Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Whooo Ya Gonna Call?

Back in March, B and I were traipsing through Lord Hill Regional Park. We’d just got done with the River Trail, and were trudging back along the main trail. It was getting near sunset, and the woods were dusky, with only occasional glimpses of the sun. The usual wind rustling branches, little birds chirping, and sometimes planes flying by filled the silence. And there was a loud, echoing call in the distance. I thought it was kids making silly animal sounds. It became a sort of background noise. I didn’t think much of it. [Read more…]

I Shall Now MALL NINJA!! Your Sunday

This is one of the most epic trolls I’ve ever read. It says something about our unhinged gun culture that I wasn’t sure it was a troll at first, rather than a man with a very rich fantasy life. Content note for the usual kind of sexism, fat-shaming, toxic masculinity and so forth you’d expect to find in forums full of gun-obsessed people.

Before we get to the excerpt proper, let our host ‘splain what a Mall Ninja is: [Read more…]

Neufchâtel Cheese Geology: Look! A Fossil!

Those of you who follow me on G+ know that on occasion, I would sometimes post pictures of my Greek yogurt and talk about the geological features therein. (You also know I post an inordinate number of photos of my elderly cat. Sorrynotsorry.) I don’t eat as much Greek yogurt as I used to, so there hasn’t been any Greek yogurt geology of late. But I did discover that Neufchâtel cheese also is a useful food item for illustrating geological concepts. Look at this amazing fossil it made when I was eating cheese and crackers before bed: [Read more…]

Sweet White Cliffs: Chalk Stories

I remember being pretty shocked as a kid when I found out there were entire cliffs made out of the same sort of stuff our teachers used to write on the blackboard. Oh, yes, I’m that old. We actually mostly had greenboards, but it was chalk all the way. I’d get thoroughly excited when I was allowed to clean the erasers. The smell and dryness of the dust whispers learning to me. I still love the click-tap-scrape of chalk on a chalkboard – it’s one of my favorite, most soothing sounds. Until, of course, you get that hard bit in there and it goes screech, which is really terrible. [Read more…]

AdoraSquirrel!

Mah feets get itchy when the weather’s nice, so I took a lone walk to North Creek on a warm spring afternoon. The ducks there have gotten rather insistent about feeding. They pull awful guilt-trips if I show up empty-handed, as you’ll see in a future post. I try not to feed them too often, but I did take along a bit of food that day, so as to pay my respects and stop disappointing the poor little buggers.

This time, the ducks weren’t the only ones begging. We had two crows show up instantly, although they were too wary to actually partake of the feast.

Image shows two crows, both looking over their shoulders to the right, perched on a branch.

Interested crows.

And there was the most adorable squirrel in the universe. [Read more…]

Reveal that Metazoan! Adorable Snail Onna Tree Edition

We’ve had a very mild winter, even verging on ridiculously warm at times. Even the gray days haven’t been horribly cold, so B and I would sometimes wander about even if it was gloomy. Thus, this January baby snail on a paper birch I shall now show you.

Image shows a very small snail woking its way down a paper birch trunk. It's on a white bit of bark, headed for a buff-colored freshly-peeled part.

Awww! It’s so little!

I had to stop and take twelve million photos, of course, because it was totes adorbs.

[Read more…]

Moar Voting for Really Terrible Bible Story Illustrations!

You good people did me a solid and helped me select the most fucked-up painting suitable for my forthcoming book, Really Terrible Bible Studies. Thankees! Franchescini won, but it was a close-run thing, and some of you almost tempted me with your alternate selections. What, have you been talking to snakes in gardens or something?!

I need your help once again. I have found three excellent candidates for the really terrible Jacob family values. Which should I go with? [Read more…]

Mystery Flora: Salmon-Hued Beauties

Picture a temperate February day that is more like spring than winter. The sun is shining gently, its rays occasionally obscured by passing clouds. Birds are singing lustily all about. A delicate breeze stirs the awakening life. The groundhog was dead right about the rest of the country, but here in the West, we are absolutely not suffering six more weeks of winter. Sorry, people who had to dig out of several feet of snow!

I’d walked down to the office to pick up Misha’s high-calorie supplement paste, and spotted an absolutely fabulous flowering bush as I emerged. [Read more…]