Don’t be afraid of black bears or church jokes at breakfast!

Hello Bear

Here are the promised black bear photos.  We were visiting the rest rooms/changing rooms during our camping trip at Bete Grise…mindin’ our own business…whistlin’ our own tune…when Sue spotted HIM! 

A black bear.  Tearing apart the garbage bags outside the small rest room. Less than twenty feet away.  


A bear! 

Bear stands on hind legs

We scurried forward with our cameras, even though the light was low.  We snapped, snapped, snapped and even moved closer.  The bear didn’t care.  He was focused on dinner.  This garbage pail held treasures of delight.  Who cared about the humans with their tiny machines snapping away? 

Not our black bear. 

And now for some dinner...

 We photographed for maybe five minutes before retreating to the beach and our own snacks.  However, within a short while, half of the swimmers and beach-goers had discovered “our” bear.  They stood around photographing our scavenger for the next half hour while we lounged, blase, on the beach. 

Silly people.  So excited about a bear.  (grin…) 

OK, dear reader, now I am attempting to tie in two rather different subjects.  One:  the bear dining on garbage near our camping site the other night.  Two:  the fascinating little old lady who befriended us at the cafe during breakfast the next morning. 

Sue & our new friend at the cafe

She approached our table, smiling.  She measured about four feet high, with a four-foot grin on her face.  

We chatted with our new friend for a few minutes. 

Suddenly she said, “Hey, did you hear about the streaker in church?” 

No.  We hadn’t. Hadn’t even heard the term “streaker” for many years.

(OK, all you minors…don’t read on!  This is where the blog gets dicey…  You know those little old ladies.)

She looked at each of us in the eye.  Paused for good effect, like all good joke tellers.  (Of which I am not.)  

They caught him by the organ. 

We all laughed. 

She urged us, “Don’t be afraid to laugh!  Young people these days don’t know how to laugh!” 

We laughed some more. 

They caught him by the organ. 

It was an exciting excursion to the Copper Country, you can tell.  Black bears and church jokes.  Who knows what to expect next!

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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52 Responses to Don’t be afraid of black bears or church jokes at breakfast!

  1. Sue says:

    So I guess the moral of this story is:

    a. the bears won’t get you as long as they have lunch


    b. don’t be afraid of strangers, no matter their age or size!

    LOL What a HOOT!!!


    • Kathy says:

      Perfect, Sue! You summarized it perfectly! It was ALL a hoot! Just wait til tomorrow’s blog…you can see exciting SKY photos from our trip. LOL indeed!

  2. Emma says:

    Haha! I’ve never heard that joke before. =D

    Beautiful bear!

  3. Dawn says:

    I actually said “WHOA!” when I saw the bear standing up! You are way more brave than me, garbage bag or no garbage bag keeping him (or her?) occupied!

    Loved the little old lady. It would be fun to wander around the Keewenaw (which I think I spelled wrong) taking pictures of the old timers’ faces…

    • Kathy says:

      You know, Dawn, it’s weird. You can kinda tell if you’re in danger…all your senses go high-alert and you KNOW you’d better back off. None of my “danger” signals engaged. You would LOVE toolin’ around the Keweenaw. That would be a good project. Our elders have so much to share.

  4. Susan D. says:

    Just finished reading both blogs and feel as nourished as I would have had I read a novella filled with adventure, fun, danger, beauty and relationships! Thanks for your gift of packing so much into such a little space (which seems so BIG). Love, LOVE all of it!!

    • Kathy says:

      Wow, Susan D! A novella, you say? You are one of the specialist (most special, that is) people on the planet, you know that? It was a fun time…and just as fun posting blogs about it.

  5. The only bears in Australia live in the zoos, so what a treat to see one photographed in the wild! I’ll be showing my family your pics, they’ll love them. 🙂

    Oh, your little old lady knew she would feel at ease with you and your friends, she could sense the happiness in your souls… 😀

    • Kathy says:

      Joanne, we don’t see bears too often in the wild. And to have a camera in hand–a miracle! How lovely that you thought the lady saw the happiness in our souls. Or maybe she heard us laughing from half way across the restaurant!

