ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the January 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Book_worm5. It also fills the "smoke" square in my 10-1-15 card for the Halloween / Samhain Bingo fest, and the "dinner out" square in my 8-1-15 card for the As You Like It Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to The Moon Door series.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 There will be a sale of native prairie plants in Bloomington, IL on May 21.  I would love to catch this; their tentative list of plants for sale is ... basically everything I ever wanted in prairie landscaping. <3
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Everything is bigger in Australia.  In this case, 20-pound pinecones falling from on high can injure or kill people underneath.

Who else is thinking it would be fun to drop one on the Spectrum?  Because obviously they're not going to mind the signs.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Dan Haggerty has passed away.  He was best known for his starring role in the wilderness TV series Grizzly Adams.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Last night it snowed, just enough to cover the ground with a layer of white.  Today the birdfeeders are mobbed with more action than I've seen all year.

Fly-through feeder -- male and female cardinals, large flock of sparrows

Hopper feeder -- two fox squirrels, a few mourning doves, large flock of sparrows

Suet feeder -- downy woodpecker, either a northern flicker or a red-bellied woodpecker, several sparrows

I thought the large woodpecker was a flicker at first, because that is what we've had in the past.  But the red patch is quite large, so it may be a red-bellied woodpecker.  It's hard to see the field marks through the window at available angles. Apparently habitat changes mean fewer red-headed woodpeckers and flickers, but more red-bellied woodpeckers.

EDIT 1/14/16: I am now more strongly convinced that this is a red-bellied woodpecker. The whole top and back of the head is red, unlike the small red patch of a flicker.  But I still couldn't see the belly (which is plain on a red-bellied woodpecker but speckled on a flicker).
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is the freebie for today's Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] capriuni.  It also fills the "kittens and puppies" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest.


"The Superfluity of Thumbs"


For a long time, scientists thought
that tool use was exclusive to humanity
and required opposable thumbs.

Then they started to realize that
some animals could use tools
even if they hadn't invented them,
like kittens trained to use a toilet
instead of a litterbox.

Some wild animals turned out
to use tools as well, such as
octopodes carrying seashells
or coconut shells for shelter.

Others used them for fun,
like birds snowboarding
down a roof on a plastic lid.

Tool use, is seems, is not
limited by physique or species,
only by ingenuity.

* * *

Animal tool use has taken time to discover.  Domesticated animals can be trained to use tools, such as toilet-training a cat. In the wild, octopodes use coconuts and seashells for shelter, and birds use plastic lids as snowboards.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 So sea unicorns use their horns to perceive the environment around them, just as some authors have posited for land unicorns.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about a female lion with physical characteristics of both sexes.  She is not alone, and her ability -- which provides valuable protection -- will probably be passed on to the next generation.  So basically we're watching speciation start as a superpower gives a new advantage to a few individuals who can bequeath it to their offspring.  Awesome.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the April 2015 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chordatesrock. It has been sponsored by EdorFaus.


"Logical Impossibilities"



The world is full of things
that should not exist, but do;
could not perform, but do.

They are logical impossibilities
that question assumptions
and poke holes in theories.

Fat, fuzzy bumblebees
fly on unbelievable wings.

Ball lightning fizzes its way
through thunderstorms.

Spitting cobras were considered a myth
until white folks learned the hard way
that the warnings were real.

Science is always learning and growing,
an infinite process of trial and error.

Whatever is, must be possible.

Hope is the understanding that
logic doesn't know everything.

* * *

Notes:

Read about bumblebee flight.

Ball lightning is a rare weather phenomenon that took a long time to catch on film.

Spitting cobras are also real, although for a long time books said it was a myth.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the December 1, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] corvi and [personal profile] mama_kestrel. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Chimpanzees are in the Stone Age.  Of course, Homo ergaster  did that for about a million years and it never went anywhere but the one rather awesome hand-axe.  You need a cluster of inventors, not just one ... which is hard because most inventors don't want to incarnate at that level of technology.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "weather." I'll be soliciting ideas for weathermen, weathered heroes, desert crawlers, strangers blown in on a storm, rainmakers, sun princes, weather deities, Oyuki-san, empathic environment, preparing for bad weather, making predictions, controlling the weather, getting caught in a storm, praying for rain, weathering the storm, huddling against the cold, watching the world burn, rebuilding from the ashes, hostile terraforming, wastelands, any port in a storm, shipwrecks, snow caves, creepy buildings, sanctuaries, habitat foreclosurehostile weather, space weather, strange alien storms, bizarre seasons, personal raincloud, lightning revelation, demonic charcoal fog, redemption in the rain, first snow, the power of the sun, thunderbirds, and poetic forms in particular.

I have a linkback poem, "The Least of These" (11 verses, The Ocracies). 

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week.  (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts.  I am now.)  Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog. 

New to the fishbowl? Read all about it! )


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the November 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette.


"Oaks and Olives"


The future of the elders lies
not in their hours or days,
but in oaks and olives.

They have already run their race,
made homes, raised children,
arranged their affairs.

They do not look to the future
for their own sake, but for
those who come after.

Do not come to them with questions
about what the future may hold:
it will not hold them for long.

The future of the elders
is planting trees in whose shade
they know they will never be able to sit.


ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
 [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has posted "Letters to the Editor, Week Two" for the Berettaflies thread.  During the second week, the threat level is Orange, which means important regular activities such as work and school may resume with caution.  The initial shock has worn off, and people are responding to the events in more organized ways  ... some good, others not so good.

Anyone wanting to write their own Week Two letter to the editor is welcome to do so.  The DW organization page is here.  [personal profile] lynnoconnacht is helping me make one for my PenUltimate Productions site, so please keep her posted on anything you write for this thread, using this template.  

You are all made of awesome.  The whole Berettaflies thing started out as one poem and has blossomed into a whole branch of its own.  :D  Thanks!

Canis Soup

Oct. 31st, 2015 05:33 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Wolf, coyote, and dog come together in a weirdly effective hybrid.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
 [personal profile] redsixwing has posted Part 2 of "Butterfly Net" covering Day 3 after the incident, in which Madhukar is seriously trying to get his hands on some berettafly toxin(s).
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] redsixwing is writing the story "Butterfly Net" about a biochemist at Loyola University responding to the berettaflies.  It follows a similar day-entry format as the police announcements I used recently, but from a more personal perspective.  Begin with Part 1
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
Following the "Berettaflies" incident, the police have issued a series of statements describing the situation and what citizens should be doing to help, as the situation develops over time. These three come from Day One, Day Three, and Day Seven to give a good spread of the coverage. They have been distributed via television, radio, website, and flyers in public places such as malls.

Read more... )

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