Category Archives: Bart the Bear

Rules People

Today’s post comes from Bart, the Bear who found a smart phone in the woods.

H’lo, Bart here.

So the Ranger on this trail thinks he’s going to take some time off?

That’s OK. I like it when the rules people decide to give it a rest, and that’s what a Ranger is to me.  One of the rules people. Ugh.

Us bears have rules too, but not written.

Bears make it their own business to let another bear know when a line has been crossed. That’s not a job somebody else can do, ’cause one day the line might be in a different place than some other day.

On the parks and trails us bears get to know the different Rangers – their habits and how hard they want to work. The best ones take it easy, but there are a lot of hard cases out there. How close the local Ranger follows the book is the single biggest thing that shapes a bear’s territory.

Yup, you heard that right.

It’s not nature, it’s the Ranger. If he (or she) is a prissy, particular, hard-nosed stickler for the Letter of the Law, no bear will call that ground home.

It’s not ’cause bears are natural beasts that don’t like to be bossed, even though that’s true. It’s not that we can’t stand up to some tin-badge authority figure, ’cause we can! And it’s sure not because we’re afraid of the tranquilizer dart. I love the dart the way campers love beer. The world gets all spinny, and then a bunch of gentle  hands come to lift you up, and then you get a ride in a truck!

Travel expands the mind!

No, the reason us bears steer clear of rules-lovers is that most rules run against our interests.  And every rules person plays favorites – usually they aren’t interested in following ALL the rules equally.

But there’s this ONE rule they all seem to like just fine and they follow it to the letter, and wouldn’t you know it’s the one we hate the most.

Don’t feed the bears!

I don’t know about you, but my favorite kind of trail has no Ranger.

Your woodland pal,

If you could suspend one rule, which one would it be?

“Ursine Spring” Begins

Today’s post comes from Bart, the bear who found a smart phone in the woods.

H’lo, Bart here.

Got very excited about this video where a family of bears (my people!) confuses a bunch of tourists (your people!) on a bridge at Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

This is a great moment for bears everywhere, because it can mark the beginning of a change in the way people think about us!

Some decided the bears were chasing the people.

Others saw the bears as being frightened and cornered.

But I think these bears are starting a revolution, taking it to the next level in bear-human interactions. They’re stepping it up so we can become more like the animals I really admire – Border Collies!


Border Collies rock because they can get those sheep to do just what they want them to do just by running circles around them, which believe it or not, we bears are fast enough to do.

And you can tell from the Yellowstone video that all those people with the cameras are feeling sheepish. They know they’re not where they’re supposed to be.

They WANT to be in the corral.  They DESERVE to be in the corral.

Plus, Border Collies are dignified, lovable, respected, and recognized by everyone as being super-smart. That’s my dream for bears – that we can have that kind of status.

And at least two meals a day, which sheepdogs also get as part of the deal!

Let the revolution begin!

Your trusted, capable friend,

I think Bart is hallucinating, or the wild berries have both ripened and fermented at the same moment. The Yellowstone bears are frightened and Bart is no sheepdog. But we all can dream!

What animal do you most admire?

Words To The Woods

Today’s post comes from Bart, the bear who found a cell phone in the woods.

H’lo, Bart here.

Out of hibernation for sure now, and looking for food. Still a little early, though.  SO HUNGRY waiting for the berries to arrive.

The fishing opener is good, ’cause stuff gets left on shore. Sometimes chips and even burgers and hot dogs and stuff like that!  Drunk fishermen are the best kind.  Bears and fish say so!

But you can’t count on people to leave food out.  In July, yes.  Not so much in May.

That’s why I got excited to see this article about self-publishing and how there’s a lot of great opportunities to make extra $$ as a book editor.

All writers need a smart, caring, sometimes brutal, roaring rage-filled editor.  And I’m a pretty good one!  You wouldn’t expect it – me with the big paws and doing all my writing on a smart phone.  But that means I’m always cutting words.  Most writers generate a ton of blah-blah-blah that needs to be gobbled up!

Yes, I’m a Nounatarian and a Verbivore.

And it’s all done online, so you don’t have to worry about making a face-to-face impression on your clients if you have bad breath or don’t look very professional or you happen to be a wild animal who lives alone in the woods .

Some writers complain that with self-publishing, the freelance market has been flooded by unqualified people claiming to be editors and proofreaders.

Maybe so.  I’m not going to dwell on it, though.   Here’s my deal.  I edit your book, you don’t have to pay me in money.  Just ship a loosely secured bag of groceries to a campground address I’ll send you once I get your manuscript.   That’s all there is to it!

Maybe your book is good.  If so, my job is easy and your big payday still comes.  But if your book is an aimless, pointless mess, it can hardly hurt things to slap a sticker on that cover that says “Edited By A Wild Bear!”

Your pal,

How are you at proofreading?

Forest Hospitality Crisis Deepens

Today we hear from Bart, a bear who found a smart phone in the woods.

H’lo, Bart here.

I live in the woods so I know all about the natural patterns.

Summer dies, the leaves fall, the snow flies, and the bears hunker down. Then the sun warms, the snow melts, the bears wake up and the people go a little bit nuts.

This is the time when all the annual warnings come out about securing things that smell tasty because the dreaded bears are coming out of hibernation and they’re hungry but there’s no food for them, so you’d better make sure there’s no charred chunks burned onto the grate of the gas grill.

