Month: March 2015

In search of Anubis, Part III: Ta Da!

We changed locations yet again and have been digging steadily for hours. We have found nothing large, but a few potsherds and beads give me hope that we might be in the right place.


I’ve hit something large and hard! Time to dig carefully with our hands… There! Look, Sigyn! You free that corner and I’ll get this end and…


By Thoth’s knobbly knees, this is quite a find! An intact mummy case and two canopic jars. If I’m not mistaken, Mister Falcon-head is Horus and… Yes, there he is: Anubis in all his canine glory! We did it, Sigyn! We did it!

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In search of Anubis, Part II: Not there quite yet…

Obviously, last time we did not dig down far enough. The pottery was nice, but it was nineteenth century at the earliest. We need old! We need ancient! We have moved on from where we found the pots and have started a new dig. Ah! Sigyn, have you found something? Is that a glimpse of bone I’m seeing?

Indeed it is!


Yes, dearest, those *are* impressive incisors, but I don’t recall that the Egyptians numbered a gopher-headed god among their pantheon. Perhaps, again, we have not dug down far enough. Here, let me dig for a while.


I think…No..Yes. Look, Sigyn! We’ve found…oh.


Two trilobites and an ammonite. Now I think we might have dug down a bit too far…

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In search of Anubis, Part I: Basic Archaeology

So I read the book about Anubis. I must admit I expected it to have more hieroglyphics and shades of the dead and pyramids and such. It did seem to be written in some sort of code, though, and I couldn’t make out much of it at all. In the absence of a prescribed summoning rite, If I want to meet Anubis, I shall have to hunt him up myself.

When in doubt, dig. It’s what we Egyptologists do. Sigyn and I have taken up faithful Gungnir and trusty shovel and have found ourselves a patch of good, diggable sand. It is warm, and there is a terrific glare, but we are undaunted.


We have dug and dug and haven’t found anything. Let us take a break. Sigyn thinks it would be funny to bury me a bit. She is certainly amused.


I am not.

We have moved over several yards to try again.

<a bit later>

Ho! We’ve struck something hard! Perhaps it’s a bit of faience or a funerary statue or a big scarab or… Huh. I did not expect this.


What is Native American pottery doing in Egypt?

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A (Mostly) Happy Anniversary

One year ago today, Sigyn and I exchanged vows in the presence of the mumblesome Great Goober and all his little goobery minions. (If you are unfamiliar with the tale of our courtship and meeting, I direct you to my diary entries from last February and March.)

I never tire of looking at our wedding photo.


I am still not sure if we are actually married, since I have never ascertained the Great Goober’s authority with regard to matrimony, and there is still the matter of Sigyn’s consent. However, I certainly want to celebrate this day. I asked Sigyn what she would like for a gift, and she said she would rather have an experience than a token and would like to visit the local Museum of Natural History. Sigh. I have had quite enough “nature” recently, but at least this museum thingy is indoors, so here we are.

Sigyn likes this tall, beaky bird.


The sign doesn’t say what this bird eats. Sigyn says she thinks it would eat little shellfish at the beach. I say it certainly looks capable of getting the last olive out of the jar.

Bones can be scary, but this sea turtle skull, which doesn’t have any pointy teeth, is fun to explore.


This alligator skull, though, was too much for Sigyn, but I am admiring its toothy grin.


No telling what this is…


I think Sigyn would rather go see some cute animals. Absolutely, dear heart. I’ve heard they have some child-friendly animatronic dinosaurs. Let us go see those.

Oh, no!


Let her go, you evil beast! Release her this instant or I will blast you into a small pile of gears and melted rubber!

Whew. My beloved is unharmed, only a bit shaken up.

I am so sorry, Sigyn. Happy Anniversary anyway, and don’t forget that I love you.

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Mischief update

Fog-shrouded trees and fungal excrescences are all very well, but don’t imagine for a moment I’m not keeping up with my campaign to make the human female crack before her next birthday.

