Nerds in the Woods, Part II: In Which Sigyn and I do Some Nature Art

The human female’s Friends of Lick Creek Park booth has a fun activity  people can do.  It is primarily for the small, sticky people present, but nothing says grown-ups can’t try their hand.

Or, in my case, no hands.  I am moving the green marker using only the prodigious power of my magical mind.


Sleipnir’s fetlocks!  Midgardian opossums have some very strange feet…


Sigyn wants to try.  She has selected the fox track stencil.  The people at the booth have urged her to embellish the finished tracing if she so chooses.

Apparently, she chooses.


Well done, beloved!  He is the very essence of vulpine dapperness!  The sunglasses are a nice touch.  All the other kiddies are sure to be jealous.

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Nerds in the Woods, Part I: Something New

Long-time minions may have noticed that there haven’t been many nature walk this year.  The human female’s bum feet have kept her pretty close to home.  Today, though, she is back out in the woods.  Our favorite “wilderness” park is now home to a brand-new Nature Center.  The city has been building the thing for years, now, and it is finally done!

Let’s go on a quick tour and see what all the fuss is about.  I’ll be the judge of whether what we have now is better than all the trees, flowers, and grass they ripped up to put it in.  Hmm.  Curved roof, big empty room, smaller empty room,  concrete amphitheater, outdoor classroom, very-angular-not-shapes-found-in-nature sidewalks, gardens.  I must say, I’m not impressed.  No doubt it will be nicer when the city gets around to filling it with actual science.  The human female and her coworkers have provided lots of checklists and texts for displays, but none of them are up yet.  Therefore, there is still time for me to introduce misspellings, misidentifications, and various plausible yet completely erroneous “facts” into anything that goes up.

Sigyn wants a closer look at the gardens, and I’m happy enough to oblige.

Oh, these are reasonably attractive, and the butterflies seem to approve of them.


The human female is put out, though, because these pentas are not native, and she knows she thoroughly vetted the landscape plans and provided a list of attractive native plants.

Uh, oh.  The plantings also include tropical milkweed, shrimp plant, two kinds of Cuphea,, Mexican mint marigold, butterfly bush,  and powderpuff, none of which are native.  The human female has that pinched, twitchy expression she gets when there is something—or someone—who desperately needs correcting.  Best to move on before there is an incident.

What have we here?   Ah.  Various groups of nature lovers have set up booths and tables with educational displays, games, and assorted activities.  The human female is supposed to take a turn manning one of the booths.  Let’s see what’s afoot.

Hmm.  What’s all this brown cloth?  I am fairly certain that Unrepentant Package Squashers was not invited to this gathering!


And what is it they’re selling?


Oh.  The ubiquitous Midgardian garment-cum-billboard, the T-shirt.  And it has a leaf on it.  How quaint.


Oh, look—they’re for sale.  Remember:  You too can advocate for the park and be a Friend and have Friends, but it’ll cost you..

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A Strange and Wondrous Beastie, Part IV: In Which it Ends as Most of This Group’s Adventures Do

I think we have just about as many people riding this stridulation-mobile as it will hold.  I mean, practically everyone I know is here already—

–except the hammer-toting oaf.   What do you want, Thor?



You’e not my bro–

BAD FISI!   BAD hyena!  Drop it now!   Thor, hold that mangy animal right there!   If I can get the leg back, I can probably magic it back on!


This is just great.  A whole abdomen full of superheroes and assorted hangers-on and no one can get one measly little bug leg away from a walking doormat with no table manners.  


Sometimes I hate my life.

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A Strange and Wondrous Beastie, Part III: Doesn’t Anyone Have Anything Else to Do Today???

Captain Toothpaste Ad has wangled his way aboard my fine Tettigoniidous steed.  How to kill all the romance of an outing in one fell swoop.

Yelp?  You too?  Sigyn, did you send out engraved invitations or something?!


म तपाईंको शानदार काठको क्रिकेटमा सवारी गर्न चाहन्छु? के तपाई मलाई यो गर्न दिनुहुनेछ?

