Month: March 2017

A Dash to the Outcrop, Part II: Not Everything Here is Friendly

There are so many flowers here today that they wouldn’t all fit in one post.  Sigyn is happy to see them. She especially likes this penstemon because the flowers are so big.

penstemon

I sort of like the old plainsman.  What looks like a single flower is actually a cluster of tiny ones.  They can be hard to key out since the classifications keep changing–I like that too.  A frustrated human female is more fun!

hymenopappus

This barbara’s button is constructed the same way.  Before the head matures, it’s easier to see that it’s made up of many tiny little florets.  But I suppose only dorky botanists really care about that.

marshallia

Idunn’s little green apples!  The human female is dropping slanty Latin names right and left.  Where I see some boring yellow flowers, she sees Tetraneuris linearifolia, Medicago lupulina, and Linum berlandieri.

flax

Aha!  This is more like it.  This is the wickedly poisonous DEATH CAMAS!

Schoenolirion

We saw it  (and the penstemon and the old plainsman) when we were here two years ago.  But note the date on that old post–about a MONTH later than today.   The flora is behaving bizarrely this year.  Plants that usually flower in January or  February and those the human female usually finds in April are all piling into March.  Something is definitely weirdAnd I didn’t do it

Um, Sigyn, you might want to head back to the car.

I really don’t want her to see these next bits.  Judging by all the little plates, this used to be what humans around here call an armored dillo.

exarmadillo

And this, unless I miss my guess, is the part of the bunny that goes over the fence last…

bunnytail

Nature in action, folks.   I think I need to hustle my beloved out of here.  Anything big enough to take apart a cute bunny is big enough to take apart a cute Sigyn!

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A Dash to the Outcrop, Part I: Old Friends (Sigyn speaks)

The humans are on their way to the Big City to the South.  Fortunately, the outcrop that the human female and I love so much is on the way, more or less.  We are making a quick stop to see the effects of last year’s controlled burn.

The last time we saw this place, it was on fire.

outcrop

It looks very good!  There is a lot of new vegetation coming up, including this ground plum (which the human female says is not a plum at all.  Common names will get you into trouble every time.)  It is a true prairie plant, and the fact that it’s here and happy is a good sign.  She says she only sees it in good years.  It will make a big, round legume fruit.

astragalus1

The bluebonnets are back!   This is a different kind than the sort on the roadsides.  This one likes sand rather than clay.

bluebonnets

The big yellow flowers and round fruit in this photo belong to bladderpod. The trifoliolate leaves belong to bur clover.

lesquerella

Some botanists say that the bladderpod should be Physaria rather than Lesquerella.  “Lesquerella” is more fun to say!

Loki likes the spiderwort.  Usually, they are blue, but the ones here are more purple.

trad

Wild onions!  They are everywhere!  And do you see the little green bug?

allium

Really, it is hard to walk without stepping on something in flower.  It is a very good year!

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A Bit of Spring Cleaning

The human female, emboldened, I suppose, by the tidying of the yard, has decided to do a bit of tidying up inside as well.  Today’s chore:  sweeping.

Now, most mortals will sweep up some dust bunnies from time to time, but the humans with whom I reside have free ranging dust buffaloes.  Snap to it, human!  I want to see the floor sparkle.

Odin’s  Eyepatch!  This is disgusting!

It’s like a forensics puzzle to figure out what’s in here.

Sweep2

I can identify:

  • ficus leaves
  • human hair
  • cat fur
  • tortilla chip crumbs
  • paper
  • cereal crumbs
  • thread ends
  • bits of grass
  • more cat fur
  • glitter (pre-Yule in origin)
  • sand
  • tiny fabric snippets
  • failed New Year’s resolutions
  • mortification

And that’s just the dining room…

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Time For Some Yardwork

It’s spring!  In fact, it’s Spring Break.  The students have all decamped and the town’s residents can breathe, drive, and eat out.  It’s also time for the human female to get back out in the yard, clean things up a bit, and work off some of that winter fat.

This backyard elm seedling has shiny new leaves.

yardwork1

First dangle of the season!

Look how tiny these new leaves are.  Stigyn says the flappy pink things are called stipules.  Hahahaha!  She stipulates that these are stipules.  Botany pun!

yardwork2

The human female’s projects for today are some pruning and weeding.  The various little saplings she’s letting grow up need to be limbed up a bit if she’s ever going to be able to mow around them.  Here are the implements of destruction.  Pruning shears, and a folding saw with wicked little teeth.

yardwork6

I like it.

