Monday, December 8, 2008

The Bears And I

Subject: Bear Story - Once In-A-Lifetime Photographs

Black bears typically have two cubs, rarely one or three. In 2007, in northern New Hampshire , a black bear sow gave birth to five healthy young. There were two or three reports of sows with as many as four cubs but five was, and is, extraordinary. I learned of them shortly after they emerged from their den and set myself a goal of photographing all five cubs with their mom, no matter how much time and effort was involved. I knew the trail they followed on a fairly regular basis, usually shortly before dark. After spending nearly four hours a day, seven days a week, for six weeks I had that once in a lifetime opportunity and photographed them in the shadows and dull lighting of the evenin g. Due to these conditions the photograph is a bit noisy as I had to use the equivalent o f a very fast film speed on my digital camera. The print is properly focused and well exposed with all six bears posing as if they were in a studio for a family portrait. (Read on?)

I stayed in touch with other people who saw the bears during the summer and into the fall hunting season. All six bears continued to thrive. As time for hibernation approached, I found still more folks who had seen them and everything remained OK. I stayed away from the bears as I was concerned that they might become habituated to me, or to people in general, as approachable friends. This could be dangerous for both man and animal. After Halloween I received no further reports and could only hope the bears survived until they hibernated.

This spring, before the snow disappeared, all six bears came out of their den and wandered the same familiar territory they trekked in the spring of 2007. I saw them before mid April and dreamed nightly of taking another family portrait, an improbable second once in a lifetime photograph. On April 25, 2008 I achieved my dream. (Read on ?)

When something as magical as this happens between man and animal, Native Americans say we have walked together in the shadow of a rainbow.

And so it is with humility and great pleasure that I share these photos with you.

Sincerely, Tom Sears

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Man Killed for 'Hogging Karaoke'

My Dear and Precious Friends and Family--Near and Afar:

I came across this story and just had to share it with you all. I heard from one of you that this type of incident actually happened twice in the PI, so all the Karaoke bars took out "My Way" from their songbooks. Apparently, this song, more than any other song, provoked way too many fights over who sang the song better. In fact, the arguments ended up getting so heated that two people ended up meeting the same fate as the poor soul in the article below. (Note to Tonei: Pick another favorite song to sing on your next Karaoke outing in the PI.)

So, think of this as some sort of "insurance policy."

As the Holiday Seasons are once again upon us and before I receive any Karaoke invitations from any of you, I simply have this one small and simple wish--Please pass the microphone and Let there be Peace on Earth!

Man killed for 'hogging karaoke'

A Malaysian man has been stabbed to death for refusing to stop singing and hand over the microphone at a karaoke bar, police say.

Abdul Sani Doli, 23, reportedly angered some of the customers when he hogged the stage at the bar in Sandakan town on eastern Borneo island.

Witnesses said he was attacked, and the fight spilled out on to the street.

He was punched before being stabbed to death with a knife. His body was found a short distance from the bar.

Sandakan's police chief ACP Rosli Mohd Isa said two men were in police custody, helping them with their inquiries.

Karaoke, in which amateurs can sing along to their favourite songs, first emerged from Japan and became hugely popular across Asia during the 1980s, before spreading to other parts of the world.