The humans are traveling to the Big City to the South today. The Knittery Friend’s two youngest children are being given a bath today. Or given names. Something everyone is dressing up and going to church for, at any rate. I have declined to attend, of course, but I am tagging along on this expedition because there are rumors that a) the reception is to be held outdoors in a large park, and “park” equates to “plants”, so Sigyn wants to go; b) there will be food, possibly including cake; and c) it is cold today and I believe I heard the word “firepit” mentioned. If I can eat and burn things while Sigyn chats and looks at plants, I shall consider the trip worth the effort.
I am given to understand that the church-y part of the day’s activities went well, despite the sleep-deprived father of the twins answering with his sons’ middle names when asked why he was present. Such a non-sequitur will be talked of for years. I almost wish I had been present to witness it. Almost. (I am allergic to pews.)
Now we are trying to find the park where the reception is to be. One might wonder why it is outdoors on one of the coldest days we have had this winter. The reason is because there are nearly a score of younglings among the guests, and no one interior venue seems sufficient to house such a large, active group. This way, they can run about and shout to their little hearts’ delight, while the older, wiser attendees get on with the eating and burning.
Is this the right turn? The human female says it is. The human male’s phone says it is not. We could still be meandering here next Tuesday unless–oh, wait. Both the female and the phone are correct–one can reach the park from either end of a long and rather wind-y road. Now, we just need to look for a large pavilion, a lot of cars, and–I hope–a fire of goodly size.
It seems large and empty now, but once it is full of food and people, I’m sure it will be cheerful and noisy enough.
Sigyn, while we await the food, let us explore the park. Though it is quite chilly, the sun is shining, and there may be Interesting Plants.
The woods in this park are not like the woods at home. The soil is acid and sandy, rather than alkaline and full of clay. There are a good many pine trees, and the understory is not yaupon holly.
Instead, it appears to be a plant I have heard the human female call Carolina laurel-cherry. She says one can recognize it “by the two small glands on the underside of the leaf, one on each side of the leafstalk.” Do you see any glands, Sigyn? I’m not sure I know what they’re supposed to look like.
There is also rather a lot of Spanish moss in the trees here.
I’m not sure who named this plant, but they did a terrible job, because it is neither Spanish nor a moss. Upon further reflection, I suspect it was the human female. It’s just the sort of stupid name she’d come up with. At any rate, the festoons are fun to swing upon.
What is down this trail?
More pine trees and more cherry laurel, probably. But no food and most likely no firepit. We would be wise to stick close to the pavilion.
We are now exploring the shore of the pond that is near the pavilion.
Careful, Sigyn! It may look like solid ground, but I have the feeling it is probably pretty squishy. One false step and you could be in mud up to your eyebrows. While you would still be adorable if covered in mud and decaying plant matter, I am sure you would be more comfortable if you were not cold, wet, and squelchy. In fact, you would probably be more comfortable now if you were warmer. Let us go and see if the promised fire has been achieved.
The verdict is–
More or less. Despite the presence of multiple boy scouts, it seems to have taken quite a while to get the blaze to catch. Everything has been tried–paper, fire-starter packs, twigs, pine cones, wood scraps–you name it. It is only thanks to the aid of one of my special inferno spells that it’s doing as well as it is. Where would you foolish mortals be without Loki, patron deity of pyromaniacs?
Now—show me where the human female is standing, so I know which direction to make the smoke go.