To me, Nature is God. Without it, we simply would not exist. Conserving the world’s natural spaces and the creatures that live there is paramount to the survival of humans as a species, and I have therefore dedicated my life to studying environmentalism in order to help people co-exist more successfully and sustainably with the natural world.
All natural materials I use in my creations are either sourced from roadkill, Fish and Game, secondhand sources such as fellow artists and estate sales, or are antique. In this way, I'm ensuring that no animals were needlessly killed for the sake of the artwork I produce. I fully believe that no part of any creature should go to waste if a purpose can be found for it, but I do NOT support trophy hunters or overseas fur farms by buying 'byproducts' like bones, skulls, or claws directly from them. The only exception I make for this rule is for parts from animals legally culled for population control programs approved by Fish and Wildlife.
As a photographer and wildlife enthusiast, I've been involved with many fantastic organizations such as Images4Life and Wild Tiger, as well as the Sierra Club and many smaller, local groups.
I've been published, interviewed, and even featured on Rainn Wilson (Dwight from “The Office”)'s personal networking website, SoulPancake.com.
I’ve also been blessed with the opportunity to visit many of the world’s most amazing wild places, like Komodo Island, Bali, Lombok, Malaysia, and the Cayman Islands, and have even documented entirely new species previously unknown to science.
Other interests include: Wilderness survival, primitive skills, backpacking, fishing, kayaking, boffing, airsoft, snowboarding, meandering around town, and caving.
imagine if girls used the same style of joke to degrade men like “cool story bro now go chop some lumber”GO CHOP SOME LUMBER
"what r u doing out of the garage go fix my car"
"Don’t you have something to fix somewhere."
Went to the gas station in the next town over. Told the old dude working there to fill it with $10.00 of Regular fuel. He mumbled something that sounded like, “Ya sure ya want ten?” so I nodded and left my truck to go pay inside while he started putting what I assumed was going to be the agreed-upon $10.00 worth of fuel in my tank.
Note: In Oregon, it’s illegal to fill your own gas; you gotta let the attendant do it for you. It’s weird, I know.
I paid the lady at the register and when I came back out to my truck, the guy was still pumping my gas. He’d put $40.00 worth of gas my truck. I told him, “Man, I said ‘ten dollars’ - what’s the deal?” and he mumbled again, “I asked ye if ye wanted it filled.”
"No, man. I told you when I got here: Just ten bucks. You mumbled what I thought was an affirmation, so I nodded yes. Now I don’t have $40.00 for gas money and I need to get home cuz I got a bunch of roadkill back there bleeding all over the bed of my truck."
The dude stared at me for a good moment before pointing me back into the station. I left my name and number with the lady there and said I’d pay them $30.00 the next time I swung by. I didn’t mention anything about the roadkill to her, but the old guy who’d fucked up at the pump gave me a wide berth as I got back into my truck and took off.
As I left, I realized that I could have just left a fake name and number and gotten away with $30.00 of free gas, especially since it was the pump attendant’s fault for filling my tank after I’d already paid just $10.00 at the register.
But small towns are strange places, and this kind of trust between residents is akin to some manner of endangered species found only in one part of some remote jungle. Like that endangered species, said trust is something to be cherished and revered; not taken advantage of, or it will, in time, fade away and become extinct.
This is the earliest I’ve been up in a long time. And I’m off to pick up roadkill, per landowner request.
This is my job. This is what I dropped out of college for. This is the life I have created for myself.
Denver woke when she heard Orus yelp in indignation. The soldier was writhing feebly about on the floor, battling the pelts wrapped around him as if in desperate bid to escape. He had, in the process, kicked Orus in the flank.
Denver rose from her cot and prepared to once more tackle the boy as she had earlier, but the soldier suddenly stopped. He was breathing hard, eyes fluttering desperately. Denver thought for a moment that he must have just had a seizure, but he abruptly took a deep breath and stared wide-eyed at the young woman before him with an expression that echoed a mangled mix of pain, fear, and intense curiosity.
Denver backed away a few steps when she saw him. It was the first time since before Bob’s death that she’d actually made eye contact with another human being, and it caught her off-guard. The soldier’s eyes were deeper, more daring, but held a certain kind of innocence to them. He had not seen the world yet for what it truly was.
Denver stared for only a moment before looking quickly away. She sat back down on her cot, but soon felt awkward doing nothing, so tossed another log onto the fire to fill the room with more light.
There was a moment of stagnant silence between the wild woman and the soldier as the fresh wood popped and crackled, sending sparks swirling up into the chimney. Orus huffed and laid his head back down on his massive paws.
The soldier continued to watch the girl, though she did not look back at him. She could feel his gaze upon her, but did not raise her eyes to meet it. She moved instead to the opposite side of the fire pit to set a cast-iron tea kettle over the coals there.
Finally, the soldier gently asked, “Where am I? How did I get here?” while very carefully trying to unwrap himself from the furs he’d been nestled into.
Denver cleared her throat but nearly choked. Through the flames, she caught herself staring at the soldier’s naked torso in an attempt to avert his gaze. It didn’t help. She finally settled her eyes on his collarbone, then gestured toward the top of her head and blurted out, “I saw your flare and found you in the snow, hurt pretty bad. You’re about five days’ walk from the nearest town…” Denver trailed off before adding, “at least, what was the nearest town.”
Her words were succinct, but pushed together tightly, so that they fell from her mouth in a quick and clumsy manner. Talking to another human being, especially this one, made her uncharacteristically nervous. She prodded the iron kettle, settling it closer to the fire.
