It’s a Pterodactyl! No, Wait! It’s a Cow! (Photos Included)

Once upon a time, there was this girl woman. She was a disorganized, procrastinating, train-wreck of a human being, but otherwise generally likable (unless you didn’t like her). She loved coffee, and tortilla chips with salsa, and fitting into her jeans (although at the time of our story, she did not fit into her jeans). She liked telling stories, but doubted her ability to do it well. Sometimes this doubt kept her from telling stories. Sometimes she bucked up and did it anyway.

Our story really begins with the day she did that. The bucking-up. On that day she bucked up and wrote down this little story.

That was the 18th of June, which just so happens to be two weeks ago today.

The story included this photo:


And that, my friends, was how it all began.

The very next day, this happened:

She shared the happy news on Facebook. There was much joy and great celebration!

The next day, the girl woman continued her habit of opening the door, slipping out, and snapping a quick shot before rushing behind the safety of the door, all the while thinking of Audrey Hepburn.

Leaning against the closed door, she looked at the photo. Something strange had happened in the night.

The happy little nest had become a den of iniquity. Or a science fiction movie set. Facebook was abuzz, trying to figure out the mystery. Was it a pterodactyl egg? Was it a cow egg? Was someone messing with her mind?? The girl woman and her Facebook people held their collective breath and waited for the next day’s photo.

What would happen? Would the day bring a purple egg? A striped egg? A velociraptor egg?

Facebook was enthralled. Was this a genetic mutation or a mutant takeover? So great was the excitement (notably, the majority of the excitement came from a safe distance), that our intrepid photographer braved snapping a midday picture.

2014-06-21 18.06.55

The pterodactyl egg had moved! But eggs can’t move! This was looking more and more like a science fiction movie set, or possibly a cruel joke. Despite her growing apprehension, our heroine steeled herself and set up camp on the curb. She needed to know who or what exactly was the mother of the mismatched eggs.








She was a shady character, to be sure. What kind of bird can outmaneuver the skills of so fine a photographer? Without real answers, our brave heroine was left with no choice but to…leave town. All week long, from the safety of the west coast, she wondered about that speckled egg. Google had been uncharacteristically unhelpful, unable to pinpoint even an approximation of the gestation period for a pterodactyl egg. She hadn’t the slightest clue what she was up against here. Should she have warned her neighbors? Called the National Guard?

She held her breath.

And got a pedicure.

And ate her body weight in freshly picked raspberries.

And bungee jumped


And when she got home, instead of Jurassic Park, she found this:


The pterodactyl egg had grown! But eggs don’t grow! (Um, eggs don’t grow, right?) This could not be her husband messing with her (as she had suspected all along). This was downright freaky.

The next morning, she found this:


At which point someone on Facebook suggested that the pterodactyl egg might actually be the egg of a cowbird (for real, there are cowbirds). The thread disintegrated from there. There was “brood parasitism” and Decepticons(!) and the not-so veiled suggestion that Herr Speckled Egg be voted off the island.

It was all just too much for our tender-hearted heroine to take in. Because she simply could not imagine tossing that poor, innocent egg from the nest, she decided to do nothing under the guise of waiting for her husband to take care of it.

By the time he came home she had forgotten all about it and she served him his gourmet, three-course dinner, rubbed his feet, and fetched his slippers and pipe, the situation had changed drastically, and changed for the worse.

It was, to be frank, the worst case scenario (well, barring the National Guard scenario, of course)…



20140701_201500If our kind, brave, tender-hearted heroine couldn’t bear to do away with an egg, how on earth could she see to offing a beady-eyed, open-beaked, silent-screeching, decidedly-non-pterodactyl BIRD???

She did what anyone would do. She took the matter to her Facebook people. Her Facebook people could solve any problem! Except..

They couldn’t tell what the picture was showing. They wanted her to go BACK OUT THERE. Without the slightest bit of concern for her safety, they went so far as to REQUEST A LIVE-FEED VIDEO.


Being of saintly character, she went out and took a video (which you can view on Facebook), but the creepy sweet little bird had exhausted itself, what with all the silent screeching, and was still largely undecipherable. She spelled it out.


Thus ensued a 50 comment, exceedingly entertaining thread, at some indeterminate point during which our heroine’s fine husband finished his pipe, tucked his newspaper under his arm, and took care of the problem.




(Well, until another egg hatches.)




Brilliant Idea: Manitou Springs Seed Library

Some things are just so cool that they must be recorded. This is one of those things.

If you’re not familiar with the 3.03 square miles of wonder that is Manitou Springs, let me bring you up to speed.

Manitou Springs, which climbs the mountains just west of Colorado Springs, is home to the world famous Manitou Penny Arcade, where the Wonder Hub and I had our first date. (I schooled him at Skeeball. He killed me at everything else.)


photo credit: springs


Manitou Springs is home to the Emma Crawford Festival and Coffin Races, in which I got to participate last year.


This is the only thing I will ever (ever, ever) have to do with zombies.


My zombie BFF




Manitou Springs is home to Kinfolks Mountain Shop, where you and your good dog can get a beverage and snacks while listening to live music.


Molly Sue making friends


Perhaps most famously, Manitou Springs is home to the Incline, on which you gain 2,000 breath-taking feet in elevation during an .88 mile climb.


Oh yes we will!


Top ‘o the Incline. From left: Moose, Bubba, Moi, Monkey


As you can see, I have a fair amount of experience with Manitou Springs. I thought I knew all that this gem has to offer. When Katie Sanders*, instructor extraordinaire from the North American School of Clinical Herbalism, told me about the Manitou Springs Seed Library, I was intrigued. A library? Of seeds?

Yes, friends. A library of seeds. Check it out.


The library building was given to the city by Andrew Carnegie in 1910


“The purpose of our project is twofold. We want to promote the development and preservation of landrace heirloom seeds and varieties that are well adapted to the arid growing conditions and short growing season that are typical of Colorado’s Front Range and in conjunction, promote the development of an equally well adapted body of local knowledge on how to save and pass on those seeds to future growers.”



A card catalogue of seeds!

“Seed libraries work by creating a relationship with regional growers. The seed library offers free seeds and a means of regional seed exchange while teaching people how to save those seeds successfully. In return, growers commit to bringing back a portion of the seed produced by those plants at the end of the growing season. The returned seed enters the library catalog and becomes available to more growers the following season, who will in turn, borrow and return even more.”



My next adventure!

This is the list of seeds I chose. I wanted every. single. thing. I did. Seeing as how I need to return twice as many seeds in the fall, I forced myself to stick with seeds that were marked easy to harvest, except in the case of the peppers, which I couldn’t resist.

It is my understanding that the library will have a class on planting and growing this month, and then another in the fall on harvesting seeds. I will endeavor to attend, bumble my way through, and report back to you.

See what I mean? Some things are so cool that they must be recorded.


*You can follow Katie at Garden Fairy Apothecary on Facebook and