Good Stuff: Mostly Bears Edition

First, a note: Weekly Roundup is now called Good Stuff. Okay? Let’s get to it! Exclamation points!!!

I found some fun, random stuff to share with you lovely folks this week! Most of it is about bears, because bears are top-notch summer role models. One of my drafts for this week’s post about summer weirdness involved a whole tangent about how I’d rather be a bear than a human lady in July and August, and even though that bit got (rightfully) cut, I stand by my wish. I have twice seen a real live bear with my own eyes in the summertime: one bear was ambling along beside a sparkling high Sierra creek, sniffing at wildflowers without a care in the world, and the other bear was eating part of a pretty decent-looking pizza from an unsecured dumpster. Not too shabby!

Brown bear, don’t care. (Photo via Elizabeth Meyers)

The grizzly bear live cam at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park is going OFF right now, y’all. This is must-see TV Internet. Grizzlies filling their bellies like it’s their job (it basically is), salmon frantically leaping like their lives depend on it (they do), even a casual bald eagle or two—it’s all there. It’s a live-action nature show with no commercials, and a fine, fine virtual escape from…you know, everything. Don’t forget to check out the secondary cams too.

In other uplifting bear news: Yellowstone-area grizzlies will remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, thanks to a new federal court ruling. Grizzlies are a vitally important keystone species in the Yellowstone ecosystem, so this is wonderful news in more ways than one. Celebrate with some salmon and berries, bears! (Humans, you can celebrate with salmon and berries too.)

One of the bears protected by the new Yellowstone ruling is a park legend who goes by the name of 399. 399 is a 24-year-old mom of four cute-as-heck cubs, and catching sight of her is a big deal each year. She counts scores of photographers, park goers, and even the mighty Jane Goodall herself among her fans. Surviving for 24 years is a feat for any wild grizzly, and bearing a litter of four at that age is exceptional. This is the kind of conservation story that will make hearts come out of your eyes, and not just because of the RIDICULOUSLY ADORABLE bear cub pics.

And finally, one bit of sweet non-bear news, just for fun. This one does exactly what it says on the tin: “A Labrador and a group of abandoned chicks have become best friends, and the video of them hanging out is adorable”, via Insider.

That’s it for now, friends. My impulse is to say I hope you’re all having a fun, enjoyable summer, but given the circumstances, I’ll settle for a safe, reasonably tolerable one. Anyone giving travel a try this year? Maybe doing a little camping or road tripping? Tell me about it in the comments and let me live vicariously through you!

Until next time, stay well, and don’t forget to wear a mask.

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