Thursday, July 15, 2010

Being the Discovery of Box

It bodes ill when one discovers a box aboard your ship that no one on the crew recognizes and which when opened is empty. Particularly when the box is discovered so soon after a convention.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Being a Recording of the Events which occurred at Connecticon

The weekend found Falcon’s Vengeance in an aero-port outside of Hartford with our weekend hosts, Mr. and Mrs. N in anticipation of the Convention of Connecticon. Our Cousins, the Brothers McManniss, arrived late Thursday evening, but after leaving them with a family of skunk’s last time we had the opportunity to visit at the Port of Boston, Captain Izumi and I only made a token blast into their port side by way of greeting so that they would know we were there.

We arrived at the Convention Hall first thing in the morning to set up our booth and quickly ran into Miss L. Dearfour who helped us transport our items to the artist’s bazaar where we set up our booth and home base for the weekend. Mistress Inyx Hemlock, a fellow vender, was already set up and most conveniently her booth was across the aisle from ours affording us the opportunity to visit briefly with each other throughout the weekend, a luxury we rarely have. However many of our usual associates were absent, including our apprentice pirate and the Baron Von Lahey, and were indeed well-missed.

Fortunately, despite those were unable to attend, there were far more that we did see over the course of the weekend and it was only a matter of time before other friends and associates began to appear: Ay-leen the Peacemaker, Professor U. Marvel, Dr. H. Rapture, who we were pleased to see and were sorry for his recent ill-health, and Capt. Adella Mortimer, all of whom frequently stopped by over the course of the weekend – indeed A. and Miss D. shared boarding with us with Mr. and Mrs. N. for part of the weekend. We had opportunity to visit with Mrs. L. Sussenberger who is most amazing as it seems she is forever planning the most impressive events and spoke of not one, but two upcoming in the next months, Mr. Tangent, Mr. Sketch, and many others over the course of the weekend. In the Vender’s Bazaar, we had opportunity to visit with our author/artist friends, Mr. Mookie Terracciano who recently proposed to Miss Alyssa, Mr. Dave Lister, who is ever charming and even came to our booth to visit for a time, Mr. Garth Graham, Mr. Shawn Handyside, Mr. Brian Wilson, Mr.’s Mohammad Haque, and Ananth Panagariya and Miss Yuki. My hat was even used by another as a model for future drawings she intended to create. Although busy we did have opportunity over the course of the weekend to give brief greetings to Whisper Merlot and Captain Winslow of the Icarus.

For our own parts, in addition to selling our paintings and at least attempting to maintain the image of having some kind of legitimate source of income (aside from piracy, which we only practiced a small measure of over the course of the weekend), we ourselves hosted an assembly for ball-jointed dolls at which many lovely members of the Den of Angels attended to share their creations, a Japanese Tea Ceremony at which there were more than seventy guests, and I demonstrated for another fifty individuals aspects of the art of Asian Brush painting, for which I am grateful to the generosity of fellow artist Miss T. DeFabrizio who loaned me her paintbrushes that the participants of my panel could practice the strokes I demonstrated. It is unfortunately never a convention unless we forget something, and this time it was the brushes necessary for my lesson. And over the course of the weekend Captain Izumi was finally able to complete the repairs and modifications on a damaged gun she had liberated from someone some months ago, though I think she still prefers her harpoon for intimidation sake in crowds.

At the end of the weekend, we briefly kidnapped Mr. and Mrs. Norris and their guard, Tiny, and Mrs. S. Weatherby for dinner at the aero-port at Mr. and Mrs. N’s residence thus ending a successful weekend with a final victory. We happily anticipate continued interactions with the many friends we saw over the course of the weekend – those mentioned and the many I did not mention by name but with whom we had conversations with over the course of the weekend and look forward to seeing next year, or possibly earlier at our next appearance – Another Anime Convention.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

In preparation for a Convention

We have landed in the air-port outside of the city of Hartford in anticipation of the events of the weekend. The plan is that lady A. and Miss L. will be staying with us, though of course I anticipate interactions with the Cousins, the crew of the Iccarus and Baron Von Lahey.

I lament that circumstances have left me unable to do much botanizing or naturalizing - but I was struck with a sudden illness this weekend that kept me abed and I worried I was going to be too ill to attend the convention, so reserved my energy exclusively for healing rather than writing in order to be most prepared for the weekend. Indeed even setting ink to paper before now has been quite beyond me, though I am much recovered now and anticipate much adventure this weekend.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Being a musing about listening and the sounds of a lake

If you ever get the chance, I recommend just sitting on the shore of a weedy pond and listening. In the stillness, the pond itself was alive with sounds – the lily pads that covered the surface made a sort of irregular clapping sounds – not quite but similar to the polite clapping of a bored audience. Even after minutes of gazing out across the field of lily pads, I never saw what was causing the clapping, but the occasional splash of a fish briefly breaking the surface identified the likely culprits. What was amazing was how quickly the clear surface of the water filled back in with the leaves of the lilies such that it was impossible to see where the fish had broken the surface mere moments after it had appeared.

