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Venturesome Overland


Some of you know that I’m a librarian. I’ve been thinking a lot, since moving back to the US, about what skills I can bring to bear on making my community and country better places to live. Since I’m trained in curating, analyzing and sharing information, I decided that what I could do is help people learn better skills and dispositions for dealing with fake/false news and media manipulation. I’m partnering with @humanitiesmontana for their Informed Citizens series and my first gig is at my own @missoulapubliclibrary talking about how fake news spreads. I’m super honored and more than a little freaked out because, 1) it’s my library and I want to do a good job for them, and 2) it’s a complicated topic with exactly zero easy answers. Anyway, it’s my way of giving back (and fighting back) using the tools and education I have. If you’re interested in me using this space over 2020 to share tips and tricks with you let me know. I’m sure I can fit those in between photos of cats and cars! 😉#fakenews #fightfakenews #librarian #librarianlife #humanitiesmontana #informedcitizens #democracy #criticalthinking #mediamanipulation #missoula #missoulapubliclibrary #think #library #loveyourlibrary
Man. I did not think @ourblackcoffee could make me any happier, but these gift boxes are the. best. Needed some Missoula gifts for friends out of state and this is perfect. #blackcoffeeroastingco #coffee #madeinmissoula #buylocal #missoula #theperfectgift #missoulamade #locallyowned #ilovecoffee
Today I went to the vet and got all but three of my toenails cut before I bit the tech and drew blood. The vet said I’m healthy enough to put up a good fight. I’m told you never get a second chance to make a first impression. I think they’ll remember me. #thejadekitten #biter #vetvisit #dontmesswithme #vicious #showemwhosboss #cat #kitten #catsofinstagram #kittensofinstagram #ihatethevet
The Jade Kitten wishes you a Happy Solstice. ☀️ #thejadekitten #wintersolstice #solstice #happysolstice #herecomesthesun

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We like birds. We’re not “birders” by any means, but we do enjoy finding new birds and watching old friends. I think we both find the variety and behavior of birds endlessly interesting. I also take pure, aesthetic pleasure in them. Many are, quite simply, beautiful.

The Marabou stork is not one of those. He is, not to put too fine a point on it, ugly. In fact, the first sentence in our Audubon book under their entry is “an enormous, ugly bird” (emphasis in the original). It goes on to say that they frequent dumps, slaughterhouses, and fishing villages savaging for scraps and eating carrion. The sole nice thing the book says is that their wingspan is only exceeded by the two condors and the largest albatross. Considering that our Audubon guide is fairly liberal in editorializing (they call the Bateleur “the world’s most attractive raptor” and claim that the Gabon viper is “good natured and…prefers not to bite people”) this description of the poor Marabou stork stands out. 


Camping on Lake Nabugabo in Uganda, we awoke to a pair perched in the nearby trees. I hurried for the camera to catch them before they flew off but I shouldn’t have worried. These two knew what was what. They spent the morning stalking around the site, scavenging for breakfast. At one point, as we ate our toast, one was within five feet of us. 


Up close, they are a lot less ugly. In fact, there is a quiet, patient dignity about them. This started to make sense when I looked them up after. The name Marabou comes from the Arabic Marabou, which means a Muslim holy man or hermit, taken from the original murabi, which means “warrior saint”. They do look like warrior saints/hermits. There is something apart, silently watchful, about them. We’ve had too many amazing experiences to count on this trip, but breakfast with storks ranks right up there.


Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. 


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