Forest Animals

The forests of the Pacific Northwest stirred up Beyer’s imagination. He loved the Native American tales and mysteries surrounding forest animals like the bear, coyote and salmon. The Bear was an ideal of strength and magic for the Indians. Because Bear could walk upright, he appeared to possess intelligence. The constellation we know as the Big Dipper was called The Bear and guided the Indians to the north and warned them of the approach of cold weather. The audacious Coyote held special fondness for Beyer. The Indians believed that coyote helped create the world, but he had a reputation for being a trickster and the challenger of ordered society. The Salmon was highly valued by the Indians and although an important source of food, also considered a friend. They were thought of as a crowd of people who lived under the sea.

Beyer was fascinated by Northwestern stories about the Sasquatch. In a paper called “The Natural History of the Sasquatch,” Beyer and his son Charlie wrote a detailed description of these creatures and about their astonishing strength and habits. “The Sasquatch are of three sexes. Breeding orgies amongst them for continuous periods up to 18 hours is attended by a horrible uproar… The peculiarities of the lonely Sasquatch are many, being one of the most diverse and mysterious creatures on our continent.”

Whenever asked to create something for a private client, or for his own amusement, Beyer frequently returned to the themes of Coyote, Bear, Sasquatch and Salmon.