Adventures

Blossoms in the Boonies, Part I: A Veritable Plethora of Posies

After a few sunny days, the local wildflowers have finally decided to muster up the effort to bloom.  Today there is a Wildflower Day at the Boonville Cemetery and Heritage Park just north of here.   Of course, Sigyn and the human female have gotten up early to go participate.  I’m tagging along to make sure no harm befalls my beloved.

The human female is on her own.

There are a lot of humans here today.  Some of them are exploring the furnished, blue-hats encircled pioneer cabin that has been restored on the site:

boonville cabin

There is a group of musicians on the porch, playing old-timey tunes on fiddles and dulcimers and other stringy, jangly instruments.  Sigyn says it’s lovely.  I say it’s not loud enough to drown out the human female’s prattling, so it’s no good.

The organizers have given the human female a table of her own, and she’s put up a sign that says, “Ask a botanist a question.”  People are stopping by to talk about native plants, things to grow in their gardens, names of wildflowers, and other matters of botanical nerdery.

I’m having a good laugh, because the human female’s table is right behind the life-sized statue of some historic personage and she has more than once almost bid him good morning and asked him if he has questions.  

Across from the human female’s little bastion of all things planty, the organizers have set up a children’s area.  It is well-stocked with coloring pages, crayons, watercolors, paper, and minuscule chairs.  There is also a bubble-generating machine.  I have directed the chilly breeze to blow the bubbles into the human female’s face from time to time.

boonville coloring

I can tell from Sigyn’s wistful expression that she really wants to join them.  Dearest, you are so cute and portable that I’m afraid someone would swoop down and carry you off.  The human female has brought some drawing paper and various implements of scribing—can you set up here at the table with her?

boonville drawing 1

See?  The mortal has already begun to doodle a portrait of something she calls yellow star grass.

Oh, you want to draw the tiny corn salad?

boonville drawing 2

I’m sure she’d give you some paper.

You can probably share her colored pencils as well.  How did the human female’s drawing come out?

boonville drawing 3

A little stiff, but she managed to get the yellow and green on the right parts of the plant, so I’ll give her that.

By Volstagg’s mighty embonpoint!  The organizers have organized some lunch.

boonville lunch

Let’s see… Mini sandwiches, pickle slices, chips, and a cookie.  It’s Lent, Sigyn, so you and I can remove the temptation of that cookie straightaway…

Munch, munch, munch.

It’s for the good of her soul, after all.

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Big Green Brain Thingies

On a previous visit to the outcrop, Sigyn and I encountered the botanical equivalent of the human female’s brain.

Today, we have encountered the same strangeness again.   There’s a tree near where the car is parked, and it has dropped a number of heavy, green, brain fruits.

boisdarc1

They really do look like brains—or something from another planet (not Asgard–I think I would remember something like this!)

The human female says that there are seeds inside, buried in the sticky gluey fibers.   But what would want to chew through all the brain matter to get to them?  What is the dispersal agent for these things?  They tend to fall off and land right under the tree, which is an inferior reproductive strategy.  (Even I could tell you that.)

boisdarc2

She says that scientists believe that there had to be something at one time that was very large and capable of eating these things without too much chewing, so that the seeds would come out intact in its… um… “poo.”

She says the front runner theory says it was Giant Ground Sloths.  Now she’s just making stuff up.  Odin’s eyepatch, woman!  If you don’t know, just SAY so.

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A Visit To an Old Friend

Last year the human female’s bad trotters kept her off the outcrop that’s home to the rare plant she studies.  But this year, things are a bit better, and we finally have a bit of a break in the rain, so we’re off to see if the Agalinis is blooming this year.

It’s a nice day for a drive.  I can’t wait to get there, because after being cooped up indoors with the human female for ever because of the rain, it’s just more torture to be cooped up in the car with her for another forty minutes!

The landowners aren’t home today, so we’ll have to park on the roadside at the base of the outcrop, walk down to it, and then climb up.  Do you have your sturdy shoes, Sigyn?  I would hate for you to turn your pretty ankle.

Opposite the base of the outcrop is a fence full of yellow camphorweed.

heterotheca

It smells good in the sun and is not too bad for dangling, though barbed wire and horns do not mix.

On the outcrop, the first thing that has caught my beloved’s eye is this dayflower.  Electric blue really stands out against the greens and tawny browns of the grasses.

dayflower

It appears to be a banner year for asters.  There are purple ones and an entire galaxy of white ones.

aster

The shining goldenrod is right where the human female left it last time she was here.

oligoneuron

Perennials are so predictable.

And,  yes!  Yes, there it is!  The Agalinis navasotensis is in bloom!

agalinis

Now that we know it’s in flower, the human female and her colleague will need to get down to business and count* the plants carefully and mapping their positions with a GPS unit. (GPS is Midgardian shorthand for “Gotta Pinpoint Something”).

That sounds like work.  I think I will leave it to them and just relax here on this moss tuffet.

moss

The Rightful Ruler of Midgard does NOT do fieldwork.

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* Not that I believe for a second that the human female will be of any use once she runs out of fingers

Sooo Many Rescues

We’ve had a nice visit with the new neighbors, but it’s time to be heading home.   It’s beginning to get dark early these days.

Whoa.

Sigyn, are you getting that creepy, “something’s watching me” feeling on the back of your neck?

Sigyn?

Sigyn?

Where did she___?