  6. Carol says:

    This is where the long zoom on my camera would have come in handy. I would have had to have a picture – but I’m a wimp and would not have wanted to get too close. I’m not sure I can outrun a bear anymore.

    She had to be one of those “I’m going to wear red hats and purple dresses” old ladies – I love that poem by Jenny I-wish-I-could-remember-her-last-name. It’s what I want to be when I decide to admit to being that old.

    • Kathy says:

      Nah, Carol, you would have been just beside us. But your long zoom would have come in handy getting a close-up of the bear. You know what the “real” dirty joke of this blog is? Zoom in close on the bear standing on his hind legs. Then you’ll see. (NOW we’ll see who really reads comment responses, LOL!)

  7. Elisa's Spot says:

    You are just a lil bear heyoka magnet!!! lol

  8. Jessica says:

    HA! They caught him by the organ! I wonder if my grandmother has heard of that one! She played church organ for 30 years. Since we’re in a joke telling mood, have you ever wondered how to remember the correct spelling of “Los or Las” in Las Vegas and Los Angeles? Well, Las Vegas is the “Las”t place you saw your wages. I was taking a customer order at work one day 4 years ago when a wise guy told me that one as I took his address. I know, it has nothing to do with bears or church jokes….but it’s kind of a joke.

    • Kathy says:

      Funny joke, Ms. Jessica! I am going to remember this one! “Las’t place you lost your wages.” ha ha… Wonder why we remember certain jokes and not others? Wonder if your grandma heard that one!

  9. quietpaths says:

    Those bears! Really fun post. Unfortunately up here in the Park they would have to trap the poor thing and move him on out…

    The organ joke… now I wonder if that lady used to work as a church secretary? Hmm… ’cause you know where those church bloopers came from.


    • Kathy says:

      Christine, there are a lot of bears like this up in the tip of the Keweenaw. They call them “garbage” bears…but I didn’t want to label this bear so insensitively. Even though, that’s kinda what he was.

      I’ll bet that lady could have been a church secretary! Maybe she still is. She says she comes to this restaurant and eats breakfast almost every day. Her husband was waiting for her in the car, 15 minutes early, and she said he could just wait while she finished her coffee.

  10. Kiah says:

    Of all my brief glimpses of bears over the years, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen one stand up like that!

    Kind of makes me want to sing…

    I gave Uncle Walter a new coat to wear,
    When he came home he was covered with hair,
    And lately I’ve noticed several new tears,
    I’m sure Uncle Walter goes waltzing with bears!

    • Kathy says:

      Kiah, it was SO exciting! I hummed along the Dancing with Bears song… (Wish you could have been with us. We mentioned your name several times.)

  11. Karla says:

    Woah, a real bear outside just doing his thing! I would have been nervous to photograph it. Funny, last night I had a dream about a bear cub clinging to my shoulders trying to grab my cell phone. And then I check your blog after a whole summer only to find that post…timing!

    • Kathy says:

      Karla, it’s major-league synchronistic! Bear medicine is talking to you. Trying to get your attention, for sure. You may have been a bit nervous sleeping on the beach at so close quarters. That bear may have ambled in close to catch you dreaming.

  12. Great joke. I’ll use it. Wow on the Bears Kathy! big medicine around with you and Patty Sue’s Eagle.

    • Kathy says:

      Big medicine, Carla! Especially when the bear stood on his hind legs. Very big medicine indeed. (Don’t know about the garbage, though. Not quite so big medicine. LOL!)

  13. Blog to feed or not, I’d have been off out of there. I used to have nightmares about bears as a child. I wouldn’t hang around for a re-run…

    • Kathy says:

      Hello there, Mrs. Uhdd! Perhaps this bear could have begun to ease your childhood nightmares. Perhaps being just that close could have helped you make friends with the species. Maybe?

  14. Cindy Lou says:

    Love the one of Mr. Bear on his hind legs! Almost doesn’t look real….

    Our elders – with their fascinating and character-filled faces, stories and wisdom, laughter and jokes – are some of my favorite, simple joys. I love what JoAnne said about your new friend being able to sense the happiness in your souls.

    • Kathy says:

      That was a great pose, wasn’t it, Cindy Lou? The elders have so much to share with us. It was fun having her visit our table with her contagious humor.

