Archive | December, 2010


27 Dec

It’s a mutant!!! It’s an abomination against nature!!! It’s horribly disfigured!!! Most of you reading this can’t tell and possibly don’t know what you’re looking at!!!
It’s a new-germinated Eucalyptus camaldulensis. I’m surprised I remember that, considering this photo was taken at the end of 2009. For scale, the darkish grid that you can kinda see there, is 1cm by 1cm. But it has three, count them, cotyledonous leaves! The horror!
Also, I’ll probably be doing a lot more of this photo stuff for a while. Deal with it.

Also, I can’t remember why this photo looks so blue and weird, probably half to do with the shade-cloth and half because the camera was new and I was playing with all the settings.




20 Dec

Geddit? It’s a hippogriff that’s a hipster!
Not my idea unfortunately. I’m too tired to be funny after work. Oh woe is me. Bah.
I don’t think I’ll be able to stick to my pledge of posting every day till the end of december, not like any of you suckers care anyway.
Also behind on my shirt designs and t&t as well though, which I really need to get on top off. Oh well.


Speculative Biology Sunday: Fruiting Larch

19 Dec

The Fruiting Larch is a frost hardy tree native to the plains of Siberia. It is a medium-size to large deciduous coniferous tree reaching 20-50 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter. The crown is conic when young, becoming broad with age; the main branches are level to upswept, with the side branches often pendulous. The male and female cones are borne separately on the same tree; pollination is in early spring with the cones taking around 7 months to ripen.
The female cones are consistently reddish to purplish through maturity and don’t harden off like other pine cones. The seed scales stay somewhat swollen and contain relatively high amounts of starch and thus are somewhat palatable, though still taste distinctly of fresh cut pine.
The seeds of the fruiting larch are not dispersed by wind as their ancestors were, but remain firmly attached to the seed scale of the cone. This way the seed is passed through the digestive tract of the birds when the cones are picked apart and eaten and thus spread further than the wind dispersal employed by other conifers.
The fruiting larch has become an important food source for the animals in the coniferous ecosystem. Many birds and mammals feed on the seed scales which ripen at the beginning of autumn and are important for animals building up food reserves before migrating south or going into hibernation.
Most notable of these is Grims Cuckoo, who feed almost exclusively on the cones throughout autumn and will only migrate south once they run out which is usually almost midwinter, making them very important seed distributors.
Fruiting Larch are almost dominant in areas recently cleared by fire or permafrost thaw, but are gradually out-competed by other evergreen conifers over time.


Tough Bananas Kids

17 Dec

Totally counts as a post.
Going out for a christmas do for work. Entertain yourselves.



16 Dec

So incredibly tired. Couldn’t be bothered doing something amusing, so instead I drew something… well reasonably cool. I like to think.
If you want something amusing, go fly fishing.
Tetraceratops is no relative of Triceratops. It was a metre long lizard looking thing with six stubby horns on it’s face that ate probably mostly various smaller lizard looking things.
Not a dinosaur. Paleontologists are still arguing whether it’s a primitive early therapid or that it fits somewhere between pelycosaurs and synapsids. Either way it’s pretty cool.
The gait is completely wrong, I know, I’m not very good at sprawled gaits. Working on it though.
Also shirts! Buy my shirts!.


Acorning: A History

15 Dec

Acorning is a tradition or pastime of people all over the world, but the significance is often forgotten. It’s origins stem from a town called Dalgowmore in southern scotland and the surrounding areas, from the 13th century but possibly earlier. Acorners or Oak-Horners would travel around from town to town and hand out “blessed acorns” to the villages to ward off the plague. These acorns would usually be carved with runes of blessing, goodwill and oak. Oak-horners would often recieve food and board in exchange for warding disease from the area. These “Oak-Horners” are suspected of being hangers on of the old druidic ways.

Modern acorning though is somewhat more of a fun, silly and somewhat obscure pastime and is completely unheard of in many parts of the world. It consists of collecting acorns, usually in small baskets and drawing or carving smiling faces on them and handing them out to strangers and passers by on the streets with wellwishes regarding the acronee’s Tuesdays. There is no recorded history of when wishing the acornee a good Tuesday started occuring, but it thought to have something to do with the long history of it being unlucky to acorn on a tuesday. Acorning is mostly undertaken by children, but occasionally lively teenagers who want to confuse people in areas unfamiliar with the pastime.

