Thursday, August 18, 2011


We have a Yellowstone calendar behind my desk (and I couldn’t even give you the details of who puts it out or who took the pictures). A fellow friend of mine and I were discussing one of the photos – a photo of some grass. It’s a strange calendar picture so he commented, “Who takes pictures of grass?!”

I do! I love grass! I didn’t think about it at the time – but I even have a tattoo of some grass. (So does my awesome Sister!) I get questions about it all the time and I never really discuss the meaning behind it – but I think it’s my favorite tattoo.

Jack Rabbit during early spring.
When my Sister was just getting into making jewelry, she made this piece that I instantly fell in love with. After I first saw it, the image of it stayed in my head for weeks. I was learning a lot about food at the time – and how cows evolved naturally to eat grass (and chickens to eat grass/bugs and pigs to eat anything as long as they can dig for it and…).

I partially wanted it to remind me of my amazing Sister who has the passion to do anything she sets her mind and heart to accomplish. (She recently got the same tattoo in the same place – with the addition of my name underneath!) I partially wanted it to remind me of our responsibility to keep the food chain natural – and the Earth as it developed with as little of our involvement as possible.

Geyser Hill at Sunset.
Since that time, I’ve learned so much more about the natural cycle that humans don’t consciously shape. The wild animals that roam freely in my backyard remind me that the earth doesn’t belong to Homo Sapiens but that it we are blessed to share this planet with a great many creatures – many that are struggling to survive in a harsh environment that is to shrinking smaller than ever patches.

Pronghorn are some of the most beautiful and exotic (in my opinion) looking creatures in the park. They are known as the Antelope of North America because they can run up to 60 mph for up to an hour, which allows them out run any potential predators.

They have the longest land migration path out of any North American land animal. They summer in Yellowstone (Northwestern Wyoming) and travel 150 miles to winter in southern Wyoming. Archaeological evidence indicates that pronghorn have traveled this same ancient migration route, which is less than 150 yards wide in some places, for at least 6,000 years. As more and more of the land in between is being divided up (and yes, Wyoming has stayed wild enough that this is just now becoming an issue), the Pronghorn are running into more and more issues with the barbed wire fences that have been put up around gas fields and in private lands. Many of Pronghorn make it through the fences; however, others get tangled on their way through and don’t make it to their destinations (or get stopped along the roads due to passing cars). Their numbers are decreasing as dangerous man-made obstacles divide their home range into smaller segments.

I have truly learned the importance of protecting our natural resources and the value of protecting that which we have managed to save thus far. I want to start doing what I can to help the small patches of native grasses (and all that lives on this amazing planet) continue to thrive where they have for thousands of years. I want to start sharing my knowledge that I’ve learned and experienced. I like that my tattoo started with inspiration from an amazing person – and has evolved into inspiring me to start to do more with my passions.
Canada Goose and Gosling.
I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to do – yet. As I work down this path, I will share what I learn. I truly believe that the more I have learned about the little things I can do to help, the more that I apt to participate because (as NBC, I believe, says) the more you know…

P.S. Happy Birthday Sister!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment