupid college class?  Never got up the nerve to ask that person to dance?  Chickened out of going to that conference?  Chickened out of asking someone to dinner or a party?

It isn’t just friendships or relationships that rely on the timing: it’s jobs, college classes, networking opportunities, adventures, trust-building opportunities…timing is in everything and is everything.

Without it, we’re all pretty absurd. 

But the perfect timing is nothing without the decision to accept it.  We get opportunities all the time; we just have to decide whether or not to act upon them.  In one of the vignettes, a 5 minute exchange between 2 people sitting at a cafĂ© happens over and over and over and over.  Each time a bell rings, the scene starts over, but with different—or slightly different—outcomes.  The man sees a pretty woman, balks, runs off.  Bell.  The man is shy, sees the woman reading, makes one comment, sheepishly shuffles off.  Bell.  The man gets a little more confident, maybe makes two comments, is shot down, and leaves.  Bell.  They finally have a short conversation.  Bell.  They have a longer conversation, it goes well.  Bell.  He sees her reading, strikes up charming conversation, she finally puts down her book, they really talk.  They decide to meet and talk again.  Bell.

The bell is like a do-over button.  Sometimes he hits it, sometimes she does.  Eventually, both of them see the perfect timing and take it.  This takes many missed opportunities first.  

Sometimes I wish we had that bell: so we could ring it and return to a missed opportunity. We don’t.
In a recent sermon by the pastor at Princeton UMC, I was reminded of this again.  Sometimes you have opportunities, choices, open doors, challenges placed in front of you: like Abram when God told him to leave Ur for a land that He would show him.  In Genesis, God told Abram he would make of him a great nation if he left his homeland and followed God’s directions to a new home.  Abram said: okay deal.  Flash forward to Hebrews, Abraham (the –ha was added to change his name from meaning “exalted father,” to “father of many”) has the biggest chunk of the “hall of faith.”  Abraham, because he answered God’s call, became the father of many nations: the Jews, Muslims, and Christians.  He became the base of the three largest religions of our time.  He answered the call when it was set in front of him; he saw the timing and took it. 

By the way, Abram wasn’t told where he was going…until well after he left.  Seeing the timing and taking it isn’t always easy or transparent.  The “right timing” doesn’t always mean the “I can see my life’s path clearly now-timing.”  Sometimes it looks like “I know it’s time for me to move, so I’ll pack, but I don’t know where I’m going-timing.”  Sometimes it’s as simple as an unsettled feeling in your stomach, a lack of peace within your soul.  Sometimes it’s a tough pill to swallow.  Leaving your homeland, your family (blood or friends), your community, your habits, your desires, your own selfish hopes…these are all difficult things to leave and wander off into the unknown.

But I have a stubborn spirit that doesn’t like being told what to do, or being told to move without having a destination.  I prefer, often, to make my own timing.  Heartbreak, rejection, and simple “no’s” witness how well that has worked.  I know how it feels now, to see my forced timing and bulldoze my way through it vs. the divine opportunities placed in front of me for me to take. 

I have a choice: I can follow myself, my own wills and plans, that deep-seated, carnal voice inside urging me to do and take what I want, when I want.  OR.  I can follow the God I claim to believe in, that still, small, inexplicable voice urging me to accept the challenge, to step out into the unknown, to trust that it’s all in the timing…all in His timing.  I know which one is right-off more appealing.  I know how to shut off the logic, the quiet unrest, and keep going because I like it.  But I also know how that can (and has) turned around to bite me.  I know what my religion would tell me is smarter: he’s a sovereign God, he has it under control, has your best in mind.  I also know what that perfect peace feels like (even in the midst of pain). 

And I know all too well how that war within me feels.

