Posted in Sparks in the wild

A Skateboarding Dog in Central Park

Because, why not? My cousin in New York sent me this video, recorded by a friend of hers in Central Park a few evenings ago. Look at how many people are happy and excited about this spectacle – there just aren’t enough skateboarding dogs in this world, I tell you.

Posted in Arty sparks, Sparks in the wild

Taxidermy with a difference

A recent sale at Fab.com shared the work of C.G.Sparks (no relation) with the caption ‘artful animal-free taxidermy’. A niche market, to be sure. But I do like these wall trophies, celebrating someone’s skill with recycled rope and creative accessories rather than someone’s skill with a powerful weapon aimed at an animal just chillaxing in the woods. And although I’ve not yet seen a bear or lion or elephant in the wild, I’m tipping these ropey versions come in much cooler colours.

The C.G. Sparks version of a deer.  [image from fab.com]
The deer, according to C.G. Sparks.
[image from fab.com]
The mountain lion. Still scary, even in rope form. [image from fab.com]
The mountain lion. Still scary, even in rope form.
[image from fab.com]
Say what? Nah, it's not ivory - it's 'medium density fibreboard'. Phew. [image from fab.com]
Say what? Nah, it’s not ivory – it’s ‘medium density fibreboard’. Phew.
[image from fab.com]
You can check out other cool things via the curated sales at fab.com here – and although I can’t find these taxidermy friends on the C.G. Sparks website, they do have lots of other pretty great stuff (they call it ‘furniture with soul’) for your home here.

Posted in Sparks in the wild, Travel sparks

Whistle While You Walk

This isn’t really a book club, I just wanted to show you this excerpt from the book I’m currently reading on how to pack for the Camino de Santiago. I hadn’t expected there to be so much to learn about the topic, but it’s quite a long book. Like a lot of the reading I’ve done about the Camino, it’s super-informative, but parts of it are slightly disturbing.

Sounds like a plan.
Sounds like a plan.

Just look at that dude on the cover, trotting along the Way, with a little bird helping lift the burden of his (already tiny) backpack. Happy days on the Camino, yes? Well, not every day, if page 106 of this book is to be believed. I’m off to buy a whistle. Or a high-tech sound device.

Yikes.
Yikes.
Posted in Sparks in the wild

Who you gonna call, possum?

The other day, I was driving behind a truck featuring a business name that caught my eye. Then I pulled up a little closer and saw the logo. Genius.

Who you gonna call?
Who you gonna call?

A classic Australian problem – our kiwi cousins do have possums, of course, but seemingly they are not obliged to treat them like small furry gods, they can turn them into mittens and scarves and winter coats without any social (or legal) stigma. Still, I guess the sounds of possums in the trees and the roof are part of living in an Australian house – pests they may be, but they’re our pests.

Anyways, the Possum Busters website does not disappoint. They are clearly very passionate about the work that they do – offering humane possum removal and even a free possum advice hotline. I bet they get some hilarious calls. There’s a page of FAQs, which are all very interesting, starting with the following warning as an answer to what I’m tipping is the most Frequently Asked Question by residents who haven’t slept for weeks due to their possum terrorist:

Q. Do you / can you / can I kill the possum?
A. No, it is against the law. They are a protected species.

And then there’s this fun fact about possums, which is why the Busters also offer a roof repair service and a 12 month guarantee once they remove a possum from your home:

Q. Can you take the possum away?
A. No, we can only remove it 25m from where we catch it. It is a territorial animal and will die if taken out side of its territory.

25 metres isn’t actually that far, is it? In most suburban areas, it’s probably only a couple of houses down the street, which presumably means that the Busters will get a call from Bill & Betty at number 15 a couple of weeks after the possum problem has shifted from your place to theirs.

Anyways, the website is worth a look if you’re interested in finding out more about this unique service – they also have a gallery of pics of possums they’ve discovered in cupboards, baths (imagine!) and roof cavities. The website is here.

Posted in Sparks in the wild

Friday Foto – Things I never thought I’d own…

Happy Friday to you! I was very excited to receive a package from Kathmandu this morning. (That’s the big Australian outdoor retailer, not the capital of Nepal.) We started our Camino trekking training last weekend with a fantastic 18km round trip from The Spit to Manly. I wanted to take photos of the bzillion beautiful spots along the way, but I didn’t want to mess with our momentum. Next time.

Anyways, this walk made me realise that I need some more outdoorsy trekking gear if I want to do this thing properly. So, in the first of what I’m sure will be many, here’s a pic of something that I have bought that I never thought I’d own in this lifetime. It’s a 2 litre water bladder. So I don’t have to carry pesky water bottles and stop to drink – no way man, now I can just suck water through this tube and KEEP ON TREKKIN’.

Now I just have to work out how to fill it and make sure it doesn't leak through my backpack...
Now I just have to work out how to fill it and make sure it doesn’t leak through my backpack…