Which is too bad, because I sure likes to do me some charred chunk gas grill grate grazing. My heart sinks when I climb up on a deck in the dead of night, carefully make my way to the cook top, and lift the lid only to see that someone has been busy with a wire brush and the 409.

And articles like this one are so alarmist – as if the worst thing that can happen is that a bear will lick the Weber or tip over your smelly old garbage. Let me tell you – having a bit of your trash strewn about is not the worst thing that can happen on a windy April morning.

What’s sadder is the way this paranoia makes you behave.

I’ve heard tell of “Minnesota Nice,” but I’ve sure never seen it. Especially not in Spring. Even though you make such a big deal of being so friendly and welcoming to the unfortunate victims of bad luck with poems like “The New Colossus,” which I read online and liked a lot:

“Give me your tired, your poor.
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I’m guessing Emma Lazarus would turn over in her grave if she saw the way you’ve decided to treat your hungry, huddled bears. As far as I’m concerned, this is what I hear when I try to re-enter society every April.

I’ve seen that bear before.
His famished stomach churning to eat free.
Your wretched refuse is his grocery store!
Pizza, or maybe a toaster pastry?
Let the poor bastard have an apple core!

But who am I kidding? I know everything in the pantry is in lock-down. That’s why I snuck in and snitched a whole box of Twinkies from Ranger Station last summer when they were all distracted trying to get a stray deer out of the DNR gift shop.

Those things never go bad!

The Twinkies, I mean.  Deer are bad to the bone!

Your pal,

I’m impressed with Bart’s ability to quote from a poem that adorns the Statue of Liberty, but I am relatively certain he will not make it through the spring on a Twinkies-only diet.  I hope he finds something nourishing, and soon!

Where have you found inspirational words to live by?

Early Risers

Today’s post comes from Bart, the bear that found a smart phone in the woods.

H’lo. Bart here.

Just took a look at the forecast and it’s sunshine and mild temperatures. Maybe in the ’50’s by the middle of next week! That sounds like a good enough reason to wake up now, rather than later. I mean, why lie around in your bed when the world is getting busy just outside your door?

I was hoping to get roused in February, but no such luck. I know there are some bears who won’t leave their dens until April, but I’m one who looks forward to the beginning of a new season. There’s so much to do, and being in a state of quiet repose for five months gets old. Yes, it sounds great in November, but in March I want to get all the trappings of hibernation behind me (out, fecal plug!) so I can start living!

And even though there are no wild berries yet, I’m a cheerful riser. One trick I learned – if you look at the ground underneath the deer stands first thing when you wake up – Doritos! All through the Fall those bored hunters sit there waiting for a shot, and the ones who snack out of foil bags create such a ruckus they never see a deer at all – therefore, they eat (and drop) even more chips!

If you can collect some before the thaw really hits, they’ve still got a little crunch! Ah, the simple pleasures …

Your pal,

What’s your favorite breakfast food?

Cowards Pass On Offer

Today’s post comes from Bart, the bear who found a smart phone in the woods.


Bart here, fading in and out of that wintertime state of torpor otherwise known as “hibernation”.

I’m not too excited about being awake right now, but as long as I’m up I do have a bone to pick with the people who make a big fuss over Groundhog Day.

Last year I said Groundhog Day could be lots more interesting if they made a big show out of rousting a bear to find out how much longer winter would last.

But nobody took me up on it. Yesterday came and went without even a knock on my door. Not that I have an actual door in my den, but you know what I mean. I waited around all morning hoping to be poked with a stick, but nothing happened.

Instead, all the coverage went to that stupid groundhog. Again.

So no, I’m not impressed that P. Phil “saw” his shadow. Casting a shadow is not a big deal in the animal world. Almost everybody can do it.

Rousting a bear would be much more active than waking a groundhog, and I can do a lot more than blink my eyes in the February sunshine. But I realize the whole groundhog thing is built around old fashioned “folk wisdom”, so I made up a little rhyme to get the bear rousting tradition going.

Wake a bear while he is nappin’
and he can tell you what will happen.

If he stomps upon your torso
spring’s delayed six weeks or moreso

If he bites you on your shoulder
March and April will be colder

But if he licks you on your face,
Spring will hurry here, apace.

Nice use of “apace,” eh? That’s Shakespeare.  Let’s see a groundhog do that!

Your pal,

Share your favorite bit of folk wisdom.

True North

Today’s post comes from Bart, the bear who found a smart phone in the woods.

H’lo, Bart here.

I’m hibernating right now, though we have our alert moments in between all the napping and torpor. So when I’m awake I check the Google news to see what’s going on, which is how I found out there’s new territory opening up to the north of here.

Bear territory, I mean. Polar bears are getting even more polar, real-estate wise. That means new places are opening up – sights I’ve never seen and fresh ursine experiences. Maybe I’m ready for a change. It would feel different to be the New Bear In Town.

Not that I’m all that excited about the prospect of moving north, especially when you see the area being vacated – it’s a lot of water that isn’t frozen as much as it used to be. But where there’s water, you might find some fish. And anyway, if bears to the north of us are moving away, that means bears to the south of us are moving closer.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against southern bears. I just don’t like crowds.

So anyway … when I fall back to sleep in a minute or two, I’ll dream about going on an adventure to find an abandoned Polar Bear Palace in the distant wilds – my new Fortress of Solitude at the top of the world.

But really, I don’t think I’ll ever leave home.


Have you ever been part of a migration?