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Squee! A New Dogs Teaching Chemistry Video

Look, look! More video of clever & obedient doggies teaching chemistry lessons from snuggliepuppy!

Pardon me if I don’t get up. I’m a happy melty puddle right now.

Two Great Science Videos I Saw Today

First, allow dogs to teach you about chemical bonds. I wish I was this skilled a dog trainer. My dogs know some tricks and my parrot talks a little, but this is well beyond my league.  My hat is off to you, snuggliepupppy!

Next is another cool video that’s significantly more serious in its message: we’re doing students a disservice by not teaching any knowledge more recent than 1865.

minutephysics certainly drives the point home.

Puppies Playing in the First Major Snowfall of the Year

Despite being rather hairless, our older dog Midna loves the snow. We adopted Atrus this spring, so we really had no idea what he thought of snow. Turns out they both love playing in it, although with his fluffy coat, Atrus is much happier laying down (and occasionally rolling) in the snow.  It’s a little tricky trying to capture them running circles around the yard at top speed, but I do have video of the puppies playing together.

I have them playing together Friday when the storm first started.  She’s wearing her raincoat (over her knit sweater), but I found that Atrus bites her a bit too hard and it comes off and gets in the way.

Thrack took some video of the puppies Sunday after we bought Midna a giant puffy new coat.  At first, she didn’t like that the snow was deeper, but she eventually got more excited about playing in it.

Our Mountains

Early European explorers, passers-through and pioneers had no great love for the young & tall mountains in the West. Mountains, sandstone canyons and mesas were barriers and impediments through unfamiliar landscape. A hard and sometimes cruel land that looked grey and barren to their eyes. The names they gave on maps reflect this, bearing innumerable hellish descriptors or names like “starvation.”

Little Cottonwood Canyon Wall from the Road

Mountains in their old homelands carried strange stories or were home to vengeful gods and spirits. Even some of those who recognized the great beauty of these vistas emphasized their danger and separation from people.

Rushing water up Little Cottonwood Canyon

For us, our mountains are incredibly important. My great aunt once told us that the end of a flight home when the well-known peaks came into view, it felt like being wrapped up in a warm blanket. These mountains are home itself in a very powerful way.

Lower flow in record heat of 2012 summer

And it isn’t that they’re loved because the ranges are beautiful and majestic. It’s not their draw for skiing tourism or an easy connection to nature & recreation. It’s not because it makes navigation easier because you never lose your sense of direction. All this is true, but there is a more powerful force at work.

What it's really all about: WATER

Without these mountains, we could not live. This place would be more open space, sparsely populated by unfortunate tribes confined to too little land on reservations while the rest would most likely be more land on which the military drops weapons. Our Western sagebrush ocean has always been seen as useless but for its financial utility by the federal government that owns the majority of our state.

Thistles: pokey and pretty

It is our mountains that let people thrive in this wild and arid place; we rely on mountains for water. Every drop of rain and (especially) flake of snow that falls in our mountains near reservoirs becomes part of the next year’s water supply. Because we need them, mountains become precious not just for beauty and wilderness. They mean home.

Giant Fallen Granite Boulder & Trees

Family outings and picnics up the many canyons are a childhood staple.  When I’m tired or stressed, a short trip up the canyons provides incredible refreshment and joy.  The landscape with rushing water and the reminder of life with greenery and the animal sounds all around me are euphoric and transcendental.

 Brave Midna @ Little Cottonwood Canyon  Brave Midna at Little Cottonwood Canyon 2
 Brave Midna at Little Cottonwood Canyon 3  Brave Midna at Little Cottonwood Canyon 4
Brave Midna at Little Cottonwood Canyon 5 Brave Midna at Little Cottonwood Canyon 6

The dogs seem to have a good time too.  Although I think in the future, I’ll avoid trying to shoot video while tethered to exploring, happy canines.

Dogs at the stream edge

Downstream view

Atrus finds this rock fascinating

More Canyon Walls

Water flowing through Little Cottonwood Canyon

Midna also finds the rock fascinating, but from underneath

The other bank

Branches washed down during spring

Photographic Vignettes # 25

I guess this isn’t so much photographic as videographic.  Anyway, here is what part of our Saturday afternoon with our pets looked like.  We snuggled all our beasties on the bed.  The dogs played and Beaky was mostly just happy to be close, held and snuggled.

The dogs like biting me.  And you can tell by their growling, they’re terribly fearsome.

And they like biting each other’s faces while kicking us.

Beaky just likes us. Also, he doesn’t seem to understand about cameras and filming. Don’t approach and climb on the person trying to shoot, silly bird.  Toward the end, I get him to bob up and down, one of the first playful things he ever did with us.  He looks so boring and unplayful here, but I promise, when I’m not trying to film him, he is clownish and adorable.

All that playing makes Atrus sleepy.

Happy Eyes Closed Atrus

And just look at that tongue!

Beaky never seems to be happy unless he’s on top of one of us.

Beaky on Thrack, plus Thrack's hair

And like all parrots, he does this thing where he stops and stares at his feet in fascination.

Look at the feet, look at the feet, look at the feet

Photographic Vignettes # 24

This weekend we went to my parents’ place for a summer BBQ.  My mom asked I put up a post about the cute critters, so enjoy.

First is the evidence of my newfound strategy of placating an anxious corgi mix with cabbage. Behold Atrus, official household Cabbagehead.

Atrus the Cabbagehead

I also have videos of the dogs playing the backyard.  Our dogs both have a very passive disposition, and so they have a tendency to let the older beagle win.  By the end of the day, they don’t even really try to take the ball away from Bonnie.

My parents recently clipped the wings of their pair of conures (one is a sun, the other a jenday) so it is safe to take them outside again with supervision.  Normally they’re pretty snugly, but they weren’t super interested in being held on Sunday.

They are terribly beautiful creatures (although I’m still partial to the colors of my bright green Beaky), and quite clownish.

Climbing Featherfaces

They also love certain kinds of meat.  (No idea what happened to this video; Thrack took this one and it is rotated sideways.)

Looking at how nicely my parents’ backyard has come together makes me wish we were further along fixing our yard up.  For example, we’ve had to kill off the grass in a large section of the yard because a previous owner buried impermeable plastic a few inches below the surface. We’re still digging it up.  The dogs don’t seem to mind, though.

Fuzz Therapy

Because I’m tired of only seeing and thinking about what’s awful and shitty in the world, I want to share my puppies playing after they’re too tired to run around.  (Sorry about the lack of sound, the mic on the iPad camera faces the opposite direction, so you don’t get to hear the fearsome growling.)

I think the most telling sign that dogs are friends is whether or not they bite each other’s faces.