Southern Discoveries

There’s a frog on my window. She’s pretty quiet, not like some of the other frogs around. Some croak, but some make this deep vibrating noise that almost sound like high-voltage power lines being used for jump roping.

Today I saw termites swarming an old tree stump in the backyard. It was magical. Out of nowhere came thousands of small white wings, being pushed and tugged by the wind, spreading thin like living smoke. After a few minutes they all just disappeared, as if they’d never been.


Last night when I arrived I was greeted with hugs, apricot wine and re-heated jumbalaya.

I was then introduced to a pair of baby bunnies who have just been added to the family. I was then told about the hazards of having domesticated bunnies in the lands of thunderstorms. Apparently it’s quite common for bunnies who are kept as household pets to succumb to heart attacks during thunder storms. The loud noises create a fear response, and since they can’t run away from the storm, the bunnies die. So bunnies do better when they’re brought inside during thunderstorms, so they can be held and reassured when they get frightened.



The Size of Things

Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how big the world is. It takes a few hours by plane, a few days by car, to get anywhere. The United States is a vast place, and Texas in particular is so big. I drive a lot, and I’m used to using mile markers as signals for when I’m getting near the edge of a state. Usually when you’re in the upper-300’s or so, a state line is coming up. Yesterday I drove to mile marker 882.

Eight *hundred* eighty-two.
That’s how many miles this one road spends going through Texas. There might be roads with even higher mileage counts. Texas is a big place, and it’s beautiful. I rarely hear people expounding upon the ecological diversity of Texas, but I think perhaps they should. It’s beautiful. And pretty freaking awesome.

W & Z

Today I found the Central Park of Austin, Texas. It’s called Zilker (named after Andrew Jackson Zilker). Zilker park has a teeny little train that goes through it, called the “Zilker Zephyr”.

It’s funny because a zephyr is a gust of wind. Not a strong gust of wind, just more of a breeze. I think it’s very appropriate. If the Hogwarts Express is thunder down the tracks the Zilker Zephyr is “tut tut, looks like rain”.

Additionally, I was sent an idea for a B-movie, or possibly something to pitch to the Syfy channel: WOLVES ON WINGS. That’s right! It’s a plot about werewolves who also have hang-gliders. Just picture it – the protagonist has finally managed to escape the pursuit of the crazed wolf-creatures by (*gasp!*) opening a door! Without hands, the werewolves are trapped outside. In a fit of brilliance, our fearless refugees head to the roof where they are then set upon by wolves in hang gliders!!! Probably 45 minutes of the film could even take place on the roof. It would be super cheap to shoot. In other words…PERFECT!

Feeling Austin-tatious

Today I hugged a woman who hugged Elijah Wood.

But really, it’s a story about barbecue.

Franklin’s Barbecue is said to be the best in the entire nation of the United States. The wait,  if one gets there when the place opens at noon, is about an hour and a half. If you don’t get up early to wait in line, you might be there for closer to three hours.

Yesterday, Elijah Wood thought this was a good way to spend his time. So did the woman who hugged me. They met in line to eat some Good Ol’ Texan Meat. (Yes, that does deserve capitalization.)

Also; snakes can indeed be killed by their own poison. Their stomachs have properties that neutralize the acid, so a snake cannot be killed by ingesting it’s own poison (or residual poison in prey), however, a snake’s muscle tissue has no such protection, so if a snake bit itself, it would actually die.

Oroborous, in practice, is not a good idea.