green ridge

The movies and shows that stick with you after you’ve walked out from the cinema or got up from the couch, the books that live on in your head once the cover is closed, are the best kind of story there are.

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So a few days ago I stumbled across a cave in a remote valley of Green Ridge State Forest. When I approached it, something hissed at me. When I shined the light in I noticed a mother Turkey Vulture and her newly hatched baby!!!
This is my first time ever seeing a baby vulture! I stayed long enough to take photos and then I left the little guys alone. Ill be returning in a few weeks to see how hes grown.
The baby looks like a little dinosaur and Im absolutely in love with him. <3

You’re ever welcome with me any time you like,
Let’s drive to the country side,
Leave behind some green-eyed look-a-likes

I’ll love these trees and this mountain for as long as I live and then pray that they’ll be present in the afterlife. 

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Exploration/ Adventure/ Throwback/ Public Lands/ A Month in the Green Tunnel

Correspondence from the Appalachian Trail:
It was misty day in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia 2015. 

Olivia Would Do Anything For Her Daddy. Anything.

I never wanted to be a father.

When I was younger I was a stupid kid with big dreams. I lived in a tiny little shitsmear of a town in the middle of the rust belt, a place where kids unironically hopped on their dad’s tractor to hitch a ride to school in the mornings. I used to gaze out at the endless fields of shoulder-high corn, ridged like green corduroy off into the horizon, and I would think to myself, “Fuck this. Fuck this so hard.”

I’d always been a horror movie geek, and in my junior year of high school I scrounged together enough cash to buy a cheap video camera off eBay. I got my friends Anna, Kevin and Dylan together, and, from sundown until curfew, we’d be out in the woods shooting our own homemade horror flick. We didn’t know what we were doing; the shots were dark as hell, you couldn’t hear 80% of the dialogue, and the fake blood looked like dollar-store barbecue sauce (because it was). But it gave us a purpose, and The Killer in the Woods became our own little masterpiece.

I was ecstatic. I knew what I wanted to do with my life, and I had a plan for finally escaping that terrible small town with its pervasive manure stench and its suffocating right-wing god-and-guns culture. I promised myself that, as soon as I’d saved up enough from my crappy gas station job, I was going to catch a bus out to LA and become a filmmaker.

And then Anna got pregnant.

We weren’t even dating, exactly. Actually, if you want to get technical about it, she was Dylan’s girlfriend at the time. But Dylan’s nutty Christian parents had discovered naked men in his browser history, and they threatened to kick him out of the house unless he could prove he wasn’t “tainted by perversion.” He started dating Anna, and though I’m sure he cared about her in a way, Anna told me he would recoil away from her when she tried to kiss him, as though she was sticking a dog turd in his face.

Anyway, she was at my house late one night while I was editing the movie, telling me all about what a joke their relationship was, how confused she’d become, how lonely. I don’t have an excuse, not a good one anyway. I told myself I was helping out a friend in need, but honestly we were both just horny teenagers who weren’t thinking. It’s okay, I told myself. No one will know. Just make sure to pull out, and it’ll all be fine.

Anna was Catholic, and she refused to even consider getting an abortion. She told me she was going to raise the baby, and that I could stick around if I wanted, or not. I was scared, and angry, and deeply confused about why this was happening, just when I was so close to finally getting out of that town. I thought long and hard about leaving anyway, but I remembered how hard it was on my mom and me when my dad took off, and I swore I’d never do that to anyone. No, I wasn’t going to be like my dad. I was going to take care of my responsibilities like a real man.

So I stayed.

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Can we quit it with the good colorless cards already?

Artifacts and otherwise colorless cards have been part of Magic: the Gathering since Alpha, and since Alpha, artifacts have represented some of the stupidest, most poorly balanced, most overpowered cards in all of Magic: the Gathering. I’m not going to get into explaining why Black Lotus, the Moxen, and Sol Ring are strong. That part’s self evident. What I want to point out, though, is how they compare to the colored spells in Alpha.

Right from the start, Green cemented itself as the color of fast mana. With Llanowar Elves, Wild Growth, and the rare Birds of Paradise, Green was far better than the other four colors at ramping. Despite this, the actual strongest mana acceleration spells in the set are the artifacts. As any deck can run artifacts easily, this means that Green wasn’t actually any better at mana acceleration than White, Blue, Black, or Red. Green did still have Channel, a card with power all its own, but the fact remained that artifacts stole away an important part of Green’s color identity.

Another interesting parallel in the same set was that of Dark Ritual and Black Lotus. The fact that Black Lotus is too strong is not the issue we’re looking at here. The issue is that Black Lotus is almost strictly better than a card that cost a colored mana. From the beginning, artifacts were better at some things than the colors who were supposedly good at it.

The question then is “Why is this bad?” This is bad because in Magic: the Gathering, deck diversity and the balance of deck construction relies heavily on the color pie. Gaining versatility and advantage in deckbuilding is supposed to require reaching out into multiple colors, diluting the reliability of casting those spells. A deck running only Black can reliably cast its Dark Rituals and use them to cast any of its spells, while a deck running Black and White will both have times when it cannot generate the Black mana to cast Dark Ritual and times when the Black mana generated doesn’t allow it to cast the spells it wants. By running Black Lotus instead, it has a card that it can always cast and that is useful for all its spells. This lessens the tradeoff. As the number of useful colorless cards increases, the balance between having the right spells and having the right mana continues to shift until, ultimately, a deck can just run all the best cards instead of needing to work into a specific color’s strategy.

Somehow, Wizards has continually managed to mess this up.

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