(later) Well, that was a good morning’s work (for her.)  I got to watch and laugh as she got tangled in greenbriar vine, pricked her fingers on a seedling gum bumelia, had her hat picked off by low hanging branches, and lost her pruners in the mulch more than once.  It was raining, too, so she got good and damp and muddy as she scrabbled about under the shrubbery getting up last year’s long, dead grass.

Here’s the haul, along with that big black bag full of weedy bits.

yardwork7

And because she was working so hard, I invited some of the neighbors over to participate.  Little, buzzy, thirsty neighbors.  Which is why she now has a big welt on her adam’s apple, a kind of fat lip, one eye that is swollen part way shut and itchy, and a huge Dumbo ear that is big, red, itchy, hot, and sticking away from her head at a 90 degree angle.  Great Frigga’s corset!  She’s more hideous than usual.   Guess it’s time to hide the insect repellent, eh?

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Definitely Not Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

It’s supposed to be spring, but it is cold and gray today.  Still, Sigyn and I have left the creaky human female at home and have come out for a little walk.  It was Sigyn’s idea, but I had to come with her because sometimes I wonder how safe the neighborhood really is.

I mean look a this freshly-turned soil in Neighbor’s yard.  About 8 feet of it.

neighborgrave2

Everyone on the block is pretty sure he offed a basketball player…

neighborgrave

While I’m checking out this suspicious mound, Sigyn has drifted down to the park to swing.

Poor Sigyn.  It’s cold, it’s windy, and there’s no one to push her.

swing

Hang on, sweetie.  Loki’s coming.

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What I Found in the Yard– Sigyn Speaks (Almost Wordless Wednesday)

A whole lot of blue-flowered vetch that Loki says the human female really ought to pull out of the lawn but which I think is rather pretty.

yardwork5

Lyre-leaf sage, which politely declines to grow in the flower bed where it’s wanted and insists on coming up in the yard.

yardwork4

And the first satellite dish of the season.

yardwork3

: )

Sometimes I Don’t Know My Own Strength

You’ll recall that by distracting a random-but-extra-hapless automobile driver, I involved the human female in a rear-end collision, which left her beloved little blue car languishing at the autobody shop, waiting for Claims-R-Us to cough up the money for the repairs.  As much as I would like to pretend that all is now well, and as much as I abhor emotions of the ovine variety, I must sheepishly admit that things went from bad to worse…  My little traffic spell sort of snowballed.

To the point that this was the humans’ recent shopping list.

unhappyCRV4

For, lo!  When the repair shop finally got an estimate from Ho-hum Claims-R-Us, they began work on the vehicle. When they opened the rear door, they found a nasty surprise.

unhappyCRV

Turns out that Mr. Highway Sonata had submarined right up under the poor CRV and crumpled up the floor in the cargo area.  See that bulge behind us?  Yeah, that’s supposed to be  _flat_.

Aaaaand, since the car is seventeen years old and worth about what you’d pay for a large popcorn and a soda at the local cinema, the insurance company decided to total it.

unhappyCRV2

The human female had to decide whether to walk away from what was essentially a family member with four round rubber feet or take the money, buy the car back from the insurance company for blue-book value minus salvage, repair it, and always wonder if the collision had damaged the frame so that it wasn’t entirely safe.

After some anguish and far too much whining for my taste, she decided to go talk to:

unhappyCRV3

Who actually had a very nice used CRV at a decent price.  So now, instead of an ancient, bright blue little car, the human female has a slightly newer, boringboringboring silver little car.  She got all choked up when she went to the repair shop to clean out the sad old car.  (I saw to it that she forgot to get the parking hang tag when she did so, so there’s the fun of replacing that to look forward to!)

So she’s moderately happy.

She’d be happier if I hadn’t put my meddling little paws on the situation again.  (Satisfaction is not in my nature, and I couldn’t allow things to be neatly resolved!)  Percy from Claims-R-Us told her there’d be papers to sign so the title of the old car could pass to them.  It was very, very important that she sign the originals and get them back to him promptly!  She waited for the e-mail with the documents.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally, an email arrived!  Consisting entirely of instructions on how to sign the back of the title.  Nothing else.  So she contacted Claims-R-Us.  Nope!  That’s it!  Way to obfuscate, Percy.  Now she just has to wait for the check to arrive at Claims-R-Us so that an exchange of hostages (check for title) can proceed.  Oh, and wait for the Honda folks to finish the wheel alignment and detailing they promised to do on the new car.  And wait for the new car’s old owner to drop by the spare keys.

We’ll see how long I can s  t  r  e  t  c  h   this out!   Bets?

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