Random Bear Photo

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah.

The racing season must have been over, all the cars were gone…



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49 Comments on “Random Bear Photo”

  1. Kelly Says:



    Just gorgeous.

    Do I overuse that word here?

    That’s only because it’s underused everywhere else, and perfect here.

    Gorgeous. You have an amazing eye.



  2. Friar Says:

    Thanks Kelly.

    This was taken with my incredibly cheapo camera at the time. It was just a quick photo to capture the bear. But I always try to remember to keep the horizon at 1/3.

  3. Karen JL Says:

    Nice! I want to see the bear’s arm up, waving. 🙂

    Ahh, gotta love the rule of thirds. You could push that sucker even lower and it would look great. If the bear wasn’t there, I’d trim some off the bottom. Low horizon lines are very dramatic.

    This concludes our composition lesson for today…(will shut up now). 😉

  4. Friar Says:

    @Karen JL

    The bear is the floppy kind….he cant’ wave his arms. If there is no wind, I’m able to make him sit up (but often he needs to lean against a pop can or a knapsack for support).

    No, I dont’ mind photography pointers.

    I probably could have photo-shopped and played with this photo…but heck, it was midnight. I did a quick cut and paste and went to bed.

    Was suprised to see Kelly awake at that time…she commented within minutes!

    She must have been sitting anxiously by the computer, waiting for Friar’s latest post! 🙂

  5. Kelly Says:


    You make it very hard to give you a compliment, darlin’. I think that’s what I like about you. In all blogoville, you are most ego-free person there is.

    It is BEAUTIFUL. You want me to go all artsy on you before Janice has shown up? Fine. It’s wistful. It’s vast. It’s lonely, but because of the sweet little guy, it’s also hopeful and not lonely. It’s effing profound.

    It ain’t the horizon, though that’s nice. It ain’t the day, though it was clearly gorgeous. FRIAR had to be there on that day, because your eye had to see it in your way to recognize just where the beauty was. Friar had to add that one last touch, or it would be *yawn* yes, nice day. You didn’t add a tire or a red scarf or a marching band or a cow skull (thank goodness), you added a wee, golden bear. Good art is all about yanking something out of the depths of you, that if you’re lucky also touches other people. This, friend, is good art.

    /fawning rant

    I assume you are mortal and have lots of less awesome stuff you don’t put up, but many of the things you do post are gorgeous, okay? 🙂

    Until later,


  6. Friar Says:


    Awww…shucks. I’m blushing here! 🙂

  7. Kelly Says:

    Hohoho, you sneaked that comment in while I ran off elsewhere and forgot to finish ranting.

    Last night: Anxiously trying to do some heavy duty coding and hunting for a distraction. Whaddya think I’m doing now?

    It wasn’t even midnight, was it?

    If you go posting at 11:30 again tonight I can almost guarantee I’ll be looking for a distraction again.


  8. Kelly Says:

    Good, glad you’re blushing. Now stop asking if your butt looks big in that dress. You’re good and it takes away from my wanting to rave.

  9. Friar Says:


    I’m looking for distractions too. (Right now I have a 150 page document I have to review and comment on!). It’s about as interesting as reading the telephone book.

    It’s a good thing you and I don’t live in the same city, or we’d be “distracting” each other out of a job 🙂

    OKay…MUST get back to work…MUST get back to work….

    PS. You’re sure my butt dosen’t look big….? :- )

  10. that has to be the most surreal place on earth, I’d be thinking Dali all day there!

  11. Steph Says:

    You guys are hilarious!!

    Friar, it’s a lovely photo! I love the bear. It’s so endearing!!

    Is there anywhere you HAVEN’T been?? Where do you want to go next?

  12. Friar Says:

    Yeah…there are lots of places in the Southwest that are totally bizarre like this. (But no…I didn’t see any melting watches!).

    I’ve seen much of Canada and the States. But there are lots of places I haven’t been yet. The only other foreign country I’ve ever been to is Australia.

    That being said, where I’d like to go again are the Rocky Mountains, or Yukon again. But money’s a bit tight this summer…it might be a fishing trip in Ontario…or Lake Superior or New Hampshire.

  13. Kelly Says:


    Drive through Vermont on your way to NH. I want that cup of coffee with you and Brett. When are you commandeering him?

    Say hi to lady on a Friday morning, drink caffeine, go off to do manly stuff for the rest of the weekend, unplugged. Dude heaven.

