What's it Wednesday

by Dawn Farmer

Morning edition… (sorry, can’t play this afternoon)


24 replies »

  1. I thought sap, but cold weather in March is not in my worldview, so Chris is probably right.

  2. I was going to take the easy way out and say that this is the tear of a Treant living somewhere north of the border (the Illuminati know that Tolkien was really a historian, not a writer of fiction). Ann’s First instinct was disturbingly close. However, if I’ve learned anything about Dawn in these last few weeks, she’s less than obvious.

    Then I recalled the Nassaniatic monks of Aquilon. These monks are known for meditation, much like the Tibetan monks of Earth. As they age, they train themselves to meditate for longer and longer periods of time, contemplating various ideas (e.g. Unity, Connection, All, Identity, etc). The Nassanis are particularly suited for this endeavor because they are part plant, part mineral; a sort of silicon based, photosynthetic tree. They find a spot on a hillside or mountaintop that suits their needs and make themselves comfortable.

    After a few weeks, they start to lay down a shallow network of roots and their stomata (for lack of a better English word) open up, allowing them to absorb nutrients from their surroundings. After a few months of this, they start to resemble pock-marked, moss and lichen covered rocks.

    The object in Dawn’s picture is a secretion from a slit on the upper torso of a monk who has been meditating for quite some time. By the shear volume, I’d guess between 5 to 7 Earth years (which translates as about 74 lunar cycles or 0.6 Aquilon years). The secretion is not so much a waste product as it is musk. In small volumes, it is somewhat of a pheromone of an aphrodisiac nature and it is normally washed away each morning and night. It is only when a Nassani has been sitting for years at a time that there is an appreciable accumulation.

  3. I’m taking a page from Ubertramp.

    Those are clearly Bavarian Beer Mites. They were genetically engineered in the late stages of WWII, when the Germans were having difficulty keeping supply routes open. The Germans needed to find alternate means of acquiring basic staples to continue the fight, so you can understand why beer mites were high on their list. The mites are ideally suited for the Pacific Northwest as the climate is very similar to that of their native Deutchland.

    The beer mites synthesize beer in their distended abdomens; feeding on tree bark and nitrogen from the soil. Adding a bit of corn syrup to their diet gives them a sugar source from which alcohol can be fermented. The type of tree determines the type of beer (pale ale, stout, etc), but some fairly unusual brews were common as Germans began experimenting with various other plants in lieu of the common trees for which they were intended.

    Harvesting is as simple as picking them up and placing them in buckets. The fermentation will naturally cause them to burst when an optimal alcohol level has been achieved. A simple mesh filter is all that that is required to separate the beer from the buggy bits. It’s grizzly, I know, but this was a wartime solution, after all.

    They are most common now near college campuses as they are ideal for underage drinkers. It’s been suggested that a Russian variant is responsible for the recent explosion in flavored vodkas; though how the Russians are able to get mites to ferment the higher levels of alcohol without bursting remains a mystery. Perhaps Chernobyl was no accident.

  4. @fikshun. Hahaha! Now you’re going to have a plague of undergrads in the Flatirons outside of Boulder suckin’ on sappy trees, giving tree-huggers like Brian a bad name. Assuming they don’t stumble upon a shroom first. The newest incarnation of evil bark beetles?

  5. @Terry. Those are pine needles. Either that or one of those undergrads lost a cornroll…cornrow…whatever the hell they’re called. 🙂

  6. Occam’s Razor, but do you really want the obvious?

    You all have much more fun inventing the answers. 🙂

    You certainly entertain me, so thanks. I’ll look around for something for next week, and yes tree sap is the answer.

  7. Fikshun, do you know that the seeds of one of the most popular native landscaping trees in Texas contain cytisine, a mild hallucinogen and oh yeah, a deadly poison too? You can also burn people with the red seeds if you scrape it on the ground and drop it down their shirt. Or pants.

    One year I gave extra credit to anyone who could find out which plant all over our high school campus was a hallucinogen producer.

  8. Ann, that’s the kind of story I’d expect from someone who thinks mold grows on fabric softener. 😀

  9. Ubertramp wrote:

    it is somewhat of a pheromone of an aphrodisiac nature and it is normally washed away each morning and night. It is only when a Nassani has been sitting for years at a time that there is an appreciable accumulation.

    So the longer you meditate, the more chicks dig you?

  10. No, it’s like perfume. A hint is nice. A bath just reeks. 🙂 I suspect it’s half the reason they can remain undisturbed for so long. After a while, norms just don’t want to get anywhere near them.

  11. Oh my, people would be surprised at the mental states that your local garden center can produce if you know what you’re looking for. If the kids really applied themselves, the cops would never catch ’em…

  12. Hmmm, it could be ice with a yellow light behind it, or pitch with a light shining through. I’m leaning towards ice (we’ve had plenty of cold weather around here lately) – I can’t recall ever seeing so sap look so clear.

    The tree is a cedar.

    But the more I look at it, the more I think it is sap. It’s a little too lumpy bumpy to be ice.


    Final answer.

    Lovely macro, and a nice touch of bokeh there!