Solbit Just Wants To Be Like Everyone Else

Dear Nicalai,

Hey, guess where we are?  We’re up the creek.  Don’t worry though.  We’re quite happy being up the creek, because we’re camping in the heart of Moab, Utah at Up the Creek Campground.

Our campground is near a wonderful national park called “Arches.”  We go there everyday with our friends Robert & Carolyn and DeAnne & John.  This is a scene that I see everyday here …

If I weren’t taking this photo (with Nona’s help, of course), you would also see me  looking in the same direction as all these folks.

“What are all of them looking at?” you ask.  Well, I’m going to show you …

Here’s how this national park got its name, Arches.  Arches of rock are everywhere we look.  Girl, these are BIG arches, not like the arches of your feet.

I’ve always wanted to be like everyone else.  Maybe that’s because I’m so much smaller than all the people around me.  Maybe because I look different than everyone else. Maybe because I feel so different from others; you know, I have bumps all over me.  Or, maybe it because I’m a dinosaur in a human world.  Do you ever feel like that?  Sort of feeling out of place?

Here at arches, I feel just like everyone else! I’m standing with groups of people looking at and enjoying the same view, and no one stares at me.  We’re all staring at the arches together. We’re a community of admirers staring at great big rock arches!

Almost all the visitors to Arches National Park want their picture taken with an arch.  Me too!

If you ever get bored by all the arches and rock towers, no problem.  You can enjoy the Ute Rock Art that’s here.

The sign here says that this rock art was made by indigenous peoples between 1650 and 1850. Also, very important, don’t touch the art; protect and preserve it.

I’m going to miss Arches when we leave, but, at least, I’ll have my picture with an arch to keep with me.  It’ll remind me that I’m really just like everyone else. Bye! I’m your friend.

Love,

 

 

 

Solbit

May 2017

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit asks, “Does This Picture Look Upside Down To You?”

Dear Nicalai,

Another thing I want to show you about Canyonlands National Park:  A lot of things appear to be upside-down, but they aren’t!  It can be weird being in some of those spots that look upside-down but aren’t. Weird but fun.  Really, you’ve got to visit this magical place.

This picture confuses me. The big heavy rock should be at the bottom, right? We saw this on the Cave Spring Trail.

When I first got near some of these upside-down places, just looking at them made my head feel funny, and my eyes wanted me to stand on my head.  I’ve tried standing on my head and am no good at it.  I think my head is too pointy.  Can you stand on your head?

How can I explain what happened to make these upside-down places in this huge park?  Again, water and gravity went to work on these rocks and, over millions of years, just whimsically sculpted out weird formations.

These magical, upside-down rocks make me think that they want an audience to look at them. Nona walked me under a lot of them, and they didn’t collapse on us.

Wow, did these places have an audience when we were there.  We weren’t the only ones enjoying these mind spinning views.  On the other hand, it wasn’t too crowded, and everyone was very nice to each other.  You know that everywhere we travel around the world and here in the US, the people we meet — plus the occasional plastic dinosaur cousin — are friendly and helpful.

The lizards here seem to like the right-side-up type of rocks. Look at those long toes, good for climbing and hanging on!

If I were living here, I’d be like that lizard.  I like my world right-side up.  Going to upside-down places is ok for amusement once in a while, but for day-to-day living I want right-side up.  For example, who can work on an upside-down desk with and upside-down computer? I would never get a letter to you written!

9332 – pocket garden, Caption: “Ever hear the song, “Islands in the Stream?” This is more interesting; it’s an island in the Rock. A lot of these islands can be seen in Canyonlands.

Those island gardens started me thinking.  I asked Nona, “Can we please make some island gardens like those when we settle down in a place some day?” She’s thinking about it, but says that where we’re going won’t have those big rocks to hold an island garden.

Ever hear the song, “Islands in the Stream?” This is an island in the Rock. A lot of these islands can be seen in Canyonlands.

That got me to thinking some more.  I suggested that we could pour lot of concrete behind our place — if we ever stop traveling — and shape it like those rocks and make the garden in the depression after the concrete gets really, really hard. We just dump a pile of sand in the depression and put plants in it!

Nona said, “Yes, we could do that, but we won’t because our neighbors would not appreciate a huge lump of concrete next to them.”  She is so practical, and, as you can see, she really thinks about the other person, not just what she wants.  I’ve got to work on that in myself. I guess I’m too focused just on what I want.

Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

 

 

 

Solbit

May 2017

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit’s Ordinary Travel Day to Cow Canyon Trading Post

Dear Nicalai,

On our ordinary travel days, I just stay put in Nona’s pocket.  Not much to see or tell.  So today was going to be one of those days, ordinary.  It wasn’t.  I had to — wanted to — get out of Nona’s pocket almost as soon as we hit Bluff, Utah — population less than 300, no kidding.

We had lunch at Comb Ridge Bistro and Espresso Bar in Bluff, Utah. Nona gave it 4 out of 5 stars, and she’s a tough one to please.

