Friday Favorites is a weekly round up of my favorite stories and products from around the web. See what I’ve loved in the past here.
- In a political move I can actually cheer for, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke designated 370 miles as new national recreation trails.
- I had heart eyes for days over this Horse and Hound post full of adorable baby horses, and it made me wonder what experts would predict about their future prospects.
- Outdoor Magazine wonders whether van life is ruining camping. I’m on the fence.
- If you’re not a fan of sleeping on the ground but van life isn’t for you, either, maybe one of these gorgeous glamping sites will be a good fit. I’m especially enamored with the Ranch at Rock Creek.
- I grew up playing in the woods with other neighborhood kids and with no adult supervision, and I loved it. That’s probably why I also love this adventure playground in New York City.
- Photographer David Doubilet’s “over-under” photos of life above and below the water are absolutely magical!
- Enterprising and talented women in Zambia are turning deadly snare wire into jewelry to save their country’s wildlife. Not to be outdone, a group of Kenyan sculptors are gathering lost flip flops from the ocean and turning them into colorful works of art.
- Foley artists are the heroes behind the sound effects in movies, and their work is fascinating. When I worked as a sound editor for KBYU-TV many, many years ago, I got to go do some foley work for a piece we were working on, so this video brought back a lot of memories.
- The psychedelic work of ceramics artist Dean McRaine makes me want to go to Hawaii, like, STAT. You know. So I can get some pottery.
- I started watching this video because I ♥ abandoned places. But then it threw me for a complete loop and left me bawling. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
- This story about cavers and scientists trapped in Sistema Huautla, the largest cave system in the world, had me on the edge of my seat.
- We already know that I think bees are pretty rad. But now they’re even radder, thanks to recent evidence that they understand the abstract concept of “zero.”
- Where do baby manta rays come from? From this rare manta ray nursery off the coast of Texas, apparently.
- Looking for a critter fix on your lunch break—or an educational way to entertain your kids? Check out this definitive ranking of the best animal livestreams.
- I don’t care how old you are, bubbles are always fun. This video about professional bubbler Melody Yang is nothing short of mesmerizing. (Also, professional bubbler? How do I get that gig?)
- The LDS Church announced plans to publish updated versions of the Hymn book and Children’s Songbook, and they’re looking for submissions.
- I love this portrayal of Christ healing the man stricken with palsy after his friends lower him down through the roof. Their dedication to their friend, and his grateful hug at the end, are so moving to me.
- I have only recently been bitten by the family history bug, but I love it. This sweet video is a great look at how family history can change our lives.
- The fire at Philmont is almost completely contained (thank goodness), and talk has turned to restoration efforts. I found this article on whether we need human interference in burn areas rather timely.
- Along those same lines, I loved this article about what happens when we just let nature do it’s thang.
- Go England! The city of London will be powered by 100% renewable energy by the end of October! *fist pump*
- Think not using pesticides on organic farms leads to an increase in pest pressure? Think again.
- We often talk about animal suffering in the food industry, but as Civil Eats reminds us, there are many people suffering behind cheap food labels as well.
- I get super frustrated by our throw-away culture, so I LOVE the idea of repair cafes.
- Need some inspiration for life? Matthew McConaughey’s got you covered.
- It’s also well established that I love corvids, so this sweet story of a magpie that changed the life of one Australian family had me crying big, fat, ugly tears.
- And speaking again of Philmont and the fire and me crying, this song written by a former camper at Cimarroncita Ranch Camp (formerly a separate camp up the canyon, but recently acquired by Philmont) gave me all the feels.
- The American Rivers program has organized the clean up of over 250,000 miles of rivers. Here’s how you can organize a clean up event in your own community.
- While President Trump reversed the family separation policy yesterday, the fight isn’t over. Joanna Goddard has a great list of what you can do to help.
- If I had any extra room in my budget this month, you can bet your boots I’d be taking advantage of the current sales on paperbacks at Barnes and Noble. Through the 26th, you can get a 3rd paperback free with the purchase of 2, or you can pick up some favorites for just $9.99 through September 3rd.
- I am also loving this outdoor-themed art by Fuzzy Ink on Amazon.