Monday, January 30, 2012

IN WHICH BEAR GOES IN FOR A CHECK-UP AND LEARNS . . .

that he is more or less healthy. Despite all the aches and pains.

Terrible weather here — up around O°C (32F). Snow and ice, in the sun, melting. Water sneaking down into Bear's den. Bear, wet, cold, and dirty — also unhappy. (I should have known better than to lie in that position.)

One of the things I usually do is go see my doctor — er, um, vet — when I come out of hibernating. Only this year it's going to be earlier than usual. Much earlier.

On the plus side, there were some berries left over from last fall, hanging on trees. I had a quick snack on the way.

Vet gave me a good going over. My heart is fine; my blood pressure is up a bit (from all this non-hibernating non-sense). Eyes are fair. Ears are good. Nose is excellent, as usual (we Bears make our way around the forests, grasslands and waterways via our noses, since we can't see much at all). Paws are good; claws are a mess, and will have to be sharpened before spring.

But what about this annoying, restless, yearning that keeps me from getting a good winter's snooze? Vet says she can't help me. "It's all weather-related," she says. "Go have a swim in an icy pond," was her suggestion, "then try to get some rest." Right. Sure. But at least she didn't tell me to go and soak my head, or something like that.

"In fact," she continued, "a whole lot of Bears have been coming in early, both the americanus and the arctos horribilis types. Vet predicts there will be an outbreak of generalized grumpiness among Bears in the spring. Great. Just great! Yearlings will be acting up more than usual, picking fights with everybody. Somebody might get hurt, for nothing. (Sigh!) Meaning I will spend a lot of my time trying to calm things down. And the americanus crew — black, brown, cinnamon, whatever colour — will be pushing the habitat boundaries into our area. Drat them anyhow!

A warm winter followed by a hot-blooded spring. I'm getting too "advanced in years" for this stuff. Pretty soon they're going to start calling my Jerry (as in Jerry Atric). And you Humans think you've got it tough with shovelling snow and scraping windows. Hrumf! Grrr!

OK. So, I'm going to try to get back to hibernating. But, well, you know, I really don't feel like sleeping. To tired to do things; too awake to sleep. You ever have that problem?

See you in spring, perhaps.

36 comments:

Jackie said...

Bear -I'm so glad that you got a good report on your heart, blood pressure, eyes, hearing, etc. Sounds like you are a fit bear.
Now regarding that sleeplessness and being tired - that could be related to stress. Stress seems to have those effects on me. Sounds like the weather isn't helping you either...cold and wet in your den's area. I will say a prayer that you will feel more relaxed, and that you will enjoy what a bear does this time of year: resting. Do take care of you, my friend.
Bear hugs,
J.

Rubye Jack said...

Well, I'm glad you're at least physically healthy Bear. What with temps "up" to zero I'd be pretty unhappy. The cold just makes life so much harder. I share the yearning you speak of but what can you do. Maybe come spring.

Rob-bear said...

® Jackie: Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Yes, I'm glad to know that I'm healthy. Actually, I'm fairly relaxed, but this unseasonable weather is a puzzle and a concern.

Rob-bear said...

® Rubye Jack: Yes, the cold makes life a bit harder. The much colder only amplifies the effect.
And this weather-induce dis-ease is just a touch un-nerving. Like my Bear persona, I'm not sure whether I should be sleeping or waking up. Sigh!

Chatty Crone said...

Glad you checked out okay - jump in a cold lake? Ouch. Get some sleep and we will see you soon.

Sandie

Rob-bear said...

® Chatty Crone: Thanks, Sandie. I hope I get some . . . {snore} . . . zzzzz.

Gutsy Living said...

We're here checking on you Bear. Now that the computer is fixed and you're out of hibernation, time to get moving.

Rob-bear said...

® Gutsy Living: Uh, no. I desperately need some sleep or I'll be suffering from generalized grumpiness in the spring. Gotta get some H-time.
{snore}

About Last Weekend said...

Yes I hear because the weather has been so warm bears are waking up intermitently (sp?) but sounds like with temps there at freezing, surely that's not happening to you? Great to hear you got an all-clear on the physical!

Elisabeth said...

I know that feeling, Bear, the tug of way between sleep and wakefulness and a voice inside that keeps repeating, just relax. The more the words go over in my brain the more jumpy I become.