    “The only other foreign country I’ve ever been to…” I’m thinking, besides what? Then I remember, oh, yeah, this country is a foreign country to you. The one I’m standing in. Hehehe.

    Maybe I’d better go get some caffeine now.



  14. Friar Says:


    The States is so similar to Canada, that I don’t really consider it a foreign country. When I cross the border, it’s often hard to tell the difference…the people are pretty much the same.

    Except the south east (Tennessee). Now THAT definitely feels different from Canada!

    But on the other hand, so does Quebec! 🙂

  15. No fair Friar.

    Just , no fair. Damn little bear.

    I hope your report is going well. There is now a little bear in the back of my mind as I paint today and it makes me smile.

    Art is one thing. Impact and story is another. And memorable ? You have that down. Just as Kelly said, it is that injection of self that makes the difference.

    Damn distractin’ Canadian.

  16. Brett Legree Says:


    (to Vermont)

    Though I wouldn’t mind going to Bonneville, to v-max my car and see if it can beat “The World’s Fastest Bear”… 🙂

  17. Karen JL Says:

    @ Friar.
    I really didn’t mean that as a critque…it’s gorgeous! Just pointing out you don’t have to limit yourself to the ‘third’ thing. Play with it. 🙂 And it’s just my own eye about liking lower horizon lines…I’m drawing them all fricken day.

    And yes, the US is hardly foreign to us Canadians. Probably because more of us go there than them coming here to see it’s all the same (except for what you mentioned…I’m originally from Quebec!). I’m amazed how some Americans (that’s not directed at you, Kelly) think it really is SO different up here. It ain’t.

    My boyfriend’s cousin asked him if we have farms! Because “isn’t it too cold to grow anything?” For the love of…..

  18. Friar Says:

    I’m thinking, people are responding so well to the Bear, that I might start posting pictures on where he’s been, on a semi-regular basis. (If anything, it seems to encourage a lot of discussion!)

    You bet! Vermont is only about 5.5 hours away! (Bonneville, on the other hand, is a good 4-5 days of driving!)

    @Karen JL
    I was playing around…I had several photos of the same scene, but this was the only one with the Bear.

    Yeah, I like how a lot of Americans think we’re “up north”. A big chunk of Canada (where most of the people live) is well below the 49th parallel. Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto are considerably further south than parts of Maine, Washington State, Montana, Minnesota and the Dakotas.

    Actually, Northern California is closer to the North Pole than some parts of Ontario!

  19. Karen JL Says:

    Yes, more of the bear. We love the bear. 🙂 It’s like Amelie…

  20. Friar Says:

    Looks like I’ll have to start going through my old photo albums, then…!

  21. The nomadic bear is killing me. I agree with the peanut gallery: We want more bear!

  22. Friar Says:


    Oh…no. What have I started here? 😉

  23. by the way: There’s some link love coming your way momentarily …

  24. Friar Says:

    Awww…shucks! Thanks!

  25. Thank YOU for the inspiration. The love has been posted.

  26. @ Karen- Amelie! I love Amelie.

    @Friar- Your public has spoken bear man. Stories and bears and fish oh my. 🙂

  27. Friar Says:


    Travels with the bear and/or fishing figure quite prominently in my life. So I assure you, there will be plenty more stories!

  28. Steph Says:

    Friar: We don’t consider the States foreign because we frequent a certain pub there! 🙂

  29. Friar Says:


    Would that be in Buffalo…?

    I might have been there…!!

  30. Steph Says:

    No, I think this particular pub is in Colorado… 🙂

  31. Friar Says:

    I used to live in Hamilton, and we’d pop over to the U.S. side of Niagara falls or Buffalo…

    Colorado, though. That would be quite the drive!

  32. Kelly Says:


    Some parts of Canada seem very non-foreign to me, only genteel, like what we New Englanders think should be everywhere. Then, there’s Québéc… not fair since I haven’t been, I only have reports from friends, but I’m going out on a limb to say I think it may feel like a very different place indeed.

    Colorado=Tei’s pub. 🙂 Get a pint of Genius daily, right Steph?

    Boy do I need a pint of that right now. Fried brain.



  33. Friar Says:


    Ahhh…I didn’t catch on the Colorado was Tei’s watering hole.

    Actually Quebec is VERY different. I grew up there, and I’m fluently bilingual. You’d think of all people, I would feel right at home.

