Sigyn Speaks

Back to the Park! (Sigyn Speaks)

The human female and I were talking the other day, about how it’s been so long since we went out to the park in the woods.  So today we’re going!

We have a little time before the tour group she’s leading shows up.  Come on, Loki, let’s look at the flowers around the Nature Center.  I can see from the parking lot that there are a lot of colorful things blooming!

This is the butterfly garden.


I really like this fluffy blue stuff.


I don’t think Loki is as impressed with it as I am.

Wow!  All the pink behind me is a native grass, Pink Muhly.  Isn’t it wonderful?


The human female planted some in our front flower bed.  Sadly, Loki got to it, and it isn’t nearly this pretty.

Most people think Wooly Croton is a weed,


but it’s fuzzy, and actually a nice place to sit.

This plant is its relative–an they’re both relatives of Poinsettias!


If you mentally color some of these leaves bright red, you can see the resemblance.

Now these Pentas are good and red!  They’re not native, so I sort of wish the city hadn’t planted them, but the butterflies do like them.


And, oh!  I wish you could smell this one!  It’s Mexican marigold and it smells like sweet licorice!


Even if we don’t find many wildflowers in the woods today, just seeing all of this near the Center has been a real treat!

: )


My Favorite Fall Color, Part II: Mostly Yellow (Sigyn Speaks)

I know, I know!  I don’t usually post two days in a row, but I just love fall flowers so much!!

Yesterday I showed you the red ones, and they were beautiful, but fall is also the time for my second favorite color.  Yellow!

No one can be uncheered with sunflowers around.


They followed the human female home from work as seeds in a bucket of  pressed-flower compost material.  Now they’re all over the lot, mostly because the human female leaves them up until the birds have nibbled out all of the seeds at the end of the season.  Those birds spill quite a few seeds (messy eaters!), so there are always more the next year.

She grew this senna from a tiny seed.  Well, a big-enough seed, I guess, because it makes beans, but tiny when compared with the overall size of the plant.


The whole bush is about six feet tall now.  It’s not terribly cold hardy, but the flowers are such a nice color!

And the flowers of this tropical milkweed are double-extra pretty because they are red AND yellow.  The butterflies love them!   They have an icky-sticky sap, though, so I’m always careful touching them. 


Don’t the flowers look like they’ve been made by a cake-decorating frosting tip?

In the front flower bed, the red and yellow lantanas are growing next to one another.  The “red” ones are such a nice color.  They start out nearly yellow and age through to red.


And look at the flower buds!  They’re rectangular, which is something I’ve always thought is really, really cool.

There is a lot of yellow going on outside the yard, too.

“Bitterweed” is such an ugly name for such beautiful flowers.  It’s called that because cows who have eaten it give bitter milk.  But there aren’t any cows in the neighborhood, so we don’t have to worry too much about that!


I really like how the ray florets have scalloped tips.  Fun botany fact:  what looks like an individual flower is really a whole cluster of tinier flowers.  I love all the flowers!

Which is good, because the park on the corner…


is sort of awash with them!

: )


My Favorite Fall Color, Part I: Mostly Red (Sigyn Speaks)

It’s here!  It’s really here!

At long last, the calendar and East Texas are in synch–IT’S FALL!!!

The days are still warm, but I think, I think, we’ve seen the last of the really nasty heat.  The mornings are cool, the nights are sleepable, the mockingbirds are singing and swooping for territory, and it has done nothing recently but rain.  (The lawn is so happy!)

Loki and I are out for a little walk between showers.  The neighborhood is fine, but there is a lot to see right around the house.  And a lot of it is RED!

I would know it is fall if this was the only plant I saw.


Schoolhouse lilies!  They just pop right up without leaves.  The first ones nose their way up out of the grass every year when the fall semester starts.  The human female says she started with three bulbs.   There must be many more of them by now, because the flowers pop up a few every day for weeks.  I just want to hug them!

This red sage flowers off and on all year, but it really likes fall best.


The hummingbirds like it a lot, and so do I!  It’s pretty good for dangling.

The hummers like the Turk’s cap even better.


I’ve always wanted to pet a hummingbird–they are just too cute, and they have the sweetest little squeaky voices!  Maybe if I put up a feeder and sat on it…

The humming birds like the morning-glories, too.  They aren’t red, but they are native, which is a good thing.


They’ve crawled all over the compost heap’s enclosure, scrambled up the sapling hackberry by the driveway, and climbed into the neighbor’s holly tree.


It’s very festive every morning!

They have spread down the side of the house and overrun the iris bed and the little, useless fencey bit.


Not to mention the other side of the fencey bit and the rest of the irises.


There are some in the front yard as well.  It all comes of not weeding very much, but what a happy accident!