Not much to soothe you here, I'm afraid. I hope you don't mange to fall asleep just as spring approaches. That'd be the way, wouldn't it? To fall asleep at day break as it were and then to have to get up when every part of you screams for sleep.

Happy hibernating, Bear, if such is possible for what's left of your sleep time.

Rob-bear said...

® About Last Weekend: Thanks for the well wishes. Maybe it's just me, but we're within a few degrees of record temperatures on many days, and at least ten degrees above normal. We should be socked down in a deep freeze; instead, things are melting. Very unsettling, Jody.

® Elisabeth: I've had enough experience with sleeplessness that I do not want to repeat that. I have several Human strategies for dealing with it, including medication and meditation.
I've got a plan for early February. On Groundhog day, I'm going to shine a light on the critter, so he is sure to see his shadow. Thus we get six more weeks of winter! And maybe I will get a good sleep after all.

Diana said...

Oh yes Bear, us humans have that problem a lot! Perhaps Bear hasn't been eating the right berries and nuts!!
But I am relieved that the Bear is in good health. He just needs some sleep right?
Get your den dried out, have a berry and nighty, night. Do Bears read?
Love Di ♥

Rob-bear said...

® Diana: Thanks for you thoughts; I appreciate them.
Bears read. The weather patterns, and the signs of the seasons, but not books.
(I tried to eat a book one, a cook book in fact — unpalatable experience.)

That gentleman's lady said...

A healthy bear is a happy bear. Well, as long as the food and sleep business is sorted too.

Hot blooded spring? Yikes!

Bear hugs back!

Rob-bear said...

® That gentleman's lady: Oh yes! A healthy, well-fed, and rested bear is a happy bear. Thanks for visiting. Now, to sleep.

Frances said...

Glad that the vet gave you the thumbs up. I can confirm that you've definitely got a skill in touching your readers' funny bones.

Hibernate when you can. Frolic when you can. Travel the path inbetween when you find it.

Best wishes.

Amanda said...

that too awake to sleep thing? yep, i've had it lately. chalking it up to sniffing spring around the corner.....wishiful thinking.

i'm happy to hear you received a clean bill of health on your check up, r-bear. interesting to hear about those dratted americanus bears - always pushing their boundaries. by the way, from what pack of bear species do you hail? you mentioned only americanus and horribilis..

rosaria said...

Bear, get up and do something if you can't sleep through this unholy weather of yours. Well, it is holy in your neck of the woods, anyway.

Head on south for the winter, and enjoy hot baths and massages. Life is too short to be grumpy.

KarenG said...

Glad to know you're healthy! That check up is one of those things people tend to procrastinate, but it's always such a good feeling to get it done and know all is well.

ReformingGeek said...

Oh Bear! I'm so proud of you. Now eat those berries and go back to bed.

WAIT! Sorry, not THOSE berries.
I hope you are ok.

Pat Hatt said...

Hate that too awake to sleep feeling, can leave one reeling. Hibernating is great for the cold, as outdoors things aren't always so bold..lol

Rob-bear said...

® Frances: Thank you.
As for the funny bone, that's the humerus. But if I tickle it too hard, that's not humorous at all!
Yes, with thoughts like that I should go back to hibernating.
Right now, I'd rather hibernate than frolic.

Rob-bear said...

® Amanda: Sorry to hear that you've had an early onset of "spring fever." Bears get that too, but not nearly this early. Good grief, we haven't even reached the start of February! Anyhow; condolences on your sleeplessness (even if you're not in Seattle).

Now, from the teacher in me. There are three species of Bears in Canada. All belong to the family ursus.
1. ursus americanus. These are the "Black Bears." Actually, that's a misnomer. They come in just about every colour (except the blue range of colours — meaning green, blue, and purple). Though the was a story about one having dyed some her hair purple, as a fashion statement. I told you those americanus Bears are a bit strange.
2. ursus maratimus. That's your Polar Bear. These are threatened by human hunting, and inter-breeding with Brown Bears. (See next)
3. ursus acrtos. The Brown Bear — with sub-species including the Grizzley arctos horribilis and Kodiak arctos middendorffi. The Grizzley, being pressed by lack of habitat, is moving further and further into the range of Polar Bears. (Hence the cross-breading.)
And now you're going to say that I've told you more than you wanted to know.
Oh, me? I'm horribilis, as you can tell by my humour. And former hair colour. And name.

Rob-bear said...

