Today marks the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the Where the Bear Walks blog and I can't help but sit back and reflect on what a remarkable year it's been. What began as a simple hobby - a place to keep track of all of the fascinating things I had been discovering about bears - quickly became my life's work. It led me back to my old stomping grounds in Alaska for an opportunity to work up close with captive bears, an opportunity that took my understanding of them to a completely different level and showed me things I had previously only imagined. It also put me in touch with several bear people who I greatly admire, such as Doug Peacock, Casey Anderson, Stephen Stringham, Charlie Russell, and Else Poulsen....some of whom have invited me to attend the annual Bear Care Conference which will be held in Canada this October. That was an invitation that I wasn't expecting to get but I can't say that I should really be surprised at this point.
Yes, a lot has happened and yet some things almost feel the same. When I started last year, the whole world was watching a black bear named Lily give birth to a cub live on the internet via webcam, launching a phenomenon that would help do more for bears than anything else in recent years. Now as I sit here writing this anniversary post, I'm watching Lily asleep in her new den with her cub while the world holds its breath, waiting to see if any new arrivals will be joining them this winter.
So what does the future hold? Obviously my work with bears will continue in some form or another. This whole experience has come together so perfectly and so easily that I honestly can't believe that any of it has been coincidence....and the pieces are still coming together. I won't go into specifics right now. Instead I'll just say that there are several possibilities on the horizon, any and all of which would be great for my "bear resume". Pondering these, I can't help but think about the second anniversary of this blog....and wonder where I'll be and what I'll have done by then.