An Open Letter To My Happy Place To Which I Can't Return

An Open Letter To My Happy Place To Which I Can't Return

I will always miss you and the memories you hold within your waters.
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Dear Happy Place,

I miss you. I truly, truly do. From the excitement of packing to come to you, the drive back home, to every second in between. You're more than just a lakehouse to me. You hold within you loads and loads of memories and moments that I wouldn't change for the world. However, even though I have found happiness and peace in you, you are connected to the ultimate source of my unhappiness, my father. With the choice that I made over a year ago to discontinue seeing him, I have lost my ability to see you as well.

Of course I stand by my decision to no longer see him. He was abusive in multiple forms and I can tell that I am a better person when I am not around him. But, it is easy to say that the consequences of this choice are hard to live with. An entire side of my family has been placed on the other side of a wall. People that I care about are now separated simply due to complex connections. This also goes for my dog, friends connected to that side of the family, and you.

You are owned by his friends, making it practically impossible to ever see you again. But we've had our good times, quite countless, actually. I'll miss those weekends where I am enwrapped in you. Embrace you by Friday, dance with you through Saturday, and hesitantly depart on Sunday. Staring out onto your shimmering waters, feeling the wind hit my face as I speed down the lake in their boat, clinging for dear life on a tube, performing tricks on the diving board and neighbor's dock, using stale bread to catch fish, watching the marvelous firework show, and enjoying all the little things.

The games, the laughs, the memories, I only wish they would have lasted a little longer. It is truly unfortunate that I was forced to give you up when I gave up that part of my life. And I hope you can understand that. Perhaps I will return. Not in the same way as before, but maybe by coincidence. I believe if it is meant to be, I will see you again. Also, if I am lucky enough, I would give my children the same experience of getting to know you.

To have a house on the lake is not only having a lake house. It enables you to experience nature in a way like no other. A chance to feel like you're flying, even though you're simply riding at the front of a boat. Or maybe just a chance to play and feel like a kid again. If anyone would have the chance to come to you, they need to take it. You are a blessing, you always have been. While I struggled with my Father, you gave me a trip to look forward to, and a comforting environment to get lost in when only negative thoughts raced through my mind. You will always hold a special place in my heart, thoughts, and mind.

Yours,

Megan

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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10 Things Our Furry Friends Have Been hiding from us

We love our pets, but sometimes they seem a little smarter or a little more human than we've come to expect...

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Be it a quick head bump from an otherwise aloof feline or the endless "talking" of a chatty husky, very few things can live up to the endless love and devotion that a pet offers you at the end of a long day. Our loveable buddies may never cease to cause us headaches, hiding atop impossibly high cupboards, demanding that half the bed is theirs, or even ruining your only nice pair of shoes that you spent an unreasonable amount on, but at the same time they'll never stop surprising us with what they can do and how they act. After all, how can a bird have a better love life than most people I know? And what else have our furry (and not so furry) friends been hiding from us?

1. Your Dog Can (And Will) Watch TV

Chocolate Labrador laying on a couch

Pixabay

While dogs only see in yellow and blue, they can still see your television screen and identify other animals. Depending on your dog's personality, they may choose to watch TV with you at the end of the day.

2. And When You Affectionately Call Your Dog a "Dummy," He Probably Knows Exactly What You're Saying

Golden retriever with its paws in the air

Pixabay

Not every dog is like Chaser, the border collie who can identify 1,022 different words, but the average pup can learn upwards of 165 to 250 words along with basic mathematics. While he may not be able to help you with your math homework, he'll definitely know when you're hiding an extra treat behind your back.

3. Your Cat Probably Shouldn't Have that Milk

Cat dipping its paw in a cup

Pixabay

While not all adult cats are lactose-intolerant, most are. Like some humans, most cats only produce the enzyme that breaks down lactose as kittens and will get sick if exposed to it as an adult. Instead, getting a cat-safe alternative would make your feline friend much happier.

4. Remember that Time You Laughed So Hard You Snorted Milk Out of Your Nose? Your Horse Sure Does!

Gray Arabian thoroughbred

Pixabay

Horses may not always act like it, but they're very intelligent and have an excellent memory. A horse can recognize voices, effectively guide people towards items they cannot reach, and it has been postulated that a horse's long term memory can reach upwards of 10 years. If you don't want an animal who can remember every embarrassing thing you've done in the last decade, you may want to try this instead.

5. Your Exotic Rat Qualifies for a Job that Saves Lives

Rat in a small basket

Pixabay

Two, actually. The African giant pouched rat uses its nose to identify both tuberculosis and landmines significantly faster than a human can in high-risk areas. One rat can go through more TB samples in 10 minutes than a lab tech can go through in a full day, and can clear a 200-square-meter field with land mines in only 35 minutes. Let's be honest though, it's just nice to cuddle with them at the end of the day.

6. The Romantic Life of Your Scarlet Macaw is More Human-like Than You Think

Two scarlet macaws

Pixabay

Scarlet macaws are the Addams families of the bird world when it comes to love and devotion — just less creepy and kooky. These birds are monogamous and mate for life, often showing their affection for one another by licking each other's faces. Both parents are equally involved in raising their chicks and will preen each other for hours at a time as well. I'm sorry, but no one's #relationshipgoals are going to live up to these birds.

7. Your Cow Has Friends — And Gets Stressed if They're Separated

Two cows grazing

Pixabay

That's right, cows form bonds with other cows. Their heart rate and stress both drop when the two are together, but rise quickly when separated. They also seem to produce more milk and learn much better when they're together!

8. Your Ball Python Doesn't Have Ears, but He Can Hear you... Sort of

Ball python covered in water droplets

Pixabay

Unlike most pets, ball pythons won't do much when you're talking. A dog may wag its tail or a cat may flick its ear, but as a general rule there's a lot of disinterest going around. Is it because they're deaf? No, your snake probably just couldn't care less. Even though snakes don't have an external ear or ear drums, they have an inner ear that is connected to their jaw; when the jaw picks up vibrations through the ground or air, they can "hear" what's happening in their environment.

9. Who Needs Oxygen? Apparently Your Fish.

Goldfish in a pond

Pixabay

A common misconception people have is that fish breathe water, not oxygen; after all, fish will die if you take them out of water, right? Fish actually push water (H2O) through their gills where red blood cells are where red blood cells use the dissolved oxygen (O) in the water and push the rest (H2) out, and use the oxygen they gathered to breathe.

10. Is Peter Cottontail Part Cat?

Rabbits in a door

Pixabay

Rabbits have been known to do a lot of strange things, but very few things will surprise a person like their rabbit "purring" for the first time. When happy, rabbits will grind their teeth together to make a sound similar to a cat's purr. They may also lick people when they're happy or want attention!

Cover Image Credit:

Pixabay

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