Adventures

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Sleighbells ring, are you listening?  In the lane, snow is glistening.

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A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland.

In the meadow we can build a snowman, and pretend that he is Parson Brown.

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He’ll say, “Are you married?”  We’ll say, “No, man.”

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“But you can do the job when you’re in town.”

Later on, elf’s flat tire…

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A little help… is required.

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It’s fixed so my girl can go for a whirl,

Riding in a winter wonderland!

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Shopping With Sigyn is Always an Adventure

The humans have ventured out to one of the local markets that carries home goods.  Sigyn and I have tagged along just to get out of the house.

This leucistic theropod would ordinarily be terrifying, but…

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A.  His arms are not only tiny, they’re attached to his chest.

B.  Sigyn has a way with animals.

C.  He has his golden bow-tie on.  Clearly he’s dressed for a night on the town, not the slaughter of innocents.

Sigyn, what are you doing now?   The humans have moved on, and we’re in danger of being left behind.

bear1

Ah, teaching tricks to polar bears.  How clever of you!  But do come along.

Augh!  What now?!  She’s the dearest person, truly, but does she have to stop and chat with every. single. quadruped. on. the. planet?

llama

Dinosaurs in bow-ties, be-tasseled llamas, and polar bears in poorly-painted top hats.  None of this makes a great deal of sense.

Now where’s she gone?

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Sigh.  Hang on, sweetheart.  Loki’s coming.

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A Walk a Long Time Coming, Part I: Actual Real Live Nature

The human female’s stupid bum foot (not to mention her super-lazy bum) have conspired to keep her largely out of the woods and byways in the last year.  Today, however, she has traded her air-cast for a lace-up brace and jammed her pitiful trotters into her hiking boots.  The local chapter of Texas Master Nature Nerds has asked her to lead a field trip in her beloved Lick Creek Park, and she daren’t miss that.

We’ve had the first real cold front of the season and it’s a crisp, sunny morning.  Here and there, there are a few trees that have made a half-hearted attempt at fall color.

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A few have even been successful.

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Unfortunately, we are sitting in a cedar elm, and the leaves are scratchy as heck.

Sigyn, true to form, has found a holly to sit in.  Whatever she sits in, she seems to like hollies best.  The leaves are definitely smoother.

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Fruit’s not quite ripe yet, but that’s all right.  We’re not planning on eating it.

The fruit on this one is edible, but it’s a summer thing, so there isn’t any now.

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The human says it’s called gum bumelia or woolly-bucket.  Sigyn likes it because the leaves are fuzzy underneath.  Careful, dearest!  Fuzzy is not always friendly, and this one sometimes has thorns that can extremely poke-y.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah… The human female has been walking and talking for THREE HOURS NOW.  Isn’t there any way to make her shut up?  Great Frigga’s corset!  Now she’s pointing and squealing.  What on earth could be worth such a fuss?

Ah.  That explains it.  Sigyn, get someone to boost you up—we’ll want to get a photo of you with this one.

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Nodding ladies’ tresses, a dainty little terrestrial orchid that comes up in the woods in the fall.  It has a close cousin that is even rarer, and it’s out here too, but we haven’t found any today.

Still, it’s been good to get out of the house, hasn’t it?  The human female is sure to be stiff and balky tomorrow, but we could leave her home and come out again by ourselves.

Yes? It’s a date!

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Nerds in the Woods, Part V: The Best Part of the Whole Day

Fresh air and trees and bones and pelts are all very well, but it might be nice to see some actual live animals.

This is more like it!  The falconers say that the smaller bird is a merlin.

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She looks tiny, but they assure me she is fierce.  Her name is Freya, which is a proper Aesir name.  I approve.

I didn’t catch this fellow’s name.

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But isn’t he magnificent?   Be careful, Sigyn!   Birds of prey such as these are perfectly adapted to hunt small, cute prey.

Let’s see what else is going on.  Mmm.  Look!  This booth has balls of fresh mozzarella…

Oh, wait.  That’s not cheese.  It’s clay.  My mistake.  But what are they doing with it?

Ah.  You can make fossils.  

makingafossil

I shall leave an imprint of my gloriousness for future generations to marvel at.  But this talk of cheese has made me hungry, and it is lunchtime, or near enough.  Let’s leave the human female to her t-shirts and leaves and go in search of something tasty.

Wait.  Is that…?  It is!  Look, Sigyn!   Do you see that woman’s shirt?  What a marvelous item of apparel!  What splendid garb!

I must get a photo of this!

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My minions:  They’re everywhere.

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Nerds in the Woods, Part IV: Let Us Not Forget Our Green Friends

Not everything here at the Lick Creek Park celebration is animal-oriented.  The more chlorophyllous members of the biota are well-represented, which delights my Sigyn no end.

Someone has made a scavenger hunt consisting of trees and provided a little guide.   I have managed to find a honey locust already—look at this stupendous thorn!  It is branched, and the branches are pointy, too!   Nothing is getting past that.

treekey

When I build my palace, I shall plant a hedge of them all the way around.  And behold their marvelous fruit!  They are like flat, twisty, slightly fuzzy, black bananas.

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The human female says the pulp around the seeds is edible, but why would you want to tear one of these precious curlicues apart?

Sigyn is examining the wings on a winged elm twig.

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No, my sweet, winged elms do not actually fly.  But if you really wanted one to, I’m sure my magic could make it happen—just tell me where you want it to go!

The Biology graduate students from the University have made some large cutouts of plant and animal cells so that people can take cellfies.  Get it?  Cellfies?

cellfie

And there’s my Sigyn, in the center of a plant cell!  Isn’t she something?

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

pentas

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!

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And what is it they’re selling?

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

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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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