So. Glassware. Remember the Beakers? Well, the vendor replaced the suspicious one, so she now has the one that came first, three more good ones, and one that can’t be trusted. (That one’s my favorite.) A refund was issued, even though there was really no need. That may seem like good news, until you realize that it wasn’t in an amount that corresponds to any number of single or multiple beakers, which is going to drive the accountants mad, and they will scream at the human female. And I will laugh.

Meanwhile, The Great Apothecary Bottle Snafu, which the human female thought might be resolved…isn’t. The Head Beancounters tried to tell her that the aforementioned refund took care of the four cases she succeeded in returning, but the amount is much less than the price of the returned goods. So that’s still hanging, and if I can keep this up through May, it will have been a year exactly!

I have suborned some of the maintenance employees, and now the temperature in the plant and animal room is seesawing nicely between 65 and 80F in no discernible pattern. We spin a dial to determine which component of the heating and cooling system will malfunction next. (If you have a preference, I can be bribed.)

Oh, and I’ve created a fine, is-it-a-dead-mouse-or-just-damp smell in one of the classrooms…

I did tinker with the weather last weekend, and when my spell weakened enough for them to TRY to go do something fun, I arranged for one of them to fall just ill enough that leaving the house was not an option. They then tried to do some home improvement, but I thwarted that too. That deserves a diary entry of its own!

The front yard is full of weeds, the grass isn’t green yet, I have taught the feline to on eat the houseplants and harf them up, and I arranged for the carbon monoxide detector to go off in the middle of the night. No dangerous gas, of course, just a malfunctioning unit. BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

I like to keep busy.

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A Not Foggy At All Now Walk, Part V: Toadrooms and Mushstools

This wet weather has every basidiomyceous organism burgeoning into extravagant growth.

Sigyn saw these…


…and said, "They look like blank pizza crusts!" Darling, I believe that is an indication that we have been walking too long and that it is time to go home for lunch.

While Sigyn admires the mushroom pizzas, I shall begin a game of hide-and-seek. Clever Sigyn! She has found me almost immediately. It’s hard to hide with horns.


This truly is a magnificnent fungus. I claim this log in the name of Loki!


(Why have I suddenly remembered that I promised to hang some shelves for Sigyn?)

As much "fun" as this walk has been, I really do think it is time to go home. Sigyn, how about you pick out one more thing for the human female to photograph, and then we go get some much-deserved lunch?


Interesting choice. It is certainly…um…very bright. The human female says it is a Cinnabar-red Polypore. She sounds erudite, but to be honest, I think she just makes this stuff up.

Now we go home! I think I hear a postprandial nap calling my name.

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A Not-so-foggy Walk, Part IV: A Bevy of blossoms

Hah! It is growing warm now, and the human female has shed her jacket and commenced to sweat. (Sweaty is not a good look on her.) She has slowed her pace considerably and is stopping more and more often to look at smaller plants.

This little violet is attractive.


Note that on and around it are the flat, circular fruits of an American elm. According to the human female, this tree used to be much more common, but most of them died due to a fungal blight. As Frigga is my witness, I had nothing to do with that.

This little plant has bright pink flowers. Sigyn thinks it is “cute.” I was going for “garish.”



Meh. Isn’t there something less boring? Like this–this good! It is omnipresent and prickly, two admirable qualities in a plant and a supervillain.


The human female says that later on this plant will be covered with plump blackberries. Indeed?


Behold! The larval stage of cobbler!

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A Foggy Walk, Part III: Oh, goody. More trees.

The fog has largely burned off, but things are still very damp. Trees like it that way, and they are all very “happy” today. Sigyn says this one has put on its party dress.


Isn’t it time for a little rest? We should stop and admire the view from this bridge over a largeish creek. Look–another of the pink trees. Let us see if we can get a closer look at the blossoms. Ah–clever Sigyn has found some on the bridge railing.


