Tag archive for "national parks week"


Winner Announced! The Shade’s Fine Art Competition

No Comments 02 May 2012

This year The Shade Fine Arts Commission hunkered down in Howard Johnson on East Ave in Trenton, NJ.  The results are in and it was close to the very end.  Unfortunately during the commission’s deliberation Fatty Butts was nearly thrown out for portraying Teddy with a bird on his arm.  Article 5 states “No cute wild life shall be used in an attempt to persuade judges.”  Following this incident Fatty Butts tried to bribe judges by having hotel staff deliver freshly cooked Elios pizza to their hotel room. Her submission was disqualified but the Elios was delicious despite our judges burning the roofs of their mouths. Fattie, we appreciate the effort but standards are standards.

Due to the potential negative press that could follow The Shade if Norman’s submission was crowned the winner the Fine Arts commission collectively decided to burn all copies out back by the dumpster never to be spoken of again. The Shade has since learned that The Bad Arts Museum in Dedham has contacted Norman to showcase the painting if you desire a viewing but we advise to not eat at least 45 minutes prior to viewing.

So congratulation’s goes out to Ralph Timms who is this year’s winner of The Teddy Roosevelt Fine Art Competition.  Your certificate is in the mail and you will be able to use your Shaw’s gift card at any New England location. Well Done Mr. Timms, we like your gusto.

Basically, the commission was impressed by the way Mr. Timms portrayed Teddy with vigor and class and really showcased his love of the outdoors without needing any words.  It was an added bonus to see TR with good friend and outdoor enthusiast John Muir.  It encompassed every thing the Commission was looking for.  Way to go Ralph and feel free to send anything you are working on in to The Shade for review.



Today’s National Park Showcase? Teddy Roos National Park

No Comments 27 April 2012

On April 25, 1947 President Truman officially named 3 separated areas of the North Dakota badlands as Teddy Roosevelt National Memorial Park.  TR originally came to this area in late 1883 to hunt bison as a scrawny good for nothing New Yorker.  He quickly fell in love with the vastness and natural beauty that encompassed the Dakota territory and decided to try his hand at cattle ranching.  He spent the better part of the next 5 years in the Dakota territory raising cattle and exploring the area that he called “the love of his life.”

After his death in 1919 explorations into possible park sites were underway. Two features of the park are the 2 different ranches that he lived in during his time there, the Maltese Cross Cabin and Elkhorn Ranch. The Maltese Cross is available for year round viewing while the Elkhorn is in a more remote area and you should use caution depending upon weather conditions. Travelling through the park on foot or by horseback you will find out why Teddy fell in love with this place. Herds of bison and wild horse still roam the area today as well as some other critters of nature’s finest beings. From the landscapes to the wildlife to the nighttime star gazing this 70,000+ acres of western North Dakota has plenty to offer even the most modest outdoorsman.

Teddy travelled this country far and wide setting aside lands that he felt should not be destroyed by the hand of man and we owe it all to the inspiration he felt in the Dakota territory. He has said many times over that if it wasn’t for what he learned and observed during his ranching days in the Dakotas he would not have pressed on the way he did to become president. He owed it to the natural beauty of this country to become President and reserve lands for future generations and we owe it to him to get outside and enjoy a national park. Nice job Teddy…and pick up your damned Cliff Bar wrapper, JERK!

“While my interest in natural history has added very little to my sum of achievement, it has added immeasurably to my sum of enjoyment in life.”  –TR

Ralph Turrnackle

Office of Outdoor Enthusiasts


Teddy Roosevelt Fine Art Submission!

No Comments 27 April 2012


This submission is courtesy of Fattie Butts. Thanks Fattie!


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Shades of Gray

Bird of Prey Showcase – The Larry Bird

1 Comment 27 April 2012

One of the most unique and largest birds of prey found in North America is the Larry Bird.  They can typically grow to 6 feet 9 inches and weigh about 220 pounds.  Their breeding grounds are typically in the mid-West region of the United States, more centrally located in southern Indiana.