  15. Marianne says:

    Great bear pictures, Kathy! Funny joke also!

  16. holessence says:

    Kathy – There’s no two ways about it, you lead an exciting life! And you’re a daredevil, to boot — taking photographs in bathrooms and of black bears — oy vay!

    I think you should write and photograph a column for the newspaper. Is your paper big enough for two Drue’s?

    • Kathy says:

      I dunno, Laurie. In SOME ways I can be very daredevlish. (ha ha is that a word?) but at other times an old stick-in-the-mud. Trying not to stay stuck in the mud when that impulse arises, though.

      By the way, gave Barry your suggestion. Who knows…perhaps it might happen. (If I said “no” too quickly that would be my stick-in-the-mud side coming out, right?)

  17. Colleen Lloyd says:

    Kathy, yes, yes, oh yes… I so agree with Laurie and second her thought.
    Your words somehow seem destined to fly (or flow) out into the world. Which I guess they do now but………… 🙂

    What a beautiful bear! Are Kiah’s words from an actual song or poem. Our grandsons have often had bears in their yard and on their back deck so will enjoy the song and/or poem.

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Colleen! Nice to see you, always. I would like the words to fly more out in the world…but am having the BEST time in the universe blogging….so we shall see.

      OK, on to your question! I am now doing a YouTube search. Please wait a sec. Here are two versions of Uncle Walter Goes Waltzing with Bears:

      One of our favorite songs! Your grandsons will love it.

      • Colleen Lloyd says:

        Thank you SO much. Yes, they’ll love it…..I love it!

        Brawny, kilts-a-flying, stone-throwing Scotsmen. Barenaked cowboys. Bear “necessities”. Oh, my…it’s definately heating up in the neighborhood 🙂

  18. patty sue says:

    Love your bear and you being all blase about it too! 😉 Yes, Carla got it right – we are drawing some animal medicine … and it be good!
    Great pic of your ‘little’ old lady and Sue together! Priceless!

    • Kathy says:

      Ha ha…weren’t we all blase? You just surrounded by all your eagle/Alaska energy! It was such a priceless time, that’s for sure, Patty Sue.

  19. Good ones, Kathy. Both the bear and the joke. I got a bit risque on my blog today , too.

  20. bearyweather says:

    Lucky you … to see a young bear … I would have been like all the silly people, though … I would have watched him until he decided to leave, I find so much enjoyment in their antics.
    Would you expect anything different from me, author of bear therapy?

    You are correct, most black bears are timid and shy and only think with their stomachs. (
    The media has turned them into vicious creatures and they are not .. there is a reason why when walking in the woods you don’t see them .. there is a reason why bear hunters have to bait them to shoot them. Black bears are just beautiful big bundles of playful fat and fur, solitary forest creatures in search of food … growling stomachs and sensitive noses, can make them a nuisance, though.

    (the joke was good, too … I have a very difficult time remembering jokes, this one is simple and short ..maybe I will remember it long enough to be able to share it.)
    thanks for the smiles.

    • Kathy says:

      Bearyweather, your bear pics are great. How fun, and what a good concept: “bear therapy”! Very cool.

      I like what you have said here about bears being shy and timid. We hardly ever see them around here. It is always a treat. Although I am very respectful when coming across a mama and her cubs. Usually head quickly in the opposite direction. OK, not too quickly.

      I have trouble remember jokes too!

  21. I got a bit risque in my blog post today, too “The Naked Cowboy and Clint Eastwood.”

    • Kathy says:

      Not you too, Laurie! My goodness, we are on a risque roll. lol! Will be over there to read very soon. Must eat some lunch first. Getting a little spacey. too much sky! ha ha…

  22. Jessica says:

    Love the bear. Very handsome. Also I laughed at loud at the organ joke and read your blog to my stepdad. He laughed too. 🙂

  23. barb says:

    I’m smiling, Kathy – at the bear and at the joke! I photographed “my” bear and twin cubs last week – I was so excited, the photos got blurry.

  24. Karma says:

    Hee, hee! Okay, I read the comments. I did go back and zoom in on the bear standing up picture and oh my! This blog was far more connected than it appears at first between the bear and the joke! 😉

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