#Repost @carapiranha (@get_repost)
A collective of #bears is called a sleuth, but I'm going to go with 'a cuddle'. In a few weeks it will be winter and snow will dust the meadows and #forests of Dachigam. But for now, it is the beginning of #fall and the towering #oaks of this park are dropping trillions of #acorns. Simultaneously, the Himalayan black bears that inhabit the lower reaches of #Dachigam are fattening up for their long winter sleep and they are in the mood for a feast. It's not quite seven am and the five of us are clustered together on a forest path, surrounded by these gorging wild #animals. I came hoping to catch sight of one, but I have long lost count of how many I can see. (Over 15 is our final consensus) Nazir, our commander in chief, whispers explicit instructions. Stick together. If one looks at you, freeze. Should we be charged, DO NOT RUN. Make yourself as big as possible and get loud. Luckily this eventuality doesn't arise. The bears are like single-minded stoners. More preoccupied with the munchies than any confrontation. For over forty minutes we stand wide-eyed. Then suddenly they're gone, swallowed by their beautiful forest home. I wasn't invited to partake of the spread, but I am greedy and slip an acorn into my pocket. A reminder of this glorious morning in #Kashmir.