From early on in their lives Larry Birds are known to hone their craft in hunting down and exposing the weaknesses, both known and learned of their enemies.  It may seem like fun and games but Larry Birds take their hunting prowess very seriously.

In their late adolescents they leave the nest and go out on their own usually returning after one year.  They then spend one more year fine tuning technique and head off into the world.  The process of leaving is referred to in most circles as the “Draft.”  The pattern most Larry’s follow is towards the Eastern seaboard and settling in quaint towns and cities, most notably Boston, MA.

Once Larry’s settle down in southern New England they will battle to maintain their “home” territory about 41 times year* and even travel vast lengths of the United States in hopes of striking down enemies and expanding their territory or gaining “Championships,” as some people call it.

The most known and volatile enemy of the Larry is a flashy and colorful beast known as a Laker.  Sometimes these formidable foes will seemingly fight to the death just to dust off and try it all again the next year.  After a long and grueling year that sometimes sees these graceful birds wounded or “on the sidelines” they go back to the nest to recover for a few months in the hopes they will be ready to head back east by mid fall.

In the latter stages of a Larry’s hunting life they will get a bunch of their friends together and head to Barcelona for the summer where their techniques and skill will be showcased one last time in a trouncing of the entire world.  This is the only known time in either of their lives when a Laker and a Larry are known to work together.

If you have any desire to learn more about the Larry Bird check out such films as Blue Chips or Space Jam where their exploits are clearly identified.

*raising that number usually means it’s been a good year for the Larry

Thanks for your time,

Timothy Warshevsky

Professional Conversationalist


The Teddy Roosevelt Bad Art Competition Has Begun!

No Comments 26 April 2012


And we’re off. This is the first entry for the Teddy Roos bad art competition….and it is HORRIFYING. Great job! Please vote and submit your rendition of TR by emailing it to getintotheshade@gmail.com. All submissions with be published and the voting will conclude with results posted Sunday.



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Thursday’s Park of the Day? Crater Lake. Bam!

1 Comment 26 April 2012

Explorer John Wesley Hillman first saw Crater Lake in 1853, but Indians had known of it long before recorded history. According to Hillman, the lake was sacred to the Indians, who refused to acknowledge its existence to outsiders. Gazing upon the waters was thought to be fatal. Klamath Indian legends touch on the supernatural origins of Crater Lake, and the experiences of early visitors. One story tells of an Indian who journeyed into the fearful depths of the crater when it was still dry. On the crater floor he found fissures, mounds, huge gnarled rocks, and a strange yellow substance that resembled gold.

Best known, perhaps, are the legends describing the war between Llao, chief spirit of Crater Lake, and Skell, a mighty spirit of the Klamath Marsh country to the south. These legendary characters are immoritalized at Llao Rock, the massive gray lava flow across the lake, and at Skell Head.

The War between Llao and Skell

Long, long ago two powerful spirits lived in the Crater Lake country. Llao (pronounced “LAH-oh”) and Skell. The spirit followers of Llao and Skell took the form of animals such as Deer, Fox, and Dove who often played together on the top of Llao Rock. But eventually, the groups began to quarrel, and war broke out.  The forces of Llao and Skell fought many battles. Skell was killed near the base of the mountain, and Llao’s followers carried his heart up to Llao Rock for a celebration. However, Skell’s clever followers stole the heart and restored it to the body, bringing Skell back to life.

During the last great battle, Llao was killed. Skell ordered that the body be cut up and thrown into the lake to be devoured by Crawfish and other monsters. The water creatures were loyal to Llao, but Skell tricked them by shouting, “Here are Skell’s arms,” as he tossed Llao’s arms into the water. Immediately the creatures gobbled them up. In the same manner Llao’s legs were devoured. But when Skell flung Llao’s head into the lake, the water creatures recognized their master’s face and would not touch it.