The soldier nodded to himself. If they had survived, he was a long way from his battalion, and they had no means of finding him, nor he any way of knowing where they had gone. He would be replaced by a new recruit, and his fellow soldiers would be stationed in a new location by the end of the week. He’d never find them again. The realization was somewhat alarming - panic welled up inside of him, threatening to fill his mind with the same gray fog as before; but he subdued it by nodding to himself once more, and continuing to ask questions. Talking was easier.
“Have I been out long?” he asked, trying the gauge the girl’s expression from across the fire. The heat from the flames distorted his view of her, but he could see that she was still averting his gaze. She deliberately tossed another log onto the fire, hiding herself behind a curtain of sparks before responding: “’Bout two days and two nights. You slept most of that time.”
The soldier nodded again, carefully processing this new information.
Meanwhile, the growing flames beside him chased away the pre-dawn shadows, and lit the room with a flickering intensity. He could see now, for the first time since waking, all the bruises and bandages which covered his body. The soldier touched the edges of each injury experimentally to test the pain, then raised a hand to the top of his head, recoiling when he felt the bandage there. The wound beneath it still throbbed angrily. He stopped himself from gasping in pain so as not to seem weak in front of his new companion.
Yearning for a distraction, the soldier hastily asked, “You did all this” – he motioned toward his bandaged form – “all on your own?”
Denver’s eyes narrowed ever-so-slightly as she took to staring at the young man’s collarbone again. This seemed to be the closest thing to making eye-contact she could muster. “Yes. I did,” she affirmed. Her tone was terse.
Realizing that he’d insulted her with his pondering, the soldier quickly fumbled, “I’m sorry, miss, it’s just that I’ve never met a lady who –”
Denver cut him off. “I’m not a miss, and I’m not a lady. I’m just…Denver.”
This caught the boy slightly off-guard, but he found her ferocity rather endearing. He cracked an amused half-smile. “You’re Denver,” the soldier affirmed. “And I’m Dalton. Dalton Graves.”
He expected that this exchange of names might be met with at least a glance from his companion, but Denver’s eyes never met his own; she simply continued to stare as his collarbone, and nodded ever-so-slightly in acknowledgement before her tea kettle began to sputter on the coals. Denver quickly filled a bronze mug, fashioned from a spent mortar shell, and offered it Dalton. “Careful,” she warned, leaning over the fire to hand it to him, “It’s hot.”
Dalton leaned forward and took the hefty mug in both hands, expecting the warmth of the metal to be comforting. As he settled back down in his pile of furs, he suddenly gasped and jolted forward, sloshing boiling tea across both wrists.
“Too hot?” Denver asked, a concerned look drawn across her face. Dalton hurriedly set his mug down on the edge of the stone fire pit, shaking his head, breathing hard. He was staring down at his frostbitten finger. It looked better than it had before, but Denver suddenly realized that Dalton had no basis for comparison; to him, it probably looked awful. “I – I can’t feel it,” the boy marveled, trying hard to catch his breath and re-compose himself in front of Denver. Denver waited.
“I’m sorry, miss,” Dalton added after a pause, “I’m covered in all manner of grievance, but here I am complaining ‘bout my damned finger.”
Denver ignored the fact that he’d had called her ‘miss’ again – now was not the time to care about that. Instead, she sided around the edge of the fire pit and set herself down beside the young soldier, holding her hand out to him. Dalton offered his own hand to her, and she took it gently, examining his frostbitten finger from all sides.
“Was worse,” she submitted, hoping to make him feel better. And she wasn’t lying – it looked more like a finger now and less like the charred twig it’d been before. All the black, waxy skin had been removed and the remaining tissue was slowly regaining color. “I did have to cut away part of your fingernail and your, er, pad” – she didn’t know what else to call it; – “I’m just sorry that I couldn’t tend to it any sooner.”
“Me too,” Dalton remarked. “Gonna take some gettin’ used-to.”
Denver nodded. “Keep massaging it,” she said, “Like this,” and she showed him how she’d been doing it for the past two days. “I’m no doctor, but this seems to help.”
“Well, thank you, miss,” Dalton said kindly, taking his hand from hers and continuing to massage the afflicted area on his own. “You’ve taken good care of me.”
Denver nodded in acknowledgement, ignoring yet again that Dalton had called her “miss”, and then returned to her former spot across the fire from the young soldier, where she poured herself her own mortar shell of tea.
I have three personal headdresses - Teva the wolf, Ashland the cougar, and Zenobia the lioness. I’m deciding to sell Ashland because she was part of my life in a time when I needed her, but that time has passed now and I think it’s acceptable for her to move on. The only minor problem is that since I cannot sell cougar parts within the State of Oregon, I’ll have to have my assistant up in Washington send her off for me, so shipping will take a little longer than usual.
If you are interested, I’ll be selling Ashland for $850.00 shipped. She was the first piece of true taxidermy I ever created, so she is not perfect, but I did use all professional materials and an expertly-tanned pelt. As a basis for comparison, commissioned cougar headdresses start at about $1,800.00 and takes about 6 - 8 months to complete. This is an opportunity to buy a taxidermy-style cougar headdress without the wait.
At one point, her eyes lit up to glow in the dark, but baby Blackjack gnawed the wire that connected the LEDs to their power source, so I removed the whole element. It would be easy to set it up again if you want to dedicate some time to it. It’s just not something I plan to do myself any time soon. As far as I know, this is the only headdress ever made with the option to have light-up eyes. So that’s a plus.
At any rate, I can obviously only sell this cat to people located in US states which allow possession of cougar parts. Please check all local laws prior to contacting me about purchasing her.