Hey what part of co are you from I just moved to western slope area, my roommate says it's bear and cougar country so I'm a bit nervous about nighttime lol
I’m living in Durango right now! And yes, you are in bear/cougar country. So this essay’s going to sound real scary but consider: I’ve lived in CO for… 13 years now, and have seen exactly One(1) bear and evidence of a Cougar Once. I’ve also never been attacked or even severely harassed by an animal, so this is mostly In Case of Emergency Advice.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS:
1. ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. Really, traffic is going to be more dangerous, but being as aware as possible will help you more than anything else. You know that thing you’re supposed to do when driving where you check all your mirrors every so often? Do that while walking. Look up, to either side, down and behind you every so often. Keep your ears open and if you think you hear something, stop and listen for a bit. Take some deep breaths, and smell the air around you.
This is good for both your safety AND for enjoying the lovely country we have out here. Once you get used to looking around, its really nice all the cool things you can discover!
2. DON’T PANIC. Douglas Addams was spot-on with is advice. if you do encounter something Dangerous, remain calm. Odds are that if you hold still and just watch, it’ll keep going about its business and leave you alone.
*** OK, now for bears and cougars:
1. Cougars are really shy and almost never confront humans (the last fatal cougar attack was in 1997, so literally 20 years ago), but if you’re hiking in the back country and suddenly smell cat pee, TURN RIGHT THE FUCK AROUND and walk back the way you came. Fresh piss means it’s in the area, and running makes you look like food.
2. Bears also, tend to stay away from people, EXCEPT: in March and September-October, bears get stupid hungry and go looking for food in all kinds of places. Never leave pet food outside, and if you compost, stop during those months. The bear that broke into my house did so under extenuating circumstances- there had just been a large wildfire that summer so he got pushed out of his usual foraging area.
3. In general, you’re MOST likely to encounter bear and cougar in the far back country. If you plan on doing back country hiking, wear LOTS of bug spray and bear-bells. as long as you stink and make noise, they’ll sense you coming and leave you alone. You can also sing!
4. if you DO encounter one either 1. Go back inside and call the Department of Wildlife, or if you’re not near a building, 2. Scream, make yourself look as big as possible and throw rocks or sticks at it. 99.99% of the time, that will scare it shitless and it will run off.
OK, now for the animals you ACTUALLY are likely to encounter:
COYOTES: Urbanized, come out at night and from January-late March, they’re all hyped up on sex hormones and can get super-aggressive, triple especially if you have a dog with you. Carry mace, and if you see them, follow the Screaming-Shit-Throwing Maniac Model stated above.
TICKS: we have brown dog ticks here that carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Deer ticks that carry Lyme disease. if you’re in urban/suburban areas, they’re less of an issue, but if you go into the back country, do not skimp on the DEET (follow instructions carefully tho!) , tuck your pants into your socks and have a friend check you when you get home. if you find one, make sure you remove the whole thing, keep the body sealed in some tape and get tested ASAP.
MOOSE, ELK AND DEER: I’m not sure how far north you are, but the most dangerous wild animal in CO is Moose. Really. Stay on designated trails and out of the back country from October-November to avoid rut, and exercise caution in spring when calving happens. Do not approach, and if they put their heads down while Facing you, they are going to charge your best bet is to book it sideways and climb up a rock or large tree.
Deer and Elk tend to be less moody, but are still unpredictable, especially if they’ve become acclimated to humans, and during rut October-November. Keep your distance, and if they’re on the move, give them the right-of-way. DO NOT attempt to feed or pet.
RATTLESNAKES: Mostly an issue in the southern half of the state. They mostly want to be left alone and come with their own alarm system! Though they sound less like maraccas and more like a vibrator set on high. Stay ON the trail and OUT of tall grass from March-October, and you will very probably never see one. If you DO see one, wait for it to leave or walk a good six feet around it. they can only strike in a distance of 3-4 feet, so stay away and you’ll be fine!
If you do get bit, stay calm, sit down, call 911 and take off any rings, jewelry etc. that may get stuck if your extremities start to swell. Let the wound bleed freely for a minute before cleaning. About 8000 people get bit every year in the US, but only 8 die of it, mostly from not calling for help.
LIGHTNING: not an animal, but the Most Dangerous Thing in CO after humans and cars. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance and need to take cover. Get inside a building or car if you can. If you can’t, squat down to keep your head low, and touch the ground as little as possible, and wait for it to pass. DO NOT try to hide under trees, which tend to explode when struck.
