I have an itch to work with wildlife. A bad itch. An itch that tugs at the back of my brain all day, every day, day in and day out. No matter what I’m doing, I’d rather be sharing space with an animal. I’m not picky: I’d even take insects and spiders over a desk job if I was in a real bind.
In Oregon, I’d been accepted into a spectacular captive animal management program, but couldn’t procure the funds to attend. Heartbroken, I returned to the East Coast, trying my best to believe that something equally as incredible was in the making. (I’m the kind of person that believes if a thing isn’t in your best interest, you don’t get it, no matter how badly you thought you wanted it; but walking away from zoo school was a doozy.)
Fast forward six months, and a combination of coincidence and free time led me to email a local wildlife rehabilitator to see if she needed volunteers. Wildlife rehab is a world of unpaid, tireless work for creatures that will bite you, shit on you, and most likely hate you with every fiber of their being. But more importantly, it’s a world of creatures whose lives are only a passing whisper to most humans, a glimpse of what is otherwise just mystery. It’s a world of injuries and orphaning, of human-caused suffering, but of healing, resilience, and the return of a living being to its home. It’s a world of hope; fur and scales and teeth and hope. Read the rest of this entry
I am an avid collector of small things both natural and cultural: rocks, seedpods, carvings, fetishes, art, more rocks, curiosities, skins, and – wait – did I already mention rocks?
Many of my naturalist comrades share this tendency to hoard similar items, perhaps as a way to remember the places we’ve been or to bring the outdoors inside. Our fascination with these items is not a new trend; in fact, collecting “curios” (defined as a rare or unusual object, considered attractive or interesting) dates back to the ending of the Middle Ages and the opening of the Renaissance.
roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.
I am spoiled rotten to live so close to the Smithsonian Institution. If you’re not familiar, the Smithsonian is a group of museums, galleries, and a zoo that are located in Washington DC. I will admit with great shame that I have only visited a couple of the many locations, but the trouble is they’re so amazing that I end up returning to the same one(s) over and over.
I recently took my niece to the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), since at the end of April the Fossil Hall dinosaur exhibit will be closing for renovations – FOR FIVE YEARS. As any good auntie should be, I was panicked and made sure, come hell or more winter weather, that I’d get her there.
Now of course, being a standard 4 year old, she was only mildly interested in the bones, particularly after overhearing someone say the phrase, “dinosaur gummies,” in reference to candy available at the gift shop. These were essentially the only dinosaurs she was thereafter interested in, but I persevered.
May you eat lots of candy and giggle the night away at wonderful costumes.
(Comics from the outstanding Liz Climo.)
©Liz Climo lizclimo.tumblr.com
I don’t know how exactly one becomes inspired to recreate animals from 17th and 18th century paintings – using broken pieces of glass – but Marta Klonowska did just that. The detail, shape, and volume with which her animals stand are spectacular, and really make me wish I could see them in person rather than on a screen.
So yeah, this is a real thing.
It lives about 300 feet below sea level and is full of awesome. Read more about it at the Sea Thos Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting education and awareness of the human impact on the world’s oceans.
I just can’t even believe these are real things. Can you guess what it is before following the link? I couldn’t.
But I’ll give you a hint – YAAAY for endangered species having babies!
There’s even a babycam for these guys! Thanks Atlanta Zoo!