    Yet when I go back there, I still I feel a bit of tension (that I have to watch what I say), and that I’m an outsider. I can go to Newfoundland or Alberta, and it feels like Canada. But Quebec…well, you definitely sense you’re in Quebec.

  34. phanatic74 Says:

    If you look close at the picture I can see the Phillies holding the World Series Trophy for 2008 . . . . . . Go Phightins !!

  35. Friar Says:


    Uhhh. Okay…. I dont’ see it..but I’ll take your word for it! 🙂

  36. chunque Says:

    Yeah. I don’t see the bear. Are you sure it’s not THAT kind of bear?

  37. Friar Says:


    Next time I post a picture of the Bear, I’ll make it bigger, so people can see what he looks like! 🙂

  38. Ellen Wilson Says:

    I thought the bear was a little four-wheeler.

    What are the salt flats like? Looks like there is no vegetation out there.

  39. Friar Says:


    This is the famous dry lake bed where the rocket-powered cars try to break land-speed records (but only a few months a year, when the salt is hard and dry-packed). It’s mabye 1 hour drive out of Salt Lake City.

    You’re right..there is not one blade of grass, or any plantlife.

    As far as you can see, just white salt. Hard packed, flat as a table-top. 100 degrees outside. Sterile gray-black moutains on the horizon. You might as well be on the moon.

    You can touch your finger to the ground, put it in your mouth and taste the salt. (but it’s a bit gritty…a few grains of sand are mixed up in it).

    There is all kinds of WEIRD geology like this that you dont’ see East of the Mississippi. The Southwest is really awesome this way.

  40. Ellen Wilson Says:

    Yes, it kind of looks like the moon. Still procrastinating, eh? Ha! Oh who cares, it’s Friday. I just read your post over at Melissa’s and your burnout frustration. It’s very hard, isn’t it? A sterile mind is like the salt beds of Utah. I like to unplug once in awhile. I think mixing drawing and cartooning with writing is a good way to unwind. I’m still having problems with managing my time. And some projects take WAY longer than I think they will.

    I hope you have a good weekend. We are going to Lake Michigan tomorrow. Have you been there yet? It is so damn hot over here. Major heat wave. First, it’s cold, and then dead hot.

  41. Friar Says:


    I’ve driven past Lake Michigan along the north shore but didnt’ stop much. A few years ago, I did a quick visit at a State Park on the Indiana shore. And I saw Chicago. The lake looks a lot cleaner than Ontario, I tell ya.

    I think it’s pretty cool how the southern part of Michigan is amid the busiest most populated midwest, but a few hundred miles north, it’s quite isolated on the U.P.

    Well, I’m going to Kingston to visit from friends for the weekend. It’s a 3.5 hour drive. I’m gonna strap the canoe on my car, and hope to try fishing at the small lake they live near.

    We’re having our first bit of heat. Pretty muggy..it’s supposed to get stinking hot. We’re probably getting what you’re already having.

    Have a good weekend. The Friar will be unplugged for a few days! 🙂

  42. For some reason, this reminds me of Star Wars. I like it a lot 🙂

  43. Oh look! My comment worked. Whew.

  44. Karen Swim Says:

    Utah is pretty beautiful country and a great place for outdoor activities. I haven’t seen a bear in a really long time, thanks for sharing one. 🙂

  45. Have a good trip. Good luck in the canoe. 🙂

  46. Ellen Wilson Says:

    @Friar – Have a good trip. I’m sure you will. We’ll see you when you get back. I’m not sure if I’ve been to Kingston? Maybe.

    Yeah, I like my state. It has its positves and negatives like they all do. Right now we are the most economically depressed state in the nation.

    Feeling very chatty tonight. Guess I’m procrastinating, too.

  47. Carolyn Bahm Says:

    Hi — cool photo! I also just wanted to say hi — I’m a new subscriber here. I found you via a post at the Writing Journey blog, where they picked up a meme I did recently about sharing links to the blogs I love. :o)

  48. Friar Says:

    Yeah, I almost expect some sand-people to start coming out driving around in a hovercraft!
    I went to Utah for the first time ever in 2001 and I’ve been back twice already. It’s one of the coolest looking places on the planet, I think
    @Janice and Ellen
    Not too much luck in the canoe. Windy (almost whitecaps). Not good for fishing
    Glad you could drop by! Come back often!

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