*** So that probably sounded awful, but I promise that your chances of actually getting in a dangerous situation are very low as long as you stay alert and calm.
13 of 15 - Modern Compendium: Full Moon - Wilder Sheepsquatch
On occasion, when writing about the demons I’ve illustrated, I feel the need to assure those reading the results of my research that I am not, in fact, shitting them. With the Sheepsquatch, I feel like that disclaimer should have come in the title of the piece – there is, in fact, a popular wild creature known as the Sheepsquatch, and yes, most people do call it that. Whether or not they call it that with a straight face, well, that’s another matter.
At any rate, the Sheepsquatch is a popular native of West Virginia. Sightings of the creature began very recently, with the earliest reports coming from the mid-1990s. Reports since then have been sporadic and fairly inconsistent. The earliest reports describe a beast rather like a white, horned raccoon – four-legged, with big floppy paws and prominent front fangs, with a smell like sulfur. More recent reports speak of a hideous bipedal creature with prominent curling horns and a penchant for ripping the throats out of dogs.
This rapid shifting of the Sheepsquatch is typical of a young myth. People are still working out what the creature is and what it represents, which will have a huge effect on what it looks like; after all, you wouldn’t expect a creature that represents the wonder of nature to look anything like a creature that represents the cruelty of nature. As such, I fully expect the Sheepsquatch to continue shifting and changing for the forseeable future, at least until the people of West Virginia decide what it means to them.
The fact that the Sheepsquatch is only just out of the category of proto-myth strongly limits its strength in the Compendium; it’s just not well-known or defined enough to be a high-level demon. As such, it sits in the middle of the low-leveled Wilder family. It does get a useful skill, though – Null Electric. Perhaps that will make it a more popular Cryptid?
For more information on this and every other demon in the Modern Compendium, have a look at our extensive Data File, right over (here).
1993 Like no other film, Schindler’s List changes Spielberg not only as a director, but also as a person. For the first time, Spielberg confronts his Jewish identity and the Holocaust in one of his films. What Spielberg always feared in the anti-semitic suburbs of his childhood (and beyond) now comes only naturally to him: embracing his Jewish faith.
In his novel Schindler’s Ark, Thomas Keneally tells the story of several Jewish families between 1939 and 1945. They are saved from being murdered in concentration camps by the Sudeten German Oskar Schindler who hires them for “war-critical production” in his Krakow factory. The book is based on interviews with 50 of the 1,200 so-called “Schindler Jews”.
One of them is Leopold “Poldek” Pfefferberg. After the war, he makes it his life’s mission to thank his savior by communicating Schindler’s story to the world. As early as 1963, he tries to produce a biopic, but the project gets cancelled. In 1980, he meets Thomas Keneally and sparks his interest to write a book about Schindler. Spielberg later signs Pfefferberg as a consultant for the location shoot in Poland.
When Keneally’s novel is published in 1982 Universal studio boss Sid Sheinberg purchases the film rights for $500,000, with Steven Spielberg attached as director. However, Spielberg hesitates and nearly passes the project over to colleagues such as Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski and Billy Wilder, before he finally takes it into his own hands (encouraged by Billy Wilder). “I didn’t go to work on it right away because I didn’t know how to do it. The story didn’t have the same shape as the films I have made. […] I needed time to mature within myself and develop my own consciousness about the Holocaust.”
Spielberg’s decision to make the film is triggered by the growing media presence of Holocaust deniers and the rise of the neo-Nazi movement after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Spielberg waives his fee as a director and any profit sharing.
Screenwriter Steven Zaillian focuses on Oskar Schindler (played by Liam Neeson) and combines several people to create the figure of Schindler’s accountant Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley). Spielberg adds more stories of Schindler Jews that he is told. “I wanted the story to be less vertical – less a story of just Oskar Schindler, and more of a horizontal approach, taking in the Holocaust as the raison d'être of the whole project. What I really wanted to see was the relationship between Oskar Schindler – the German point of view – and Itzhak Stern – the Jewish point of view. And I wanted to invoke more of the actual stories of the victims […].”