Nona gave the bistro 4 out of 5 stars, and she’s a tough one to please. This restaurant has more than good food.  They also have arts and crafts.  That’s what really got me out of Nona’s pocket, although the sunshine salad might have done it too.  I had to see the little figure of a Navajo woman on a horse, carrying a papoose even smaller than I am.  Nona bought it. She likes art. Oh, do you know what a papoose is? It’s a type of bag for carrying and protecting a child.

When we asked who the artist is who made the little figure, the folks at the bistro sent us to Cow Canyon Trading Post to find out, just a short way down the road.

Cow Canyon Trading Post sits across the road from this beautiful scene. Wow!

As we parked our car, we saw this very old car in the parking lot of the Trading Post.

Papa thinks this might be a 1949 or ’50 Buick, maybe a Roadmaster. I think its a rusty old car.

The trading post looked plain on the outside, but Nona and Papa really liked the way the inside was designed, and they liked the arts and crafts that were displayed.

If we hadn’t known about the arts and crafts, I bet Papa would have driven right by this place.

Nona said that, if we didn’t travel all the time and if we had an apartment, she would have bought several pieces of art here.  The woman who runs the trading post was very nice.  Even though we didn’t buy anything, she was happy to give us the name of the artist who made the little figure.

Then, we got back in our car and drove to Monticello, Utah. That’s one of our ordinary travel days.  Not bad, huh?  Oh, the Navajo artist’s name is Elsie Benally, and she’s been making little figures to sell at the trading post for over 30 years

Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

 

 

 

Solbit

May 2017

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit asks, “What? Who buys rugs in a remote canyon?”

Dear Nicalai,

If you were going to buy a rug, you’d go to a department store or a rug store, right?  That’s what I’d do, too.  Makes sense.  Not Nona and Papa and our friends, Robert and Carolyn.  (We were camping with them. We’re in a tent.  They have a modest size RV.) No, those 4 got a Navajo guide, Don, and he took us to see his aunt who lives in Canyon de Chelly.  She makes rugs.  Beautiful rugs.

Ms Katherine Paymella sits just like this at her loom to make beautiful Navajo rugs.

She is amazing! She raises her own sheep to produce the wool.  She shears the sheep.  She cards their wool.  She cultivates special plants to make dyes to color the wool. She spins the wool into yarn.  Then she puts the yarns on her loom. Yarns going in one direction are the warp and in another direction the woof.  After all that loving labor, she starts to weave what will become a handmade Navajo rug.

We could select a handmade rug from these and others at Ms Katherine’s hogan.

She said her designs are based on traditional Navajo designs, but she creates her own designs. Imagine how smart and talented you have to be to create a complicated design and then weave it into a rug.  Also, just imagine too that someone — or maybe several someones — took the time and interest to nurture her talent and to teach her how to do all those different things.

Remember that I said we went to a canyon to buy rugs?  Here’s where we went.

Can you tell that we were in a canyon? Ms. Katherine holds up the two rugs that we selected.

Robert and Carolyn got one rug, and we got the other.  I worried that our footsteps would get dirty marks all over our rug, but Nona explained away my worry.  She said that our Navajo rug is a work of art, and we would display it on our wall at home so that no one would ever step on it but many eyes would fall on  it.

Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

 

 

 

Solbit

May 2017

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit goes into the wild at a museum

Dear Nicalai,

What do you think of when I say, “Museum.”  Quiet? Orderly? Many rooms?  Yeah, well, we just got back from a museum that’s nothing like that.  When you go to this museum, it’s almost like going into the wild. No kidding.

Uncle Jim, Aunt Pat, cousin Michaela, Nona, Papa, and I went to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum here in Tucson.  Tucson is a stop on our 7-month road trip. I’ve never been here.  It’s an interesting town, with old western and modern features.  You should come here sometime.  Oh, but Nona just reminded me to stick to my topic: going into the wild at a museum.

You don’t believe a museum can be wild, a desert-type wild? I met some wild creatures here.  Look at this one.

I got as close as I could to this Mexican Fireleg Tarantula, but I had to stop when my head hit glass. Bonk!

The Mexican Fireleg Tarantula is a type of spider that lives here in the desert. It’s much bigger than this little plastic jurassic.  I’m pretty sure the glass saved me from becoming a spider-snack.  If I were naming this spider, I’d add hairy, the Mexican Hairy Fireleg Tarantula. Guess spiders can’t go to the barbershop.

Among my surprises at the museum was this bird.  I don’t think of water birds living in a desert environment, but let me show you.

I think the heron had my problem. It got as close to Michaela as it could, but then its beak hit glass. Bonk, again!

Look at that beak.  That glass saved Michaela from a hole in the head.  So, it is safe to be at this wild museum.

Ever hear the term, “The Trickster?”  That’s what some Native Americans called a dog-like animal, the coyote.  Nona, Papa, and I have heard coyotes at night when we were camping.  Now, I got to see one running loose in the desert.

