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Jun 22 2014

Squirrel!

You’ve not seen anything in life until you’ve seen a squirrel dragging a hunk of bread nearly half its size up a tree.

Image shows a squirrel perched in a tree with an enormous hunk of bread

Okay, I may be exaggerating the size of the bread a bit, but still, it was at least the size of a softball. And that squirrel wasn’t letting go for anything.

I love wild critters, and the way some of them have adapted to urban life. I love the mallards along the stream behind the ballfields who shamelessly demand food, and the crows who remember neighborly acts and never forget (although they may, eventually, forgive) a slight. I adore the adorable things they do. And I admire their moxie.

I imagine most of you have got stories. Do share!

Jun 20 2014

Caption Kirby!

This is a true Captain Derp moment:

Image shows Kirby on the couch, hunched over with one hind leg sticking straight out, and a very startled, derpy look on his face.

Yer Werdz Heer

You know how adorable cats can be when they’re washing – all those limbs sticking out at odd angles, and the rather impressive contortion and so forth. So Kirby was being extra-adorbs, and I was snapping away, and then this moment happened. Great moments in cat derp, oy.

This photo begs to be turned into a meme. Meme-ify, my darlings!

Jun 19 2014

New at Rosetta Stones: A Pretty Hawt Post

I’ve resurrected a fun old post from ancient days, and given it a sexy new video. All you fans of volcanic activity, especially the night stuff, should drop by and ogle.

And here’s a little something extra for ye: an amazing classic image of Mont Pele√© in eruption by Angelo Heilprin, who was a braver human than I’ll ever manage.

Image shows several people watching a pyroclastic flow.

Image of Mont Pelee in eruption in 1902 by Angelo Heilprin, a geologist whose passion for knowledge told fear to fuck itself. Image courtesy Volcano World.

You should check out that Volcano World article. But only after you get intimate with mine!

Jun 18 2014

Ah, Nature. So Lovely and Gentle: Dinnertime Edition

(Not to reveal the turn before it’s time, but if you’ve got any phobias regarding things with more than six legs and eyes, don’t go below the fold.)

Ah, late spring in the Pacific Northwest! So green and lovely. One thing nice about working in the burbs is that the sidewalks are lined with Nootka roses. You don’t even have to stop to smell ‘em – the heady scent fills the still evening air and swirls around in the eddies caused by your brisk stroll. And yes, you’re strolling briskly rather than ambling, because you’ve only got a fifteen minute break and you want to have a quick visit with the creek before you’re due back.

All right, have I set the scene? Now, imagine you’re bopping along, and you’ve had your look at the creek, and you even have a few minutes left to stop and smell a rose. Only there’s a bee dangling from one.

Image shows a crumpled Nootka rose with a bee dangling by one leg from it.

The bee on the rose.

Now, normally, these little buggers are buzzing around like – well, you know there’s a reason why “busy as a bee” is a clich√©. So this is a prime opportunity, and so you unlimber the camera in the soft twilight. And you get to work documenting some bee anatomy.

Bee on rose, extreme close-up.

Bee on rose, extreme close-up.

Poor little sod. You can tell it was busy collecting pollen not long before – see it on the legs, and wings? But you’ve seen those bits of a bee before. It’s harder to get their belly. Heh heh, bee bellies. Let’s see if we can see it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 17 2014

“What SPECIFICALLY should I be doing to help?”

I’m slowly wading through the comments moderation queue, and this one from Jenny on the without-their-silence article stands out:

I read both articles. I then asked my husband to read both articles. He did. When he was finished, he asked, “What SPECIFICALLY should I be doing to help?” I didn’t have an answer. Neither article appeared to have an answer.

Is there an answer? If so, what is it?

An answer? No. Many answers, yes. A few from the top o’ me noggin: Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 16 2014

“And you call this PROTECTION?”

A while ago, Marwa at Between A Veil and a Dark Place unleahed a “tirade of snark” upon a correspondent playing the “No True Muslim” and “Not All Muslims” cards with a heaping helping of apologia. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s about time for you to give it your attention. It’s long, and it has a lot of important ideas to digest, so pick a time when you can devote yourself to it. Get comfy, and read on: Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 15 2014

A Study in Crane Fly

It’s that time o’ year again. When the weather becomes mild, the kitty loves her quality porch time, but she refuses to have it with the door closed. So we stick a stick of the proper length in the sliding door track, and leave a kitty-sized opening for her to exploit. Alas, kitty-sized openings are also large enough for insects of all sorts to exploit, and the only thing that keeps us from being overrun by every creepy-crawly in the city is the fact we live on the third floor. We host mostly flying fellows. And crane flies are among the first to arrive.

Mind, I lost my shit when I saw one for the first time: it looked like the largest mosquito in creation to me, and I’m not companionable with mosquitoes. Then I discovered they’re perfectly harmless. And they’re generally quite polite. The like to hang about on a wall for a few days until they pop off. They cause no trouble, and since I’m not responsible for keeping the lawn green and lovely, and have no concerns over the quality of cricket pitches, I don’t consider them pests. After a bit, I even began to notice their beauty.

Haven’t you? Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 12 2014

“Without Their Silence, Their Ignorance, Their Shrugging Shoulders, This Situation Could Not Continue As It Is”

Miri’s got something to say. If you haven’t heard it yet, go over there and listen. Then tap your friends on the shoulder, and point them toward it. Share it on social media. Email it around to your friends and family and casual acquaintances. The next time you hear a dude sniveling about how women see him as a predator and that’s just not faaiir, tell him to shut up and read. The next time someone in your circle of acquaintance, whether they be man, woman or gender fluid, sneers at women for taking precautions, sit them down and walk them through this paragraph by paragraph. Check for reading comprehension at the end.

Too busy for the whole thing? Set it aside. Come back to it within the next day or two. But take a moment, right now, to read at least this much: Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 11 2014

Cryptopod: Wee Green Wriggly

There’s a mostly-empty parking lot next door to ye olde day job place, where B & I take a quick walk on breaks sometimes. You’d think parking lots would be rather stark and boring to walk through, but this is a richly-landscaped one, and so there are pretty trees and bushes and things. Sometimes there are wee little living things, like this very tiny caterpillar who was absolutely determined to cross that blacktop desert and reach the insect equivalent of Utopia. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 10 2014

New at Rosetta Stones: New Images of Mount St. Helens!

I have, at long last, finished editing photos, and can now reveal to you that I escaped ye olde day job (and unconsciousness) for a day in order to show B around Mount St. Helens. It was a phenomenal day for photos. I’ve many-lots! I’ve put a few up at Rosetta Stones: go enjoy!

And here’s a bonus one for ye: Looking in to the maw of the volcano over the shoulder of a ridge from Coldwater Lake.

Image shows a portion of the crater; it looks a bit like a jagged mountain range covered in snow. A bit of ridge, green with new foliage and covered in stubby stumps, is visible at the bottom of the photo.

Detail of Mount St. Helens’s crater from Coldwater Lake.

I’d stay to chat, but the cat’s already disgusted I’ve got the laptop on my lap instead of her, and 20 year-old kitties get kitty cuddles on demand. See ye soon!

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