: )



Does Anyone Know a Good Oneirologist? (Sigyn Speaks)

Sometimes it’s not hard to figure out where my dreams come from.  Dream about herding cats, and most likely I’m afraid of parts of my life being out of my control.  (Hello?  Maybe-married to the God of Mischief!)  Dream about all my teeth falling out and maybe I’m worrying about losing my youthful good looks.  But sometimes I really wonder what’s going on in my noggin.

Take last night.  I dreamed I was walking along and I saw Thor riding up on some sort of weird go-cart/cylcle thing.


That wasn’t unusual.  Thor often comes to visit.  Loki frequently hides when he does, but nothing strange about it.

But this time Thor has the weirdest expression on his face…


Before I can ask him about his vehicle or why he’s grinning like a maniac, here comes Loki, on a little go-cart thingy of his own.


Well, it’s Loki, but not Loki, if you know what I mean.


And he looks a little possessed too.  And he had this glowy blue crystal thingy instead of Gungnir.

So there’s the two of them, both somehow shorter than me and grinning like fiends, and I didn’t know whether to laugh or run…


Except it was one of those dreams where you can’t run.  All I could do was watch them circling one another, like they’d driven up just to have some epic battle in front of me.


But before it comes to actual blows, they just give one another a look…


…and then zoom off again, each driving the other’s car.


No goodbye.  No “see you later.”  No “want a ride on my cool new lightning-mobile?”


While I’m trying to figure it all out, suddenly the scene changes, and somehow Loki and I are part of the circus and we’re practicing our trick riding…


…and then I woke up.

What on earth do you suppose it all means?

: (

Loki Takes New York, Day 9: Oh! I Just Want to Live Here! (Sigyn speaks)

Oh, I always sleep so well when it’s rainy, don’t you?  We’re all rested and ready for today’s adventures.  Today we’re going to visit a place I’ve been dying to see since I first read about it years ago.  I’m so excited!

Actually, I just love everything about this city–the parks, the museums, the food, the tall buildings.  Even the cheesy souvenirs!


Maybe I’ll pop in and get the I<3 NY pajama pants for myself—and don’t you think Loki would like a tall building of his very own?  It’s not the one we keep trying to go up, but it’s pretty iconic and it would make a great backdrop for my sweetie.

One subway ride and one very obliging M4 bus, and we are finally here!!!  The Cloisters is the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Medieval collection, housed in a specially designed building that looks like a castle!


There are all sorts of Medieval columns and doorways and fountains and statuary and artwork and I just love every little pebble of it!

There are four cloisters (colonnaded courtyards), each surrounded by Medieval or Renaissance columns and just stuffed to bursting with colorful flowers.   This is the Trie Cloister.  The columns, which have very fine, carved capitals, are from near Toulouse in France.  What they must have seen in their lifetime!  I wish they could talk.


Yes, Loki, I’m coming.  (I’d like to stay in the garden all day, but someone’s getting restless!)

Everything here is so beautiful!  If asked, I don’t think I could choose a favorite.  How do you compare a stained glass window to a stone angel to …

Oh!!!!!  Do you see it?!   Look, Loki, do you see it!


It is one of the famous Unicorn Tapestries!  THE most famous unicorn tapestry!   Oh, I never thought I’d get to see one!  The plants are so beautiful and so colorful, even after so many hundred years.  And it’s so big!!!  Oh, it was worth coming just for this.

I’m afraid Loki isn’t as excited about all of this as I am.  I have a feeling he is only humoring me.  He is so kind that way.

Now we are in the Treasure Rooms.  This is where they keep all the tiny things that would be swallowed up in the bigger rooms, and that also need to have better lighting.

What a darling little book!  (Yes, Loki, I am “sure it didn’t come out of a box of Cracker Jack.”)


So beautiful–and not lost over so many years!  I’d better not exclaim too much, or I’m sure Loki would try to get it for me.  

Oh, I think I like this last Cloister the best.  it has quince trees and espaliered pear trees on the wall and those big purple Allium balls.


I could just stay here forever, and I know the botanist-Medievalist in the family feels the same way.  I think the menfolks have had enough art and plants for one day, though, and we did skip lunch.  Time for a quick peep through the gift shop and then a trip home.

We’ve stopped between the bus and the train to get dinner.  It’s a chain eatery, but I hear the food is good.  Loki, you’re going to like what I chose.


Turkey and potatoes and veggies.  Just like Thanksgiving!


We are all pretty ravenous.  Won’t be needing a doggie bag!