Sigh.  Go ahead.  It appears that I’ve chartered the hexapod equivalent of a party bus.

Oh, and now the Kitty Committee wants in on the action.


Just so you know, Blackie, I didn’t invite you.  Muffy is Sigyn’s friend and you’re just a regrettable plus-one.  Fisi, you can bite him, too, if you feel like it.


Cat, are you coming or going?  And Stark, if you so much as bat an eyelash at my sweetie we are going to have a rousing game of kick-the-man-in-a-can.

“Komm her, Remus.  Join me upon this so magnificent inzect.”


“Hold tight mein Freund, und keep an eye on zat…thing on ze ovipositor…”


Sleipnir’s fetlocks!  Didn’t anyone stay home today?!


Oh, great.  Now the cry-baby clown wants in on the action.


Benno, you are scared of, among many other things (including dandelions and air molecules), both bugs AND heights.  Do you really think climbing up for a ride is a good idea?

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A Strange and Wondrous Beastie, Part II: Don’t You Have Someplace Else to Be?

Sigyn and I are enjoying our ride on the massive katydid.  Or is it a cricket?  I really never learned much entomology.  In my book, it’s either a bee, a butterfly, or something that probably needs squashing.  Still, the view from up here is pretty nice.

Oh, this is just great.   It’s perfect Steve on his perfect bike.  What do you want, Captain Spanglypants?


“Hello, there!  Permission to come aboard?”


If I said no, would you go away?

Sigh.  Sigyn has already given him the go-ahead.  Fine.  Ride my cricket.  But, Fisi, if he starts getting friendly with my beloved, you have my permission to bite him on his spandex-covered butt.

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A Strange and Wondrous Beastie, Part I: Well, Hello There!

The calendar says it’s fall.  The thermometer says it’s still summer.  My tummy says it’s lunchtime, and the human female says I’m driving her nuts and would I please go for a walk or something and take the damned hyena with you.

Fine.  I was sick of looking at you, too.   Come on, Sigyn, Fisi, let’s go for a stroll.

There’s something about October.  Sigyn gets this urge to collect colored leaves and nuts and twigs.  This very large acorn will make a nice addition to her growing cache.  Look, dear one, if you rub the nut part, the fuzz comes off and it will be all shiny and smooth underneath.


If you get tired of playing with it, I’m sure the felines would be happy to swat it around noisily about 3:00 a.m.

Norns’ nighties!  What manner of insect is this?!   It’s stupendous!  It’s colossal!

big cricket

It’s something Sigyn wants to ride.  Sigh.  Of course she does.  Very well, my love, up you go!


Not bad!  There’s a nice flat space on top of the carapace that makes a fine throne.  Forward, my chitonous-ligneous steed!


Now all I have to do is figure out how to steer.

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In Which We Meet Some Truly Odd… Creatures

The humans are in the Big City to the South, visiting the Knittery Friend and her family.  This usually means good food and good company.  Good food eventually means a trip to the Necessary Room.  Sigyn and I have gone exploring to try to find it.

I think we found it.

And by Fandral’s Mustache Wax, it is guarded by the weirdest beast I have ever beheld—and keep in mind that as a lad I once sneezed mid-spell in the royal menagerie in Asgard and had to deal with the after-effects!


No doubt the Knittery Friend has stationed it here and trained it to mercilessly savage any who would dare leave toothpaste globs in the sink.  Don’t get too close, Sigyn!  A normal duck hasn’t any teeth, but this is most decidedly not a normal duck…

Ah, this beastie here is no doubt more gentle and amenable to scritches.  Unless I miss my guess, this is the rare striped pygmy soapwhale.  They breed in southern latitudes and migrate northwards in the summer.  The fact that this fellow is here now is a sure sign of the impending solstice.


Sigyn says she would like to be able to cruise the seven seas, living a life of High Adventure.

And I think she’s figured out a way to make that dream come true.


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