Baby Bear Reflections on a Bear Lodge Vacation
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Summer 
Breathtaking Sunrise

   This is the most perfect morning. I'm sitting on the dock looking over the calm, clear lake, delighting in the small wisps of clouds decorating the beautiful blue sky. There is not a soul to be seen. A deep breath fills my lungs with fresh air and faint traces of pine, lake, and summer. The sun is shining down, warming me. There is the slightest of breezes, gently caressing me, keeping me perfectly comfortable. I hear fish nibbling their breakfast from the surface of the placid lake. Ducks dine on weeds. Varieties of birds chirp back in the trees. Soon I'll dip my feet in the cool, clear water. Tension is barely a memory.

River

   I had a wonderful hike this morning. The cabin was enshrouded in a cloud. I walked down Benton Road in the quiet, cool morning. I saw one peaceful soul sitting on a picnic bench in their yard, patiently awaiting the spectacular beauty of dawn. The road curved on and as I walked I saw the end of the cloud beyond which was a hill of trees just behind a river. There were rocks at one end with water splashing playfully over them. It had a shallow shore with a sandy bottom that begged me to come wading.


Misty River In the middle of the river, swirls of mist were floating above the water. One was six feet high; a column about six inches wide - mystical. The view downstream was just amazing. I adore the beauty of nature. It offers many delights for those who seek.

The Joy of Swimming

   Now on the dock, I can see the sunfish swimming and nibbling. It seems strange to enjoy watching a fish, but I do. It makes me happy. One fish had a large mouth with thick lips, but he himself is small; a baby large-mouth bass?  Two ducks approach, hoping for bread, but squawk when they are startled by a noise and paddle quickly away. I'd rather they eat weeds anyway. They hang out near the old beaver hut which now houses playful otters. Two night ago as the almost full moon rose over the lake leaving brilliant reflections in the water, I could see the wakes of the otters through the path of the moonlight. They hid as I approached, so I retreated and allowed them privacy on their lake.

Saved!

   We did have some opportunity to feed the ducks. A mother duck and four ducklings approached as my husband was relaxing on the dock. Bob could see that one had a fish hook stuck in his bill. He came up and gathered some bread, a pliers, and me. First we lured them on land with the bread and tried chasing the poor fellow down. They're faster than they seem even though the injured one kept tripping on the line still attached to the hook. Then Bob got the idea to use the fishing net. I led them back to the water with the bread while Bob put the net in the water. At first, the ducklings swam right over it, but after one close call, they were hesitant to approach again. With enough bread, we finally succeeded. Bob gently held the duck with his knees and went to work. Mama duck was not too happy and started to come after her little fellow, but was appeased with my offering of bread. Very shortly, the free duck swam away. He flapped his wings in the water to release his tension, or thank us, perhaps. Mama did the same after watching a few minutes to make sure we were done with our tricks.

Beautiful Loon
   We had some friends visit for a day during our stay. They went fishing in the boat one evening and the boys were convinced they heard coyotes surrounding the lake. Later, I paddled out myself and saw the seed of their imagination: two loons. They do make most unusual calls, but to me they sound peaceful. It is the same call they have made for thousands of years. It somehow reminds me that if you hold on to who you are, all the storms will end, ripples will pass away, and once again you'll be gracefully swimming in a sea of calm.

   For me, the lake provides a break from all the silliness and lets me see clearly what matters. If I can forget things for a week, they certainly won't matter in a year and won't even be remembered in ten. I hope we can all bring home the lesson of the lake.
Winter 
Winter Playground

   In winter, the full, tall evergreens seem to hug the cabin, with me in it, securely in safety. They block out the world and its noise. I'm snug in my log cabin. The snow lays three feet high on the balcony and in tall drifts all over the yard. It lays on every branch of every tree like a blanket of calm.

   They say the Eskimos have forty-six different words to describe snow and here I notice and appreciate the difference. Today I sit on the couch with my feet up, facing windows fill of breath-taking beauty. One wall of the room with a cathedral ceiling is entirely windows. I can watch today's fluffy flakes float lazily from the top of the evergreens all the way down to the deck. Some catch a breeze and surf up and down ending on the mountain of snow. The two windows on the adjacent wall make the scene pop and real. My head knows it is not just an IMAX. I am in winter, but cozy and safe and protected.

   The Adirondack park is like a big grown-up's playground. Now, in winter, the frozen lake is a park where ice fishermen meet and huddle in the shanties and snow mobiles race across the snow covered ice. Cross country skiers and snowshoers are out on the trails. Downhill skiers flock to Gore Mountain and Whiteface, after waiting all year for snow to finally arrive. They're excited, pumped, energized. Even campers come out in winter, mostly to have stories to tell I think. Everywhere you go, people are out and about having fun, enjoying life, the world and all it offers. Here, snow is a blessing. It is my kind of place.