Saturday, July 12, 2014

23 Before 24

So, I am really, really bad about finishing things or sticking to goals. So, even though my birthday is in January, I figured I'd make a little list of things I'd like to do before I'm 24!

  1. hike Zion again
  2. learn to relax more
  3. start planning for my graduation
  4. hike Yosemite
  5. start doing more articulations
  6. live simply-experiences, not things!
  7. spend more time with Ivy
  8. hike Turtlehead Peak
  9. hike to the top of Mt. Charleston
  10. get ready for taxidermy licensing
  11. take more pictures with my actual camera (I neglect that thing so much...)
  12. exercise more
  13. go rollerskating/ice skating
  14. organize my life better
  15. more tattoos
  16. get better at design work
  17. work on branding for my articulations
  18. learn more about dermestid beetles and how to best take care of them
  19. grow my colony even bigger than they are now
  20. learn more about the history of taxidermy
  21. learn to focus better (I may have made some of this list at work...)
  22. do more yoga
  23. sign up for a P.O. Box so I can have pen pals
Bonus: Make macarons!

Does anyone else do lists like this? I'm going to try and see how many I can cross of in 6 months instead of a year.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wander-full: Sequoia

Last week I hinted on Instagram (username: iseegodinbirds_) that I was going on a huge adventure this past weekend. This place has been on my bucket list for years and seeing it in person was amazing. I can't believe that this place even exists. It was so much more than pictures can say or that I can properly put into words.
 The trees were even bigger than I could have ever imagined. The duder and I spent 4 days hiking all over the park. We saw the world's largest tree (by volume!), bears, fat squirrels, other tiny friends,and hiked to the highest point in the park. I can't wait to go back. That place was magical.

Advice for visiting the park + nifty spots to visit:

  • Plan extra time for getting around the park! It's a huge park and driving up the narrow, windy roads was pretty intense.
  • 4 wheel drive is your friend! Especially if you camp at Atwell or Cold Springs. We camped at Atwell and it's a 20 mile drive up the side of two mountains on a partially paved road. I'm still surprised my little car made it (such a trooper!)
  • Bring mosquito repellent. I forgot that mosquitos existed because I live in the desert and we don't have any here. Now I'm covered in 18+ bites.
  • Pack light for day hikes! I had my bag full of clothes, and left that at the tent the entire time. Just bring a Camelbak or a Nalgene bottle for a day hike and you should be okay.
  • Bring quarters! I caved after the third day and needed a shower. We went to Lodgepole and their quarter machines were busted. It's $3/person for a 10 minute shower, so be sure to bring spare change if you want to get clean!

Nifty Spots:

I cannot recommend Crescent Meadow enough. That spot was magical, and if you follow me on Instagram, that was where the bird video was from. Just be quiet while you're hiking and you'll here 20+ different species of birds. If you take the bus from the Giant Forest Museum, you'll pass Tunnel Log on your way up to Crescent Meadow. I also suggest this stop, even though thr duder and I didn't go. Also be sure to stop by Tharp's Log and Huckleberry Meadows on this trail!

From Crescent Meadow, you have the option to get back on the bus and go to Moro Rock or to hike a 1.5 mile trail. Take the trail! The hike is gorgeous and well worth it! We found some Indian Mortars on the way too!

And, of course, at the end of that trail is Moro Rock. The highest point within the park. Go to the top! The stairs are pretty steep, but look at this view!

Go see Crystal Cave! It's $15/person and absolutely worth it. If you're sensitive to the cold, bring a pullover. It felt great in there (approximately 50 degrees) compared to the 85 it was outside!

This one isn't my picture. NO flash photography is allowed in the cave.

And of course, go see General Sherman!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Introductions are always tough for me because I don't really know where to start... I've been picking up "weird" things since I was little. Dead sharks on the beach is only one of the highlights on that list. I've been interested in taxidermy and skeletons for as long as I can remember. My mother would take me to museums all the time when I was little and I would spend hours staring into the dioramas at the still life residing inside of them. I also loved dinosaur skeletons and would spend far too much time staring up at them and questioning how they were put back together and being amazed that animals that walked the earth were really that big. One of her favorite stories to tell about me is how we were at the Roy Rogers Museum when I was 6 years old and came running down one of the long taxidermy display halls screaming, "Mom, quick! There's more dead stuff over here!"

My background is in geology, and my focus is in paleontology. I'm currently an undergraduate student on the west coast that is taking her time getting a degree so that I can work full time and apprentice as much as possible under a local taxidermist. I also work as a gardener who teaches kids about gardening and healthy eating. I wholeheartedly believe that we should move more towards growing and harvesting our own food.

I started seriously collecting bones around my 21st birthday and I collected my dermestid colony around my 22nd birthday. I've been cleaning and articulating skeletons ever since. I would eventually like to end up working as a preparator or curator at a museum, and I have recently decided to get my master's in Museum Studies.

I believe that taxidermy is an art form and I am exceptionally interested in both the history and the art. I strive to breathe life back into every piece of taxidermy or skeleton that I work on. Above all, I try to respect the animal that I am working on as much as possible.

This blog is going to be used to write down my experiences in taxidermy as well as my adventures and small snippets of my life that involves gardening, hiking, exploring, and a million things in between.

Nice to meet you!