the orchids (belated tunesday)

i  really and truly thought it was tuesday, and was about to post this only to realise i’m less than an hour away from thursday…well, who cares anyway

 

a couple months ago i loaded my new computer with contents of an old hard drive back up, including music, and found beautiful stuff i’d forgotten about (how does that even happen) and now i’m swooning again to califone

 

 

one of my favourite concerts of all time was seeing califone with iron & wine in san diego, 2007.  oh goodness.  i was in heaven.

bone-eaters

lammergeiers, or bearded vultures, are the only birds in the world whose diet subsists mostly of bones. they’re enormous–with a wingspan between 7-9 feet (to compare, condors have the largest wingspan in the world, 10 feet). on top of all of it, they look kind of like dragons.

these metal birds can swallow bones whole, because their super-acidic stomach can digest whole bones in about 24 hours. for bones that are too large to eat whole, bearded vultures have developed the special tactic dropping bones from the sky, which conveniently breaks them into edible pieces.

bone-eating is such a useful adaption. lammergeiers usually live alongside other giant predators or scavengers, such as griffon vultures or golden eages, and eat the bones that the other top-level carnivores leave behind. additionally, they have no need to cache meat as some animals do; bones don’t rot, nor are they of value to other predators.


(skip to 3:00 or so if you’re impatient for lammergeier action)

to be fair, these vultures don’t eat only bones, but bone matter does make up about three-quarters of their diet. when they eat flesh, they generally go after tortoises, hares, hyraxen, etc. supposedly they’ve even carried off children, but that seems a bit sensational at best.

lammergeiers aren’t classified as a threatened species, but since there are something like 2.000-10,000 left in the wild (and their range is enormous, from northern europe to south africa, to china!), let’s pause for a moment and appreciate how beautiful & terrifying this giant bird is! they’re like dinosaurs, or the dancing headless things in the labyrinth, or skeksis…nightmare beauty bird indeed.

struggling with anxiety

this summer has been a long struggle for me. i’ve had moments and days of beauty and wonder and happiness, but they’ve been bookended by physical and mental struggles that are outside my normal range. i’ve been dealing with nearly overpowering anxiety. i’m easily stressed and pushed to tears, i’ve lost so much of my energy and enthusiasm for athletics and eating and spending time with others, physically i just don’t feel well. it seems like i always have a sour stomach or headache or am tired or feeling on edge/unhappy. anxiety about even tiny things builds me up into knots and it keeps me restless for days. turns me nervous and pensive. pushes me deep inside a shell and i just want to keep hiding and pretend there is and i hope this emotional drain is passing and no problem.

i have dealt with similar problems in the past, but nothing like this intensity or longevity has popped up before. it’s so frustrating. i wish there was some quick-fix but one doesn’t exist. through counseling, i’ve learned some techniques that have helped me cope, but crawling out of this hole is such a long process. whatever triggered this path down the dark, shameful spiral of anxiety is a complete mystery. i thought things were fine and then…i just hit a wall. it’s so hard to accept that these destructive, awful feelings are real.

being so open and public about emotions is very difficult for me, but for some reason this felt important. maybe my admission will help someone else along, or maybe it’s okay just to put this out into the void anyway.