Hi! I'm a taxidermist.
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.

 

characterdesigninspiration:

Quite a few people requested some form of trait/personality generator, and here’s the result!  I wanted to keep it vague enough that the options could work for any universe, be it modern, fantasy, scifi, or anything else, so these are really just the basics. Remember that a character is much more than a list of traits, and this should only be used as a starting point– I tried to include a variety of things, but further development is definitely a must.

Could pair well with the gender and sexuality generator.

To Play: Click and drag each gif, or if that isn’t working/you’re on mobile, just take a screenshot of the whole thing (multiple screenshots may be required if you want more than one trait from each category).

The Worst Seafood You Could Eat Is…. Shrimp.

marine-conservation:

Shrimp is the #1 seafood in the USA. It is tasty, usually quite inexpensive, and is easily cooked and eaten. Unfortunately, such a craze for shrimp has created an environmental nightmare. 

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Americans currently consume over one billion pounds of shrimp every year, and about 90% of that is imported from overseas. The primary producers of shrimp—namely China, Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil and Ecuador—provide mostly farm-raised shrimp. American shrimp is almost always caught in the wild. Nevertheless, neither options are ideal or sustainable, and both have horrific consequences on the sea.

  • Shrimp farming affects human health

The majority of shrimp farms is comprised of open ponds with a small amount of water exchange. Shrimp farming is usually based in coastal areas, and can be destructive to both the ecological and human communities with which it comes into contact. When multiple intensive farming operations are concentrated around the same river, estuary, or bay, as they often are, the waste, uneaten feed and bacteria produced by the farms pollutes the surrounding waters, overwhelming the environment and harming other species. This waste also creates conditions that breed infections among the shrimp themselves.

To protect from the shrimp pathogens that inevitably spread, some farmers feed their shrimp chloramphenicol, a carcinogenic antibiotic which may be unsafe for human consumption. Shrimp may also be treated with sodium triple phosphate, a neuro-toxicant, to prevent it from drying out during shipping, and borax to preserve its pink color.

Upon arrival in the U.S., few if any, are inspected by the FDA, and when researchers have examined imported ready-to-eat shrimp, they found 162 separate species of bacteria with resistance to 10 different antibiotics.

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(Shrimp farms in Borneo on the edge of mangroves. Photo by Marc Gunther)

  • Shrimp farming affects mangroves and local ecosystems

Scientists have found that shrimp farms has destroyed over 40% of the world’s mangroves, which are some of the most diverse, productive and necessary ecosystems on the planet. Mangroves indeed act as carbon sinks, and serve as valuable buffers against hurricanes and tsunamis, while also providing a safe nursery habitats for many invertebrate, fish, and shark species.

A shrimp farmer will clear a section of mangroves and close it off to ensure that the shrimp cannot escape. Then the farmer relies on the tides to refresh the water, carrying shrimp excrement and disease out to sea. In this scenario, the entire mangrove ecosystem is destroyed and turned into a small dead zone for short-term gain. Even after the shrimp farm leaves, the mangroves do not come back.

  • Wild-caught shrimps, bottom trawling, and bycatch

Farmed shrimp have their problems, but wild-caught shrimp aren’t always a much better alternative. Fisherman catch wild shrimp using fine-meshed trawl nets pulled through the water. Worldwide, for one pound of shrimp, there can be 5 pounds of bycatch—other species that become trapped in the nets. Scientists have found that up to 90% of marine life in the nets brought onboard during shrimp harvesting is actually not shrimp! On top of fish that ultimately end up being dead or dying from being in the net, nets routinely pull up 9,000 endangered or threatened sea turtles annually, in addition to sharks, red snappers, and other animals. 

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(Typical shrimp bycatch. Photo credit: Powered-by-produce.com)

The vast majority is caught using trawling, a highly destructive fishing method. Football field-sized nets are dragged along the ocean floor, scooping up and killing several pounds of marine life for every pound of shrimp they catch and demolishing the ocean floor ecosystem as they go. Where they don’t clear-cut coral reefs or other rich ocean floor habitats, they drag their nets through the mud, leaving plumes of sediment so large they are visible from outer space!

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While shrimp trawl fisheries only represent 2% of the global fish catch, they are responsible for over 1/3rd of the world’s bycatch. Trawling is comparable to bulldozing an entire section of rainforest in order to catch one species of bird.

The truth is, not everyone is willing to give up eating shrimp. And you don’t necessarily have to. New, more sustainable production practices are being developed, but it’s up to the consumer to ask for them in supermarkets and restaurants.

What You Can Do!

  • Eat less shrimp! The Worldwatch Institute estimates that for every 1,000 people who stop eating shrimp, we can save more than 5.4 tons of sea life per year.
  • Replace your industrial shrimp purchases with Henry & Lisa’s Natural Seafood (Ecofish’s retail brand) available at 3500 stores nationwide, including Whole Foods and Target Superstores.
  • Seek out the blue Marine Stewardship Council ecolabel, which indicates sustainable practices, when shopping or dining out. Here’s a list of stores and restaurants that stock MSC-certified products.
  • When buying wild-caught shrimp, look for varieties from the Pacific coast, particularly Oregon and British Columbia.
  • Ask your favorite restaurants and stores what kind of shrimp they are stocking, and if you’re not satisfied with their answer, let them know!

Hag stone featuring a very unique natural fluke - there is literally a seashell trapped inside of it! You can see the shell through two naturally-occurring ‘windows’ at the top and bottom of the stone. It has been strung onto a thick piece of recycled leather cord for use as a necklace. Want it? Get it here

gap-var-ginnunga:

sometimes i just want to be a badass warrior princess who is also really pretty :(

HOLYSHIT GUYS IM AN AUNT. Keith John is going to grow up knowing how to fish and hunt and track, and how to raise animals like chickens and goats and ducks and dogs, and he’ll be the coolest little survivorman on the block. I cannot wait! 

HOLYSHIT GUYS IM AN AUNT. Keith John is going to grow up knowing how to fish and hunt and track, and how to raise animals like chickens and goats and ducks and dogs, and he’ll be the coolest little survivorman on the block. I cannot wait! 

redandblackattack:

So my friend Rusty of Mercy Supply showed me his daily blade that he keeps in his chest pocket, specifically shaped to fit the hand made friction folder you see in the top picture. It’s created by the brilliant American black smith that is Nate Runals

Go check out Nate’s work on the link above and follow him on instagram.

@naterunals

Wish I’d taken more “before” photos of the ‘Grand Elk’, but for the record, he arrived to me in such bad condition that I wasn’t even sure if a restoration was possible.

He was caked in bird crap, coated in dust, and had chunks of his ears, nose, and chin leather missing as the result of dry rot. I had to cut piece off of a different old mount (bottom photo) which was brought in by the same customer, and patch them meticulously onto the Grand, re-paint the eyes, ears, and nose, and clay in the eyes and lips because the plaster the original taxidermist used was crumbling apart at every touch. 


Owner of the local winery, paying for the restoration I did on an antique elk mount for his tasting room:

Owner: So how much do I owe you for this?

Me: Was about $250.00 worth of time and supplies, but I was thinking $200 and a bottle of wine.

Owner: How 'bout $200.00 and two bottles of wine?

Me: Awwww yeaah.

Blackjack, the mighty yard panther. He’s actually an indoor cat, but I sometimes let him out in the yard under close supervision.