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July Goals :: girldust.com

The first week of July flew by quickly. The days were full, but I still feel a little bit like they’ve escaped me. Have you ever felt like that? It’s strange. I don’t feel like that handful of days lacked anything necessarily, but there’s still an odd and lingering sense of longing. This is probably due to some kind of inherent personality flaw that I don’t particularly want to look too deeply into. So. Here are a few of my July goals:

Paint. I’ve been reading a lot about intuitive painting and journaling, and the work I’ve seen has been inspiring. It’s been ages since I’ve really put my heart into any artwork. In the past, my personal art making process has served primarily as a coping mechanism. When I actually feel well, I tend not to create. It seems rather a sad thing, and it’s something I’d like to change. What does “happy” art even look like? I don’t know. I’d like to explore it. This is top priority, I think. How great would it be to build up a new portfolio? My style has changed significantly in the last five years (and yes, it’s been that long since I’ve made anything worthwhile).

Read three books. The number is completely arbitrary, I just know I’d like to spend some more time reading. I’m currently working my way through book number one.

Make an effort to be positive. It’s the little day to day things, really, but those things add up and can weigh people down. I want to be someone who lifts people up. I can often be critical, over-reactive, and short tempered, and I’d really like to make more of an effort to be more thoughtful, especially in regards to myself, and the people I care most about.

Visit a museum. This is somewhat less of a priority, because it’s summer and the whole seacoast is swimming with tourists. It would be nice, though, to visit one with Timothy before he leaves for the entire month of August. Neither of us has been to the Ogunquit Museum of Art, and I’d love to visit!

Get my hair cut. It’s been well over a year. Now that I am most assuredly committed to longer hair (for a while), I just want something that frames my face nicely.

Currently

Drinking: Shipyard Melonhead, likely my final couple bottles of the season. This is not to say that it’s a bad tasting beer, but much like its autumnal sibling, Pumpkinhead, I can only drink maybe three a year. It’s a bit special, and I don’t ever want to take away from that.

Listening to: Don’t judge me (or do), but I obsessed with the Precision Soca Remix version of Hula Hoop (after hearing the original song only like… a month ago because I’m old and out of touch). It’s summertime. Deal with it.

Reading: Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King.

Snacking: Have you tried any of the Buddha Bowl popcorn flavors from Lesser Evil? I’m really into “Avocado-Licious,” and Tj likes “Himalayan Pink.”

Wearing: I’m still in love with the handful of Pura Vida bracelets I bought earlier this summer, especially the black sterling lotus. It’s become a comforting part of my “leaving the house” routine. Just a reminder that you can save 20% on any Pura Vida order using the code NAOMIDENSMORE20 at checkout. Also, dear Mainers (and aforementioned seacoast tourists): check out Loyal Citizen in Portland! We hadn’t yet been into the brick and mortar store, and were pleasantly surprised when we stopped in last week. Wear your Maine pride and support small business! There’s a design for just about anybody, but I’m most fond of the Joshua Chamberlain print, available on both men’s and women’s tees.

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I haven’t posted in so long that I actually had to log in to WordPress.

I normally find myself coming to this space when I’m also busy with other things. Habit. It’s the battlecry of my generation, or something, that WE CAN MULTITASK ALL THE THINGS. I now find that idea exhausting. Do we always have to be doing a THING? Is it okay to just be for a moment? Can I put my phone away?

When I am not busy, though, is when the world seems its bleakest. When my brain is not occupied with ALL THE THINGS, melancholy tends to settle in.

So. I tend to choose the THINGS, but will occasionally turn off anything that requires to be turned on.

April Come She Will :: girldust.com

Spring’s appearance has been interrupted a handful of times now by snowfall, but I think it might finally be here. Most of the recent snow melted yesterday. I’ve got that anxious feeling I get when the air starts to smell a certain way and the days lengthen. The ground is still frozen, and the wind still has a bit of bite to it, but everything is slowly coming out of slumber.

April Come She Will :: girldust.com

April Come She WIll :: girldust.com

I don’t think I will ever tire of sitting on this river bank. I am thankful to be here in this time and place, with the option to occasionally unplug.

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted photos (or anything else) here, so I thought I’d share a handful of edited cell phone shots from our recent visit to Laurel Hill Cemetery in Saco, Maine. It’s a lovely space, and is one of the nicest and most open and community-friendly cemeteries I’ve ever been to. I’m looking forward to visiting in the spring. I’m sure it’s beautiful.