(later)  What a lovely day.  And it is not over yet!  Our poor photographer is tired, and his knee hurts so he’s going back to the inn, but there is still a concert left if anyone wants to go.   It’s a free concert, so it looks like we’ll have to wait in this loooong line that goes around the block, but the cathedral is BIG, so we’ll probably all fit in.  Maybe?  At any rate, it’s a pleasant evening, and it’s no hardship to stand under a maple tree for an hour.

We made it.  We’re in!  Oh, this place is huuuge…


I know Loki is probably thinking that all those banners would look better with his device on them in black and gold and green, but he has promised not to do any mischief here tonight.

No, Loki.  I can’t see, but don’t you dare blast those nice people in front of us.  I’m sure the acoustics are just fine and we’ll be able to hear perfectly.

Wow!!!  When they start up the organ, the whole building shakes!  It’s very exciting!

(later) That was wonderful!   Thanks for coming with us, Loki.   We have to walk home in the dark, and I feel so much safer with you beside me.

I’m so glad we came on this trip!

: )


A Delightful Lesson (Sigyn Speaks)

Hi!  I am having such a good time on this vacation with the human female and her family!  We are visiting fun places and eating yummy things, and today we get to visit with the grandnieces and grandnephews again!

The human female has decided that the grandnieces are old enough to learn a bit of embroidery.  She won a simple kit on one of her favorite websites and has brought it along as a gift.  Wasn’t that sweet of her?

The kit actually has enough goodies to make two different pictures.  One is a bouquet of flowers and one is this colorful bird.  The instructions are in a recent issue of a magazine, but the human female won that too, so we are all set!  Wasn’t that lucky?


Hello, birdie!

The human female thoughtfully traced the design onto the fabric with a wash-out marker and zig-zagged the edges so they won’t ravel.


The red-headed nieceling is going to work on the bird.  She’s decided that she wants his tail feathers to be yellow rather than green, which should look really good.

The people who put the kit together very generously included whole skeins of floss, rather than a few little cut lengths, so there is plenty to experiment with.  Look!  My favorite colors!


Lesson one is how to separate the strands of floss so that they’ll lie evenly on the fabric.  Lesson two is how to thread the needle.  That can be tricky, especially for little fingers.  The human female brought some needles with good, big eyes.


I think Loki may be coveting one of the larger ones.  Sweetheart, I’m not sure that’s a good idea…

And I really don’t think they’ll appreciate it if you abscond with the dark green floss…


…even if it does match your cape.

: )

Parting Words (Sigyn Speaks)

We’re going home!  The Great Goober’s mumbled slurrings were, “Perhaps,” and the inducement of enormous gems was apparently sufficient to convince him to help us out.  Oh, I’m so glad!   It’s been an adventure, but I’m ready to go home to the humans and the cats and the spring wildflowers, which must surely be out by now!

Besides, the longer we stay, the greater the likelihood of Loki doing or saying something completely unforgivable.  I recall that the Goober has a short temper, and I would hate to fall afoul of him or his large, plushy wife.

And it seems that the Queen want to speak to us before we leave!  Here we are in her private audience chamber, where she is enjoying another of her Paul Bunyan-worthy s’mores.


“I am pleased to have met you tiny folk.  I hope you will visit again sometime, but that your magic, Green One, may improve enough not to land here wildly, without reason or direction, but that you may send yourselves—or better yet, your sweetie alone–directly here to me.  You may leave now, Tiny Horned Man.  I would speak with her without your troublesome presence.”

Oh, dear.  Loki will not be pleased with that.  He’s grumbled off, but I’m sure to hear about all this later.


“You’ll have to keep a sharp eye on that man of yours, Little One.  He’s sly, he’s manipulative, and he doesn’t have manners enough to remove his helmet in the presence of ladies.

“If you’ll take some advice from One Who Knows:  You have to let him think he’s winning. That he’s in charge.  Play to that egregious ego.  I get the feeling he’d do anything for you, so keep him busy taking care of you, and maybe he’ll stay out of trouble.”

Thank you, my Queen.  I mostly do that already.

“Smart woman.  Now, would you care to share this s’more with me?  There is plenty!”


Don’t mind if I do.  Mmmm.  Melted chocolate!


Oh, no!!  What do I do?!  Loki has Iggle-Nix cornered and has challenged him to a duel!  (This is carrying taking care of me too far!)


No, Loki!  Please stop!  I…I know he’s kind of creepy, and I don’t like the way he looks at me, but please don’t fight him!   You don’t know what he can do with all of those tentacles!


Oh!   Oh!   Are you all right!  Are…?

Augh!  No!  Don’t kill him!  If you do, the Great Goober will be mad and we’ll never get home!


Stop it, Loki!  Let him up!  I’m too young to be a widow!

Thank you.  Now, let’s go home.

Pffft!  Boys.

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