Later, as I sat quietly enjoying the sound of the lake itself, a flash of blue drew my attention – a brilliant baby blue colored bird with a rust-colored chest was sitting mere feet from me on the ground – then fluttered up to the branches of a maple by the shore. There it sat, singing in the tree and I think I may have heard the faint echo of another bluebird calling back.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Being a study of a wasp

Today I include in this journal a painting of a dried wasp specimen. Alas, but one wing and a couple legs were lost from the specimen and therefore could not drawn, though the way the wasp dried, the legs were hardly visible anyway on account of being twisted up close to the body and therefore not viewable from the angle I chose to paint this piece from.

Monday, June 21, 2010

On Being detained

Alas but that I have been completely unable to do any sort of… well anything the last days on account of being detained by one Mr. B. who has detained both myself and Captain Izumi on suspicion of piracy. It is of course entirely true but one must never let certain types know as much. Fortunately of course our ship is well designed with false doors and floors throughout such that even the most thorough search ought to reveal nothing to even the most skilled investigator which of course Mr. B. is most certainly not or else he would realize at once the captain of the ship we were accused of attacking, one Captain U. is known to sell his own cargo then reporting it stolen and has done it at least twice before. It seems to happen whenever he is transporting rum and sugar from the West Indies. Unfortunately Mr. B. apparently hasn’t even interviewed the captain and of course since the Falcon’s Vengeance has some rumours about it being better armed than a mere merchant ship ought be, he had enough power to be able to detain us for most of the last week and Falcon’s Vengeance is still grounded and may be for another week while he tries once again to find non-existent evidence against us. I wonder if he has something against our family personally or if he is merely overzealous in pursuit of pirates in general?

Of courses the entire situation has Captain Izumi in quite a temper – she understandably hates being detained and even worse having uninvited individuals searching her ship. While Mr. B. thought he had a problem with Piracy before, he has not faced the wrath of a wrongly detained pirate captain before and Captain Izumi will no doubt spend the next weeks or even months stealing any delivery specifically to Mr. B. Meanwhile I have written my family about having him relieved from his duties as town sheriff, which I imagine will sooth Captain Izumi’s temper enough that we can resume our flight path in time for the Faire in Hartford in a couple short weeks.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Being a discovery of specimens of Ghost Plant in the beech-oak forest of Connecticut

After a day of pillaging yesterday, we landed today to sell our gains and I took the opportunity to take a short walk through the native woods of Connecticut. The forest was dominated by oak, beech and maple and though the sky threatened rain it remained clear until after I had returned to the shelter of the ship. After accidentally flushing a young deer, I happened to notice a pale form sprouting up from the litter - at first it seemed to me a peculiar sort of mushroom or some other lower plant but then when I looked more closely I realized it was not a fungus at all but indeed what I was observing was itself a flower! It was a true plant before me entirely without any sort of color anywhere. I had seen it only once before years ago – as part of my studies – I had found a specimen of Ghost Plant, sometimes known as Indian Pipes. These tiny flowers are rare and grow only in the dark of the forest. Finding myself without my magnifying scope, or even my hand lens, I was forced to sketch the plant without performing a detailed study of its anatomy and I fear it will not dry well as other plants do, though I will endeavor to preserve it anyway being that the benefit should it work would indeed quite outweigh the loss of a few minutes of time and the minimal input of supplies needed for the attempt.
Ghost Plant – Kingdom Plantae; Species Monotropa uniflora. The flowers were made up of five petals which formed a tube or a bell-shaped flower which was oriented down so that the entire flower had a stooped appearance or looked rather like a cane. The anthers of the flower were found to reside below the single stigma, circling it on all sides. The base of the stamens (at the point of attachment) was a pale blue-grey sort of color with yellow anthers. Stigma was a much paler yellow, but these were the only colors throughout the entire plant save the grey of the shadows it cast.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Being an introduction of sorts

An idle day at the start - I thought to stay abed into the morning but my captain was about well before I and the ship was far from quiet enough to allow me to remain asleep as long into the morning as I had hoped. I have spent much of the day since arranging my paint and watercolor supplies and organizing some of my research materials into a fashion that I might be able to write about them coherently. It seems a quite daunting task that I am not entirely certain where to begin – there are so many subjects upon which I make a more complete study though it is obvious that I cannot give equal weight to every topic in science – meteorology, wind and waves, zoology, botany, geology, physics… I will focus on that of which I know more – the biological sciences, with some observations such as I can make on other topics. In particular, I wish to make a detailed study of the Air Kraken, as it is a species most peculiar, and other species as we come across them, be they marine, terran, or avian.

In addition I have spent a portion of the day reading the published works of great naturalists, including Mr. Darwin’s journals from his travels aboard the Beagle, Mr. Roberts’ Daybook on Meteorology, Phrenology, and Rural Biology, and the Country Diary of Lady Edith Holden among others that I might discover through their works how I might focus and approach my own studies. Mr. Darwin’s work is of course much known through his monumental book so I need say little of his research. I much admire Lady Holden’s intermingling of her paintings into her work – she has marked skill with the watercolor brush - but I think Mr. Robert’s book may be perhaps a little too dry to use as a model, as it is often merely a recording of meteorological conditions and a listing of what is blooming without discussion and I am perhaps too much of an artist to appreciate such formal approach for my own work though as a data source his work is quite solid.