Dancing with wolves!

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to spend my birthday this year. I usually try to do something fun, have a new experience (visiting meerkats, going to an aquarium, spending a romantic weekend in Solvang with bonus! Edible Arrangement to share with everyone at an SCA event), but there were two strikes against this. One, I’d wanted to take the weekend off, but I was behind on several work projects, which meant I’d have to do some work on Saturday. Two, money is super-tight right now. I don’t think we even celebrated Ken’s birthday last year, so I couldn’t justify spending money on mine.

Friday evening, I wandered downstairs and Ken showed me a video, and it blew me away.

Watch it, please. It’s short, it has gorgeous nature (Yellowstone! wolves! birds! rivers! trees!), and it’s important.

While I was still processing this amazing video, Ken told me that he’d just found out a local motorcycle group was riding to a wolf educational place on Sunday, my birthday.

I waffled, because, well, money, but Saturday morning my birthday card from my mom arrived (and it made me laugh and laugh), which included my birthday check. I’m supposed to use the money for something I want, not something for the house or to pay a bill. (In other words, dinner at a nice restaurant we’ve been wanting to try is good, using it for groceries is bad.)

Well, that settled that! Thanks, Mom!

So today we got up stupidly early (for me, anyway), and we met up with other bikers…


DSC00202 crop And went through twisty fun canyons to the historic Rock Inn for lunch…



And then we went to the Shadowland Foundation, where this rose smelled really good


And then we met wolves!


Are you going to feed us?


Yes, we are going to feed you! (Note: wolf slobber is like getting your hand slimed.)

DSC00227 crop

Cochise, mugging for the camera.


Chenoa, I believe


Ogin and Chenoa, I believe


Ogin and Keme, I believe

Things I learned about wolves:

  • They don’t smell like dogs! They really don’t smell much at all. I like wolves a lot better now on a personal level (I’ve always liked them on a theoretical level, of course). (I’m afraid I find dogs really stinky.)
  • The way to tell a wolf from a dog is wolves have golden eyes. If someone tells you they own a wolf and the animal has brown or blue eyes, it might have some wolf in it, but it ain’t a wolf.
  • Wolves have no interest in eating people. The evil people-eating wolf legend has been around for centuries, though. (Big Bad Wolf, anybody? Little Red Riding Hood?)
  • They have 27 (I think) different tail positions, all of which communicate information to other wolves.

There’s more, of course, but even though it was stuff I didn’t know before, it’s possible everybody knows but me.

After that we rode off to see the poppies blooming, but it was getting hot, so I didn’t take any pictures. In fact, I commented that I was the bus from Speed: every time we slowed down, I started to overheat. (And, one presumes, eventually I would explode.) So if you want more poppies, follow the link.

We rode back on our own through a different twisty canyon, which kept things cool enough, but by the time we hit flat highway, it was hot again. As in, Dayle is Shutting Down hot. So we stopped at Yanni’s in Filmore for milkshakes, which helped (although even a small milkshake is too much sugar for me, so I didn’t finish it), and lots of water, which helped even more, and thus we were fortified for the short rest of the ride home.

Now Ken’s napping and I’ve just finished a cup of tea (so I might not need to nap), and I have no idea how we’ll spend the evening. Maybe watching a DVD from Netflix that’s been sitting on the coffee table for a couple of months. Last night we finished rewatching season 1 of Veronica Mars, so we may dive into season 2, plus we’d been rewatching Doctor Who (“modern” series) and trailed off somewhere in the first season of 10 and Donna, which is my favorite pairing.

What I really want to do is get off the Internet (I’ve found it’s restful and yet invigorating to eschew social media around my birthday), so I’m-a gonna post this and go read the really good book I’ve been reading. Or maybe I’ll write for a bit, because I feel like writing.  🙂