March 29, 2020

July 24, 2017

Pineapple Weed (Matricaria discoidia)

I have to get down and put my nose to the sidewalk to properly see you, a mat of green punctuated by yellowish cones, so rudely springing from cracks in concrete slabs as if this wasteland of dried vomit and old chewing gum were the perfect substrate for life. I can't help but wonder if you were here 140 years ago, when the Victorians would have reveled in your minute echo of the pineapple shape they so dearly loved, but I think no- there were no sidewalks in this city then, only dunes and mud. Wikipedia tells me that you are edible in salads, that you can be drunk as a tea not unlike camomile, and can relieve infected sores, fever, and postpartum anemia. Also, that though Native to this continent, you have become a cosmopolitan weed that grows well in disturbed areas- especially those with poor, compacted soil, which could describe a lot of us.


Posted on July 24, 2017 16:25 by ocean_beach_goth ocean_beach_goth | 0 comments | Leave a comment

American Crow

I peek between my kitchen blinds to watch a crow watching traffic. I am thinking how much I'd like to be able to fly. I wonder if she is thinking how much she'd like to drive.

Posted on July 24, 2017 16:21 by ocean_beach_goth ocean_beach_goth | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 19, 2017

Ashy Gray Lade Beetle (Olla v-nigrum)

I found her crawling across the kitchen floor. She was on her way somewhere, and then she was crossing my palm. Ashy Gray Lady Beetle: as if the shine of her could be described in such a ghostly name. She perched on the end of my index finger, looking toward the window. Her spots, I realized for the first time, were not regular or uniform at all- she is like a stained glass window in grayscale. The two halves of her back opened at the black seam and she was gone- a speck of a shadow over the fire escape and then just the empty, sunny day.

There is a drawing associated with this post here:

Posted on July 19, 2017 18:29 by ocean_beach_goth ocean_beach_goth | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Shaggy Parasol (Chlorphyllum olivieri) and Taildropper Slug (Prophysaon)

Imagine that it is summer: the grass is crisped and brown, and the sun is a dragon incubating the earth like an egg. Imagine also that you are a taildropper slug: you might have the superpower of self-amputating your tail if something tries to eat you, but there is a larger problem- the heat. Your skin craves the damp, and if it dries out you will wither and die. Where do you go? You find a shaggy parasol and curl up underneath it. The shaggy parasol is the size of a studio apartment, with attractive brown scales and crenelations on its fleshy cap. For you, the slug, this shaggy parasol is a paradise where the air smells of earth, and the gills trap and hold cool air. You can curl yourself in the lip of the cap and rest, taking in the atmosphere through your breathing pore and waiting out the hot part of the day. Also, you can eat the mushroom like a gingerbread house, if you are willing to share. Obviously, you are not the only slug in this oasis: this is a crowded city, even for you.

There is a drawing associated with this journal post here:

Posted on July 19, 2017 18:15 by ocean_beach_goth ocean_beach_goth | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment