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BEAR SCARE AND NEWS UPDATE

Sun Aug 29, 2010, 1:15 PM



BEAR SCARE AND NEWS UPDATE


Wow…where have I been?!  My time here at DA this summer has been very limited due to "life".  The move of my youngest daughter and family from Alaska to the east coast, has consumed much of my time for the last 6 weeks.  :-(   Hopefully I'm going to be able to be back more often now.  :-)

THE CARPAL TUNNEL

I'm still very much limited in my ability to leave comments due to the CT - which has been driving me nuts recently.  It can take 3 days for me to get a journal prepared. There is so much else at DA I would like to do such as contests and groups but I can't because of it.  Sometimes I can't hold a phone with my rt. hand.  Just the tapping on the laptop pad to do a lot of favs can get difficult, but I DO view all your beautiful work!  I'm just sorry I can't comment often.  :-(   I work mostly with my left hand – and I'm rt. handed – but have to limit that so I don't develop CT in my left hand.  Very frustrating.  I'm NOT looking for sympathy, just catching you up.  :-)

ART & PHOTOGRAPHY

I am still doing photography instead of fractals - which I miss very much! The demands on my hands are much less and artistic elements come into play when composing and framing/capturing the most artistic, pleasing scene - using my eyes and learning how to better use the camera with the brain.  I'm still working on that!  There's much to learn!  Photography for me is about getting out away from civilization in Alaska (there's not very much of that here anyway) and photographing the stunning scenery I am so lucky to be able to live among and to experience.  When I say "away from civilization" it's very different getting away here than the rest of the U.S.  There are no gas stations/convenience stores every few miles or houses or businesses, no buildings, no signs….nothing but scenery to photograph - just the way I love it!  Sometimes the nearest hospital to me is 80 miles or more away, so I try to not get injured and always carry a first aid kit!  Much of the time…there is nothing….but stunning scenery and wild animals!  

WEATHER

It has been difficult to get out for much of the summer.  We have had so much rain and cloudy/cool weather this summer – 31 days straight of some rain – that when the sun finally popped out, I took off and did 5 road trips in 15 days!  We have to soak up that sun before our long, dark days of winter!  I will be posting a lot of photos; some just travelog photos and others that I think are quite good.  :-)  I don't mean to fill your in-boxes - I just want to share the beauty of where I live with you.  :-)  




Image Description

Portage Creek - upriver where I was standing with the bear across the road behind me.




THE BEAR STORY

About a week ago I took off and drove to Portage Valley, around 50 miles from here turning off the two-lane "highway" and driving up the valley on a small two-lane road to Portage Lake for a few photos.  School is back in session and most of the tourists are gone so there was almost no traffic.  In the early 70's I could see Portage Glacier from the lake's edge, and there were huge icebergs floating that you could reach out and touch in the lake in summer.  (I must find my photo taken in the 70's)   Now the glacier has retreated so much that one must take a small cruise boat all the way across the lake and up and around the bend to see the glacier.  In summer now - one very rarely sees an iceberg way across the lake from the small visitor center at the lake's edge.  Still, it's a very pretty place to see and photograph.

After some photos there I turned around and drove about 2 miles back down the little road, and stopped where there was a small clearing to get to the river for photos.  (it's actually called Portage Creek)  There was not a place to park, but so few vehicles that I pulled over on to the tiny shoulder of the road and parked my car on a bit of a slant downhill.  I zigzagged down a fairly steep 25-foot embankment to where it flattened out by the river's edge, about 7 feet wide.  As I stood there I noticed a salmon running up the rapid water – no photo of it since it happened so fast.  Strange thing is….I've lived here 40 years and that river is so silty from the glacial silt that I never knew there were salmon in it!  I then proceeded to snap photos of the breath-taking scenery both up river and down river.  

I'd been there about 10 minutes and seen no cars, when I heard a voice yell loudly, "Ma'm!!  I turned and looked up the hill toward the road to see the top half of a truck and a man in it.  He said, Ma'm……there's a black bear across the road from you!!  (the truck then left!)  My first thought was more irritation than fear - I hadn't spend almost 11 years surviving Lymphoma, to become a "bear snack" now – in the middle of nowhere so I had to keep my wits about me!!  



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I bolted rapidly straight up the steep embankment. (the one I'd had to zigzag down to keep from falling) staying down behind my car so the bear at least, could not see me. I got to the passenger side window - the car was at such a slant that even if I had opened that door – which would have smacked me in the face -  I would not have been able to close the door on that side. I quickly popped my head up to see if I could safely run around the front of my car and jump in. (I ALWAYS carry my car key on a springy-thingy on my upper arm and I had my bear spray on my belt but I preferred not to be in a position where I had to use it!)  

All I could see as I peered through the windows (because I was still standing on a steep down-slope) was a narrow view of the very dense brush/trees across the road.  I had my bear spray on my belt, so I crept to a point where I could see around the hood of the car and saw that the bear had retreated from the road back into the dense brush, probably still watching me!  I made a beeline for the driver's door, key in hand and jumped in!  Only after I was safely in the car, did I think about the fact that the bear was probably headed down that slope to the river for the salmon and if that truck hadn't come along….I would have been between the bear and a river with fish!!  Now…..being between a bear and a river with salmon in it…. with no one around…..is NOT where you want to be,  I can assure you -!!  






Image Description

Portage Creek - downriver where I was standing with the bear across the road behind me.




Was I afraid? Actually, it was more like, "Oh crap…you have no time to be afraid, not now because there's no one around for help…keep your head about you!  There was a bit of anxiety but I remained calm.  Moral of the story - don't go to a river when you are alone and there are salmon that are running in it – and ALWAYS carry bear spray (I do) if you are in Alaska and are 5 miles out of town!  Actually, I even carry it in town when I walk!  In Alaska, there has never been a record of anyone who was carrying bear spray, being seriously injured and in fact it saved someone's life in town just this summer!  However, I was NOT at all interested in testing that safety record out!!  Though I didn't get a photo of the bear – which is just fine by me – I will be posting some photos I took on this trip in the beautiful Portage Valley.  :-)  No snack for the bear this time!


I hope you all are enjoying what is left of your summer!

Hugzzzzzzzzzzzzzz,

Anita  :-)  :hug:


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  • Mood: Artistic
  • Listening to: The sun trying to break through
  • Watching: The clouds moving
  • Eating: Almost lunchtime!
  • Drinking: Am thirsty
Add a Comment:
 
:iconbcniko:
BCNIKO Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great story but have to admit I'm a bit angry with that truck driver ; yes he stopped to tell you but I certainly would have stayed to make sure you got back to your vehicle or at least leaned on my horn a few times to scare him off . I've had some dealings with bears ( a black bear killed 2 of my llamas ) & know just how dangerous they can be . Glad you came out of it just fine with a good story to tell .
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I was really baffled by that! I guess he "assumed" since my car wasn't too terribly far away, that I'd get back to it, but what if the bear had charged across the street as soon as he left? He would have been on top of me before I could have jumped in the car! Unless I got the bear spray out in time and sprayed it. Weird thing was....it didn't even register in my brain.....that he drove off and left me - until the next day! I was so happy to have been "warned" that I didn't even think about it! :laughing: Really sorry to hear about your llamas! That's terrible....they were probably like family to you. :-( People tend to think of black bears as "less dangerous" but that is not necessarily so....as you well know! :hug: :-)
Reply
:iconwdwparksgal:
WDWParksGal Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2010
:wow: I didn't mean to laugh out loud but I did when you got to the part about having "bear spray" attached to your belt.... there is such a thing as bear spray? Man am I insulated against the "real" world! I prefer seeing animals in zoo habitats, but that is just me.

My brother drove his RV from Texas into Canada into Alaska, one of his favorite states, and stayed for several weeks this past summer. He and his wife are retired and so enjoy the open road.

Your pictures always look like picture postcards. Simply breathtaking.
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
It's ok to laugh! Yes, there really is a bear spray. It's a type of concentrated pepper spray in a cannister with holster, and one should always have it on their belt when walking/camping/hiking in bear country, which is virtualy all of Alaska! It's shoots a spray up to 20 feet and there has never been a documented, very serious injury or loss of life here, when people have carried/used bear spray. It's actually hard to be very accurate with a gun in a sudden "suprise" by a bear and there is generlly a better chance of escaping, if you use bear spray. I certainly don't set out to look for and see bears, but it's what we live with even in the city - when I walk in the woods by my place in town. Glad your brother got to visit - most people love to visit here. :-) Thanks for the kind compliment - years ago my youngest daughter told a friend who had not been here long - that it was like living in a postcard - which is true! Even after 44 years, I never tire of the beauty I live in and know how lucky I have been! :hug:
Reply
:iconwdwparksgal:
WDWParksGal Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2010
I just had to read your journal and your comment to my husband. He needed me to verify that there was such a thing as "bear repellent"! It would be lovely to visit Alaska one day.
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:iconbaba49:
baba49 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow Anita you did have an exciting summer so far :D That bear story is really something! What mean prik of a man to leave you there all by yourself! And the bear was real mean too not to pose for a close up with arms folded and friendly smiling :D Nevermind the photos of the scenery are wonderful! I'd love to feel and smell Alaska too. Our summer weather was very unstable too it switched from cold to hot faster than we could change the clothes. Now it's cool and rainy but we had some sunny days before and I suspect there might be mushrooms in the woods. Perhaps I go an check this afternoon :D

I am sorry your youngest daughter moved so far away :(

Take care Anita. I am sure glad you have a bear spray!
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I could probably come to see you faster than my daughter, by flying over the pole so I was/am sad about that, but hopefully things will be better for her. :-) Yes - I wondered that too - why he drove off and left and didn't stay to make sure I got to the car safely! At least he warned me. I'm happy you like the photos - I never get tired of the scenery here even after 44 years! I'll bet you have some gorgeous scenery there too! In fact I think I remember some beautiful snowy photos you posted! The weather has been weird all over the world! Since I have family in 3 different states here I'm a "weather watcher" and watch the weather all over the globe. Maybe you could get some mushroom photos? :D :hug:
Reply
:iconbaba49:
baba49 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
We have some similar scenery here but everything here is much smaller and it lacks the impression of wilderness that you get in your parts where everything is wide and spacious :D Perhaps the last three photos here [link] are a little Alasca style?
I called my son this afternoon to ask whether he would come to the woods with me to look for mushrooms and he agreed to come tomorrow so if he doesn't change his mind will go and I will take the camera with me in case we get to see a bear :lol: just kidding :D I don't think I can make a decent photo of a mushroom I am hardly ever lucky with macro shots :( :D
Reply
:iconandyserrano:
AndySerrano Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This was a most wonderful and detailed journal. If you do this regularly, you could develope quite a following!
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Awww.....thanks so much Andy! It took me a day and a half to put together.....I've got to get faster! I can write better than that, so gotta polish off the rough edges that have cropped up from non-use! :blush: :hug: :-)
Reply
:iconandyserrano:
AndySerrano Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You'll find that the more journal entries you make, the easier it becomes. Currently, whenever I finish any non-ordinary activity, I write it up. That way the journal is not some looming monster.
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Agreed entirely. :D :hug:
Reply
:iconann-mclaren:
Ann-McLaren Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
So glad that bear went hungry. Actually we have a bear problem in Michigan as well.
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Me too! I'l bet you do. Do you ever have bear incidents in the city/town where you live? :hug:
Reply
:iconann-mclaren:
Ann-McLaren Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
They have been seen just outside of town. So far none in the town. I prefer my bears stuffed and sitting on my bed.
Reply
:icondoublecrash:
Doublecrash Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010
Whoa, Anita, such an adventure! :^^':