How do I know which side to listen to?  What opportunities are in front of me?  Which ones do I fight for?  Which ones do I let happen, or let slide past?  Where am I going?  How do I know when I get there that I’m in the right place?  What if there’s something potentially really awesome happening in a place I might be leaving?  What if I don’t want to go somewhere new, what if I like where I am?  What if I’m settling…what if I’m not?  What am I looking at, really?  What if where I’m going isn’t as cool as where I am?  What if I have to leave all my community?  What if they don’t want me to leave?  What if it’s dangerous?  What if I fail…or succeed?

I can’t pretend to imagine if those were the questions racing through Abram’s mind as they race through mine.  A step of faith is hard no matter which way you slice it.  But I know what thought Abram’s mind landed on; it’s the same one mine did.

I will go.  I have seen my ways and I have seen the ways of the LORD; His are wiser and much better in the long run than mine will ever be.  I can’t deny that it seems silly—turning down seemingly good opportunities or holding out for others or walking off into nothing hoping for guidance—but I cannot shake it.  I must be faithful to the God with whom I stand and to whom I cling.  Everything is in His timing anyway: His perfect timing.  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Anni's Stuck Truck Adventures

Today is a not-so-cute blog post.  But it's part of my summer experience, and it needs to be shared.


This seems like it might not be such a big deal, right?  Just use the paved roads.  Or drive on the grass around the clay-mud-pits.  Except street tires on old 2wd trucks also don't work on wet grass.  And pavement isn't an option.

So here's the scoop: DNR has graciously lent us two of their old (I suppose decommissioned) 4wd trucks, but the boys (Josh and Hooker) are driving those.  Casey and I are driving two UGA F-250 super duty 2wd trucks.  Sure, they're super: they have big engines and big beds, but they don't have mud tires or the ability to stay straight on slimy clay.

Mostly, we can drive smart.  We don't go on Albert Jenkins Road when it's raining (I'll have to take pictures of it sometime so you can see what I mean).  We avoid the north end of West Lake Road ALL the time.  We stay on the gravel.  We don't hesitate when we see a slick spot, don't press the brakes.  We steer into the fishtailing, hoping traction catches before landing us in a wallowed out ditch (thanks, hicks, for ruining the "shoulder" of the road).  Sometimes that's enough.  On a sunny day, or after the dew has gone, it's not a problem.  We drive methodically and patiently, and everything is alright.

After a rain, however, everything goes--quite literally--downhill.  The roads become reminiscent of the surface of an inexperienced potter's wheel: slick, malleable, unforgiving.  If I were a potter, I'd love this situation.  The artist in my wishes I had a wheel in my truck, so when I got stuck, I could just make stuff until someone came and bailed me out.
I'm not a potter, though, I'm a driver.  I gots places to be, man, and mud doesn't help.

Here's where my blog title comes in:  We had rain on Sunday.  Monday was sunny, humid, and buggy.  I was nearing the end of my day, baiting hair snares that were near paved or graveled roads.  My last hair site was a little bit off the beaten track, but it was still on a gravel road, so I went for it.  I baited the site, went to turn around, and started spinning.
I was about 5 feet from the top of a hill, so I thought: maybe if I back down the hill a little, I can get momentum that will carry me up and over.  So I backed down the hill a little...spun...backed down some more...spun...went all the way to the bottom, did a U-turn...spun.  I did this for a solid 20 minutes, trying to rock the truck out of the ruts I'd made.  IN GRAVEL.  What I mean by rocking is switching between reverse and drive in quick succession in hopes that the tires catch and get up and over the rut.  no dice.
I had to call Josh and get hauled to the top of the hill.  Then we undid the chains, went to leave, and I was still spinning...ten minutes later I felt a little like a puppy on a leash, following Josh all the way back to the main road, ears drooping and tail between my legs.

Sometimes Mondays just suck.

Flash forward to Tuesday, a whole 24 hours later.  I was on Albert Jenkins (okay, listen, it was dry.  It wasn't rutted or slick or puddle-y or anything.  It had been baking in the sun for two days!) and came upon a surprise puddle (GIANT).  So, naturally, I went around it.  As soon as I got to the side of it, my truck and my heart sank.

