Day: July 13, 2018

Aaauugghhh! He’s everywhere!

The human female is out at the big metal building all full of dead plants again.  Recently, she’s been going through the cabinet full of “historical specimens.”  These are the superannuated sheets, all collected before 1880.

Largely, these specimens area already in the database, but if they’re not, she’s having to make entries for them: Family, genus, specific epithet, locality, date, collector, etc.   All of these old labels are hand-written, and deciphering the poor penmanship can take just as long as typing it all in.

This is the label for what appears to be the oldest specimen in the collection.

j-gay-label

Look at that!  Do you see how some of S’s are written like F’s?  This sheet is databased as having been collected in “Valois, France.”  But was it really?

Great Frigga’s corset!  The human female with a mystery to solve is like a terrier with a pork chop bone.  She’s hitting the internet, doing some research and availing herself of  an online translating app.

(later) She thinks she’s figured it out.   The plant was collected by Jacques Gay.  It is Festuca valesiaca Gaudin.  The rest of the label says, “April, 1805.  It is common nearly all over Valais.  We have found it near Zermatt in 1809.  It grows also in Lausanne, in the territory of St. Sulpice (1809).”  So it’s from the canton of Valais, Switzerland, not France!  This makes sense, since ol’ Jaques was Swiss.

Math time!  If it took her half an hour to figure all of that out and there are hundreds of plants in this cabinet, what is the likelihood of my getting home to my beloved Sigyn some time this decade?

When I come to rule this realm, there will be just one country, with MY name on it, which will save so much trouble.

Next up:  this scrawny grass specimen.

odin-specimen1

There’s not as much writing on this one, and part of the information is printed, so perhaps it won’t take so long.

Let’s see…  Aristida ramosissima Engelmann.   That was easy.   “Leg.” is short for the Latin for “collected by,” so George Vasey was the collector, some time in 1862.  And where’s it from?

odin-specimen2

Aaauugghhh!  Seriously?  Some idiot named a Midgardian town after my horrible father?!  Everywhere I go, it’s my stupid family.  If it isn’t someone’s ridiculous visage, it’s their loathsome name.  Am I to be allowed no peace?

That’s it, female.   You are done for the evening.  Take me home.

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P. S.   Valais is famous for these creatures.  I think I know what Sigyn is getting for her next birthday.