® rosaria: Thank you for the splendid suggestions for this "unholy" (unseasonably warm) weather. I'm too awake to sleep, but too tired for anything else.
The idea of coming south sounds so appealing. I'd love that. But I don't have a passport, which means I would probably run into trouble with Homeland Security. I can see the headlines: "Terrorist Bear from Canada Apprehended; Homeland Security Seeks Al-Qaeda Connections." Thanks, but, uh, no.

Rob-bear said...

® KarenG: Thanks for the wishes.
As for procrastination, never do today what can be put off until tomorrow, especially if there is a chance someone else will do it then.
Life, they say, is simple.

® ReformingGeek: Aw, thanks!
I was, in fact, just about to have some berries. But I don't know which ones you were talking about, so I didn't have any. And now I'm hungry. And berry confused.

Rob-bear said...

® Pat Hatt: Thank you so much for dropping over and visiting my den. You're welcome here anytime, with your rhyming comments.

Here, there is little rhyme and even less reason.

Bear, resting in lair,
Waiting for winter coldness,
Not hibernating.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Well, sweet Bear, I am glad that you have been thoroughly checked out and that you are going to get some rest before the spring thaw.

Grumpiness? I think that you like to pretend being grumpy with us, but you have a few soft spots for friends...

Enjoy your sleep, and blessings, dear Bear.

Bises,
Genie

Inger said...

I'm glad you got a good vet report. I too have difficulties sleeping, yes I know, it's not the same as hibernating, but still. Some of it comes with age I heard or worries. All I know is I don't like this warm winter. I long for snow, even sleet would be fine, so you know I'm desperate.

Just Two Chicks said...

I don't think we're going to have the winter we need so very much either. Things are blooming all around, which is wonderful, but we need at least one good freeze. Although, the freeze we had last year didn't prevent the horrible drought and extreme heat we suffered here.
I'm glad the doctor said all was well, but I know it's also frustrating, when you hurt and sure don't feel like all is well!!

Kim said...

I hear one of those sun lamps (the ones at Home Depot work fine) do wonders for your energy during the day and also, by getting your levels up in the day, help you sleep better.

I'm glad everything else is in good working condition for the most part.

Rob-bear said...

® Genie — Paris and Beyond: Thank you.
Really, I try not to be grumpy, but some days you know. Sharing the world with Humans can be a bit trying, especially the ones who are not so gentle with their environment. And being tired doesn't make me grumpyless, or less grumpy, or whatever.
I'm sure things will be better after even a short winter's nap.

® Inger: Oh, dear. I so know what you're talking about. I'd say take two chipmunks, try to rest, and see how you feel in the morning. But that's a Bear kind of thing, not a Human sort of behaviour.
And I hear you on snow. Though I must confess that I'm not a big fan of sleet. May look nice, but it really messes up scavenging in the short term.

Rob-bear said...

® Just Two Chicks: Heat. Drought. May be good for those with a really dry sense of humour, but not for most Humans (or Bears). Hard on cattle numbers, with no water and expensive feed.
Thanks for your understanding of my situation. The best I can say is that I'm all right for the shape I'm in.

® Kim: Thanks for stopping by the Bear's place.
My Human alter ego has a light box for dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Sadly, it doesn't work all that well for him. He's not sure why, because he follows the directions.
Me, the Ursine part of this duo: I really need a good winter's hibernation. I'm not betting on that happening this year.

Helen said...

Rosaria and I should join forces .. kidnap (bearnap) you .. bring you over the border and down into Oregon where you will be safe, warmer and happy .. promise! Of course this is coming from a Woonie who is still down south in Georgia!

Rob-bear said...

® Helen: Thank you for your concern, but NO, NO, NO!
If you are planning to Bearnap me, please take me to Alaska, where it is cold, so I can get into some hibernation. It is too hot here (the second mildest winter on record), and I doubt that Oregon is much colder. (I need it to be cold so I can feel like hibernating.)

Lydia said...

Poor Bear, I will hope for some real winter for you to hibernate and feel more like yourself when you wake up in spring. The warm weather is terribly scary. I am praying for all bears that we can turn it around, and fast.

Rob-bear said...

® Lydia: Thanks. The weather is already so spring-like that the proverbial Groundhog saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter. It has, however, become difficult (if not impossible) to distinguish between winter and spring weather this year. So six more weeks of not hibernating, I guess.
Sigh!