Empty Spiral

Leaving home behind.

Boxnoggin and I found this on wet pavement; he gave it merely a token sniff since it isn’t a small furry thing to savage or a pile of something highly fragrant. I was struck into immobility for a few moments, watching the play of light. I almost picked the shell up…then I thought it was probably left there for a reason. A picture harms nothing.

Of course when I crouched to take a snap Boxnoggin was suddenly interested again, because if Mum is examining something it’s suddenly high-value. Nevertheless, I managed to get his big wet snoot out of the shot, and it turned out better than I hoped.

I feel very much as if I’m growing out of a shell or two myself these days. I know whoever made this lovely spiral was most likely pried free and tossed down a bird’s gullet…and yet.

Tonight’s Friday Night Writes, my beloveds, and I hope you have a grand weekend. See you next week.

Lunch With a Prince

He’s a tramp, but they love him…

Reading The Tale of Genji, all I can hear is Peggy Lee crooning about breaking a new heart every day. I mean, I know Genji is the shining one and a paragon, but he’s more a Beowulf paragon than a knight parfait y gentil, if you know what I mean.

All the same, it’s nice to have lunch with him. It’s also nice to lie in bed, rain tapping the roof, and tell Boxnoggin all about what that sonofagun Genji’s doing now. (Lord van der Sploot has no idea what I’m talking about, but he likes being included.) I have zero idea where this book is taking me and the cultural divide means I’m probably missing most of the landmarks, but I wouldn’t miss this journey. Not for anything, no sir and ma’am.

It feels like this week has seen a sea change, doesn’t it? Still…I’m not relaxing yet. Here’s hoping the weekend is tranquil or exciting, in whatever measure you personally prefer. (And don’t forget, tonight is Friday Night Writes.)

See you around, my beloveds.

Preparing the Ground

Under the ice, the green lingers.

Pretty much all the powder is melted. The snow was so dry that its compacting during melt turned into a particular type of granular ice, and lingered in shaded corners. The moss is having a wonderful time with this, since even if it’s chilly it’s also damp, and they love the wet to near-distraction.

These lumps of moss are actually a coat over some scalloped concrete, and you can see how thick the velvet is. Also, the pine needles and detritus deserve a round of applause for providing nourishment. Everything works together, even on a bare stony surface.

I’m attempting to feel hopeful today. That’s probably why I’ve been so obsessed with Bryophyta lately–even under the worst conditions it finds a way to flourish, and prepares the ground for later growth. One can take a lot of comfort in that.

Have a wonderful weekend, my beloveds. Mine will be spent with proofreader queries, but that’s a small price to pay. I might get half a day off and some tiramisu…but I’ve got to get through the work first.

Dry Snow Day

Dry and crunchy.

This part of the world doesn’t often get fine powder-snow. I haven’t seen this weather since Wyoming–the particular pale tinge to a winter sky near the horizon, the dry crunch of several inches of snow, the wind coming fast and bright, air so cold and un-humid it sparkles like champagne. The road is a skating rink, the backyard a wonderland, the birdbath wearing a fuzzy white fur hat.

What with the wind it’s well below freezing, and has been all night. I have never forgotten the low moan of moving air against a house’s corners (Rattlesnake Wind is named after that sound) but I didn’t think I’d hear it here.

The melt is coming, or so the meteorologists say. It will be nice to have all this washed away so we can get back to walkies, morning runs, and the like…

…but I’m also enjoying the snow and song, for as long as it lasts. I’ll be working all weekend, so it probably didn’t matter that I snuggled in bed a little longer today, cuddling Boxnoggin and listening to the weather speak.

Monday will be warmer, my beloveds. See you then!

Knickers, Gnomes, and Flying Low

A little light reading.

I’m still reading LJ Smith YAs, but I’m also reading A History of Underclothes. And my gods, but most of these sound uncomfortable as all get-out. If there are underwear gnomes, they’ve had a much reduced workload in modern times. (I’m sure it hasn’t impacted profits, though.)

There are a couple sales going on, I’ll post them later today–but this morning I am flying low, no stops, no prisoners, and (as movie-Gimli says) no regurgitation. There’s so much to do, not enough time to get it done…and dear gods, I just want to write but that won’t happen until the Friday night session, I’m sure.

I wish you a pleasant weekend, my beloveds. Just gonna keep stabbing until it’s done…

Iron Key, Active Brain

A key of iron, on a stump of wood

This was my most popular Mosstodon pic lately. I can see why, it stopped me dead in my tracks while out with Boxnoggin. Intellectually I know someone doing work on the park infrastructure (or the road nearby) set it there and forgot it, or someone found it on the road and put it there so it didn’t puncture a passing tyre. But the visual glutton in me was arrested by the image, and the storyteller in me immediately began spinning tales, not just about the stranger who had placed it there for reasons I could guess at but would never know but also about a visitor from another world finding such an item, or a catastrophe striking and a survivor finding it in the wreckage, or even of the iron thing vibrating through layers of the real to become a magical key in some far-off dimension.

I amuse myself so handily it’s a wonder I need the internet at all. My brain is always like this. I’ve never in my life experienced a single moment of boredom, because the entire world is a smorgasbord and if for some reason the table is temporarily bare there’s always my inner expanses, and those never dry up. Of course, it could just mean that I’m very easily distracted, but I don’t mind. I like it that way.

The thingummy–I want to call it an eyelet, but that’s probably inaccurate–was gone by the time the dog and I wandered back through, which isn’t surprising. It was enough to see it once; the ideas remain. If I end up writing about an iron key in a few years we’ll all know why.

Can’t wait. Have a good weekend, my beloveds. (And don’t forget Friday Night Writes tonight!)

Bryophyta Courage

Moss. Mycelium. Maybe some lichen too.

I’ve been obsessed with moss lately. I mean, I already liked it, but then there happened along the #Mosstodon tag on the fedi. (There’s also the #LichenSubscribe tag, which pleases me deeply, and let’s not even talk about the donkeys.) So I’ve been happily taking pictures of winter velvet, no doubt also pleasing a few botanists and biologists curious about such things.

Heaven knows there’s never any shortage of moss around here even in summer, though it does tend to get a bit dry and crackly. I won’t run out of subjects to point the cell phone at, that’s for sure.

I finally wrote the river race that’s been knocking around in my head for over a year, and today I get to set up the destruction of an entire elvish city. The elementalist does need to have a chat with the king about his parenting methods before then, perhaps; I’ll get there as the story–and the Muse–wills.

One of the things I love about moss is that it grows in places no other self-respecting plant would find even remotely acceptable. It creeps into cracks, feeds on detritus, covers the garbage left behind. Hell, it’ll even grow on bare rock, especially if its best bud lichen is around. Moss takes adversity as a challenge, like Bugs Bunny takes a thrown gauntlet.

Anyway, this crop is merrily growing on a creosote-soaked railroad tie repurposed to hold back perhaps-contaminated topsoil. It fries in summer and drowns autumn through spring. The locale is terrible for any living thing, but there’s the moss, happily soaking its wee roots, lifting its many green fingers. Some has spread to the rocks and small chunks of concrete below, because even stone is friable when you’ve got the sort of time moss does.

One can learn a lot from dear old Bryophyta. And with that happy thought, I wish you a pleasant weekend.