ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Grand Prairie Friends is trying to raise money to buy 91 acres of forested property in Coles County, Illinois.  It's adjacent to two other large parcels already owned by the same organization, making it useful for protecting species vulnerable to habitat fragmentation.
ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
This poem came out of the February 17, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] janetmiles. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman. Just so you know, it's also the start of a three-part arc with Fiorenza and Giacinto in Faggiola.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
How cold is it here today?  It is four-sparrow cold.

We have a hopper feeder for the birds.  They don't always like to share it.  So on a warm day, it's one sparrow per side, front and back, who will throw a gigantic hissyfit if another bird lands on the feeder.

When it starts to get cold, two sparrows will share the same feeding ledge, at far corners, with an occasional peck and flutter.  They will also cooperate to drive off anything that tries to land between them.

On a cold day, three sparrows will land on the ledge, but they squabble back and forth.

You know it is really frigid  out when there are four sparrows crammed wing-to-wing on each side of the feeder, all stuffing their faces as fast as they can, instead of fighting. 

Also out today were a few mourning doves and a pair of cardinals.
ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
This poem came out of the February 17, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Wyld_dandelyon. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. This poem belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.


"Flowered Lanes"
-- an Italian sonnet


In winter, frigid winds and frost hold sway,
Which grip the world in silver claws so keen
They tear the curtains, lash the trees to lean,
And almost seem to strip the flesh away.

In spring, the winter snow and ice give way
To browning mud and sudden shoots of green --
Then purple crocus everywhere are seen --
It's muck in April, flowered lanes by May.

One day you leave your house, and there they are --
white violets in shade, an early rose
in sun, the scent of thyme about the farm,
a sprig of mint, and Bethlehem's blue star.
Now Fiorenza smiles as she goes
to gather them, a basket on her arm.

* * *

Notes:

Read about weather in Le Marche.

Italian wildflowers include crocus, violet, rose, wild thyme, wild mint, and star of Bethlehem.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] helgatwb made an icon for [personal profile] chanter_greenie based on the mentally stressed medieval beasts I posted recently.  So [personal profile] chanter_greenie wrote this piece about spring, which I would class as creative nonfiction.  It is primarily about smells, so my vision-impaired readers should definitely check it out.

Birdfeeding

Jan. 4th, 2015 05:26 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
It's frigid here today.  Birds have been mobbing the feeders.  Mostly I've seen sparrows, but also some male and female cardinals.  The sparrows have figured out the thistle sock.  While they prefer to be perching birds, don't let that fool you.  They're incredibly clever about getting food, even if that means impersonating a clinging bird.  I even saw one that figured out the upside-down thistle feeder I used to have. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This story was inspired by the "I Have a Rendesvous with Death" square in my 12-15-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest and by this picture of Batman at a cave. He looked so heartbroken that I wanted to explore why.

WARNING: The following story is darkfic. Some of the warnings are spoilers; highlight to read them. Contents include emotional angst, self-blame, helplessness, animal death, and real-world issues in a superhero setting. There is no happy ending. This story is all about dead bats making Batman very sad. If these are sensitive issues for you, then you might want to skip this one.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article explains how scientists created a new species of lizard not by genetic engineering, but by crossbreeding.  The hybrids are typically not fertile but can reproduce by parthenogenesis.  Whiptailed lizards can wind up with two sets of genes from different species.  But apparently some hybrids are sexually fertile because there have been species with three and even four sets of genes -- created by a monogenetic male mating with a female who has multiple sets.

Most of the time I posit that interspecies sex would not produce viable or fertile offspring in science fiction.  But several times I've written a basis for interspecies procreation, and it tends to be because the alien species is predisposed  to reproduce with the assistance of a different species.  On Earth, for example, there is the cuckoo; and now this, with actual crossbreeding.  It would be interesting if the alien species had the parthenogenesis option.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
If you live in Hawai'i then you have to accept that this is Pele's home.  She might decide to cover it with lava at any time.  This is a thing which happens.  If having your home covered with lava bothers you, then you should not live near a volcano.  It is vitally important not to piss off the Fire Goddess because when she throws a tantrum, the amount of lava getting flung about is really quite a lot larger.

I am still amused by the people some years ago who, before evacuating, set out an offering table for Pele with the best wine and white linens and a splendid feast.

The lava stopped a few feet short of their yard, parted around the house, and demolished the rest of the neighborhood.  There was a picture of it in a magazine.  :D

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