You can still see Llao’s head, known today as “Wizard Island”. And his sprit still lives within Llao Rock. Sometimes when all seems quiet, Llao’s restless spirit enters the lake and stirs up an angry gale.  Llao, chief spirit of Crater Lake, controlled many lower spirits who appeared in the shape of animals. One such monster was a giant crayfish who could pluck unwary visitors from the crater rim and drag them down to the dark, chilling depths.

So go visit Crater Lake, it’s not spooky.

Thanks very much for your ear (I mean eyes),

Duncan R. Pennyfeather

Shades of Gray

Daily Bird of Prey Showcase: The American Kestrel

No Comments 24 April 2012

The American kestrel is the smallest of the falcon family and can be found throughout the Americas although they are most commonly found in the U.S.  No matter where in the Americas they reside most decide to spend their summers in Canada banging their brains out in hopes the kestrel name will go on forever.
These magnificent birds are known to be of the most colorful in the falcon genus.  The males have a blue head and wings with red, orange and brown making up their backs and tail feathers.  The females tend to be less colorful, mostly red and brown, but they make up for their lack of colorful creativity with size.  The average female kestrel can bench press 225 lbs which is nearly double the average bench press of the kestrel male.  Due to this phenomenon the males can primarily be found cleaning the nest and running errands.
These birds although small show great hunting prowess.  Kestrels feast on large insects, mice, voles, lizards and they will never pass on a handful of cheez-it crackers.  In the Pacific Northwest they have also been known to enjoy white wine spritzers on the weekends.

For the most part kestrels tend to reside in hollowed out trees but they have been known to steal nests from birds their size.  They are highly adaptable to different climates which is why they can be found throughout the Americas.  So, the next time you are in the Americas and think you see a kestrel and want to say “HI” remember, in their free time they like not being killed by humans and larger birds of prey.


The Shade Exclusive – National Parks Week!

No Comments 23 April 2012

Its National Parks Week!

I’ll be honest with you folks – our nation’s national parks are some kind of wonderful. They preserve the majesty of nature and help people stay connected to the contemplative solitude that comes along with the Great Outdoors. In a world where you’re connected 24 hours a day/7 days a week our National Parks are probably more important now than ever before.

As Americans we can be especially proud of the National Park movement that began in the late 19th century.  Although in 1832 Andrew Jackson set aside Hot Springs, Arkansas for potential future use by the U.S. government, national parks – as we know them today – didn’t get started until 1864 when Abe Lincoln ceded Yosemite Valley to the state of California under the auspices that the land be ‘held for public use, resort, and recreation; [and]shall be inalienable for all time’. Eight years later Yellowstone was established as the world’s first truly national park under the direct management of the U.S. government.

This marked the first time that a sovereign nation set aside land specifically for the purpose of preservation and recreation. After America blazed the trail many other nations followed suit.

A truly distinct American idea.

What is particularly interesting in this story is that at a time when American industry was thriving our nation’s leaders had the forethought to set aside millions of acres of land that – at the time – I’m sure there were captains of industry that thought that land could be put to better use. Due in large part to Teddy Roosevelt (a staunch supporter of The Shade).

Well done gentlemen (and women).

Here at The Shade we celebrate the Great Outdoors with much reverence. We’ll be focusing our content this week to include such things as:

  • Our favorite national parks
  • A bad art competition for our favorite rendition of Teddy Roosevelt (submissions can be sent to getintotheshade@gmail.com – and all will be published)
  • A birds of prey showcase
  • Nature related poetry
  • Non fictional account of a horrendous accident at a national park
  • Among many other things

Those quacks at the National Obituary Review down the hall have even signed on to submit content. As to what they’ll contribute…I have no idea. I try to keep my distance from those perverts and weirdos.

But for this week, step into The Shade, take a seat and cozy up to our National Parks.

The Shade Management.

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