Posts Tagged ‘dog daze’

About how I just bathed a little salamander

8 August 2011

coated in hair and lint, who had been curled up by the hamper in the bathroom and whom my wife conferred “belonged to me.”

Not this salamander, obviously.  But a relative. No doubt.

Post-script. I found a photo of the salamander in question. Online.


2 September 2010

in China.

The Under-celebrated Jumping Gall Cinema of Yolo County

15 August 2010

Those ones aren’t even moving.”

“It does seem a little long.”

“You’re reusing clips. I think you need more footage to justify the length.”

Honestly.  Every one, the critic.

Friday afternoon, a simple dream:

Take the many several aggregate minutes of jumping gall video I’ve lately been obsessively collecting–crouched over the sidewalk, eye, iphone, hand lens–the bikes and joggers bending around my operation full of wonder–shooting–to gather these up against a Sun Ra soundtrack.

Missed by most, the oak-shaded sidewalks of the lower Sacramento Valley are alive for a few weeks in August with animated sesame seeds, pop the earbuds, shut your trap, and you can actually hear them crackling.  It sounds, maybe, like a light rain in the searing summer heat or a pot just about to boil, but actually it doesn’t really sound like either of these it sounds like jumping galls: thousands of little cynipid wasplets wrapped in jackets of tumorous oak leaf cells hopping around like crazy.  What are they doing?  It’s not clear that anyone really knows for sure.

You have to pay attention to this sort of shit, or otherwise you are, frankly, wholly lost.

Note that nothing is sped up there.  These girls move fast.

Here would be the place to mention Kinsey and parasitoids and the rest, but it’s 20 minutes past my bedtime.

Incidentally, neither of those versions of “Rocket Number Nine” were the one I was imagining, I of course was thinking of the frenetic schizoid Space is the Place version:

Seriously though.  With a budget of $0, what did you expect?


28 July 2010

This Heat

18 July 2010

I mean.  You see it. right?

The base photo above is from a fantastic set of photos captured 1400 M below the surface of the sea off the coast of Australia.

persons of the dialogue: Socrates, Ted "Theodore" Logan, Bill S. Preston Esq.

Speaking of Australia: these photos were brought to my attention via the indispensable twitter feed of @beccrew, of Save Your Breath For Running Ponies fame, whom incidentally, is up for very well deserved recognition as OZ’s finest science blogger.  I strongly urge that you GO VOTE for her, rather than bothering with the nonsense below.

[Socrates: is it just me or is microecos really going down the tubes ?]
[Ted Logan: dude? did you not hear?  the science blogosphere is, literally, falling apart .]
[S: is not microecos a cultural studies blog ?]
[TL: that never made any sense anyway .]
[Bill S. Preston Esq.: whatever.  this kind of cute, circular bullshit was going on from the start .]
[S: aren't these links broken?  what is that even about ?]
[TL: the internet rots afore mine eyes .]
[BSPe: son, chill. i'm telling you always already again .]
[S. who wants cake ?]

And on the off chance you came looking for this, here:


Google; my brain: the line gets ever fuzzier

7 July 2010


4 July 2010

Surely I must have told this story before: Third grade, being physically educated in greek dodgeball at Santa Margarita elementary school. It’s an early summer scorcher, must be near the end of the school year, teachers are probably just running out the clock with extra PE sessions.

It’s so hot the blacktop is semi-molten. It reeks of tar and sticks to my shoes a bit as I lunge from the incoming projectiles hurled at my head by staggering ten-year-old brutes easily twice my size.

Anyways though I’m mostly not paying attention to the ‘game’ but instead I am watching a loose knot of vultures that gyrates overhead, they are catching the thermals that are rising from the searing pavement.

But then here: there is something different. This vulture has a white head and tail. I’ve never seen one before, but instantly I know what it is. Still, I can’t quite believe it – this seems really special, almost magical. My heart starts pounding and I probably bounce up and down a little bit as I point to the sky and shout:

“Guys! Look! A BALD EAGLE!”

Right on target the dodge ball, un-dodged, connects with the side of my head.

Actually I made that last part up, I think everyone just ignored me. Not that I cared. I was THRILLED.

This is not that eagle of course, but one that we saw at Poore Lake on the east side of the Sierra Nevada on Monday. A bit far away, but unmistakeable. I’ve seen a number of these birds since that first schoolyard sighting but I still can’t help to be a little awestruck each time I see one. It’s in my blood I guess.

They are filthy thieving animals though you know.