Category Archives: Random

Identifying frogs and toads in NC

Although I often miss the mountains, one of the benefits of living in North Carolina's Coastal Plain is the tree frogs. During my summer at Duke's Marine lab in Beaufort, we would often return to our apartment to find the building and our door absolutely covered in frogs; in the morning, they'd be all over the car, and we'd have to pull them out of the tires. They don't seem to be quite as prevalent in Greenville, but there are plenty (they seem to like sitting on the porch, where they can taunt the cat). During a trip to Washington, NC, we ran across this stunning green little guy, and I decided to find out what he was. Read more

The firefly fairy (Angelicae lampyridae)

The firefly fairy (Angelicae lampyridae) collects coins during the day and stores them in a pouch about her waist. She takes great care to polish the coins to a most desirable shininess. At night, when she runs across a firefly trapped inside a jar by an awestruck human, she frees the captive and leaves a quarter in his or her place. Although she develops endurance and strength from carrying coins, the firefly fairy naturally possess incredible energy, most likely to match that of fireflies. Read more

The chocolate Fairy (Angelicae theobromae)

The chocolate fairy forms from maturing cocoa plants; the leaves morph into her wings and the stem into her body. Her skin takes often on a creamy hue, very similar to truffle filling. The green swirls in her brown wings smell of mint and her skin smells of chocolate. Legend holds that her veins carry sugar and that icing composes her insides. Needless to say, the chocolate fairy has more attempts on her life than most other fairies, as many animals and even people (however unwittingly) try to eat her. Understandably, then, the chocolate fairy avoids all other species as much as possible. Still, a human can attract her by leaving out a small piece of chocolate; if she knows a visitor poses no threat, she will be more willing to show herself. These fairies can transform any inanimate object into chocolate, so they are certainly worth having around, unless the object in question was valuable; some even say that she can turn living beings into chocolate, but no reliable records exist to support the claim. Read more

The fall fairy (Angelicae autumnae)

The fall fairy forms within a growing deciduous tree; her wings perfectly imitate its leaves. She hibernates in the tree for eight months of each year, coming out only when autumn arrives. She then carefully tends to the tree for the onset of winter; she colors leaves and prepares them to fall off. Fall fairies often congregate within friendly-faced jack-o-lanterns to enjoy the warmth of conversation and candle flame. They love candy corn and enthusiastically deplete its stocks on Halloween. Read more

The dandelion fairy (Angelicae taraxacae)

Dandelion fairy (Angelicae taraxacae). The dandelion fairy’s hair, identical to the wispy white feathers of the flower’s seeds, disguises her while she lives in the dandelion’s center. When a person makes a wish and blows on the flower, she discreetly floats out with the dispersing seeds, and carries the wish to heaven. Sometimes, a particular wish will move a dandelion fairy so much, she decides to grant the wish herself rather than deliver it to the haphazard whims of the heavens. Read more

Tugboats of Morehead City State Port, NC

One of my secret guilty pleasures in life is a fascination with tugboats. I blame my grandfather for infecting me with the tug bug. One day while we were out on his bass boat, he pointed to a huge barge. "What do you think pushes that big, heavy barge?" he asked. No older than ten, I replied, "A humongous gigantic ship!" He laughed, and then the tug boat, dwarfed in size by the barge, came into view. This unexpected sight made quite the impression on me, I was thoroughly amazed with the tug's power. They quickly became mythologized in my mind as tireless, hard-working, under-appreciated folks of the boat world, while useless divas like yachts got all the attention.

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