From crooked (branch) to screech (owl) via this lovely picture, which has both! (Via Flickr, from p. 346 of “Bird Lore”,

A FINE LINE OF SCREECH OWLS Photographed by Dr. W. H. Rowland. The photograph here shown was taken May 15, 1919 in a young apple orchard. Since nearly 400 acres of Stuart Acres are devoted to young fruit-trees, the value of the Screech Owl as an orchard assistant is fully recognized, …

Let’s not forget Newfoundland screech though.

Here’s my #inktober2017 Screech, in process on Procreate, since the cropped photograph is taking forever to show up. (based on Flickr PD photograph by Joshua Edelson; Shenandoah National Park Screech Owl)
Screech for #inktober2017
And, yes, this is important:

  She had the startled eyes of a wild bird. Ah, but which one? A screech owl, perhaps, or a cuckoo? It does make a difference. We do not need more literalists of the imagination. They cannot read a body like a gazelle’s without thinking of intestinal parasites, zoos, and smells.

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A super-quick one for today’s prompt: crooked; no time.

h/t  Kant, who said: Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.

(It is also the name of an an interesting blog; derived from these words, I presume.)

I am reading The Complete Works of Primo Levi. It is terrible and very good, and illustrates humanity in depth and clarity.

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The Evolutionary Disadvantages of Being Shy

h/t: Shylock; Mimosa pudica

(And that’s why the Mimosa never achieved its dreams of becoming a famous author. It’s all about the lack of Sitzfleisch!)

#MomsThatReadIt: screen shot, via

To read:

Bomb Magazine  – Kazuo Ishiguro, an interview by Graham Swift, via The Browser

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Gladius, my dear Swordfish!

Prompt: sword (or gladius). Meet the swordfish! They have very cute small fry. But shouldn’t you rather wear them  than eat them? One salient fact: they cannot stop swimming, or they’ll die.

h/t: BBC – Earth – The one thing everyone knows about swordfish is wrong, by Colin Barras.

Meme:      ‘You have my sword, and my bow, and my axe‘ is based on a scene in Lord of The Rings.

Oldie (It does feel like a 1000 years ago.) from The e-Incunabulum of Comical Inspiration:

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The Longing of the Barnacle

 Today’s theme is ‘long‘.

We are in the middle of the Nobel Prizes for this year. Something that took a long time: the direct detection of gravitational waves / wrinkles in time.  Two black holes that produced some collided a really long, long time ago ~ more than a billion years ago! This is a good article by Nadia Drake on it: Gravitational Waves won the Physics Nobel Prize – Here’s Why.

You can get Daddy Longlegs for free today, with the coupon code ET23A.

Back to the barnacle. It qualifies because it is the champion of long-distance relationships. It is one of the most fascinating creatures I have ever read about. Here is a cross-section drawing of one, done by George Sowerby. An etching based on this sketch appears in Ocean Wonders: A Companion for the Seaside. I love the text appearing before the image:

“…if they would explain to us its meaning, but which at present is not perfectly understood by naturalists. In this sudden awakening of the social instinct the barnacle does not use its regular net-like hand, but puts forth a single long tentacle, reaching over and among a dozen perhaps of its neighbors, extending a distance of some inches. Sometimes it penetrates with this into the openings of the other shells, as if it would inform itself as to their continued existence orcondition of health; but, having finished its inspection, it quickly retracts and hides* within its own shell. The barnacle sheds its coat at intervals like the crab; but much more frequently does it discard the thin, transparent epidermis which covers the beautifully-barbed fingers. This it throws off as neatly and completely as one could remove a nicely-fitting glove from the hand. These cast-off barnacle-gloves, with their minute hair-like barbs, form an interest-ing object for examination under the microscope.”

More fascinating stuff:
Mating barnacles from Casey Dunn on Vimeo.

This one is a goose-neck barnacle (Goose barnacles are not hatched from a barnacle goose, which is not kosher, but could be eaten as fish on Fridays by Catholics), from Zoology for High Schools and Colleges. They are very attractive.

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Underwater Belle

I doodle incessantly. But I am very bad at labelling and tagging and sorting, which means I need to dive athwart …

(Wait, where did that iBook go??? Oh noes, it has mysteriously been replaced by “inter alia” ! I have a terrrible, bad, no good feeling that the entire year of 2015 just got etherized. I am so demoralized that I’m not even going to fix this sentence.)

… my many storage methods, or rely on an increasingly poor memory. Well, maybe just an overloaded memory. As I do the loony dive, I need a bloodhound’s abilities to sniff out tidbits long forgotten.

But I digress. I came across an Afghan hound diving: a thing of beauty. Also a sight-hound, I think – not a smell-hound. But a true belle. It is the inspiration for today’s digital #inktober cartoon. Update: It’s actually from here: Long Haired Creature Gliding Smoothly Underwater

 Here is another beauty: a jaguar; found on You Tube (uploaded by Woodland Park Zoo)

and from The Guardian (YouTube/Vince Pinto):

Then there’s the real diving bell, as seen by moi in The British Science Museum! Maybe it’s one for a mouse.

Mmm, the boneskipper fly is bemused. Where is the corpse of 2015?

Keep diving, sweet loon: I see you on p. 36. I hope you haven’t been eaten by a diving bell spider. Maybe you are just wrapped in a gentle web-bubble somewhere that involves an old computer and a back-up disk.

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Poison d’Art

Strawberry Poison Dart frog sketch
Oophaga pumilio from Costa Rica; h/t: Pstevendactylus~commonswiki

The Strawberry poison-dart frog may not be the most poisonous of the poison dart frogs, but it has the most handsome blue jeans.

Today’s prompt for  #inktober is poison.

Poison dart frog is dubious about humans’  toxicity:

Poison-dart frog questions relativity

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Henopause Haiku

#inktober event:
the gall of the galliform
die vide, her lament
Henny Penny and the Nest Egg

H/T: Chicken. I am eating eggs again. My brain and body are divided on the issue. Enquiring minds want to know: is this agnostic vegetarianism?  Fasting now and then seems to be a good bet. 

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Swift Sunday : The Art of Seeing

Swift for #inktober2017

Swifts are not the fastest birds, but they can stay in the air for long times.
I love this:

Swift-growing-, and swift-shriveling now- fungi.

swift bird for #inktober2017

That swiftest and largest landbird: the ostrich!

Alas, no matter how much it flaps, it will never lift off. I remember an ostrich picture book  I used to read with my children on this topic…it’s probably in storage: Why Can’t I Fly? by Ken Brown. (He just needed lots of wing-friends.)

I have started my #inktober with following Jake Parker‘s #inktober2017 prompts!

Another swift, the fence swift. (Click for attribution). Probably not a flier either – it’s still on the fence about that activity:

Lizzard 1 Shawnee NP

Beautiful bones from an extinct swift runner, picture from around 1825 (American Museum Journal, via flickr):

Image from page 23 of "The American Museum journal" (c1900-[1918])//

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Rhymes with Fall Orange

Humans and Flies

 H/T: Genes that separate humans from flies?

And, let’s not forget that it’s decorative gourd season! And please, how do you scroll down on an iPad without a keyboard?

The iPad is specifically designed for even the most illiterate computer user.”  To  you I say: ha!

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