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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Art Outside

The day after Thanksgiving traditionally has been celebrated by shopping and consumerism until a few years ago when REI threw down the gauntlet or maybe climbing glove with its #OptOutside campaign, closing their stores and online shop to allow staff time to get outdoors.

A worthy and laudable idea, to be sure. So much so that I became an REI member paying $20 a year so I can buy more stuff cheaper.

Full disclosure: I did not opt outside this year. I didn't wade into the consumer fray either (except for the cashmere, black watch plaid scarf from Scotland). Instead I went to the Joslyn art museum where I looked at world class artwork, some of which was about the outdoors like this picture from Monet. The bottom picture is a close up of his brushwork. Apparently, he mixed his paint on the canvas which sounds like a pretty badass thing to do, even to me a non-painter.

I still believe in and advocate for opting outside. Christmas for me has a tradition of outsiding as I go on a Christmas Day hike. I drag along any family members that I can but so far Thanksgiving hasn't been a very outside oriented holiday. 

Opt Outside has grown beyond a single day so if you had to work or chose to do something else, you can still be part of the opt outside movement. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

An Autumn Visit

I went to Badlands National Park on its 40th anniversary. The weather was not pleasant; it was blustery, gray, cold. But I enjoyed myself wandering around, looking for new ideas and opportunities to integrate into the course I lead for teachers.

I came up with one idea at least. Find a way to get the teachers into the front section of the park where the geologic activity is.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

National Bison Day!

The first Saturday of November is National Bison Day. I thought it would be fitting to observe the holiday by sharing some of my favorite bison photos.

This is probably one of my best photos. It was snapped, serendipitously, on my way out of Badlands National Park. I wasn't even the one who pressed the shutter button as I was driving. I saw the bison, handed my phone to the passenger and told her to take three or four photos.

A friend of mine who is an excellent photographer, the kind who has high end cameras, noted that the best camera is the one you have with you when the shot presents itself. I would have to agree with him.

This is the bison herd moving to water. I was headed out to White Butte and almost intersected their path. Fortunately I saw them coming and scrambled to the top of the Buttes just as they passed below me. I felt a certain poignancy as this is just a small, small fraction of the herds that roamed this land.

This picture makes me say Awwww as this bison is sleeping. Their short legs in relationship to their massive bodies and heads is so endearing. But don't think you give them a little pat or scratch. They would probably kill you or at least knock you back into last month.