In my mind, cemeteries look their best in black and white and on film, but I am clearly not in practice. I would absolutely love to take our land camera here in the warmer weather, when there is more usable light. There is something to be said for snowy late afternoon shadows, however.

Laurel Hill Cemetery :: girldust.com

Laurel Hill Cemetery :: girldust.com

Laurel Hill Cemetery :: girldust.com

Laurel Hill Cemetery :: girldust.com

Laurel Hill Cemetery :: girldust.com

Laurel Hill Cemetery :: girldust.com

If you are so inclined, take a detour to my post on how to make a gravestone rubbing. ♥

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Bats are one of my favorite animals, and they are sadly one of the most feared and misunderstood. There are over 1,300 bat species around the world, and each one plays a vital role in its ecosystem.

Bat Week is an annual, international celebration of the role of bats in nature. Bat Week (October 25th-31st 2015) is organized by a team of representatives from Bat Conservation International, Organization for Bat Conservation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Acoustics, Lubee Bat Conservancy and the Save Lucy Campaign (Bat Week).

International Bat Week :: girldust.com // stock photo credit: mogieg @DA

Next Sunday, October 25th, marks the start of International Bat Week 2015! As the week culminates, people across North America will attempt a world record for most bat houses built in a day. The goal for October 31st is 5,000 bat houses. Find an event near you, or learn how to make a bat house here! Bat houses should be mounted in an area that gets 6-8 hours of direct sunlight (facing either east or south), relatively close to the nearest body of water and 12-20 feet above ground or highest level of area vegetation.

Bat houses are just one way to help. Check out some more ways to #SaveTheBats at The Organization for Bat Conservation!

Why Bats are Important

  • Bats consume insects, including agricultural pests. Larger bat populations in key areas mean less need for pesticides.
  • Bats are pollinators! Both wild and cultivated varieties of many commercial products depend on bats for pollination, including agave, bananas, and peaches. Pollination is obviously good for non-harvested plant species, too. Some plants rely heavily (or entirely) on bat pollination.
  • Fruit-eating bats help disperse seeds, often covering larger areas than birds.
  • Some bats are considered keystone species that are absolutely essential to their ecosystems.

Twenty-six species of bats are listed by The International Union for the Conservation of Nature as Critically Endangered. Fifty-one others are Endangered, and 954 bat species are considered Vulnerable. As a mammal species, bats are also severely under-studied (Bat Conservation International). There are some species of bats that we know next-to-nothing about.

Why Bats Need Our Help

  • Bats are losing habitat as a result of timber harvests, farmland expansion, mining operations, and other human activity, including tourism.
  • In some parts of the world, bats are still being killed because of harmful myths and misinformation. Fact time: there are only three species of bat that consume blood: the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus), the hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata), and the white-winged vampire bat (Diaemus youngi), and they live only in Central and South America. Learn more about vampire bats here.
  • Bats reproduce slowly (many females only give birth to one pup every year), so recovery from a significant loss within a bat colony is difficult and slow-going.
  • In the United States and Canada, White-nose Syndrome is still killing off colonies.

In North America, over 5.7 million bats have been killed by White-nose Syndrome, a wildlife disease that continues its spread across the continent. Caused by a cold-loving fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans, WNS attacks hibernating bats, causing mortality rates that approach 100 percent at some sites. The disease was first spotted in a cave in upstate New York in February 2006 and has since expanded across the eastern half of the United States and Canada. Despite tireless scientific efforts to find a solution, the disease is still killing huge numbers of bats. Until the arrival of WNS, two Endangered U.S. species, the Indiana myotis (Myotis sodalis) and gray myotis (M. grisescens), were showing promising signs of recovery. That now seems doubtful. And scientists predict that the once common little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), will be reduced to just 1% of its pre-WNS population numbers by 2030 (BCI).

You can find lots more information about White-nose Syndrome here. Fellow Maine residents should read this page from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, which includes some information and links for cavers. Maine Audubon recently published this brief article, as well!

International Bat Week :: girldust.com

via Organization for Bat Conservation / ModCloth (affiliate) / LUSH

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Tj and I spent a few days earlier this week camping at Cobscook Bay State Park. On Wednesday we drove over to Quoddy Head in Lubec, the easternmost point in the United States. Teej got some rather lovely panoramic shots, so to gently ease myself back into the blogging waters I thought I would share them with you. You can click the images to see the full sized photograph.

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I hope your holiday weekend is a happy and peaceful one, friends. Spend some time in the sunshine before night starts setting in early, especially if you’re here in New England.

Thanks for stopping by. ♥

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