New Pets Available at Devils Tower

Last Thursday we visited Devils Tower on our way down to Denver.

It was my first time taking in this sacred space and I loved every minute of it.

On our way out we urgently pulled over to take in the community of prairie dogs.

Sadly and probably fortunately they are not really ‘pets’ available for sale. ????

Please don’t feed them as they are quite adept at foraging for roots, seeds, grasses, and the occasional insect.

Some interesting bits I learned about Devils Tower prairie dogs:

  • In Idaho whistle pig is slang for prairie dog
  • Prairie dogs live in colonies or ‘towns’
  • Copulation occurs in the burrows, Jeremy and I spent some time theorizing this before I verified in Wikipedia their non-voyeur status
  • Most ‘families’ or coteries have one male and up to 3 females—if there is a 2nd male, one will always be dominant over the other
  • They like having their photos taken
  • Communicate through yips and barks—kind of sounds like a dog’s squeak toy
  • Ground trampling by pronghorn and deer help maintain a ready supply of flowering plants—a prairie dog diet mainstay

 

I’m quite positive I could work for National Geographic taking photos of animals all day. Only the ones that won’t eat me though.

Devils Tower

Devils Tower | Michelle FeltThe thimble-shaped ‘cliff face’ looms over the Wyoming landscape and can be seen for miles in all directions.

Jeremy and I had several conversations supposing how it came to be.

Devils Tower | Michelle Felt

Turns out it was magma that rose through existing sedimentary layers.

It was my first time here and Jeremy’s first since he was a kid.

We walked the ~ mile around the tower so I have a comprehensive 360 degree photo tour appreciating all the angles.

Devils Tower | Michelle Felt

I think this string is prayer related. I saw few throughout the walk.

Devils Tower | Michelle Felt

Just some editing fun.

 

I love dark shadowed trees in the forefront and with sky/light/sunsets behind. I tried painting a memory of this from the Oregon coast, it turned out okay.

Jeremy climbing rocks. I wanted to, but also had my really good camera, so opted out.

Devils Tower | Michelle Felt

I love looking at and observing tree growth. It is absolutely amazing and unfathomable how long some trees have been here. I still haven’t found a source that explains tree biology in layman’s terms. Minute Physics, can you take care of this? k thanks.

Devils Tower | Michelle Felt

More tree.

Devils Tower | Michelle Felt

Devils Tower offers several impressive view points.

Devils Tower | Michelle Felt

Lush valleys with water sources, coverage, and ample light.

Devils Tower | Michelle Felt

As the magma cooled, hexagonal (and sometimes 4-, 5-, and 7-sided) columns formed. As the rock continued to cool, the vertical columns shrank in cross-section (horizontally) and cracks began to occur at 120 degree angles, generally forming compact 6-sided columns. [source]

Devils Tower | Michelle Felt

While we were there we saw 4-5 people climbing the side closest to the trailhead. According to Wikipedia only 1% of Devils Tower’s visitors climb the protruding rock face.

It was a beautiful day and hike around the formation. A nice couple thousand steps were added to our fitbits before getting back in the car and driving several more hours south.

For more history/knowledge/folklore on Devils Tower.

xx

Reminders

If shitty human beings, less than desirable humans, and just regular people who make mistakes weren’t allowed to have children, well, none of us would be here.

We won’t get into a pissing contest of who had it worse. Though we could probably have some good laughs and head shakes. Plus, I’d have to wear one of those female cups so I could stand and piss trying to get some distance instead of splattering all over my own legs.

Beside the point.

You can still be a really cool human being despite your early circumstances. You don’t have to repeat the cycle. You got off that track a long time ago.

Maybe you know this already, maybe you’re just hearing it for the first time, it’s something I would like you to know.

Even though you know this you might have to remind yourself of it every once in awhile.

Sometimes, more often than other times.

And don’t worry, we both know that the traits you deem admirable about yourself came from intelligence assessing your circumstances plus your own sweat and determination.

Remember that if you like yourself, you have to accept that all the things you went through made you who you are today.

Are there still things you don’t like about yourself?

Well, you’re an adult now and that’s something you have 100% control over to change.

Every day is a new day.

It’s Time to Ugly Cry, Jonathan Crombie Passed Away

When I learned about it a few days ago I was sobbing uncontrollably. It was an ugly, painful, and soul-crushing cry.

My husband wanted to console me over the loss of my first real-person crush as opposed to my previous crushes. Think Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks (the 80s version) or Michelangelo from TMNT.

He kept trying to hug me and be sweet, when I just wanted to be sad and cry and feel the pain of losing one of my longest loved actors and literary characters.

Because in a way, they are both lost now.

Wanting to type this out of my heart, I thought I had numbed the pain.

I thought I was over it, but I’m clearly not.

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The ugly cry has returned.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a brief synopsis. My first experience with binge-watching TV happened when PBS had their seasonal pledge drive. Anne of Green Gables would play back to back interrupted every so often via pleas for money.

