bears

Those aren’t bears! Oh, yes… this is the New Year’s Polar Bear Plunge and these intrepid swimmers are now Polar Bears. The plunge is at noon on Marrowstone Island. A cannon is fired and people jump off the dock and into the water, cold Salish Sound water, in the low fiftys. Brrrr. The ambulance crew stands by and family and friends to witness this transformation into bears for the day.

U is for ursine

U is for ursine. Have you ever felt ursine?

Ur”sine (?), a. [L. ursinus, from ursus a bear. See Ursa.]

Of or pertaining to a bear; resembling a bear.

Ursine baboon. Zool. See Chacma. — Ursine dasyure Zool., the Tasmanian devil. — Ursine howler Zool., the araguato. See Illust. under Howler. — Ursine seal. Zool. See Sea bear, and the Note under 1st Seal.

I am thinking of my sister again. My mother called me tiger and her bear. “Chris bear” was one of her names. Have you felt tigerish or ursine? We talk about a temper like a bear or hibernating when we aren’t feeling very social and then there are teddy bears and care bears and last night I saw the new Jungle Book movie.

I know the book well and loved it. I spent much less time with television. The movie is a mix of the book and the Disney version and I am considering the deviations. Sher Khan did not kill the wolf leader in the book, though he did influence some pack members. And the ending is changed and an interesting change at a time when we are afraid of the disconnect that many of us feel from nature. We are afraid that too many people and that sin of greed are destroying species and destroying the world.

And so I do feel ursine. Sometimes it feels unbearable. Sometimes I want to rear up like a grizzly bear and tear down the veneer of civilization. Sometimes I just want to sleep as deeply as a bear and dream…. dream of playing with my sister.

In my photograph, two cars have crashed in the Octoblast and one has been ejected forcibly: that is my sister bending over it…..

 

 

S is for sloth

S is for sloth, the sixth of our seventh sins.

I took the photograph of my daughter a few weeks ago. She can’t be accused of sloth, though, because that was the day after a 12 mile mountain bike race. She came in first in the women’s 18-26 division. She also came in last, because she was the only one….

Dictionary.com at present:
1. habitual disinclination to exertion; indolence; laziness.
2. any of several slow-moving, arboreal, tropical American edentates of the family Bradypodidae, having a long, coarse, grayish-brown coat often of a greenish cast caused by algae, and long, hooklike claws used in gripping tree branches while hanging or moving along in a habitual upside-down position.
3. a pack or group of bears.

Webster 1913:
1. Slowness; tardiness.
These cardinals trifle with me; I abhor This dilatory sloth and tricks of Rome. Shak.
2. Disinclination to action or labor; sluggishness; laziness; idleness.
[They] change their course to pleasure, ease, and sloth. Milton.
Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears. Franklin.
3. Zool. Any one of several species of arboreal edentates constituting the family Bradypodidae, and the suborder Tardigrada. They have long exserted limbs and long prehensile claws. Both jaws are furnished with teeth (see Illust. of Edentata), and the ears and tail are rudimentary. They inhabit South and Central America and Mexico.

Just think of meeting a sloth of bears, eating blueberries, in the summer… I would not feel slothful then. And looking at the examples from Webster 1913, are we more slothful and sloppy with language than Franklin and Milton?

S

Sloth is a sin… but my daughter earned her rest…. and we all need to relax and rest sometimes and change our course to pleasure, ease and sloth…..