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Fri, Jul. 16th, 2004, 09:15 pm
Small animals and reflections on picking them up.

At the Alaska State Fairgrounds, I work outdoors eight hours of five days of each week. I get to see a lot of bugs and small animals about. I've lived in Oklahoma, had an experience in Arkansas, and lived in Alaska for years: I should have plenty of experience with trivial things like common insects and birds, but it feels like I've discovered them anew for some reason. I've seen many different insects and animals, and — I don't have a clue why, but — I seem to be on a mission to pick them all up.

The first day I worked there, I saw and identified an Alaskan field mouse. I had seen them before, but it went right between my legs. I had an odd urge to reach down and pick it up, even though that is an obviously unwise idea.

A couple of weeks later, I see a small black moth in the couch-shed. I picked it up
— again, I don't know why! — and examined it closer. It was actually a small butterfly! I did a little research that night and found it was a type of butterfly common to North America, and does inhabit even the farther Northern regions like Alaska.

I was reminded of those little black-and-white butterflies when I found a gigantic yellow moth near the center of the fair-grounds. It was the size of my fist! You guessed it: I picked it up. It shook violently until I shielded it from the wind, then it flew away. I hope I see more of those around: they are very elegant.

Grasshoppers I don't have to pick up: they will fly right onto/into you. Same thing with some dragonflies: I'm now accustomed to occasionally looking down at my shirt and seeing a pair of shiny blue segmented eyes staring up at me. Daddy-long-legs (not a scientific name, I know) talk about me in the dark corners of the fair-grounds as “that fun thing we like to climb up and all over for no discernible reason except for our own inability to tell a massive living creature from an inanimate object — OH WAIT WE JUST LIKE TO CREEP HIM OUT BY WALKING ALL OVER HIS NECK AND FACE WITH OUR LONG TICKLY LEGS OMG THERE HE IS WHEEEEEEEEEEEE!” I'm certain I've actually heard the “wheeeeeeeeee” part once.

Then, there are the birds. First, it was some type of common bird with brown-gray feathers that simply would not fly at our approach. Tim, a co-worker, insisted the bird was “retarded.” I eventually picked it up, and it didn't seem to have any health problems except a maybe-deformed beak. I wonder if that thing is still wandering the fair-grounds. The second bird looked like a black-capped chickadee, and it was just sitting in the shade of a fair building. I didn't see it until I was within a few feet of it, and (wait for it... wait...) picked it up. It didn't have any health problems except an overabundance of cuteness. Suddenly, one of the trucks drove by, and it was some of the landscape crew — the all-girl landscape crew! W00T!, which noticed the bird on my hand and stopped. They inquired as to the bird's health, and I gave my admittingly unprofessional opinion: it was fine, except for a lack of flight. They offered to take it back to a particular individual at the office who had connections to volunteer specialists in the matter. I accepted, and transferred the bird over to the nearest girl, but the bird had different plans: it looked around, chirped twice, and took to flight! It disappeared over the tree line as we watched in mutual mystification. They called me a nice guy for not harming the bird, the third time they have called me a nice guy since I've started working there. Shucks...

(Ready? Here comes the humorous flight of fantasy! Hold onto your butts!)
Today, I was examining waves of reality emanating from a particular spot about five meters off of the ground, and a stinging stream of violent light poured out of a rolling form had its way with my gentle mortal eyes. As I writhed — ground-bound — in pain, the form above me unfolded and grew into an eldritch, out-worldly figure: a flowing light surrounded by hundreds of loose transparent sheets of cloth-like material supported a black, curved abdomen-like pillar over which a system of stone-like triangles shifted and rebuilt itself every few moments. My eyes adjusted to the light emitted from this figure as several glass-like, reflective ovals formed around me and lifted me dozens of feet into the air, to be brought adjacent to the shifting triangles. Suddenly, they stopped shifting, resting in an eerily familiar animal face-like formation. Gigantic Egyptian hieroglyph-like eyes appeared exactly where they should have been, had the configuration of floating triangles actually been a primal face. Too my surprise, the painted eyes blinked and a voice seemed to come from everywhere: “Oh, it's a human. How about that.” Then, it put me down, pressed its divine form into a more confined shape, and shot into space in the blink of a mortal eye.


Sat, Jul. 17th, 2004 04:17 am (UTC)

I hear ptarmigans are really stupid birds. My mom says you can pretty much walk up to them and grab 'em without needing to hunt them, or something like that. Poor birds.

Sat, Jul. 17th, 2004 10:50 pm (UTC)
masstreble: Bird intelligence!

I'm pretty sure it wasn't a ptarmigan... Although that's some interesting information.

Ptarmigan, the state bird, is supposedly dumb. Maybe all the cool birds were taken?

Sat, Jul. 17th, 2004 11:16 pm (UTC)
gomanfox: Re: Bird intelligence!

One day I'll make my own state and the state will be... CHOCOBO!!! WARK! Kweh!!

Sat, Jul. 17th, 2004 11:48 am (UTC)

Damn you, Sam, for being so very here when you're writing in your journal and so very not here when you're logged into AIM!

<3 Sam anyway, though.

Sat, Jul. 17th, 2004 10:51 pm (UTC)
masstreble: Oops...

Oh, as in I wasn't on AIM while I posted this? M'bad.

Sat, Jul. 17th, 2004 12:50 pm (UTC)

Mayflies are fun to pick up by the wings, let them wiggle and realize they're being held, then set in a different location. :) They're about the tamest bugs I've ever seen. :o

Sat, Jul. 17th, 2004 10:57 pm (UTC)
masstreble: "I never drink... wine."

Oh, most are... most are...

Mon, Jul. 19th, 2004 02:30 pm (UTC)
yaoi_vixen_boi: Re: "I never drink... wine."

*an ode to Eric Cartman*...... "Holy Sheeit"
that was cool
*reitterates on his MassTreble laugh*

Mon, Jul. 19th, 2004 02:31 pm (UTC)

Sam if you were here now I'd kiss you for making my day.

Mon, Jul. 19th, 2004 06:44 pm (UTC)
masstreble: Rock!

What about the post was kiss-worthy, out of curiousity? XD

Mon, Jul. 19th, 2004 10:56 pm (UTC)
yaoi_vixen_boi: Re: Rock!

the last part... about an interdimentional *I guess* being picking you up.

Mon, Jul. 19th, 2004 11:07 pm (UTC)

Oh, okay! You know the Thoreau-like commentary on nature was going to break into over-imaginative pseudo-fantasy sooner or later. XD