Snowmass in the Pleistocene
Before we get started: if you’ve tried to reach me over the internets the last week or so and I’ve not replied, my apologies. I spent my Thanksgiving curled on the couch, shaking with a high fever and unable to swallow my own saliva, whimpering now and then with self pity. I blame Streptococcus pyrogenes -strep throat- and I’m taking great joy in killing the little microbial bastards with laziness and antibiotics.
I’m feeling much better now. Also, vengeful. Does anyone else out there declare vendettas against microbes, or is it just me? I’ll get you, my pretties, and your little toxins too.
Anyway! Onward. I have embroidery patterns to share, but first, a story.
In October of this year, Snowmass Village was working on expanding its reservoir when one of their workers noticed something odd amongst the labor. It was a set of giant ribs, poking out of the dirt and into the thin air for the first time in thousands of years. It was, as he and we all would later find out, an American Mastodon.
This is an American Mastodon.
Mammut americanum was a shaggy critter which stood just under 10 feet at the shoulder, with long (relatively straight) tusks. The shape of their teeth indicate they were browsers (rather than grazers, like many elephants and elephant relatives), picking leaves off bushes and trees. They’re small next to a Mammoth, with a flatter head and straighter back. You should totally embroider it on something.
Thus began what is being called the largest paleontological find in Colorado history. The dig has shut down for the winter (Snowmass is high in the Colorado Rockies, and winter is for skiing, not digging through rock-hard frozen earth) and the bounty of fossils already recovered are beginning a multi-year preservation process before they’re available to the public eye (ie: me). In the few months between initial discovery and encroaching winter, they’ve managed to unearth 2 Columbian mammoths, 3 Ice Age bison, 1 Jefferson Ground Sloth (squee!), 5 American mastodon, a salamander, an ice age deer, lots of wood (some with beaver chew marks on it), small invertebrates galore, and lots and lots and lots of plant fossils.
This is a Colombian Mammoth.
Why is he balancing on a snowball? Because I imagine there was a distinct shortage of brightly-colored elephant-proof balancing balls in the last major Ice Age.
You should totally embroider him, too.
The Colombian Mammoth, Mammuthus columbi, was a full 13 feet at the shoulder, one of the largest elephants ever to live (though surpassed by the Songhua River Mammoth, which walked around at 15 feet tall- if they ever clone ’em, I’m getting one). They had massive heads and massive tusks (the largest ever found were 16 feet long), and (compared to the Mastodon) had sharply-sloped backs and a big ol’ domed skull. They also did a lot of grazing; that is to say, eating grass. I somehow doubt they did a lot of balancing on balls, unless Pleistocene man invented circuses early.
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will be working with Snowmass this winter to figure out what to do about the reservoir, and the dig will resume when the ground thaws in spring! So exciting. If they need some help up there, I totally volunteer.
Click on the picture, and you’ll get the full-res. I release these free bits of line art under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
You are allowed and indeed encouraged to do whatever you want with the piece(s) (use, reuse, abuse, remix, share, and of course, embroider), just follow these two simple rules:
1) Give me credit (a link back is always appreciated- that way, everyone else knows they can use it too)
2) Don’t make a profit off any use or modification of my work.
To be fair, I won’t sue you or anything if you don’t give me credit- I’ll just feel all hurt, and no one wants that. Also to be fair, should you really want to use them in a profit-making venture (ie: stitch it on something you then sell in your etsy store, use it as a print for your own fabric line, etc.), talk to me and maybe we can work something out so everybody wins. If you do not talk to me re: selling these designs, I will probably do more than just feel hurt. Should you want to say thanks, leave a comment and/or tell a friend or six. Finally, if you do make something, embroidery or not, let me know and I’ll happily blog it!
You can find a reminder/introduction to embroidery, including basic stitches and a by-no-means exhaustive list of methods of transferring patterns to fabric in this post (there’s also a good round-up here and another one here). Finally: if you’ve got suggestions for embroidery patterns you’d like to see, I would love to hear them (no promises, though). You can find the rest of my patterns under the Embroidery Patterns category.