Munnin’s tailfeathers!  Let go of my beloved THIS INSTANT, you cantankerous, carnivorous corvid!

heb-halloween4

Hang on, sweetie!  Loki’s coming!

Whew!  That was much too close for comfort!  All right, Sigyn, let’s just go home and make cocoa–

FENRIR’S FLEACOLLAR!  NOT AGAIN!

heb-halloween5

Get your freakish dwarven hands off my beloved, you big lizard, or I’ll Thera your pod into teeny, tiny, bony slivers!

heb-halloween6

That is NOT what I meant!

No time for witty insults!   Just…

ZAP!

Are you all right, my love?  I promise, that Saurischian menace will never bother anyone, ever again!

Let’s go home.

I think we need cocoa AND some cookies to go with–

heb-halloween7

I give up.

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A Mini-Break, Part VI: The Aftermath

The ice cream mochi, bless their chilly little hearts, did not make it as far as the parking lot.  They would not have survived the trip home in a hot car anyway–that’s our story and we’re sticking with it.  They proved to be quite delicious, though the feel of the outside plus the cold of the inside takes a bit of getting used to.

The human female bought some of her favorite sour gummy heptopi, and they did weather the trip home, but they were sadly rendered extinct before the night was out.

no more octopi

Let’s hope these fellows fare a little better.

dino gummies

Somehow, I’m not too hopeful.

It looks like the dinos and these are the only treats left.  The human male picked these out.  Apple Pie Almonds, eh?

almonds1

What are they covered in?  It looks like sawdust, but I bet that’s not it.  Is there an ingredient list?

Uh, oh.  The label says “chocolate.”  The humans can’t have that.  More for me!  Oh, sorry, I mean, “too bad for you.”  (Sorry, not sorry.)

almonds2

I figured as much.  They’re “white chocolate,” which is a fancy way of saying “cocoa butter and sugar.”  The humans can eat that, so looks like Sigyn and I will have to share.

 

almonds3

That is, if I can figure out how to open this teasing little box…

almonds4

It has mocked all my efforts!  Time for a blast of magic!

That’s more like it.

almonds5

I still say that coating looks like sawdust.  From the color, possibly held on with guacamole—or wasabi.

(munch, munch, munch)

Hmm.  The almonds are nice and CruNchY, but the coating leaves a great deal to be desired.  There’s the merest hint of apple maybe, but there is nothing pie-like or pie-adjacent.  I detect no cinnamon and no nutmeg.  Nothing but a rather waxy texture and whatever that covering is (pencil shavings?) falling all over everywhere.

Ten points for intent, but minus fifty for poor follow-through.

I bet the human female shovels them into her maw anyway.

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Mini-Break, Part V: The Requisite Visit to the Large Market

It wouldn’t be a trip to the Big City to the South without a visit to the Large Market.  I will admit it—Midgardian food is much more diverse than Asgardian fare.  It’s meat, ale, bread, ale, fruit, mead, cheese, and ale back home, but I never know what we’re going to find here.

Oh!  These, mortals!  Purchase some of these!

blood orange

I don’t know what they look like inside, but with a name like that, it’s bound to be spectacular!

What do you have there, Sigyn?

pepino

Ah.  the sign says, “pepino melons,” but the human female says they’re more closely related to tomatoes and potatoes than cantaloupe or watermelon.  Regardless, Sigyn is hugging the stripey one.  She says she thinks it’s probably sad because it’s not like the others.  Leave it to my beloved to feel sorry for fruit.

One of the best parts is the opportunity to sample all the things the helpers are offering as samples.

fruit spread.jpg

It’s sweet, it’s fruit, and it’s red!   It’s the Sigyn trifecta!

The Large Market has apparently started stocking Fine but Overpriced cookware in Sigyn’s favorite color.

lecrueset

And this is new as well!  If  I understand correctly, these are glutinous rice balls filled with ice cream.   We’ve had the plain ones before with the red bean paste inside—but ice cream!  That’s different!

mochi

The human male wants to try the vanilla, Sigyn wants strawberry, and I’m stumping for Double Chocolate.  Give me all the chocolate…

As always, Sigyn likes to round out her visit to the Large Market with a stroll through the extensive floral department.  Sometimes she finds exotic blossoms, but today’s she’s quite taken with the roses in her two favorite colors:

Sunny yellow,

yellowroses

and cheerful red.

flame rosess

They are no more beautiful than you, my love.

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Mini-Break, Part IV: In Which We Run Into A Spot (or two) Of Bother in the Gift Shop

We are here in the museum’s Gift Shop, which is always a risky prospect.  How so?  There is the very real danger that:

–The human male is going to find an expensive book that he wants

–The human female is going to embarrass us all by squeeing over scientifically accurate stuffed animals.

–Sigyn is going to find something motion-related and become– like this.

It. Happens. Every. Time.  Pendulums, marble machines, factory equipment–doesn’t matter.  Sigyn is absolutely mesmerized by moving things.  In this case, it’s colored oil drops rolling down little ramps in some sort of desk doo-dad.

Oh, sweetie.  Can you…?  It’s all right… Just look away…  Come on.  Lets go look at…something else.  Something not moving.

Here!  Come see this!

dinoboard

Who doesn’t love a good novelty cutting board?

Or maybe you’d like to check out the rubbery prehistoric beasties?

mosasaur.jpg

Jormungandr’s jodhpurs!   Unhand my beloved, you toothy behemoth or I shall render you extinct a second time!  Hang on, Sweetie!  Loki’s coming!

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