Acorners throughout history have always worn odd clothes, no matter the period, and the style of regalia donned by acorns has changed as often, if not more often, than the style of the time. One thing that has steadfast in acorner culture is the green bowler hat, decorated with acorns hanging from strings on the brim and sometimes patterns of oak leaves on top. Acorns sewn as buttons or into necklaces and dried, pressed oak leaves sewn onto clothing are also marks of an acorner that have  endured through time.

Acorning today is celebrated thoughout the world today except where acorns may be unavailable, and is outlawed in Slovenia.


The Bugs

15 Dec

Between the locusts and the mosquitoes, home and work has an infinite amount more insects than Canberra did when I left.
The locusts aren’t really at plague proportions, the mosquitoes are probably closer plague proportions than the locusts are. Nobody ever seems to count the mosquitoes though.
I’d also forgotten how many of the three S’s there are at the nursery too. Spiders, snails and slugs of course. I like snails, snails are cool.
I’d also forgotten how drained you feel after getting back from work. Ugh.


Dangers of Flying

14 Dec

But luckily I was allowed my can opener on the flight, so I saved the day.
Back home, for better or worse. Sitting in the hammock out the back with my laptop and my citronella candle to ward off grazers.
The flat wattle is looking a bit yellow and crowded, might have to do something about that.
Must be off, have to catch a chicken. -dons limp pointy green hat-
P.S. I will have a new shirt design or two up tomorrow.



13 Dec

I have a friend over. Say hi to him everyone! Yay.
He wanted to play with my tablet, so I let him draw a toy bob-omb which I had on my desk. He was unfamiliar with the tablet, and GIMP which I use to draw everything, so it took him essentially two hours to draw the left half of the image. He interjected while I was typing to say that he is also shit at art, I insist that he just needs more practice. I drew the right half of the image, it took me 10 the actual bob-omb in 10 minutes, and stuff around with it for another five.
We then had an argument as to whether it was bob-omb or bomb-om. He insisted it was bomb-om. I won. Gloat.
We listened also listened to Pomplamoose and watched the Platoon of Power Squadron. We are both disappoint that there isn’t more of the second. You would also like both of the forementioned, youtube them.
This totally counts as todays post.


Speculative Biology Sunday: Woolly Chelon

12 Dec

This weeks SBS comes to you from a niche filling competition on the spec forums that I am a member of. The niche to fill: The largest herbivore or carnivore in the northern or southern reaches of the world (land, sea, or air), had the Earth started cooling 90 MYA and 65 MYA was a large Ice Age.
I chose therizinosaurs as my ancestor.

The Mid-Cretaceous ice ages struck the Mesozoic world hard. After hundreds of millions of years in tropical balminess a lot of the dinosaurs were caught off guard and their ranges shrunk rapidly. The only herbivores really fortuitously pre-adapted to this change were the Therizinosaurs with their coats of dinofuzz thickening and billowing as the worlds mercury dropped and quickly spread throughout the northern hemisphere, increasing in number and size.
The most successful species of therizinosaur, the Woolly Chelon, is also the largest. Reaching up to 12 metres long and 6 metres long they have returned to quadrupediality to help support their amazing bulk. They walk on their knuckles, retaining the raking claws of their ancestry, which the often use to sweep snow off of buried vegetation.
Travelling in herds throughout the year, but in winter the smaller herds coalesce together and move far into the coniferous forests which dominate the frigid norths. They mate before these megaherds disperse and eggs are laid in early spring, hatching in mid spring. The females must survive on the last of her fat reserves from the last summer while she incubates the eggs and so females are often larger than males.
Predation usually occurs during spring and summer, picking off the young, the weak, or the mothers struggling to hatch eggs. Social bonds are strong within the subherds, and matriachs will be often seen greeting other matriachs when the subherds coalesce in early winter.

Heh, it’s funny because I named them from a chunk of a species name of therizinosaur before realizing that the chunk meant “turtle”. Heh, woolly turtle.

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