The Legend Of Bear On The Square

The Legend Of Bear On The Square

Ever wonder how Bear on the Square got its name?
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In Dahlonega, there are two festivals which dominate the social calendar. One is a reason to move away from Dahlonega, the other is a reason to live there forever. The first one is Gold Rush — an event to be avoided at all costs. No amount of fool's gold in the world can compensate for the swarms of yellow jackets, tourists and traffic that infest the city during this time. The other is Bear on the Square, which is from April 22 to 23.

This festival arrives with the spring blooms and warm weather. Leafy oaks sprawl like parasols over the town square, shading the vendors in their white tents below. It is a bouquet of barking dogs, hand-holding couples and children sporting freshly painted works of art on their cheek. The food trucks offer rare delicacies like corn dogs, homemade soda, cotton candy and fried Oreo's.

The best part about Bear on the Square however is the music. Street performers dominate the town square, each playing Appalachian and Blue grass classics. Every street has a musical group, but their chords never overlap or clash with the performers on other streets.

Interestingly, most people do not know how Bear on the Square came into existence. The tale is both local lore and historical fact, typical of Dahlonega oral tradition.

From the forest, a baby black bear ambled into a Dahlonega sycamore tree. This was not the first time that a bear had entered the town, but the citizens of Dahlonega were none-the-less thrilled. It soon became clear, however, that the cub was in danger and unable to escape the tree. His ambitions exceeded his means, and he flew too close to the sun. Many people who worked in the square feared that he might fall and hurt himself, so they took the matter into their own hands.

Everyone assembled by the sycamore tree, and it was decided that a forest ranger would would coax the cub down and then sedate him. The citizens then worked together to remove the bear from the square and relocate him to his forest home.

Hooray! The baby bear is saved! Everyone returned to their daily tasks, feeling connected with the community and nature.

The bear woke the next day with a hangover, in a part of the forest he was unfamiliar with. In typical bear fashion, he returned to city. We may never know why — perhaps he was hungry? Maybe he liked the fan-fare. I think he just didn't like being told what to do. Regardless of his reasoning, he decided to walk in the middle of Main Street and was hit by a car.

The little guy is commemorated by a statue fastened to one of the trees in the town square. Bear on the Square is a community festival about the citizens of Dahlonega trying to save a bear, and celebrates Appalachian culture, music and a precocious little black bear who united a town.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest/ Searcy

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How You Can Save The Elephants

Donate, Shop, Adopt, or Sign. There are a million ways you can help save the elephants!
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Elephants are without a doubt one of the most amazing animals on Earth. They are the largest living land mammal, and the closest thing to a Mammoth we will ever get to witness. According to Discover Wildlife's website, elephants form female-led tight-knit groups consisting of a dominant matriarch, so elephants are all for female power which makes us love them even more! They have extraordinary long-term memories, and experiments have shown that they are emotional creatures who understand the emotions of other elephants and also express human-like emotions of grief and even crying. And if that wasn't enough, their unique trunk and giant ears make them one of the most beautiful and unique creatures in the world.

While there are so many things to love about elephants, humans have prioritized their ivory tusks over their other, far more redeeming qualities, for centuries which has lead to their near extinction. According to the IUCN Elephants have been listed as an Endangered Species since 1986. The Great Elephant Census, the largest animal census ever taken, reported that in 2016 352,271 African savanna elephants remained in 18 countries which was a 30% decrease in only seven years. This census spurred conservation action around the world as it finally put into perspective how seriously elephant populations were declining.

Luckily, because of the heroic actions of conservationists across the world, there are a number of ways you can show your love to the elephants. In this article you will find you tons of options for you to shop, adopt, sign, or donate to make sure your favorite 13,000 pound friends stick around.

SHOP TO SAVE THE ELEPHANTS

Ivory Ella offers a large selection of stylish clothing and accessories that feature their adorable elephant logo. Ivory Ella helps save elephants by donating 10 percent of their annual profits to the Save The Elephants organization.

Divinity LA donates $1 to International Elephant Foundation with each purchase of this bracelet.


Wakened Apparel Donates to a number of different charities through the sale of a number of different items. 10% of the proceeds from the purchase of this blanket will be donated to the International Elephant Foundation, working to protect the preservation of elephants worldwide.

Elephant & Co. donates 100% of its profits to the International Elephant Foundation.

Wakened Apparel Donates to a number of different charities through the sale of a number of different items. 10% of the proceeds from the purchase of this blanket will be donated to the International Elephant Foundation, working to protect the preservation of elephants worldwide.


RHEA donates 10% from each sale to the International Elephant Foundation


Love Brand donates 5% of the company's revenues to fund projects, put forward to us from all corners of the globe through their charity partners; Elephant Family, The David Shelddrick Wildlife Trust and Tusk Trust.


ADOPT TO SAVE THE ELEPHANTS

The World Wild Life Foundation offers this Adopt An Elephant package where 100% of the proceeds go toward the foundation's work towards saving elephants.


DONATE TO SAVE THE ELEPHANTS



Save The Elephants Donation Page

African Wildlife Foundation Donation Page

Wild Net Donation Page

FWS Donation Page

International Elephant Foundation Donation Page


SIGN TO SAVE THE ELEPHANTS

No More Bloody Ivory Petition

Save the elephants. Ban the sale of ivory in California Petition

Save Elephants From Extinction Petition

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Non-Believers Who Think Global Warming Isn't Real

Just like a human body needs to be taken care of, so does Earth..
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"Global Warming is not real."That's like saying the laws of nature are not real. If you smoke cigarettes, your lungs are going to turn black. If we emit carbon dioxide and pollute the air, the atmosphere is going to respond.

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Colorado to research the effects of global warming and how we can understand that it is happening around us.

After interviewing a field manager from the Rocky Mountains and a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, I discovered the truth behind global warming. These truths are things that we cannot ignore. The fact that some people even question if global warming is real is appalling.

Stepping off the plane in Colorado, I was expecting there to be snow on the ground and cold air. Instead, the temperature ranged in the 50s to 60s. This was in December and my expectations of snow covered mountains were diminished.

Don't get me wrong, the mountains were still beautiful but I cannot begin to imagine the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park covered in white snow. This is a park destined for skiing, and with less snowfall, the economy surrounding skiing is hit hard.

In addition, global warming greatly affects wildlife and ecosystems. With snow pact levels changing, the tree line in mountains goes into higher elevation causing their ecosystems to do the same.

The fear of global warming is that if the planet continues to warm, the earth with losing its beautiful ecosystems. Imagine your kids growing up without knowing what polar bears or glaciers are.

I learned that one of the main reasons why many people are doubting global warming is because the amount of warming is so minimal. However, the planet takes time to warm. The sea traps heat which is eventually released into the atmosphere causing warming.

Although the planet has only seen a one degree C change over the past few decades, it does not mean the planet is not warming up. This one-degree temperature change could be the difference between freezing or not. Ecosystems depend on certain temperatures to thrive and survive, so a one-degree difference can greatly affect where ecosystems are located.

There are always going to be people who believe global warming is not real even with all of the scientific data and observations. And, we cannot change that. They have other priorities. But, what we can change is how those who do believe in global warming act.

The issue today is not that people do not believe in global warming, it's that no one is doing anything about it. I'm afraid that if we continue down this road, the next generation will be left with problems worse than ours.

Just like a human body needs to be taken care of, so does Earth. Recycling, carpooling, throwing away trash, saving energy, and educating those around you are just a few simple things each person can do to contribute. This planet is our responsibility. Yes, global warming is real. But, we can do something about it.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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