Yes, Sigyn, they do look a bit like bedroom slippers. I can’t really enjoy this interlude, though. I recall what happened the last time I sat on a bridge when the human female was nearby…

Uh, oh. This tree is considerably less happy. I would like to go on record as saying that I did not do it. I have better things to do with my time than smite dendritic vegetation. Go blame someone else.


We have come to a low-lying portion of the forest. The ground underfoot is decidedly…squishy. Be careful, Sigyn, that you do not become stuck fast in the mire. In fact, I shall demand that the human female carry us. Her boots are supposedly waterproof.


I wonder what, besides tree reflections, lurks in this muddy pondlet the human female calls an oxbow.


I also wonder where the ox is, and why someone would want to tie a bow to one in the first place?

Sigyn–look! Isn’t that one of the odd little shrubby tree things we saw on the human female’s field trip?


The human female is quite excited and is snapping photos rapidly. She is enjoying this walk entirely too much. I shall have to remedy that… She is about to find out that her waterproof boots…aren’t, and I think I can get a bird to drop something nasty on her head.

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A Foggy Walk, Part II: I spy, with my little eye…

…something beginning with "T"

Why, yes, Sigyn, it is a tree. Fancy that.

It appears to be the season for the trees to put forth their new foliage. Look how shiny these new leaves are. The human female says this is a "chokecherry." I am filing this tidbit of information away because I think it may be useful later. For example, if my sister-in-law comes to tea…


The oak trees are flinging out their catkins, which exist for the sole purpose of filling the air with as much pollen as possible. The human female is allergic to oak pollen. Also elm pollen, pecan pollen, hickory pollen, grass pollen, weed pollen, and pollen pollen. (It takes a certain monolithic stubbornness to become a botanist when you are allergic to practically anything with chlorophyll. I am –grudgingly– impressed.) Fortunately, my dear Sigyn has no such frailties and finds that young oak twigs are good to swing upon.


I think I will gather some of these slender pollen-bomb catkins and shake them thoroughly into the human female’s pillow case.

This oak is still wearing last year’s leaves, even though it is of a deciduous variety. Clearly, it is confused.


By Fandral’s mustache, what is that?


The human female says it is the "emerging inflorescence of a popular." Well, I don’t know how popular it is, but it is certainly bizarre-looking.

Oh, I see. Here is one that is a little older. More pollen!


That is considerably less nightmarish.

Oh, here is a tree with actual, recognizable flowers. Sigyn thinks it smells delicious and I concur. Ehehehehe! Her climbing is making the tree shake down a snowfall of petals.


Look what else has fallen! I am so glad Sigyn wasn’t standing under it when it fell!


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A Foggy Walk, Part I: It’s all spangly

According to the calendar, it’s Spring now! Overnight, the weather has gone from put-another-quilt-on-the-bed to aack-how-much-clothing-can-I-take-off-without-being-arrested? If horns and cape and armor were not so much a part of my “look,” the world would behold a godly sight, you can be sure.

The human female is celebrating the Equinox (So much fuss about the tilting of the Earth’s axis. If you ask me, the whole planet’s out of whack) in her usual manner: She is stomping about in “Nature.” Where she goes, Sigyn invariably follows, and where Sigyn goes, faithful Loki cannot be far behind. The woods can be a dangerous place, and I must make sure my beloved is safe.

It is very foggy this morning. Little droplets are spangling everything. This woolly bucket tree (Who names these plants?!) is a rather fetching silvery-green.


The human female says the leaves are hairy underneath. A plant with long underwear! Only on Midgard…


This spiderwort blossom is also bedewed. What a pity its brilliant blue color does not photograph well. Sigyn likes this plant because the little stalks that hold up the yellow bits are furry and the yellow bits are shaped like bow ties. I am sure there are botanical words for all those flower parts, but to be honest, I don’t care what they are. When the human female natters about morphology, I simply stop listening.


I want to know where the actual spiders are. Here is a nice, big web, but I don’t think anyone is home.


Oh, Sigyn! Look at this one! Shall I wave my hand and turn these sparklies into real diamonds for you?


No? Very well. But you are worth more than diamonds. Do not forget that.

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