Rule number one of clay-road driving:  If you're driving on a moderate-to-heavily-trafficked road, stay in the middle, even if it's flooded.  The dirt is hard-packed, unlike the soft, churned edges.

Yes, that rule also came from Hooker.  It's one that I'll listen to, though, because that sinking feeling--I know you know how it goes, when your heart sinks into your knees--is one of the worst.  He came and bailed me out, but was kind about it, thankfully.  Because this time it's something I could have avoided by smarter driving.

You live and you learn.  I conquered that puddle later that day just to make sure I could.

We got more rain on Wednesday.  Thursday morning Casey and I got stuck in her truck while checking traps.  It was grassy.  Awful.  Casey gave it a good go, waiting to call for help until we had the tires smoking.  Randy, a DNR employee, came and bailed us out (and led us on the tow-chain-leash back to the gravel), cracking lots of jokes and taking lots of pictures.

Here's my rule number one for mud-driving: don't be embarrassed.
Mud happens.

At least it makes for entertaining stories, and crazy pictures.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summer Nights

As dewy and ethereal as the mornings here are, the evenings are equally hazy and seductive.  The hard work of the day is done, leaving the world to recline and await the arrival of night—which she does in much glory.
The sun still shines, but it does as one who has his eyes part-closed, drinking in the smell of summer flowers, trampled grass, and dirt.  Even the trees are still, slender and tall, letting the sun look upon their leaves with lazy light.  The birds have tired of their grand adventures, with only a few staunch mourning doves heralding the coming of dusk—breathe in the success of another day, relax, and know your night comes­­—and a sentinel bobwhite quail, questioning, yet confident , with his bob—bob-white! song.  Even the wind is a soft exhalation: a sigh of relief at the close of the day.  But on that wind comes thick and heady the scent of chinaberry and honeysuckle; it will knock you breathless with the splendor of those tiny flowers.  How do such tiny flowers create such consuming aromas?  They seem designed to quit all action, still the tongue, wake the nose, and slide the eyelids shut. 
These, then, are the harbingers of night, the heralds of sunset and cool, twinkling stars.  As the perfume envelopes all, the sun is suddenly aflame, casting fiery light upon the ground, the leaves.  Even the very air is ablaze in that fleeting moment of twilight.  The sun’s brilliant moment is followed by the immediate coolness of dusk, the sigh of the world welcoming night.


We’ve reached an interesting phenomenon here at the Ocmulgee Cabin.  No longer am I alone, no longer is the cabin filled with silence because I have no one with whom to converse.  The cabin is full of life: full of trapping accessories, data sheets, boots, dirt, ticks, and people.  And often silence. 

Casey said something hilarious and rather accurate last night:  we’re like that scene in Pride and Prejudice (the one with Kiera Knightley) where all the ladies are sitting in the parlor embroidering, drawing, mending, and not talking.  After the dinner and post-work shenanigans, we all settle into our own things.  Casey and I usually run/work out/Sayaw and then quickly run back in complaining of the gnats.  Ever worked out with your eyes shut?  It’s difficult.  Hooker looks at his maps and his iphone, throws in some sarcasm every now and then.  I read a lot, though I try to take the advice of Joey (Hinton) and alternate my fictional readings with nonfiction readings.  Sometimes I doodle: I’m re-learning the art of water color pencils…not a complaint by any means, I’m happy to have the opportunity to create things on paper (besides words).
I’m not one who is afraid of silence.  It is a good thing.  Silence isn’t scary, contrary to semi-popular believe.  Silence can be comforting, familiar, and relaxing.  It can be the sign of familiarity with your compatriots, or simply a sign of exhaustion.  Fighting through greenbriar, poison ivy, trumpet creeper, cane, and sweetgum leaves one less than desirous for deep conversations.  However, there are still so many things I’d like to know about my housemates.  Where were they before this?  What made them get into this field?  So many questions!  All in due time.

