my great uncle Bob is exactly what you’d expect from an australian farmer. he’s approximately 65 years old and he’s a cattle farmer on a station (a station is a fuck off huge ranch, basically, it’s a couple thousand acres) and he’s this beanpole of a man who looks like he’s spent his entire life outside because, well, he has. he also drives this ancient beat-up yellow ute which is more rust than car at this point and was made in approximately 1980. it’s old.
anyway he was driving to the far end of the station the other day and an emu ran out in front of his car and he hit it, only it didn’t die, it came flying through the windshield, still alive and mostly unharmed. so there’s my uncle and this emu which is now sitting in the front seat of his car and understandably the emu is pretty pissed off and the first thought that goes through Bob’s head is “oh shit it’s going to start kicking me” so he figures the best way to stop it doing that is to punch it in the face and that is the story of how my uncle got in a fistfight with an emu.
One day in Juneau, Alaska, a black wolf appeared out in the open of a snowy field while Nick Jans (photographer and author) was outside his back porch with his pet Labrador. Usually, wolves do not encounter humans, so when he first saw the wolf, he was in shock and in fear. His dog, however, went out to greet the black wolf. It turned out that the wolf was being friendly. The Labrador and wolf started to play together as Nick captured the exciting moment on his camera. The black wolf earned the name “Romeo” because of his playfulness toward the humans and other dogs. Everyone was skeptical of the wolf at first. Soon they realized that the wolf was no harm to the townspeople and the other dogs.
The black wolf had an understanding that creating a friendship and bond with the humans and dogs would bring harmony to the species.
The wolf visited the townspeople for six years until one day, he was shot by a couple of poachers visiting from outside the state. It was a very tragic event. After the event, the townspeople held a memorial to remember Romeo. Nick eventually wrote a book about the friendship between Romeo and him.
“Romeo and Nick shared a bond that was probably what the first humans who domesticated dogs felt about their dogs. More than about building trust, it was about understanding need for friendship that even the wildest animal feels.”
And the fox let out a beastly roar which destroyed 2 villages and forced families to flee their home. In a panic, the villagers ventured to take down the fox but before they knew it, they never saw the light of day again.
Radioactivepeasant Presents: That one time I did something really stupid
Senior year of college, finals week.
I have been surviving on 4 hours of sleep a night, holding myself together with black tea and raw spinach and a handful of vitamins, so you’ll have to forgive me if my judgment was a little off.
I’m studying for a test while simultaneously packing up my room to get ready for Move Out Day, and it’s somewhere between 12:00 and 2:00 am. (Once the sun went down, time lost all meaning to me.)
Basically everyone else is in their rooms either asleep or otherwise observing Quiet Hours, and I’m here with a giant mug of tea and all the lights on, studying for an ethics exam. Just as I start to pack up my things and turn off the lights, the most incredible racket starts up.
Every car in the isolated back parking lot was setting off their alarms somehow. I lived in the part of the building facing that lot: I wouldn’t be sleeping until they turned off.
This was the third night in a row where it had happened, and I was already sleep-deprived. I did something stupid.
In my pajamas, I threw on a pair of boots and grabbed a thin bamboo staff I kept in my room as a walking stick. Then, keys in hand, I marched out to the parking lot at somewhere around midnight. I don’t know what I was planning on doing once I got there.
This was a stupid plan for 4 reasons.
1. I had no way of shutting off the alarms.
2. The campus was situated in a rough neighborhood, and nobody was allowed to go walking alone at night for that reason.
3. There was a rout of coyotes on campus that were crazy or desperate enough to attack a moving pickup truck.
4. The coyotes weren’t the only predatory animals spotted on campus. There is also a bobcat and at least two bears.
So here I am in my pajamas, wielding a bamboo stick like a staff, and walking around the parking lot. Most of the cars have stopped their alarms by now and I’m walking around and whacking the stick loudly on the ground. The thought was, anything there would know I was coming and I wouldn’t surprise anyone.
Well this absolutely terrified rabbit goes tearing past me as I’m looking under all the cars and that should’ve been my first clue that I needed to go inside Right Then.
Suddenly I hear this noise, and it was like nothing I’d ever heard before. I can only describe it as sounding like metal dragged across concrete, but it was an organic sound. All the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and for the first time it occurs to me that I’m doing something really stupid.
Deciding that discretion is the better part of valor, I retreat inside and, on a whim, look up the sounds big cats make.
Yeah. There’d been a bobcat less than ten yards away from me.
And that is how I met The Incredible Mr. Whiskers, our dorm’s terrifying unofficial mascot.
Visiting Creatures in Need with Charlie Hamilton James
To see more of Charlie’s photography from around the world, follow @chamiltonjames on Instagram.
