Archive for August, 2009


30 August 2009


Normal fautling. Dolomite rising. Some plants get old. Plenty old, but not so old really. Large ooids. Treeline ebbs and grows. Jays about. Dust blows up. A helicopter, a dusty Oregon van. Mount Darwin on the horizon.

Kestrels.  Man with camera clinking across the outcrop.

Deer season pends. Dudes on the ridge, scout. “He looks Indian, maybe he is just communing with nature.” September comes.


21 August 2009


IMG_3368Chicago huh?  Check out my new blog: F U Durophage.

Marine reptiles take wing.

18 August 2009

Consider the albatross.
Rather, consider the word albatross.

OED informs us that albatross probably comes by way of alcatras an obsolete word used variably for frigate birds, gannets and/or pelicans adapted from the Spanish/Portuguese word alcatraz–the toponymous island turned prison turned tourist attraction is named for the brown pelicans which still (despite that nasty late-20th century business with DDT) abound there–itself apparently adapted from alcatruz (Pg.) via algcaduz (Sp.) the bucket on a Moorish water wheel or al-qadus (Arabic) — except that Wikipedia (citing the American Hertiage Dictionary) argues that al-qatraz القطرس is Arabic for “sea eagle”.  Our friend Dampier used algatross which would seem to make for a nice intermediate between alcatras and albatross.  Cook — who, superstitions aside, shot and ate his fair share — used both albetross and albatross.  OED suspects the transition from Alca to Alba might be inspired by albus (Latin for “white”).

None of which has anything to do with anything except,check it:

Pinguinus is, or rather was, not a penguin.

Puffinus is not a puffin.  Not even close.

Pelecanoides is not a pelican.  More like an auk really, except that it’s not.

Got it?

Images: top Wikipedia, middle and bottom Collection Georges Declercq via EOL used under Creative Commons 3.0.

A Tenrec in My Pants

5 August 2009

I owe you a T-shirt.  I’m sorry.  It’s tough being both a perfectionist and  a procrastinator, terribly difficult to get things done.

Anyway tenrecs get all over the internet now and then, lately now–over at Zooillogix.  Far be it from me not to keep a good thing going, so why don’t we drop a little Afrothere roll call huh?


Check. [them’s Little spikez, Big spikez, Fatty, and Uptown Streaky for those of you keeping track at home]

Elephant Shrew?


“Spitzmaus” (German for shrew) works out literally to “sharp mouse,” which is wholly badical.  But you already knew that.  Anyway to paraphrase Voltaire, hermano here is neither an elephant, nor a shrew.  Nor a sharp mouse.

Golden Mole?

Word is bond.  But not a really a mole. uh, okay. Hyraces?

Yikes.  Nice grill yo.  Moving right along…


Hey, did you hear the one about the bipedal pangolin? Damnit, there’s no time!  Stay focused…

Okay, okay, uh who have we got left?


Well, dudelet I hate to break this to you, but you’re fired.  I mean, extinct.  But whatever, you’ll do.

Alright, I know I’m forgetting someone here.  Think, think…

Oh yeah:

Nicked this one from Crappy Taxidermy which turns out to be the best thing going on the world wide web these days.  You really ought to check it out.

Well, I suppose that wraps things up here.  Pax.

DISCLAIMER: No animals weren’t not not harmed in the making of this blog post.