Archive for the ‘events’ Category

What to do, what to do. Why not be your favorite mollusk? Do you have lots of metro cards hanging around your house? I know I do.

Coney Island - 2007 Mermaid Parade - Metrocard
(photo: wally g, hat: andygpadre8)

What about an old sweatshirt you don’t need?

Here’s the instructable for this costume.

Are you really crafty, or perhaps have a crafty friend?

Nora Renick-Rinehart made this costume for Lucy Knisley.

I’m sure you’ll come up with something…

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Happy Cephalopod Awareness Days! For more about the history, see this post on the Cephalopodiatrist. Today is Octopus Day. For today I wrote a teensy poem and I’ll share this photo of a North Pacific Giant Octopus I saw at the Seattle Aquarium. I don’t know if it’s the geometry of the enclosure or if that octopus was just in a particularly feisty mood, but it was by far the most active octopus I’ve ever seen in captivity.


And now, my Octopoem

The tips of the tentacle could define
the vertices of a cube
a fleeting octagon
an umbrella that furls and unfurls,
furls and unfurls.

These teardrops are salt but not sorrow.
I can’t say who this flesh belongs to.

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There’s been so many awesome things on the internet this week that I want to share. Linkstravaganza!

First, the other participants in International Rock Flipping Day! It was a great crowd to be in; so many excellent sightings.

Lynda at mainlymongoose
Kordite in the Flickr group
Bill Murphy at Fertanish Chatter
Rebecca In The Woods
Dave Bonta, on Via Negativa. Here and here and on Flickr.
Paul, The Obligate Scientist
Wanderin’ Weeta. Here and on Flickr. Plus one to be posted soon.
Kate St. John on Outside My Window
Ontario Wanderer on Flickr
JayLeigh in Pacific Northwest Nature for Families
Fred Schueler: a Google document, copied here.
Rikaja in Slovakia
Bev Wigney at Journey to the Centre
Hugh, at Rock, Paper, Lizard

Well done, everyone. Thanks for finding the slugs I couldn’t! And a special thanks to Susannah at Wanderin’ Weeta for coordinating the event this year. I will practice over the course of the next year in hopes of great results next time around.

In case you don’t follow the websites with conventionally cute animals, it was Snail Week at Daily Squee! I’m diggin’ the invert love! Check out this ADORABLE baby snail.

Other great things:
1. A fantastic post over at the Spandrel Shop about the sea slugs that feed on algae and then incorporate the plastids into their bodies to become photosynthetic themselves. So cool.

2. Enormous octopus cake made the internet rounds this week. I saw it first on Make.

3. Another fascinating post, this time at Not Exactly Rocket Science, about parasitic worms that take over snail bodies and “drive” them around. Turns out there’s actually a class structure in these worms.

4. You got squid in my broccoli! You got broccoli in my squid! Two great tastes that taste great together.

5. Mollusk sex advice column over at Deep Sea News. Just too delightful.

6. Another snail video from Daily Squee.

7. Also, some of the craziest weather in NYC this week. Tornado! I don’t know if this photo from grapesofrad is ‘shopped or not, but it’s great nonetheless.

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Rock flipping adventures

I live here.
Brooklyn and Manhattan
(photo: Katy Silberger)
Where I actually live isn’t in the frame there, but you get the idea. It can be very pretty in its own way. To wit:
Lower Manhattan Skyline at Twilight from the Manhattan Bridge, New York City
(photo: Andrew Mace)

It’s not the kind of place one expects to see a ton of wildlife, as it were. It took me a while to find a good spot for rock flipping. I am so fortunate to live fairly close to Central Park, so it was the obvious target. I had to get off the beaten path a little bit, because there weren’t a ton of rocks along the main paths and what rocks there were were extremely urine-smelling (this is something you can say about a lot of New York, sadly), so I was neither going to touch them nor was I convinced they made great habitat for anybody. I did eventually find this spot.

It’s sort of a riparian environment, so I figured there would be something good to see here. I saw ants and one earwig (eek!), though they scuttled away very quickly. Under one rock I found a whole bunch of these little buggers being sleepy and lazy. I think they’re garden centipedes? Sorry the photo is kinda blurry; this camera I’m currently borrowing is tricky.

I didn’t see much else. I think it may be that it’s been such a hot, dry summer; the underneaths of many of the rocks I overturned weren’t the slightest bit damp. Still, I saw one cool rock underside, and that was the object. Spotting a mollusk was also a goal but no luck there. I did wander around in the North Woods of the park, though, and saw some spots I don’t think I’ve ever come across before. It’s a nice reminder that Manhattan can look like this if you know where to look.

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What are you doing this weekend? Flipping a rock, I hope! Sunday is International Rock Flipping Day! Check out the full information over on Wanderin’ Weeta’s awesome blog.

There’s a flickr pool with some pretty great mollusks under rocks.

Slug for International Rock-flipping Day
(photo credit: The MarvelousInNature.wordpress.com)

bottom of a rock
(photo credit: asterbleu)

I’m sure hoping for a slug or snail sighting, something I’ve yet to see here in New York City. An isopod would be great too. Just no earwigs please. ::shudder::

I was looking for rocks on my walk to work this morning, and weirdly enough, I saw zero rocks that I could flip over. I suspect this has something to do with how the part of Central Park that I walk through every day was landscaped. Hopefully in one of the more brambley bits, or maybe in the other park near my house, I can find something.

I did meet a very disgruntled swan, though.

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