Month: April 2016

All in the Family–Sigyn Speaks

I have learned a lot of botany from the human female.  For instance, now I know that plants have families just like people!  One of my favorites is the Iris family, the Iridaceae.

I’ve shown you the purple irises on the side of the house before.


There are also some yellow irises in the front bed.


On our latest walk we found this white-flowered plant that has become very popular with landscapers. It is so tall that I had to ask the human female to boost me up to admire it.


I think its slanty Latin name is Dietes.

But my favorite is this teeny tiny Sisyrinchium that likes sandy places.


I’m sure Loki probably thinks I’m silly, squealing over little things that come up in lawns.  But he’s very patient, tagging along on plant walks, don’t you think?

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Proof That it *IS* Possible

The lawn and garden are already showing signs of flagging, in the wake of recent torrential rains and the human female’s neglect.  Cue the usual whining about the poor soil, etc.  Therefore, on today’s walk about the neighborhood, I am taking pains in pointing out to the human female all the yards and gardens that demonstrate just what is possible and just how badly she is failing.


See, Sigyn, someone has managed to grow some very nice blue flowers.  Why don’t we have these?  Laziness, that’s all it is.


Ooh, Sigyn, doesn’t this plant feel funny?  It’s all rubbery!  Surely something made of rubber should be indestructible enough that even she can’t kill it?  The little starry flowers are just a bonus.

Sigyn is especially enamoured of this brightly-flowered shrub, and no wonder why!


It would provide some much-needed beauty to our yard.


As well as a steady supply of very fine hats.

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This is More Like It!

I’m still reeling from being categorized with a bunch of protozoans.  However, not all of the press I’ve been getting lately is demeaning.

Did you know there’s a volcanic feature under the Norwegian sea that is known as Loki’s Castle?  It’s true!  And it’s such a fantastic place that people want to turn it into a National Park!  Fact!

And they’ve found microbes there that may point to the origins of complex life.  Click that link–great photo! (Hmm. Perhaps that is how I ended up where I did on that blasted tree.  There are microbes named for me!  Fact!)

But–Volcanoes!  Volcanoes are awesome–huge, fiery, beautiful, and inherently more than a little menacing.  Having a volcano named in my honor is a balm to my wounded pride. And wait! There’s more!  Did you know there’s a huge, seething lava lake called Loki Patera on one of the other rocks in this solar system?  Fact!

In truth, it is the largest volcano in the solar system–it is more powerful than all the volcanoes on Earth combined. Fact!

Google the “mighty” Thor + volcano and see what you get.  That’s right, Hammer Boy, nothing. Fact!

Don’t cry.  Maybe we can find a little bitty rain shower or a not-so-scary breed of purse-sized canine to name after you.

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I…I’m in the News! (But I’m Not Thrilled About It)

Human scientists, who like to put things in neat little boxes despite the deep, flawed weirdness that is Midgardian life, have recently come up with a new “tree of life,” showing the relationships between all living things on this rock.

Predictably, most of the organisms are microbes.  It’s a planet of microbes!  Is it any wonder I saw it as ripe for the plucking?

Wait a minute!  Look!  Look there–down near the bottom, just to the left of the green fan-shape that is all the Eukaryotes (organisms whose cells have nuclei.)  See that one little branch?  “Loki and Thor.”  What?  I don’t remember being asked to contribute a sample to this study!  How did they get my DNA?!  And why am I wedged in between two groups of unicelluar…things that can’t speak, think, or appreciate the subtle differences among shades of sarcasm between various forms of torture?  Now, Thor! Sure, I can understand that–he’s about as complex as wallpaper paste, but me?

I’m appalled!

I’m outraged!

I’m insulted!

I’m…suddenly recalling where they might have come across a bit of my magnificent DNA


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Making New Friends

The human female is actually shifting her carcass enough to go for a walk today.  In the opposite direction from which we usually go, there is a little bit of as-yet-undeveloped land, and someone has pastured two horses on it.

Now, I am not now and never have been terribly enamored of horses (Sleipnir notwithstanding), especially not since one performed an unscheduled carpal amputation upon my person.    Yes, I can take them or leave them.  Still,  it is a nice day, and Sigyn is excited (she loves all animals), so off we go.

One horse is much the same as another to me, but even I will not be getting these two mixed up.  One is pretty much a generic brown equine, and the other is a little thicker (it might have a bit of draft horse in it) and has a white sock.


The thinner one is an eating machine!  The Indian paintbrush flowers are disappearing into it an alarming rate.  Quick, human!  Feed it some of the carrots you stashed in your pocket.  No, Sigyn. I don’t think you should feed the horsie too.  It is very LARGE and you are very petite and tempting.  If someone is going to be bitten, I had rather it not be you.


I don’t like the way it is looking at you…  Maybe the other horse is nicer?

How rude!  The other horse refuses to acknowledge my sweetie in any way.  Just for that, you boorish nag, I will leave you with a little magical keepsake so that you do not forget your manners in future.


Here.  Have a green mustache.

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Yesterday was the birthday of one of Midgard’s most famous rulers, the Queen of England.  (Actually, there’s some confusion about her actual natal day, but I say, if you’re a crowned potentate, you can celebrate whenever you darn well please.)

In honor of the royal birthday, the local import shop had a sale on all British merchandise.  The humans lost no time in stocking up on “biscuits” and ginger beer.  I’ve no great interest in ginger beer, but Sigyn and I are both quite partial to all members of the biscuit-cookie family.  It took a bit of ferreting, but I’ve found where the human female hid them.  Time for a snack!

By Fandral’s straining buttons!  Didn’t take the human female long!