I always loved to think of myself in such places... maybe one day I'll be able to visit there :fingerscrossed:
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
"Adventure" is an understatement! :laughing: I've had quite a bit of it in my years here. :D Hopefully you will visit one day! :hug: :-)
Reply
:icondoublecrash:
Doublecrash Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010
I hope so. Believe it or not, I like cold climates, and the wilderness of Alaska has always been of my dream-places.
Reply
:iconwolfepaw:
wolfepaw Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, Anita! For being in an isolated part of the world, you sure do have your share of excitement. I'm so happy you weren't a bear snack. After all you've been through, having it all end as a tidbit for a hungry bear would be rather ignoble. But, I'm glad you got to take some road trips and take more of your beautiful pictures to share with us. It really is lovely up there and I think your pictures are the only way I'll ever see it. Though, maybe one day...
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Yes it would be quite ignoble! I will agree, it has been a very exciting place to live - I have been SO fortunate to live here all these years! Perhaps I'll tell some more of my Alaska stories! I'm so happy you enjoyed the photos...I'll be uploading some more as I have time. Perhaps one day - you never know - you will make it here! :tighthug: :-)
Reply
:iconartisticlicensenow:
ArtisticLicenseNow Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
your life is certainly not boring!
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
It MOST certainly is not - and has not been - up here! :-) :hug:
Reply
:iconkensaunders:
KenSaunders Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I've had nightmares about bears. No idea what that means but I've had two of them.


Nice to hear from you.
I've been a lot more active recently, and yes, that includes new art. :)
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I don't have any idea about bear nightmares either! We just have bear "daymares" up here! :D Good to hear from you! Did you fall off my watch again? Im sure I re-added you awhile back, but I've seen no new art from you show up in my deviations to view! I'm going to go re-add you again, and hope that fixes it!
Reply
:iconkensaunders:
KenSaunders Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
"Art is the oxygen for your soul!"

Love it

I call music soul candy since I call art eye candy, but I suppose that soul candy would apply to art as equally as well as music. :shrug:
Reply
:iconlaurengary:
laurengary Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010
Holy smokes Anita ! What with cleaning up your son(?) house after the move ..( and how are you doing with that, btw ?)...& now this...what an exciting life you lead ! I think there was a Chinese curse, though never really proven anyway, that says "May you live in interesting times." LOL I hope you stop ! :hug:
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:lmao: My whole life has been a Chinese curse.....er.....Proverb! It is my youngest daughter's house, and my son and his son have done a lot of work there too. :-) I'm still going over doing yardwork and tending the flowers, I made grow too big, so now I have to water them more often! You think I'd learn! :laughing: Actually I can't complain - in 44 years in Alaska, that was my first (known) bear encounter and you wouldn't believe the times I've been way, way out in the sticks - no gun and before bear spray! I'm a bit older and wiser now and have read a lot about bear behavior and what to do and not do, so I think that helped me to stay calm. Of course there are never any guarantees! :D :tighthug: :love:
Reply
:iconkurios-kat:
kurios-kat Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm SO glad you weren't bear-food! No doubt salmon tastes better... Looking forward to those photographs _ I know they'll be a real treat. Hope you get some more good weather before winter sets in. :hug: :blowkiss: nntr!!
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Me too! Posted 2 pics today....2 more tomorrow. :D :hug:
Reply
:icongypsyh:
GypsyH Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my gosh what a scare that had to be with that bear being so close. Right across the road!! My heart would have probably stopped!

Your pictures are beautiful.

Take care of the CT - and don't over do with the wrist. I have it too, but think yours is worse than mine. I know how it hurts. I just have flare ups and not a constant day in and day out thing with it.
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
It was kind of weird, because I was calm and focused on getting back into the car, since I was less than 30 feet away from it. If I had been any farther away or trapped between the bear and the river - I would have been terrified! But I did have the bear pepper spray on my belt! Awww...thanks so much! It was a gorgeous day and the area looked like the crown jewel of scenery. Sorry to hear you have CT - it can be such an aggravation so I know how you feel. Do take care of yours too. I have a few good days when I can do more - and that's usually when I post a journal and photos and may be lucky enough to leave a few comments. :D :hug:
Reply
:iconrozrr:
Rozrr Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Anita, why don't you get a copy of Dragon Naturally speaking. I have one. I got it free on a Torrent download.