After spending several months during the course of a year in Africa shooting a story on wildlife poisoning, National Geographic photographer Charlie Hamilton James (@chamiltonjames) enjoyed his final day on assignment photographing (and cuddling) orphaned elephants. “On one level, it’s lovely, and on another level, it’s very sad. There’s a bit of a weird sort of emotional shift going on at the same time,” explains Charlie, who traveled to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (@dswt) in Kenya to see Roi, a young elephant who lost his mother to a poison dart. “Every single one of those elephants has seen some horrific trauma in its life.” Charlie offers advice to those who want to get involved on #WorldWildlifeDay but may not be traveling to Africa anytime soon: “The thing we can do is think locally,” he says. “Consider the animals on your own doorstep, and fight to protect them.”
A Monarch Butterfly Story, the forth and final book in Maine Audubon & Islandport Press’s Wildlife on the Move series will be out next month! A Snowy Owl Story will also be back in print after being sold out for almost a year. Melissa Kim & I will be signing copies of all four books on May 20th, at Gilsland Farm’s annual Pollinator Parade & Festival in Falmouth. Dress your kids up like their favorite pollinators and join the parade! Hope to see you there.
what are normal things that happen in field archaeology? and what does an archaeologist look like
Ok, normal things that happen in the field, according to my experience and to my friends’ (we haven’t had the chance to go to field school together yet, but hopefully this is the year!):
-it’s too sunny to see the stratigraphy
-it’s too cloudy to see the stratigraphy
-is this a sherd or a rock?
-”Wear the Indiana Jones hat proudly”, says the Professor
-”Clean this structure!”, says Professor; «but it’s just a bunch of roots…», thinks student; Professor stomping around excavation area; Professor is beauty and grace and eventually trips on and destroys said structure; Professor and student look at each other; “I always knew it wasn’t important,” says Professor
-you no longer fill your lungs with air, but with dust and dirt
-you no longer cry tears, but mud
-”Look, I’m digging white dirt!” exclaims rookie student; “You destroyed a bone,” says veteran student
-headquarters in the middle of nowhere, nights dark and chilly, forest all around… it is time for creepy stories
-night stroll interrupted upon seeing a pair of big round eyes shining in the dark; “IT’S A LION!!!”; night stroll becomes marathon for survival
-black spot on the wall; black spot moves; black spot is a spider; bring a bucket and a pickaxe and the big shovel and maybe we should call the Professor to help us
-call the Professor
-”Can you pass me the thing?”; “Can you hold me the thing while I measure the thing for the thing?”; “Did you see my thing?”; “Look at the thing I found!”; “Where’s the bucket for special things?”
-building new hills and valleys and mountains with all the dirt covering the Main Objective: you are the Destroyer and Creator of Worlds
-The Good Professor: “Kids, time for the mid-morning snack!” and “Kids, hide everything, it’s lunch time!”
-The Bad Professor: “You are doing it wrong.” and “Stop contaminating my archaeological site with biscuit crumbs, who told you to eat anyway???”
-”If the boars come, drop everything and climb to the trees.”
-who needs sunscreen when you have ochre?
-”Take your feet off my square!”
-metalhead girl finds first piece of bronze of that year’s campaign: let the metal-puns begin!
-Professor brings portable chair; Professor installs portable chair between two glorious oaks; Professor picks a square for himself, sits on dirt and works
-sharing the back of the jeep with material, samples, colleagues and Professor’s portable chair
-you know you’re going on an archaeological mission when the jeep is old and uncomfortable
-old and uncomfortable jeeps are the best
-overloaded jeep going up and down the mountain, brakes might not work; “We trust you with our lives, (name of the doctorate student driving the jeep). No pressure.”
-look at all these sherds!
-turns out you broke a once perfectly intact jar/dish/whatever, we’ll only know what’s this crap once we glue it back together
-”IT’S A STELE!!” yells rookie student, pointing a piece of broken marble
-”I found a pretty shell in that shell midden!”
-digging Roman ruins wearing no hard hat = YOLO
-asking the metalhead girl the secret behind walking around with safety boots when it’s 35ºC
-disconnected from the world
-waking up at 6 a.m. to the Indiana Jones theme; chicken and pork for breakfast; pick up Professor at 7 a.m.; work starts at 8 a.m.; everybody is joyful and happy and it is a beautiful day
-”A friend just called from (some other Professor’s excavation site); do you guys want to hear the gossip???”
-gossip is a sexual scandal, everybody laughs and is very happy to be in the opposite side of the country
-field stick-men drawing
-Professor fell asleep on his square
-”Do we have insurance?” asks rookie student; “What the fuck is that?” asks veteran student
An archaeologist looks like the hate child of a Special Ops and a partisan.
Sunday hike featuring a long and punishing climb to a breathtaking emerald mountain lake, beautiful mountain wildflowers, mountain sheep, and a lovely waterfall. 🏔🌲🐏 I will admit, the view at the end was totally worth the effort! 😍👌🏼💯 The lake in the last pic was just the starting point for the trailhead! Next time I’m bringing my canoe! 🛶
Heading for freedom! Releases are always the best part of the job, and recently it was time for our newest swan to head back to the wild. With his wounds fully healed, he was given a final sign off from the vets before being taken away with RSPCA Animal Collection Officer, Annie, for release!