Fierce Montana wind
blowing over snow-capped peaks
brings me home at last.
Ah, mid-January: time to start fantasizing about summer backpacking trips! This year, I’m planning a long road trip with several stops for hiking and backpacking at some of the prettiest parks in the western U.S. and Canada. Explore the map below to learn more about what promises to be a dream vacation.
Whee! Can’t wait!
It might seem strange that a park ranger is making a New Year's resolution to spend more time in nature, but my job involves a lot more sitting in my office than you might think. Yes, I do have an office of my own—but my tiny space was originally a storage closet, and doesn't have any windows. The beautiful Badlands are right outside, but I can't see them.
The isolating effect of working in my closet is stronger in winter, of course, when I go to work just after sunrise and return home after the sun has already gone down. I get very little natural light. Yesterday, it started snowing, and I didn't know about it for three hours. If a fireball were headed for the Earth and everyone looked to the skies, screaming in terror, I would still be tapping away at my workstation, oblivious to my impending doom.
Eeek! Giant spiders have taken over the roof of the Seattle Center Armory, terrorizing visitors to the Space Needle!
… Or maybe not. A Mental Floss blog post yesterday includes this photo of the trompe l’oeil painting created by artist Marlin Peterson:
The painting is beautiful and well-executed and slightly creepy and awesome. But the blog got one important point wrong: the giant painted critters aren’t spiders at all. They’re daddylonglegs, also known as harvestmen. Read more