SUMMER AT THE CABIN: Fun & Bears, Politics & Art Collage Therapy!


It’s bit of a slow easy summer at the cabin, with Billy-Bob the bear enjoying fresh un-cut grass in our garden, and especially the wild salal berries. This certainly puts a whole new dimension to gardening  doesn’t it? Alongside the precautionary principle!

To be clear, this is a wild bear and the naming (by Francis) merely gives comic relief. We live on a lake in the forest and it’s the bears home first, more than it’s ours. 


Billy-bob, the bear in our garden July 2016 - bruce witzel photo


It was collectively decided that our younger 4 year–old granddaughter couldn’t visit without her mother – she hasn’t mastered her listening skills yet. Our eldest 7 year old granddaughter Emma did visit for 2 weeks.


Emma helping with the gardening July 2016 - francis guenette photo[16]



Closeup of bear in garden, July 2016 - buce witzel photo


Emma has met a few bears in previous years and she knows the “bear rules”:


1) No walking or playing alone outside, especially during bear season.

2) Always call out to myself or Francis if she wants to come to the garden

3) Always look and listen for rustling in the bush, and make noise herself.

4)  Finally, if she does encounter a bear (especially with cubs), don’t panic but immediately back away from the bear and then head for the nearest door back to the cabin. Pronto!


Emma on the cliff deck, July 2016 - fran guenette photo


Bruce and Emma in the garden, July 2016 - fran guenette photo        Emma on a stool shucking peas, July 2016 - francis guenette photo            












Emma & Bruce, morning reading - francis guenette photo


What sort of world are us as adults leaving for the children of today?


                                                                                         Bailey, Bruce & Emma, July 2016 - fran guenette photo          


This question came up for me when we had some fun with art collaging on a rainy day.


Bruc's collage - July 2016-2


American politics has been on my mind alot and the nomination for the “so-called” Republican Party had just occurred. You can see from my collage above, I was working out some significant fears.

The last item I pasted on was the yellow word “Business”, very crookedly. And of course there is the Alpha Male/Hitler Archetype to contend with. Hmmmm… enemies within.



Butterfly with Sweet William - bruce witzel photo


Let us never forget our unquenchable human urge towards love, change and transformation and commitment towards the common good.

As Pope Francis said in his recent encyclical entitled On Our Common Home. Praise Be!

“Love, overflowing with small gestures of mutual care, is also civic and political, and it makes itself felt in every action that seeks to make a better world.”


Emma's collage July 2016


Emma’s collage



Emma doing a collage 2, July 2016 - francis guenette photo



We’re on a journey and like it or not, we journey together, interdependent with all.


Emma playing cards at the lake - Francis Guenette photo


Love trumps hate.


Emma's heading home - July 2016 - fran guenette photo



Smiles and good cheer from the lake – Bruce


A wave from Emma & Fran - July 10, 2016

23 thoughts on “SUMMER AT THE CABIN: Fun & Bears, Politics & Art Collage Therapy!

  1. What a beautiful place you live in! And so much fun with your grand daughter! I love collages and make one every January with church friends. Thank you for your concerns about the upcoming election in America. It’s the most baffling and scary one I can remember. But I will continue to hope for the best.

    • Thanks JoAnne, and it is always lots of fun with Emma … and she’s growing like a beanstock. On the U.S. election, I think the whole world is watching, with fingers crossed, though we can never loose hope… Peace to you and yours. Bruce

  2. I love it! I love the cabin and the bear and the collages and you guys and dear Emma – there is indeed so much beauty and love in the world (even when it doesn’t seem that way) 🙂

    • Hih Angela. Thanks for your lovely message. Too bad the bear wasn’t a bit sooner, eh? Fran’s good but I’ve been fighting off a harsh cold for the past week, and working on a job too, so a little slow to respond…. could you get out your violin play a tune? 😉 Say hi to Jeremy.

  3. I love your example of respectful cohabitation with wild animals! There are so many places where humans are automatically given the upper hand and predators are “removed” without a second thought…even in National Parks. So presumptuous. I also love Emma’s dimples. 🙂

  4. Thank you for stories and photos of beauty, love, laughter and oneness, Bruce – all reasons to treasure each moment and care deeply about the future of generations yet to come

  5. Charming.

    Your post reminds me of an excellent story in “Tin House,” a literary magazine I like a lot. “The Point of Roughness,” by Josh Weil. It begins, “I’m behind the barn, splitting barnwood, when I see the bear coming for our daughter.” It’s the Winter, 2016 issue, volume 16, number 2. Check it out to support good literature in America.

  6. Spendid ways to spend the young ones. They do listen by example especially and you did excatly that. Oh what a joy. I worry about USofA’s election if Trump wins then evil trumps.

  7. Thanks for your uplifting message, Bruce. We forget how interdependent we are as a species and with the rest of the natural world. We forget that we’re on a tiny planet, hurtling through space.

    Don’t know about the bears, though 🙂

  8. Hope you are enjoying the summer. I’m in the Sunshine Coast in a tiny cabin with the Elphinstone forest behind. Bear country. Hugs and love to all your family. Silvia

    • Thanks Silvia. The cabin & forest sounds wonderful. Hope you’re feeling rejuvenated. We have good activist/permaculture friends who live in Lund. Peace and love to you and all your family too. Bruce

  9. Love to read your stories Bruce. They are refreshing and real. So inspiring! Photos of the cabin, bear and your grand daughter are precious.

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