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View From a Pandemic: A DinoStory


The roots of my Dinovember experience probably date back to a conversation a few years ago with a friend about dinosaurs. This turned into a running joke about anything T. rex related. A couple weeks ago she said to me, “You should do Dinovember this year with Paul.” 

“Oh. Really?” I said.

“We do have dinosaurs. I guess we should…,” I responded further. Paul is my 10-year-old son. And yes, he definitely does have some dinosaurs.

I’ve followed Dinovember posts from a different friend for several years, and I’ve thought about doing it in the past but never “had the time.”  This year, for some reason, felt like the right time to start. 

Being wrapped up in the U.S. presidential election results, I couldn’t start the first week of November: I was too busy constantly checking the news. So finally, a week into the wait for definitive results, I needed a distraction. Something to get me thinking about anything else. We were also a week into our second COVID-19 lockdown here in France. So Dinovember was the distraction that would give us politics-free, covid-free, quality imagination time. 

It’s something of a ritual now. At night I say to Paul, “What are the dinosaurs going to do tomorrow?” He usually answers with the noncommittal and frustratingly unimaginative, “I don’t know.”  

Some days it’s easy to dinovate, other days it’s harder to find the inspiration and get the right shot. But both Paul and I have learned a lot from Dinovember: be it how to stack dinosaurs or attach them to a garland, how to take the picture from just the right perspective, how to laugh at your own posts, or just the reminder to take time out to do silly, creative projects together.

The dinosaurs have also taught me that life is short, and you never know when the meteor will hit, so have fun while you can.

Nov 10: Dino movie night!

Nov 17: Dinos!! In!! Spppaaaccceee!!

Nov 5: The dinosaurs played a little game of rugby.

Nov 29: Our intrepid explorer was admiring the mountains when suddenly…Aaaaaagggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

Nov 9: Sometimes the coffee just doesn’t come fast enough—you never know when a meteor might strike.

Nov 11: The dinos had a big day today, so they got into bed early and only asked for one extra story.

Nov 12: CinderPaul gets ready to go to school. Luckily, he has some helpers.

Nov 23: Dinner time. Brachiosaurus isn’t happy. He’s feeling left out.

Nov 21: Dinos love a traditional French raclette.

Nov 4: The dinos have been pretty busy the last three days. Now they are trying to relax and not stress about the election results by reading Asterix.

Nov 6: Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar????

Nov 15: The dinos got together to check their plans for the rest of the month.

Nov 18: Dinos at school.

Nov 16: The hunter becomes the hunted.

Nov 19: Dinos doing laundry.

Nov 8: The natives are getting restless—pancakes on the way.

Nov 20: Dino game night!

Author profile
Leen Lartigue
Leen Lartigue is a Franco-American living in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the southwest of France with her son, husband, and dog. During the day she is a business intelligence developer for a local agricultural and agrifood cooperative. In the evenings she is a paleonto-photographer and mom.

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