Spielberg avoids simple explanations for Schindler’s motivation to help the Jews, and put at risk his business and his life. He portrays Schindler in an ambigious constellation similar to Faust & Mephistopheles: torn between the life of luxury and liquidation, represented by camp commandant Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes), and his human conscience, represented by Itzhak Stern. His accountant eventually helps him to set up the titular list of persons that Schindler signs to work in his factory. Spielberg lets Itzhak Stern speak the famous phrases from the novel that are missing in Zaillian’s screenplay: “This list… is an absolute good. The list is life. All around its cramped margins lies the gulf.“
For the first time, Spielberg works with the Polish-born cinematographer Janusz Kamiński (and continues to do so in all his movies to this date). The two of them develop a cinematic language that has little in common with the techniques of Spielberg’s previous films and instead follows a documentary approach. To emphasize the authenticity of events, large parts of the film are shot with a handheld camera. Spielberg feels “like more of a journalist than a director of this movie. I feel like I’m reporting more than creating. […] I’m sort of interpreting history, trying to find a way of communicating that history to people, but I’m not really using the strengths that I usually use to entertain people.” „The authenticity of the story was too important to fall back on the commercial techniques that had gotten me a certain reputation in the area of craft and polish.“
Spielberg insists to shoot the film in black and white and categorically rejects advances by the studio to shoot the film on color negative (for a potential release of a color version). “The Holocaust was life without light. For me the symbol of life is color. That’s why a film about the Holocaust has to be black-and-white.“ In front of the black and white ghetto scenes, Spielberg can effectively employ his concept of the girl in a red coat: here, it is a symbol for life, but shortly after, Schindler and the audience discover the girl on a pile of corpses. The girl is a cipher, representing approximately 6 million murdered Jews.
Unlike Jurassic Park, the film he has finished just three months before, Spielberg directs Schindler’s List spontaneously – like in a fever – and abstains from using storyboards, creating up to 40 shots per day (the film wraps 4 days ahead of schedule). Some ideas emerge only a few hours before the shooting or on the film set. Amidst principal photography, Spielberg conceives a new epilogue in which we see the actual survivors together with their performers – building a bridge between past and present, reality and film.
Before the credits roll, Spielberg dedicates his film to Steve Ross. The philanthropist and CEO of Warner Communications has inspired Spielberg during the development of the film character Oskar Schindler: “Steve Ross gave me more insights into Schindler than anybody I’ve ever known. […] Before I shot the movie, I sent Liam all my home movies of Steve. I said, „Study his walk, study his manner, get to know him real well, because that’s who this guy is“. Ross supports Spielberg as mentor and – like Itzhak Stern – helps to turn a non-political showman into a mensch who is committed to contribute to a better world.
During the 72-day location shoot in Poland, Spielberg is drained physically, and pushed to the limits of his emotional strength. Kate Capshaw and his children rent a house near the set for the duration of filming, so they can give him support. Robin Williams calls Spielberg on a regular basis in order to cheer him up.
At the film’s release, the critics response is almost unanimously enthusiastic. Filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Lanzmann and Michael Haneke accuse Spielberg of using Hollywood techniques to depict the Shoah.
At the Academy Awards, Schindler’s List receives 12 nominations and is awarded in the categories Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. This is Spielberg’s first Oscar for Best Director. Brilliant actors Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are nominated, but go away empty-handed.
No one expects the enormous audience appeal of the more than three-hour black and white film. At a budget of $22 million Schindler’s List grosses more than $320 million worldwide. All proceeds from the film are used for the Shoah Foundation. It is founded by Spielberg with the goal of providing an archive for the filmed testimony of as many survivors of the Holocaust as possible.
Our birth story is interesting because nothing really happened the way anyone thought it would. Does it ever? Probably not. No water birth, no laboring in the tub, no 24+ hour long labor. No nine pound baby. And most importantly, no binging on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. There was no time for that.
When we arrived at the hospital on Wednesday night, Amber had not progressed in dilation. They decided to use the foley catheter balloon (and from what we were told this could take up to 12 hours). It took one hour to dilate her to a six. That was impressive, so at 2:30am they decided to break her water.
At this point the contractions she had were without breaks. They originated with about 30 seconds between, but soon there was nothing. This had gone on for a few hours. I had been begging her to get some pain management for a couple of hours. This pain was not the empowering kind. Finally, through tears and misery, she opted for an epidural around 5am. Sleep they told us. Your baby will be here by tomorrow afternoon.
That’s the point when our babe’s heart rate began to drop. Up + down. Over + over. At one point we had four midwives in the room, ready if need be to get this baby out. Something was wrong in there.
Amber still had good leg control and was rolled over on all fours, given oxygen, rolled onto her sides, etc. - nothing but flat on her back seemed to please the midwives and steady our babe’s heart rate. So there she remained, which was comforting to herself + to our babe.
