Tag Archives: nature

Pushing Daisies Around

I just want to know what the deal is with the damned daisies.

The summer heat came at last and they popped up, bright masses lolling all over my yard, so stupidly cheerful it made me giddy. I defy anyone to lie down in a sunny patch of daisies and not feel ecstatic.

So of course I wanted to pick some for my table. It was only when I tried to untangle them that I realized daisies have no structural integrity whatsoever. Unable to stand on their own, they lean drunkenly on their neighbours until everyone falls down.

Their lack of spinal fortitude is only enhanced in a vase: the stem flops, the head flops, each individual petal flops. My daisies were either engaged in some kind of work-to-rule strike or they are just naturally, intrinsically on vacation. Forever.

I kept pushing them around, to no avail. And I don’t think I was asking for too much, I wasn’t expecting the moral rectitude of a flipping Gerbera for heaven’s sake. All I wanted was a haphazard jumble of joyful blossoms, but they absolutely refused to cooperate. It was like trying to sculpt with pudding.

Does their uselessness make them happy? Or does being happy make them useless?

Is life just so good that they can’t stand up? Is succumbing to gravity the last surrender of the truly content?

If there was nothing to push against in the world – hardship, strife, pain – would we all just melt into a puddle of bliss?

Enough. I must go now and shake my finger at the flowers of the field, the birds of the air, and those irritating, dilly-dallying clouds…

“Shape up, everyone, do you hear me? Shape up!”







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Writing Club: Dialogue That Works

Welcome to another edition of writing tips, prompts and folderol. (Look it up.) Today we’ll look at writing dialogue that isn’t clunky, baffling or boring. But first we warm up…

cuff_last_passenger_corn_brook_5505-minute prompt: TRAVEL

Planes, trains, automobiles, boats, bicycles, or feet. Five minutes, stream of consciousness, write whatever comes to mind on the topic… GO!

For some reason most of my thoughts on the topic tend to the befores and afters and not to the actual travelling: airports and train platforms, figuring out schedules, waiting in line, delays, waiting for luggage, missing luggage, etc.

What’s the strangest mode of transport you’ve ever used?

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Weekly Eldritch: Dead Things in Museums

Apologies for missing a couple of weeks there, I hope Hallowe’en filled in the creepy-things gap for you. Now back to it – my weekly offering of spooky tings, courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

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Weekly Eldritch: Cave Creatures


texas blind salamander

This is my weekly offering of something eldritch, or creepy… Recently we watched an old episode of Planet Earth about caves, and I spent the entire time cringing. Naturally the massive pile of bat guano swarming with cockroaches was a highlight, but all of the inhabitants of caves are a little on the creepy side. Above is the texas blind salamander, click here to see the video clip on the BBC site.


glow worms trapping their prey with strands of spit


sightless cave fish

And of course we can’t forget…


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Weekly Eldritch: Trees with Eyes

Was on a hike last week in the lovely, serene woods when I spotted this:

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Eyes watching me! Suspicious character. At least he wasn’t throwing apples. Continue reading

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Weekly Eldritch: Faces 2

Further to a previous post, I keep seeing faces everywhere…


And when you find a face unexpectedly, it’s like suddenly noticing someone hiding. This one in particular was so detailed it just made me jump when I spotted it (Hope, BC):

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Weekly Eldritch: Pink

I have no particular argument with pink in general. Cerise, Fuschia, Magenta, Raspberry, Cherry Blossom, Rose… They’re not exactly my style, but having gone through an acute Princess-phase with my daughter, I’ve learned to accomodate most pinks in my life. (She has recovered fully, thanks for asking.)

I’m not even bothered by things that are pink that aren’t supposed to be pink. For example:


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Weekly Eldritch: Teeth

I’m not just talking about any old teeth, but teeth bared.

As a sign of anger or threat, it’s one of the most obvious cues that animals can give us about their current disposition. Compare…


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As encountered on a summer road trip to the prairies (Elk Island Park in Alberta), these bison wandered across the road all around our car. As huge as they are, I wasn’t alarmed until I saw the bared teeth. Yikes!

(It turns out that a minivan was totalled by these behemoths the week before, so I’m glad I didn’t get them too angry. NB, tip from park staff: Never honk at bison!)

The bared teeth effect is even more dramatic in cutesy animals:


Aren’t they sweet…


Ye gods! Someone call an exorcist!


Courtesy of Scientific American, some thoughts on bared teeth vs. smiles.

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Weekly Eldritch: Driftwood Faces

(and one rock face)

On our camping trip last weekend I kept seeing faces everywhere!

And none of them seemed very happy…


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Weekly Eldritch: Eels

There’s something about an eel that just geeks me out. Is it the way they wriggle through the water, or their shiny, slippery bodies, or their horrorshow mouths?


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