In the meantime, I have some work updates:

Hair snares are almost ready to bait—all we are waiting on is for our corn to sour (stick corn and water in a bucket, close it, leave in sun for days, voila: sour corn).  Josh says we should be ready to bait by Monday (6/3)!  I’m excited, because right now he and I are both in limbo.  I’ve been tagging along with Hooker, which means mostly trapping: trap checking, resetting, rebuilding, tearing down.  We’ve also made several trips into town for things.  It is rather interesting to be with him all day, quiet, in the car, then return with him, quiet, to the cabin.  We are both okay with silence, I think, and he’s rather used to being on his own.  However, the conversations had are pleasant and often filled with jokes.  He reminds me a little of an Ashley (my family, not some girl), with the sarcasm and quick wit, but deep seated care that underlies everything.
I still have gold stars for keeping track of Hooker’s rules.  In fact, I’ve learned some new ones:

Rule number one for trapping: checking a trap to see if it’s pleasing to a bear is best done from a bear’s perspective (3 ft off ground).

Rule number one (I think they’re all #1) for trapping: always keep the safety on.  Or don’t be anywhere near the throwing arm if there isn’t a safety.

[information on trap: the traps are NOT jaw-like traps.  They’re leg snares: they step on a treadle that has a throwing arm that tightens a little loop-de-loop around the wrist]

We’ve caught 7 bears so far!  And here are some sweet pictures!

Snake I found when checking a bridge on 5/29

Handsome male bear, 280 lbs, 5/27

Tomorrow is the last day of May.  I’ve been here for a month.  It hardly seems that long, and yet it seems a lifetime ago that I was at The Wildlife Supper, Twilight, Kali, Kyuki-do, Princeton UMC, and Copper Creek.  Life has changed.  Funny how it does that so often, whether or not we’re expecting it. 

I’ve had my hands on five bears since the last time I was in Athens.  FIVE.  I’ve had my arms literally AROUND two of them (chest circumference measurement requires you get a tape measure all the way around them…most easily accomplished by something that resembles hugging).  I’ve gotten an F-250 Super Duty stuck twice (it’s not a 4WD, if you were wondering).  I’m leading the tick count, though Hooker has everyone beat on the poison ivy scale.  I’ve made everyone on state highway 96 very angry when I run my roadkill surveys (and I’ve touched more dead snakes today than I thought I would in my life).  I’m baiting hair snares starting Monday.

Life around here is shaping up to be very interesting.  Of course, I’m reminded of a question: what type of woodsy life do I want to have?  I’m afraid the answer is looking farther away than it was before.  Whatever type of woodsy life I might want to create for myself all goes out the window if there is a bear in a trap. 

Trapping is life.  I can see that in my coworkers, and I can see how it became that way.  We all struggle against it, but trapping always wins.  You know the concept of “code red” (or “code wolf,” as my LOLCM girls call it), where you drop everything and come running if someone calls it?  That is the reality of this bear project.  The bears dictate whether or not we cook dinner at 7pm or 11pm.  The bears dictate whether we get a second (or fifth) cup of coffee before noon.  The bears dictate whether or not Casey will make it to her softball games.  The bears dictate my ability to go into town for martial arts studio recon.  The bears are the ones that are really in charge, even if they "don’t got no thumbs."  The bears are the ones telling us where to go and what to do even though we think our research is us finding out where they go and what they do. 

I can’t say that I mind, but something I’ve discussed with Casey is that it’s hard to acquire a community—something she and I both crave—when you can never commit to anyone besides the bears.  They always come first, above church on Sunday mornings, work out buddies, softball games, movies, dinners, classes…people.  But the bears aren’t our community: imagine trying to discuss feelings with a bear.  It don’t work.  

I guess what I mean to say is: you don’t choose a type of woodsy life, a type of woodsy life chooses you.  I’m not talking about the circle of life, holding hands, lighters waving type of thing.  I’m talking about woodsy work being your life.  Some field work allows you to choose your own schedule.  The bears choose ours.