By 7am she was fully dilated. Her contractions still had no breaks and the midwives were ready to slow/stop them for a bit with medicine if they didn’t calm down on their own. His heart rate began to drop + they were saying she needed to push, and i’m on the phone with our birth photographer like “omg, you’ve gotta get here now!” - but also internally just screaming at myself to get my shit together fast so we can do this together.
During her first few pushes his heart rate began to stabilize, so they let him labor down on his own for another hour and a half before she pushed for real. In the end, this helped tremendously.
At 8:45am, she began to push. She felt everything except the stomach pain/contractions. Her face red from pushing, but focused. I was SO proud of her. She was cracking jokes in between pushes. It was like she was a different person all together. Her mom vibes kicked in. Strong + alive + working so hard.
The student midwife tried to stretch her for the hours leading up to pushing, and despite his tiny head size- it wasn’t enough. His head was smashed together. I cannot believe an infant’s brain can do that during birth. He needed to get out, as his heart rate kept going down.
I was told to get ready to pull him out, but I knew our midwife was going to have to cut. She pulled out the scissors and the look on Amber’s face was pure panic. She told her she had to cut + that she promised it was necessary, but Amber still had a second degree tear on top of that. Our midwife also told us that would likely be her one episiotomy for the year, as it is that rare within their practice. My poor wife!
At 9:44am, I pulled our baby immediately out by the shoulders + head, and was instructed to take the tightly wrapped cord from around his neck and pull it down over his body. He had a tight grip with his long fingers. I laid him on top of her + we sobbed for days.
I cut the cord after a couple of minutes.
We hugged + kissed + snuggled our babe.
It was absolutely magical + by far the coolest and most spiritual thing i’ve ever been a part of.
Amber’s active labor (the only part she ever felt) was in total, around 8 hours. They expected it to be nearing 20+
Henry Fox Wilder was 6lbs 8oz at birth, 21.5 inches long.
The labor + delivery nurse that came on shift right before Henry was born was the worst woman i’ve ever encountered in my life, and that’s saying something. There are many reasons + things that occurred that were harmful emotionally, but also to my wife and baby’s condition (and against the midwife’s wishes) that she threw at us during our four hours of time together. I seriously could not believe the shit she put us through at times.
But moving on, our post-partum and other nurses were fucking phenomenal.
The entire time we were in labor + delivery I was ill from exhaustion. I nearly passed out and I am pretty upset with my body for failing me in ways I wasn’t expecting. I made it, and I coached my wife in the end- but those hours leading up were brutal.
Amber + I both were just completely wiped out, for different reasons, and in the end for some of the same reasons. If we choose not to have another child, this will likely be the sole reason. How can we possibly handle that kind of exhaustion at 30? Yikes!
We went into the hospital thinking we would probably end up with pitocin + were very relieved that we didn’t need anything medicinal to progress. They considered her labor spontaneous, which was kind of amazing considering everything else went so differently than we wanted or planned.
No water birth happened, but it was clearly for the best in our case. We played no music, though we did watch a lot of HGTV prior to her water breaking.
My tiny wild fox + my tiny darling wife + our babe of a boy are all just so perfect, y'all.
Thanks for the support and love, always. xo
I was excited to have my family join me for the day to explore the Bear Lakeregion of Rocky Mountain National Park. I planned a moderate hike with some good scenery, and we were lucky the weather turn out to be perfect. Upon arrival we stopped at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and were advised to park at the Park & Ride lot and take the free shuttle to the trails. We took the Emerald Lake trailhead passing by Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and finally the epic shoreline of Emerald Lake. This hike was about 3.6mi roundtrip and climbed 650ft or so. We took another easy walk around Bear Lake and down to Alberta Falls before ending up at the Glacier Gorge trailhead to catch the shuttle back to our car. It was late afternoon when we left, taking a scenic loop around the east side of the park, down through Estes Park, and finally over to Boulder where we stopped to get a good meal at The Sink. Overall, this was a perfect introduction to the Rocky Mountain wilderness that my whole family thoroughly enjoyed. I can only hope to come back one day and explore some more of the world-class scenery that this place has to offer.
something about a cabin in the snow, about shelter from the cold. about a crackling fire, about warming cold feet. something about a woman you love beside the fire with a good book, about a dog nestled comfortably at her feet. about carrying your daughter in from tobogganing, about spending the holidays far from the maddening crowd. it’s something about a cabin in the snow that helps you dream the dreams that will someday be.