This is the sole remaining specimen of that noble breed, the Jammie Dodger.  How dare she eat them before Sigyn and I could get to them!  You can see that it says “Full of jammie mischief” right on the label.  Clearly these were meant for ME!  Sigyn, I will share this last one with you before it dies of loneliness, bless its little jammie heart.

There is also a bag of little shortbread canines.  (Make up your mind, Limeys!  Biscuits? Cookies?  Bread?  Pick one and stick with it!)


The label says mini.  I wonder what size they really are?  What can you see, Sigyn?  How do they look?


They are, in fact, mini.  One might almost say they are perfectly sized for Sigyn…


…to want to make pets of them rather than eat them.  Sigh.  This happens a lot.  It’s food, dearest.  Shall I call some friends to help us with them?


Yelp seems similarly enamoured.  Muffy has already taught her doggie to play dead.  Isn’t anyone going to EAT them?!  I, of course, have no such compunction, as you can tell by Headless Hamish here.


Benno is certain his is rabid and will go down in history as the first person ever to run away from shortbread.

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Time to Thai on the Ol’ Feed Bag

All of this poking about in lawns has made me hungry.  Luckily, the humans have been invited to try a local Thai restaurant tonight, and Sigyn and I are included in the invitation.  (I’d go even if I weren’t invited.  The humans are not the boss of me!)

The menu is… intriguing.


What in the Nine Realms is a kuay kuay?  And why isn’t the chicken lava marked as spicy?  Does that mean the other dishes are hotter than lava?  We should have brought Yelp.  He likes spicy things.


Kra prow!  Prik kling!  I am beginning to think this menu was written by the same fellow who writes the sound effects for comic books.  What do you want to try, my love?

Our hostess has ordered a traditional salad, and everyone gets a taste. Wait–doesn’t salad mean lettuce?  Where is the lettuce?  I don’t see lettuce.  What is this?


Turns out it is composed of green papaya and a host of other delicacies.  I will wait and see if the human female expires after eating it.  (It is so useful to have one’s own glorified lab rat!)  Look, Sigyn!   No ill effects.  (Nibble, nibble)  This is actually quite delicious!

The entrees are arriving.  The human female, not a big fan of spicy chilies, has opted for peanut chicken.


Mmm.  Chicken and peanuts and vegetables.  It smells wonderful!  Occasionally the female makes good choices.  (I know!  It always surprises me too!) I do believe I detect coriander, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, and cilantro.  There is a lot of food on that plate, so it is probably enough for the three of us. Especially if we don’t allow the other diners to steal tastes.  Back off, people–you had your chance to order this.

Please pass the rice!

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More Lawn Fun

We are still poking about in the lawn.  Sigyn is so excited!  She says you never know what you might find.  I predict gum wrappers, crab grass, and the occasional ant.

But this is something:


The human female says it is called Japanese Mazus and is not very common here.  Good catch, Sigyn!  You have a keen eye for the unusual.

And a keen nose, too.  You’re right–I do smell lemon!  Where is that coming from?


From that little purple mint?  Are you sure?  Here, let me bend it down so you can take a good sniff.


Mmm.  I agree.  We should get some of this for our lawn.  The human female is beyond lax in her weeding.  She’d probably let it stay.

I wonder what other treasures we can find in the lawn.

Look at this!


What do you suppose dropped this?  Or, rather, whooo do you suppose dropped it?  Look at the fringe-y edge of your side of the feather, Sigyn.  That breaks up air flow and makes for quiet flying.  Now that we know that there are owls in the neighborhood, we will have to be extra careful if we go walking at night.  You are so cute and have a tiny, squeaky voice–I wouldn’t want Mister Owl to mistake you for a tasty snack!

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Tiny Lawn Thingies

The human female says that April is a good time to do some “Belly Botany.”  This means that while she says she is going for a nice, invigorating walk, she really plans to stop every ten feet, squat down on her plump haunches, and peer at people’s lawns.

Why she hasn’t been arrested yet, I have no idea.

Sigyn likes tiny flowers, so the three of us have formed a strange procession.  As I predicted, we have made it no farther than the park on the corner.


Sigyn thinks the Dwarf Dandelions are “cute.”  I think Sigyn is cute.


Scarlet Pimpernel, one of Sigyn’s oldest and dearest floral friends.   She looks forward to them every year, and one of my favorite photos of her was taken amidst these grenadine-colored posies.


Sigyn likes this one because it “looks like lace.”  The God of Mischief does not “do” lace.  I think I may need to go smite something just to keep my virile reputation intact.  Where is Thor when you need him?


The Human Female is a Big, Fat Hypocrite

The human female is *such* a hypocrite.  She professes to love cats of all sorts.  She makes a huge fuss over the feral cats at her workplace, even going so far as to pat the seat next to her when she gets into the car, asking one or another of them if it doesn’t want to come home and live with us.

Well, the other night, when she was leaving home to go do boring things with dead plants, she heard the flp-p-p-p-p- noise that means her little blue car has sucked an oak leaf into the air system and needs a bit of a clean out.  (No surprise–she parks under an oak tree and the vehicle accumulates a lot of leaves, acorns, and catkins.)  So she shut off the engine, popped the hood latch, and got out to do some excavating.

That is when she found the lovely stripey-tailed surprise kitty I brought her, sitting on her engine under the hood.   She must have spooked it, though, because it jumped down and hid between the sunflower and the elm seedlings.


She was so mean!  It was lonely and hungry and scared, and she didn’t offer to cuddle it or feed it or anything.  It just wanted to be friends.  It even left her a present!



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