Tag Archives: Animals

Terrestrial Fauna of Terra Australis Incognita


Friendly Chipmunks and Ghost Ships

This week was a week of hiking. Our excursions took us to the tops of mountains, to abandoned islands, and across disappearing land bridges. Much to my fiancée’s joy, we climbed to the top of three different mountains over the course of the trip. Penobscot, Dorr, and Cadillac. Alice also climbed to the top of Sargent mountain, from which my father and I turned back after our trip ended up going overtime and we had to get back for another event.


IMG_20170712_123835529.jpgOur abandoned island was Bar Island. After getting lost following a hurried flight from a swarm of bees, we stumbled upon an old fort that may have been from the civil war. This is just one of the chimneys that remain from that old fort.IMG_20170710_180227073.jpg

The bridge to Bar Island is below sea level at high tide, so it is only open for part of the day. A warning sign says that if you end up on the island at high tide you can wait for nine hours or call a water taxi for $150. I suspect you could also take your shoes off and wade back to shore, but I never got to try it.


It was here at Bar Island that I first saw the ghost ship.


The reason I know that this ship is of supernatural origin is due to its unusual size and anachronistic appearance. It also moved slowly and in a straight line, as if it were floating just above the surface of the water.

The flora and fauna were a particular highlight of the trip. Chipmunks abounded, and once I fell asleep and found a seagull nearly on top of me.


See below a squirrel fight I recorded.

All in all, I’d say it was definitely worth the legwork.

Murder, chocolate pudding, and ponies

I was playing a game this week in which you play a little rabbit creature with magic powers. The unstated goal was to murder everything in sight, for which you were rewarded with experience that made you stronger in interesting and fun ways. At one point my little serial killer came upon a creature she had been chasing, who was now stuck under some rubble. The protagonist rescued it and the narrator of the game informed me that she had reminded this creature that there is still kindness and mercy in the forest. After accepting the stolen artifact for her inspiring love, the protagonist blew up an owl with two magic missiles and used its soul to empower her to do so again in the future using only one magic missile.


dark chocolate orange pudding recipe

On Friday, I made orange dark chocolate pudding for a party. I’m not sure it was the right snack for that venue. I didn’t put as much effort into the presentation as the above picture. People liked the dish for not being excessively sweet, and even though only three people out of eight (including me) ate any, one person may have had three bowls of it. I still have an awful lot left over, so I’ll take some to my co-workers who expressed interest on Friday when I mentioned I was going to make it.

But the crowning story of this week, if we include the prior weekend, is that Alice got to go visit the wild ponies of Virginia.

Enraged, a wild pony viciously attacks Alice’s hip.

It is illegal to pet these ponies. Please witness in this picture, Alice is not petting the pony. To my knowledge, there are no laws in the state of Virginia against being eaten by ponies.

Sam, Alice, and Dead

Alice and I took a horse ride today  at Dead Broke Farm. One of the most fun things about this farm is that Google shortens its name in email conversations so that the top of my inbox now reads “conversation between Sam, Alice, and Dead.”

Strangely morbid coincidences aside, our ride at Dead Broke Farms was especially pleasing because of the collection of animals that joined us. Besides the horses, we were treated to a little dog that happily trotted alongside us, occasionally dodging out of the way of an enormous horse hoof just in time, and a deer.


The deer is especially interesting because we did not just see her in passing as one usually sees deer. Instead, this deer stalked us. At first she kept her distance, but as we rode she would bound along after us and get closer and closer. After a while she was within a few yards of me. When I pulled out my phone to take a picture, my horse, Fancy, suddenly started towards the deer and caused her to bound off again. It wasn’t long before she was back, though.


The guide suspects that her little dog was the reason for the deer’s unusual interest in us. The guide said the little dog looked a bit like a coyote, and the deer had recently given birth to some fauns that she may have been feeling protective of. We saw the fauns in question later. You can click on the image to get a better picture of one of the fauns. It looks  a lot like its mother, and is in the same position, but I swear it’s not the same animal.


What this deer was planning to do if for some reason we decided we did want to mess with her fauns was anyone’s guess.