Day: June 2, 2017

M is for “Milam” and also “Mosquito” and “Midge” and “Mess”

Today the human female got up off her well-rounded hindquarters and actually did some field botany.  She has been mentoring corrupting the Master Naturalist Group from the next county over.  They’re the same group that went bog-trotting the day the human female ran afoul of the wasp-hornety thing.   The plan is to collect and catalog all of the species that grow along the Camino Real, the old royal road used by conquerors of this part of Midgard hundreds of years ago.

Someday future botanists will catalog the flora of my swath of conquest through this realm!

Today they are concentrating on the area around and just west of the bridge we visited once before.  There are a lot of things blooming!  Sigyn is very excited.

There is a whole team of naturalists here today and they have set up the plant-smashing station under a nice shady canopy.  The human female is traipsing about, collecting things and passing them off to the note-takers and pressers, which is a surprisingly efficient way to to do things.

What have we got coming in, sweetie?

Oh, you are right!  This one does look like lace.  And it has some great, bristly fruit that I can stick all over the human female’s socks!

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The human female says it’s called “hedge parsley.”  As I’ve noted before, I think she just makes this stuff up.

Then there’s this.  <sniff! sniff!>  Mmmminty!   See, this is the stuff that should be growing at Minter Springs…

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The flowers are quite unusual up close–yellow with maroon dots.  Ehehehehe!  They looks like they have MEASLES!

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This has been a good day for everyone!  Sigyn has looked at lots of flowers.  The plant-nerds have managed to fill the press to overflowing, and  I convinced the human female that she had dropped the BORROWED digging knife, so she spent quite a while retracing her steps over and over, trying to figure out where she’d dropped it.  Ha!  The joke was on her.  She’d handed it off with an enormous batch of samples.

Extra bonus:  ALL the gnats and mosquitoes on the planet have been out here today, so all of the humans have been swishing and swatting and snorting and cussing.  Such language!  I even made one little dipteran fly up the human female’s nose!   Since I’d replaced the contents of her insect repellent sprayer with Liquid Insect Treat, she had more than her share of affectionate little visitors.

The plant press is full and like to burst, and the plants still need to be neatened up from the initial press, so the human female has offered to take the bloaty thing back to town to separate it into multiple smaller presses, tidying the specimens at the same time.

So here we are at the herbarium.  Sigyn, you might not want to wave too vigorously.  This whole mess is quite unstable and could self-destruct avalanche-wise at any moment.

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Just look at everything hanging out.  Sloppy, that’s what it is.

So now the human female is repositioning the plants one by one.   There are 58 species, with two collections of each, so she is going through a LOT of blotters and cardboard spacers.

Look—here’s the measle plant again.  Too bad the human female was vaccinated.

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She was not vaccinated against mosquitoes, though, and now she’s really starting to twitch.  Let’s catalog her itchy bug-kisses:  Two on one shoulder, one behind her left ear (or maybe it’s the earlobe–the whole thing is swelling so it’s hard to tell), one in the corner of her left eye, one on her right eyelid, and one on her bottom lip.  She has no self-control when it comes to scratching, and she’s starting to look like a mutant.  (Or more like a mutant than she usually does.)  By tomorrow, when the chigger bites start flaring up, she should be ready for sedation.  Isn’t it just serendipitous that her biggest passion (plants) always seems to lead to her greatest annoyances?

I love nature.

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