I had cervical spondylitis for years and it stopped me painting in oils completely, however every now and then despite the fact that I cured it by drinking colloidal silver, it bothers me and I can only type with one hand. So I invested in a nice microphone from Amazon, one of their used but like new items. Downloaded Dragon Naturally Speaking and use that to do most of my typing. It takes a lot of the strain off my neck which has some severe damage and has been like that for years. You have to train the program to recognise the way you speak, I still have tp do that to some words and phrases, but it sure takes the strain out of what I do.

I am usually typing all day with all my activism. I also have a friend in Seattle I write too, very long emails several times each day.

Beautiful scenery... Hope the bear managed to get a good feed after you left.
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Roz...so sorry to hear of your troubles with your neck and hand. We just wish we had new body parts, don't we?! I truly appreciate your suggestion but I have a Sequential Learning Disorder that keeps me from being able to retain the commands that one needs to use it. I tried one and became so frustrated I couldn't do it, because I had to keep looking down at each command, every single time I used it. I'ts hard to explain - gifted in other areas but unable to decipher steps/instructions/sequences. Some day when all one has to do is talk into a microphone and do nothing else - I will get it! I'm betting that it will happen! Thanks....yes....the scenery here is just breathtaking and I have never gotten tired of it in 44 years. Hopefully the bear found some good blueberries! :D :hug: :hug:
Reply
:iconrozrr:
Rozrr Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I don't use the commands, I just talk...It couldn't be simpler. Maybe they have a new version since you tried it... I have version 10. The commands are there, I just have not even considered using them other that 'fullstop' or 'new paragraph''question mark' or 'exclamation mark'.

Please don't feel sorry for me about my neck. I don't even think of it most of the time. None of us is perfect. It's the imperfections that make us beautiful and all totally unique human beings.
Reply
:iconkurios-kat:
kurios-kat Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
What an excellent idea! I'm interested too - but because I am looking for a better way to communicate with my father, who is severely deaf,(and I have tendonitis in my wrists too).^chuckle^ healthy bunch we are on dA!!!;)
Reply
:iconrozrr:
Rozrr Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
You need a webcam with sound...
Reply
:iconkurios-kat:
kurios-kat Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
ok, that's not a problem, but good to know. Thanks Roz. :)
Reply
:iconrozrr:
Rozrr Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
So does your Dad of course...
Reply
:iconkurios-kat:
kurios-kat Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:nod:
Reply
:iconannaphotix:
Annaphotix Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Hiya! Ohh my, that story about the bear scare had me on tenterhooks - and as for a bloke in a truck just driving off and leaving you alone with it, I'm just not sure what I think about that :jawdrop: He could have left you to an almost certain death whereas he had an opportunity to save your life! But I'm so pleased you got back into your car safely :hug:

As you know, I totally understand about your CTS, so it's never a problem where I'm concerned - it's just great to see you back! I do feel for you in the frustration it must cause you though - another :hug:zzzzzzzzzz!
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I was VERY happy to be back in my car, I assure you! You know what's so strange, is that I was so happy the guy stopped and warned me - that I never even gave a thought about him - leaving - until 2 days ago!! :wow: And then I thought - like you - what the heck? Stopping to tell me there was a bear, but not staying to see that I made it back to my car safely?! The only thing I can think of is that he was pretty sure I'd get back to my car safely. But that's something you can NEVER be sure of! Thanks for understanding Anna. Wish I had a pile of money, and I'd just ring you up and tell you how much I like each of your photos! :D :tighthug: :love:
Reply
:iconannaphotix:
Annaphotix Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Awww - how nice it would be to chat over the phone in any case! :nod: :hug:
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
If I win the lottery, we will! :D :tighthug:
Reply
:iconannaphotix:
Annaphotix Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:handshake:
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:D
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:iconhuggskf:
huggskf Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
welcome back :)
Reply
:icon1arcticfox:
1arcticfox Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so much....how sweet of you! :-) :hug:
Reply
:iconhuggskf:
huggskf Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
awwww. anytime
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