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The Anne series was based on the also famous book series by Lucy Maud Montgomery. TBH I didn’t read the books until a few years ago. My Anne/Gilbert love was completely Kevin Sullivan/PBS-based.

sunburstAs a child I clung to fictional characters and their world as a means of escape. Anne’s world was one of my favorites. I would troll our seven channels every weekend over winter and summer break just hoping for it to be on. At some point I discovered I could rent the VHS tapes from my library.

I discovered my bad eyesight while watching Anne

I remember it distinctly. I was sitting in the recliner feet up and blanket on. I’m pretty sure I was sick with a head cold and Anne was playing at the other end of the room. I was seeing Anne and the living room how I always had. It seemed normal for me. But then I saw my Dad had left his glasses on the side table before he went outside in the rain. I thought it would be funny if I put them on and so I did.

HOLY SHIT.

Is this how things look? Is this how people see? WHAT?

Everything was so crisp and vibrant. Imagine editing a photo and sliding contrast/sharpness/saturation all the way up. That’s what those few seconds felt like.

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Hello Gilbert. I mean I liked you before, but now that I can see you. My heart.

I kind of forgot about Gilbert—I mean only a little—when high school came along. Anne of Green Gables was still one of those things I happened to watch once or twice a year.

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Then in my mid-twenties I realized I could ‘stalk’ old crushes on the internet and see what they were up to. Meghan Follows still acted did Jonathan?

Thanks to a little googling circa 2006ish I found Jon was in a Broadway production of The Drowsy Chaperone. And it was playing in Chicago later that year.

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And I WENT. I dragged invited my fiancé and two friends. It was great! I mean it was amazing to see Jon on stage doing what he loved. I don’t remember how much I actually loved the story or singing, it was more about seeing part of my childhood irl as an adult.

My sympathies and heartfelt sorrow to everyone who lost a little bit of their heart the other day. Internet hugs for you. xx

Is Running Like Cutting?

I ran three times last week.

In my quest to love running or at least like it enough, I decided I needed to look at it in a new light. My current state of mind is that I’d like to do any other cardio activity first before I would even consider the slow torture of a run.

Is Running Like Cutting?Give me cycling. Jumping on a rebounder. Seven minute HIIT workouts. Anything.

The problem is that I see people running, like all the time, especially when I’m cycling, and they look like they’re enjoying it. I could be imagining it, but I think the large majority of them do like it. And they’re fit.

So it also seems like the easiest way to lose that extra 20-25 pounds and maintain the weight loss. Especially when I love food and blog about food and am always creating recipes.

Is Running Like Cutting?The big question.

How can I finally like running too? How do I push myself to keep at it and get through the painful part. The hopeless part.

During my second run last week (I’ve been using the Ease into Running app) I began wondering if running was like cutting.

For the record, I’m 32 and haven’t cut since I was twenty or twenty-one. I used to cut pretty regularly in high school. I saw a friend do it and was fascinated. At the time it provided a way for me to feel control over circumstances in my life. I was in control of inflicted pain. I was in control of how deep or dark it went.

Looking back, I understand that wasn’t really control, but also that was the only skill or tool I knew that gave me the release I was looking for.

I’ve never regretted that I chose that route, but I am grateful I outgrew it.

It’s true I outgrew cutting, but I’m not so sure I outgrew the impulse that causes it. I think I transferred it to a mix of overeating and tv watching. Both food and escape into a different universe provide a cathartic effect, the same as I found with cutting.

I feel more control over my life than I did as a child. Maybe that’s why the severity of the action is more subdued??

Food and TV for as innocent as they are still have negative results.

Food when eaten beyond the limits of caloric and nutrient necessity contributes to weight gain, alters the natural state of hormonal balance, and contributes to higher cholesterol and myriad of other health issues.

TV watching often charges my creativity, but if I don’t do anything with that creativity it’s a lost charge as well as lost time. Time that I could’ve been doing a million other productive things that directly allow me to grow as a human.

I tend to have a high tolerance for pain, but because of cutting and the end of an era, I definitely feel like I avoid pain compared to my younger self.

Comprehending the enjoyment of running means that I have to tolerate and like the pain that comes with it. That muscle and lung pain that starts when my body is pushed beyond comfort.

It’s hard to think about enduring and enjoying that discomfort when I’ve tried so hard to avoid it, but if I’m even a little honest, there was a teeny shimmer of excitement that ran straight up my spine when I first posed the question.

Is Running Like Cutting?Running is totally socially acceptable. Cutting is not.

Thinking of the two synonymously might get me excited to endure the pain and push through it. I want that to eventually change though.

I don’t want running to be a negative thing.

I want it to be a healthy, healing, renewing, and positive thing.

So does intention determine all of that?

Pushing through.

Listening to Depeche Mode on rdio. 

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