Breaking the Silence

Why the ominous title?
Well, like everything, once silence has settled in, it is hard to overcome.  Some are frightened of silence, some find it comforting.  Some find it strangely confining; think about it, how often have you mentally pepped yourself to speak through the quiet?  Whether it’s a silent car ride, silent dinner table, silence staring at the phone wondering whether to call or not…it’s tough to break.  The words back up and get jumbled, like a traffic jam, or too many kayaks on the Broad.  Things happen out of order, clumsily, or unintelligible.  But, inevitably, it’s never as painful as your brain makes you think it will be.  A little awkward, jolting, and slow at first, but worth it.  Only a few sentences necessary to work out the kinks and find your flow again.

This blog has been eerily silent since the middle of July.  It’s now the 3rd of August, and I’m not even sure what has happened since I last wrote.

What I do know is this:
-We’ve caught 28 bears, #28 being the bear we caught and recollared last night (they had caught him as a sub-adult last year)
-Our hair sites are down, with much frustration and blood shed (barbed wire is evil)
-I tracked my first bear (and saw her and her cubs)
-I got disoriented in the rain in a blackberry wall looking for a collar
-Casey, Hooker, and I have all lost our minds…but at least we’re all crazy together?
-I’ve officially been hired through November
-The students (Josh, Casey, and Hooker) leave in a week, and I stay to hold down the fort
-William came to visit
-I pulled a truck out of the mud with a 4wheeler
-MY truck was pulled out of the mud with a 4wheeler (different 4wheelers)
-The GPB crew came and left without major incident…except that they came once field season craziness had set in
-My family and friends successfully moved me out of the Athens apartment
-Casey and I both slept through Hooker shooting a hog from our bathroom window (approximately 20ft from our bedroom)

What that means is:
-Hooker wants to push for 30 bears.  It’s tough, but I think we could do it.
-I now have the task of compiling a map for the hair sites next summer
-I need more practice with telemetry, but it’s a little terrifying
-Crazy happens…but it’s better than dead
-I’m looking forward to being a bear tech for longer: these animals (and people) have stolen my heart
-I’ll be writing alot since I’ll be alone
-Four wheelers are awesome
-I’m living rent free till November..then who knows what God has in store for me!
-AND we’re exhausted.  High powered rifles ain’t got nothin’ on sleep.

Oh, and here’s a picture of a bear cub Casey tracked (and I followed with a camera)

Silence isn’t any scarier than speech, and while it’s easier, it’s not better.
Speak while you have voice, even if it’s awkward.
(see post above if you need an example)

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