potential peril

Neither a Lender Nor a Borrower…

The human female is a big reader.  It’s not unusual to find her in the wee hours of the morning, curled on the sofa or hunched over a table with her nose in a novel.  Sometimes she’s even still awake and not drooling.

She owns a lot of books.  She haunts used bookstores.  She borrows a lot of books from the library, too.  Her TBR (To Be Read) pile daily threatens to fall over and crush someone.  I’ve warned Sigyn to keep well clear of its teeteriness.  If she wants to read something from it, I will fetch it for her.

Not satisfied with raiding the local libraries, the human female frequently makes use of the Interlibrary Loan system.   She asks for books–they magically appear.  She’s addicted.  The University is quite strict about their loan policy, though.  Straps. Must. Stay. In. Place!


Humty tum, humty tumty tum.  Totally going behind the sofa.

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Sigyn Loves Glassware

We all know that my sweetie has an affinity for glass, though her enthusiasm has been known to get her into trouble.  Remember this?  And this?

Well, she especially likes the glassware that the human female keeps in her office window.

You can probably guess why she likes this Erlenmeyer flask.

It came out of that horribly junky room the human female excavated last year, and it is brightly, obnoxiously RED.

I view it with suspicion, because even though Sigyn has yet to fall into it…

…she appears to be trying.  Dearest, please come down from there!

 The human female and Sigyn share a love of miniature labware.  The teenier it is, the more loudly they “squee.”  This itsy-bitsy beaker is one of their favorites.  

If I had to choose, I’d say it’s my favorite as well.  Not for cuteness, but because, as far as I can tell…

There is no way in Hel for her to get trapped inside.

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At the Herbarium, Part I: UFFOs (Unidentified Flat Floral Objects)

My beloved and I have accompanied the human female to a place she calls the "Herbarium." At first, I thought this was going to be a place of herbs, sweetly fragrant with thyme, rosemary, and pipperjoy (which is grown in Asgard but is very uncommon on Midgard). Sadly, no. Remember all the plants we collected and smashed? This is where they ultimately end up.

There is evidently some identification work to be done today. Much as she would like to think she knows every plant out there, she so very much doesn’t. When collectors send plants they do not know the names of, the human female has to sit down and figure out what they are.

Ah. Number 533. I can tell you what this is. It’s a lump of green stuff.


The human female says part of it is a liverwort. Truly? That’s the best name you can make up? The bit with actual oblong leaves is…. something different.


She thinks it might be a species of Callitriche, but since the sample doesn’t have any fruit, she can’t be sure. That is a very good "out", blaming the identification failure on the plant and not her failing acumen. Poor old Number 533 may just have to remain unidentified.

This one is much less tiresome. It has nice, big, colorful parts.


Sigyn quite likes the red-seeded fruit. Euonymus atropurpurea var. atropurpurea. Otherwise known as Burningbush or Eastern Wahoo. Who NAMES these things?!


Sigyn, come out of those papers before you get folded away, boxed up, and left behind!

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A Perilous Expedition, Part I: It’s..It’s…Monstrous

Life among the humans can be quite dull. Sometimes, I feel if I don’t have just a bit of mystery, of adventure, I will go mad. I am, therefore, undertaking an expedition of discovery that will be fraught with peril and the unexpected. No one has attempted this before and survived. The skalds will sing of my bravery for a thousand years.

I give you…



The human female’s backpack.

This is the black hole of accessories, a very Fire Swamp of luggage. Things that go in there get lost forever, and no one is really sure just what lurks within. I mean to explore its depths and reveal its sordid secrets to the world.

You will notice that Sigyn is not with me. While I may let her wing-walk on airplanes and ride wild stinks, there are some things that are simply too gruesome for my delicate blossom to be exposed to.

The human female calls this the Mother Ship. Her whole life is in here.


It has several capacious compartments. I suspect that’s to keep some of the contents away from some of the other contents. I think there are things living in there, and I think they squabble. No, seriously. I’ve heard noises at night that I can’t blame on the cat.

All the sections open with zippers. This one has a nice canvas-y, ribbon-y zipper pull. I’ll be removing that, of course. The human female will probably be too lazy to mend it properly. I predict that by next week it it will have been replaced by a paper clip or a twist-tie off the nearest bread loaf.


Well. It’s now or never. Wish me luck–I’m going in!


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Found Objects, Part II: Sticks and Stones…

After taking a break to Do Science, I am back to looking for nifty things lying around. I have found another strange object. I do not know what it is.


The human female says it is "a teeny, tiny Lego Loki Thighmaster" and that I need to lay off the in-between-meal snacks.


This means war.

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Dragged out into the field…again, Part II: There’s a fine line between beauty and death.

A few more photos from our rambly, scrambly day:


Old Plainsman. Indeed, it is a bit stooped and wavery. (Or perhaps my innate, all-powerful godhood has inspired it to genuflect. I shall, of course, accept its obeisance.)

The human female says this is a “Fringed Puccoon.” Suuuuure it is…


To me, that sounds like the name of either some exotic tropical bird or a very unpleasant social disease.

This coral honeysuckle was flowering above our heads, up where hummingbirds can reach it easily. Sigyn wanted to know what color the flowers are inside, so I magicked a blossom down. Look! The inside is orange!


We have been out here a long time, and I have poked a tendril of magic at the human female to cause her to begin to think that it is time for her lunch. She often brings snacks along but has failed to do so today. Would it be too evil of me to suggest that the crunchy bulbs of Zigadenus nuttallii (Nuttall’s Deathcamas) would be yummy? It would certainly cut this hike short!


While the peckish mortal fossicks about for botanical comestibles, Sigyn and I can enjoy a nice rest in this magnificent specimen of Penstemon cobaea.


Sigyn wants to creep inside and examine the bee-guide purple markings. Be careful, my treasure. You’d fit just fine, but the flowers are quite slick with nectar and I wouldn’t like you to slip out and fall!

Hmmm. The female has declined to sample the Zigadenus (damn!) but has consented to return home (about time.) Say farewell to the outcrop, Sigyn. If you are a good girl, perhaps we can come back another time.

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There’s something in the air…

And that something is the sweet smell of flowering Acacia. I must admit, this is one plant I actually like. It is prickly, unpredictable (some years it does not flower at all, not a single plant locally), and a delightfully garish shade of yellow-orange that clashes with everything except school buses and No. 2 pencils.*

I am not one for perfumes, but Sigyn is quite enamored of the soft, licorice-like fragrance of the flowers. On still, humid nights, these flowering trees are smellable all over town.


Natural history lesson: Giraffes love Acacia the way the human female loves cookies. Sigyn has always wanted to meet a giraffe, so for her birthday today, I have gathered some branches of Acacia and sent out a tickly little “come hither” spell.

That was quick! We have only been standing here a few minutes, and already a couple of the gangly camelids have sauntered by to sample our offerings.



I surmise that the one I am tempting has eschewed the traditional reticulated pattern in favor of gaudy neckware.

Sigyn is going to have hers domesticated in no time.


She has charmed the spotless one as well. Careful, Birthday Girl–it is a long way down!


Lest you think I have become too soft-hearted, cavorting in flowers and feeding errant members of the Artiodactyla, I present one of my best pranks ever:

I parked the humans’ vehicle beneath one of the trees with the moon roof open and then summoned another giraffe.


Not only will they have to somehow induce the giraffe to exit the vehicle, they will have the unenviable job of removing giraffe-produced Acacia byproducts from the upholstery…

All in all, a mighty fine day.

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*They also match Kodak film boxes, but those are becoming scarce. I would like to go on record as saying that is NOT my fault.