No glass between us and this coyote, but we couldn’t get near it, or rather it couldn’t get near us, because of a wall on the desert floor that we stood on top of and looked down from.

Coyotes are related to dogs and wolves.  I’ve seen a lot of dogs, mostly friendly ones, but Papa says to keep my distance from a coyote, if I ever see one.  I guess coyotes are not so cuddly and friendly.

Not all the wild things at this museum are scary.  It’s okay to get close to some of them, as long as we don’t do anything to hurt them.  Here’s my favorite friendly wild thing of today’s visit.

Desert butterflies are beautiful, although they look just a little burnt by the sun, don’t they?

You can see why my favorite museum ever is this desert museum.  I wish more museums could go wild like this one does.  By the way, what’s your favorite museum and where is it?

Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

 

 

 

Solbit

April 2017

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit says use your powers of observation

Dear Nicalai,

Nona, Papa, and I practice looking a lot.  You wouldn’t think that looking — or observing — takes practice, would you? Yet, the more I practice, the more I realize that I miss seeing what’s right in front of my face. I need more practice to be good at looking to see what’s there.

Here’s an example.  So, I’m riding along in Nona’s pocket looking down at the ground as it passes by. What do I see?  Dirt. Stones. Nona’s foot moving. Then Papa says, “Stop, did you see that?” Nona stopped. What?  “Look down there below you.”

What I had missed but what was clearly there for me to see was a laboring ant moving a big piece of food — big compared to the ant. What a strong ant!

I would have missed the ant with its vegetable burden payload, if Papa hadn’t pointed it out.  That’s another thing about looking: we have to help each other to see things.  Also, we need to pay attention when someone points out something to see.

On the one hand, looking isn’t easy, but, on the other hand, it doesn’t hurt and can be fun, and you can learn things from what you see and others miss.

When we walked the pathways nearby San Pedro House, not far from our place in Sierra Vista, Arizona, we enjoyed looking at this pond.

Pond water, reeds, maybe some algae, that’s about it, right? Wrong!

Well, we heard something.  Water doesn’t make that sound. Neither do reeds, not even in a strong wind. Algae doesn’t either. Papa knew that sound from the days when he had grown up on a farm.  “That’s a frog. Maybe we can find it if we look really hard,” Papa encouraged us.

There’s a dispute who found the frog first, Nona or me. She used her binoculars, and I didn’t, so I should get the credit. Nona put that circle on the picture though.

We had to keep pointing to the frog because Papa just couldn’t find it. It kept croaking away, and Papa kept asking “Where is it?”  I wonder if maybe he needs glasses for distance?

You can see that the frog is well designed to be very hard to find.  That helps the frog escape predators, like hawks, snakes, and people.

I think we were able to look for birds and find them more easily than the frogs. Often, we would hear the birds singing first. Then we’d look in the direction of the sound, and then we might find them.  That’s how we found this bird. Isn’t it interesting how ears help our eyes?

The lark sparrow kindly posed so that Nona could get a good picture of it.

So, our ears helped us to look. A birds sings, peeps, or squawks, and we hear it as, “Look at me. Find me.” Our ears tell us which way and how high or low to look, and then, if we’re lucky, we see the bird.

By the way, some birdwatchers are so good that they don’t have to look to know what bird they will see.  They know each bird’s calls, so all they have to do is hear it. Nona and Papa aren’t there yet.  I don’t want to discourage them, but, I doubt they ever will identify birds just with their ears. Still they do enjoy looking for birds. Enjoying what they do is what’s important.

Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

 

 

 

Solbit

April 2017

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

A Gulling Experience

Dear Nicalai,

Greetings from the Beach! We’re in San Diego.  How is it here? Well, you might say that we’re having a “gull-ing” experience, but that could mislead you.  We’re just having a good time observing the behavior of a certain type of beach bum, the gull.

We’ve learned to watch our food around gulls.

These juvenile western gulls just heisted someone’s apple from a lunch bag!

Another behavior trait that I have observed among these gulls is that they like to make noise together. Maybe they think they’re singing, but their “vocalizations” hurt my eardrums.

Squawking, squawking, squawking, they’re driving me crazy!

I was beginning to think that gulls are just another kind of pest. Just when I was wondering how to get rid of these pests, I discovered this gull performing an important service at the beach.

A lifeguard gull! Amazing.  Now I’m wondering how does a gull save lives lost at sea? I can’t imagine, but the sign is very clear, isn’t it, identifying this gull as a “lifeguard”?

As we strolled the beach, Nona said, “Solbit, look there, even gulls dare to be different.”

Sure enough, a Heerman’s gull — looking different — stood there proudly and apparently comfortable with the many western gulls sharing the beach with it.

Well, squawking gulls still jangle my nerves, but I admit that a lifeguard gull and a gull that dares to be different have both taught me to appreciate gulls — even those little apple thieves amused me.

Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

 

 

 

Solbit

March 2017

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”