yellowstone national park

Yellowstone: Blacktail Plateau

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This is my view when I write blog posts. Not too shabby. Usually there is a book and a beer on the side table next to me in my rocking chair on the front porch of the Lake Lodge.

Week two consisted of surveying Blacktail Plateau, Fern Cascade and Gull Point. There were spotted frogs, chorus frogs and lots of salamanders seen and enjoyed. Severe storms just missed us on several occasions until our luck ran out yesterday when we had to postpone our surveys due to rain. I think that worked out for the best though because the place we were headed has at least ten grizzlies hanging around and the rangers were concerned. This coming week we’ll have more helpers to hike in with us–safety in numbers.

Double sun dog at Blacktail
A double sundog at Blacktail Plateau.

Blacktail Plateau was beautiful and I remembered most of the sites from 2006, which astounded my field partner. I told her that I have the memory of a turtle: I see and remember things in terms of the micro-landscape. I easily forget where I put my keys yet I remember the smallest backcountry puddle from several years ago. I had one very close call when I was walking around the perimeter of a wetland and slipped on some logs. I contorted my body in such a way that I managed to miss landing on all of the pointed stakes sticking out from the mass of dead trees. I seriously have no idea how I made it out unharmed. My field partner and I were both freaked. The last lake-sized wetland we surveyed at Blacktail was full of sallies (I counted around 300+ during my survey) and loads of animal carcasses. And there was a lone bull bison nearby that had three birds perching on his back and they’d fly around his head sometimes when he moved about. The whole scenario was rather adorable, right out of a cartoon. Sometimes I feel sad for those lone bulls but clearly this guy had more company than he probably bargained for. On the harrowing drive over Dunraven Pass to and from Blacktail we were lucky enough to see a mother black bear with two cubs by the road. I felt for her. She clearly had spent the entire day being harassed by people doing completely unsafe, stupid things just to get a photo of her and her cubs. By the time we saw her on the way home she looked completely exhausted from trying to keep her babies safe. People can be so thoughtless sometimes.

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Making Crafty Magic

Making Crafty Magic

I’ve been on a creation kick lately and I thought I’d share with you some of the things that I’ve made, just for crafts and giggles.

craft projects
From top left working clockwise: 1. I finally finished my double-sided t-shirt quilt. It took me years to complete but I love the final result. 2. A bag and wallet made from t-shirt scraps. I’m still debating on whether I should sell them or keep them. 3. These were a custom pair of earrings for a friend’s mother. They came out really sweet. I forgot how gratifying making jewelry can be. 4. My knit chair cozies were made from a thrifted pocket scarf that was previously owned by a giant. You could tell it was handmade but someone got rid of it because it was just enormous. I cut the scarf in half and now I have a place to put all of my sewing items when they’re not in use. Score.
skull quilt
I’ve had an obsession with skulls for as long as I can remember (me and every other twelve-year-old girl). This has led to having an overabundance of skull clothing. Most items were worn out or Petunia has baby-bit them to shreds. (Baby Bites=when Petunia nibbles at clothing to the point of creating holes.) At first I was going to make a wrap skirt out of them but then just decided that my butt-ugly, yet comfy chair needed a proper cover. I also have an old comforter that I refuse to get rid of for sentimental reasons so I used that for the backing and also to make cushions out of. Voila!
Soap ingredients and fabric labels
Since December was great for sales, I made enough money to reinvest in kicking things up a notch or two. I designed some awesome fabric labels through Spoonflower, purchased a load of natural soap colorants and exfoliants, reordered lotka seed paper, more soap labels are on their way, sodium and potassium hydroxide just arrived, bulk oils are coming and I have a whole world of new soap gadgets to put to good use. I just need to order shipping envelopes and I should be set for most of 2014. That’s a fantabulous feeling!