Ridiculous Flora

The weather’s been ridiculous lately. Between the severe cold snap in January giving us way extra chilling hours, and the recent warmth… well. Mulberry Leafing

At least the cedar waxwings should be happy? There will be fruit whenever they decide to turn up. If we don’t get another frost.

The vines from heck are also happy.


Dewberries. Tasty if you can get to them before anything else does, but they will seriously mangle your socks. And sometimes fingers.

And given it’s still not March yet, the apple tree may regret this….

Apple Buds

This has been your Gulf Coast weirdness for the day. 😉

10 thoughts on “Ridiculous Flora

  1. Are we talking about The Vines That Ate The South?

    You know, with an affectionate nick-name like that, you have to wonder how it reacts to magic… Pretty sure it didn’t have that name where-ever it originally came from. Just imagine the fae coming out of hiding and running afoul of that unexpected little change.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, it looks nice, thorns aside. But then again, kudzu can look nice as well. And Bamboo. Heaven help you if you let either one loose in your yard.

        Because you certainly won’t be getting rid of it, barring livestock interference.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. On an utterly unrelated note- when someone is described as predatory, what is it that people are seeing? A high level of focus? An unexpected ability to stay completely still? Their gait, their posture?

    Because I can’t recall it ever being shown.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s generally a synthesis of those things, along with a pronounced lack of all the tell-tales for empathy and presence of some telltales of greed/desire. Like many things, the absences are as important as the presences.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Wide range of possibilities.

      Keep in mind that where detecting it in humans is concerned, both detection and display are influenced by the fact that it is a contest of human against human.

      If we assume the perceiver is a rational actor, they are trying to assess the other party, and estimate the costs of various strategies for dealing with the other party. Fight, trust, flee, etc…

      The perceived is trying one of two communication strategies, generally. First is threat display, causing the perceiver to rate the threat the perceived can bring highly, so the perceiver gives in, avoiding the perceived paying the energy cost of following through on the threat. Threat display may be truth or deception. Second strategy is concealing intent and danger, so that the perceiver is not guarding against the perceived, and the perceived can more cheaply harm the perceiver.

      If any one set of cues was perfectly reliable, the perceivers could tune to that and always be reliable. If any one set of communication strategies was perfect, perceived who practiced those would find them perfectly reliable. It’s an arms race, people use a range of strategies in both roles. There are people who are particularly effective, and people who are particularly ineffective.

      Picking up on stuff is a skill that can be studied, taught, and learned.

      It can be mislearned, approached in a way that ensures false positives or false negatives.

      Important cues may be culturally dependent. What is the expected level of eye contact, the expected amount of personal space?

      It can be circumstantial.

      Dave Grossman’s books pointed out that it is disturbing to think about eye trauma. I later discovered that I could apparently set off some sort of danger cue by looking at someone and thinking about them having eye trauma. The thoughts in my head somehow changed my body language, and they picked up on it somehow. So thoughts can create tells. Your dedicated con man or sneak attacker will have worked on eliminating or hiding tells, but it would be very difficult to do so perfectly for everyone. If your instincts tell you something is wrong, it may very well be wrong. Don’t silence your instincts.

      With dogs, I pay a lot of attention to whether they are trying to get behind me. I know dogs have a chase instinct, and find it psychologically easier to jump something from behind. If they can get me running that way, a mean dog or two will pull me down licketty split.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Maybe some media pointers to live actors being ‘predatory’ in whatever circumstances would help? I can think of the live action Kenshin movie #1, Saito at the grand showdown with Kanryu when he comes out of hiding and stalks forward.

    I can’t think of any serial non-killing-offense type of predation examples offhand, but surely someone could come up with some? Loki in Marvel movies ought to be sometimes but I can’t think of actual examples. Or Tony making the moves on a woman, come to think of it…

    Liked by 1 person

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