All summer I had been feeding sunflower seeds to the chipmunks. The chipmunks squeal with joy and run around, as if to show off at all the fun they are having. This weekend I decided to bring along the whole 25-pound bag of the CockatooÕs - MerleÕs - rejected sunflower seeds, and to spread the seeds around the property for all the wild birds too. After throwing around quite a few handfuls, I poured out the remainder of the bag near some blueberry bushes and also near the stumps of some trees we had cut down. We removed those trees because of the danger of the trees falling on the house during a fierce winter storm. I got lazy and emptied the entire contents of the bag, truly believing that all the wild birds and chipmunks would consume all of the sunflower seeds in no time, as I had previously witnessed with the chipmunks. Not that I have ever done anything in moderation in the past. ThatÕs my problem most of the time. I go overboard. An advertisement on the bag of birdseed makes the claim that this specific sunflower seed is the favorite seed of all wild birds. I was hoping to be like Johnny Appleseed and imagined that maybe some of these seeds would end up creating fields of sunflowers in the Catskill Mountains.
Now my mother had specifically warned me not to leave any food around outside and especially not birdseed. If I did, this would attract wild animals like black bears. In the morning I awoke to some loud groans. I looked out the window to catch the beautiful mist rising up the mountains behind the barn and I looked down by the blueberry bushes. I see a large black mound near the tree stumps. To my amazement itÕs a large black bear licking the ground in pure pleasure. At first I thought it couldnÕt be, but of course it is a huge wild black bear, and I am a total idiot for throwing a whole bag of sunflower seeds right where the bear is sitting, fifty feet from the house. Just out of The Sopranos. Except I am not in New Jersey, but in New York.
Exit 170, BearÕs Creek in Pennsylvania, gives it a new and different meaning as I drive past. I laugh when I see the Claws and Paws Park. ItÕs such a surreal feeling, right out of Twin Peaks. ItÕs a dream thinking about this bear in my front yard. I am looking right at this glorious creature. I am in complete awe of this beastÕs sudden miraculous appearance. It reminds me of a large fat raccoon with his very sinister snout. I am in total amazement when I see the black bearÕs huge front paw with large claws. A medicine man would go crazy. I can see that the bear has gray cheeks. ItÕs as if he is laughing with his eyes, as he looks around playfully, content after completely gorging himself, oblivious of my presence.
My God, what a magnificent creature. I have no film left and no digital camera! Do I watch the bear or do I scare him off? Will he attack? I grab two pots to bang together and go out to give him a good scare. Now that bear is not going to leave all those wonderful sunflower seeds that easily. The bear stands up and looks at me. I bang the pots continuously and the bear turns around and walks up the mountain. He is moving slowly and really isnÕt that concerned with all the noise IÕm making, and heÕs not one bit scared. IÕm just a nuisance. I run half way up the mountain and the bear is slowly walking up, turning around looking at me as if I am truly being annoying.
Ten minutes later I look back and the black bear is back in the stumps with the sunflower seeds. He sees me and saunters off toward the barn, across the field and toward the spring that feeds the stream. It is as if he was planning on traveling this direction anyway all along. My noise making has nothing to do with his plans for the day. This is one big lazy bear with absolutely no fear. He obviously owns the mountains and probably had planned to go in the opposite direction from where I tried to scare him toward. I could have watched this bear for hours, but I know that I am in big trouble for causing this bear to find food near our house. He is going to return and I have spread so many sunflower seeds around that there is no way the birds and chipmunks are going to eat all the seeds before the black bear returns.
As I am writing this story, I look up from the picnic table on our front porch and shockingly, to my horror, or blessing, the black bear is back finishing his breakfast. He is going to do what his ferocious appetite and his stomach desire. The bear is oblivious of my presence. Occasionally he looks up and around but is more interested in licking and eating the feast of sunflower seeds he has discovered. All I can do at this point is watch and enjoy the bear feasting on the sunflower seeds.
When I saw the bear I thought of Jerry Garcia. I thought what a magnificent lazy creature. Or could this bear be the reincarnation of Greg Pierce, a deceased friend of mine who gave most people in his presence the impression that they were being hugged by a big cuddly Buddha bear. The bear could possibly also be the reincarnation of my friend Bud, who ran off the road accidentally in Michigan and tragically killed himself on the way to a service meeting, helping others selflessly. This black bear is one cool, harmless, and adorable creature. But this perception is a fantasy: the Black Bear is wild, dangerous, and unpredictable. In total amazement I watched the bear meander around. Just yesterday I was sunbathing by the stream, listening to the rush of the water with my eyes closed. Am I going to look up one day and see the huge black bear hovering over me? I have never had much fear up here, except for the general spooky haunted feeling the woods give you when you are completely alone. Now I can only imagine that one day, around the corner, or behind my back, or just near me, there is going to be this black bear lurking, because of my spreading sunflower seeds all over the place.
My guard is up and I keep thinking that I am going to see that bear munching around the corner. Any movement of any kind puts me in an adrenaline rush of is that bear going to appear again? How can I swim in the stream and shut my eyes sunbathing on the bank? Am I going to feel that black bearÕs hot breath on my shoulder? What have I done? I have to warn all of my family members that whenever they come up to the house they have to be aware of the possibility of a black bear being in our midst.
I have this forever-haunting feeling of this bearÕs continual presence lingering on. I look again around the corner of the house to see if he is going to appear again. In my mind I have this vision of the bear swaggering on up towards the mountaintop with the smile of an irresistible sunflower grin.
Chapters of the Paradise Life Book
Dada to the Bone
Stomach Pain Basilica
Moment of Clarity
Roads Not Safe
All over the place
Harassed but not arrested
The Surgery Acute care Lumbar Hemi . Laminestomy
The Leica Mishap
The Wedding Present
The Rolls Royce of Awareness.
A Pickle can't go back to being a Cucumber.
Awake and Alive
Nine High Schools Without a Diploma.
Turquoise Sports Car Totaled by a Telephone Pole
Whitepipes, Weed and the Wild Coast.
Going Ninety on Georgia Avenue.
Woke up in Swaziland instead of Switzerland.
Three Nasty Letters.
Three early traumatic events.
Madness in Rio
The Victoria Falls Fiasco.
My poisonous spider bite.
First Date with Valerie
God is laughing at me.
David Lesh's death.
The Malawi Incident.
The Biggest Blow to my Ego.
The Day I quit smoking for real.
Thanksgiving weekend 1974, my first Acid Trip.
Instances of Trouble Two
Instances of Trouble One
Ride the White Pony
journal september 1995
Catskill Mountains Photographs - Trees - Spiritual gathering place cultivating a heightened awareness of the connectedness of, and spiritual essence in, all things. A Journey outside ordinary time and space into a parallel reality.
Social Documentary Digital Photographs Indigenous Encounter Divine Moment, Light and Sympony 2007
Social Documentary Digital Photographs Indigenous Encounter Divine Moment
Social Documentary Digital Photographs Indigenous Encounter Divine Light
Social Documentary Digital Photographs Indigenous Encounter Divine Symphony
Georgetown glimpses of memory January Photographs
March on the Capitol to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq Photographs 2007
March on the Capitol yesterday to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq Photographs 1
March on the Capitol yesterday to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq Photographs 2
March on the Capitol yesterday to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq Photographs 3
March on the Capitol yesterday to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq Photographs 4
March on the Capitol yesterday to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq Photographs 5
March on the Capitol yesterday to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq Photographs 6
Martin luther King Jr. Holiday Washington DC Photographs
Martin luther King Jr. Holiday Photographs Washington DC
copyright 2007 Le Poulin
© Le Poulin 2007
New York City Angelina + Brad
peace and love Edward
New York City
Chris at the Argo Bar drinking a Tuborg soda water wearing a WaxTrax t-shirt circa 1991
Looking in the mirror - Sara cannot see herself as beautiful
Antoinette lost her leg while intoxicated stumbling and tragically falling down into traffic
New York City
Three days after a Suicide attempt
New Years Day Washington DC Photographs
New Year Day Street Washington DC Photographs
December 2006 Daily DreamTime links
November 2006 Daily DreamTime links
October 2006 Daily DreamTime links
Selection of Favorite Photographs
September 2006 Daily DreamTime links
Sifnos Island Photographs 2006
August Daily Dreamtime
Paradise Life Photographs - the book
July 2006 Daily DreamTime links
May 2006 Daily DreamTime links
February 2006 Daily DreamTime links
November + December 2005 Daily DreamTime links
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August 2005 Daily DreamTime links
July 2005 Daily DreamTime links
April 2005 Daily DreamTime links
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December 2002 Daily DreamTime links
Novemeber 2002 Daily DreamTime links
PHOTOGRAPHER CHRIS KEELEY'S CAPITOL HILL ART EXHIBIT
-- HON. TOM LANTOS ( November 02, 1990)
super cool links
Chris keeley's resume
secret surrealist society artwork
newest sss art
Chris keeley's art galleries
rationalize,minimize and denial statements
the Intervention Organization
five and ten press - consulting iconoclast
Chris Keeley's Social Documentary Photography
Blinded by Science
Darkside / Gothic
G E E K
W E I R D O
Out of the Dark
In to the Light