The hardest thing about February is the lack of vegetables at the farmer’s market. There just isn’t a lot growing right now (understandably so, given that wind chill’s been at sixteen and yesterday I had to chisel ice off my car. At this point, it ends up being kale, chard, carrots, potatoes, and apples. Even herbs, which are supposed to be all year round are hard to find at the grocery store. One of the problems with ordering groceries online is that no one can get parsley right!

Dinosaur Wars!

My first experience with dinosaurs was the La Brea Tarpits, which I wished many times when I was kid. On hot days, the smell of tar was pretty strong. We’d walk past these pools of thick black tar, bubbling in places. Statues of animals caught in the tar raised their heads in desperate cries for help. My memory distorts this image a bit. I’m positive dinosaurs were found in the tarpits, but a more recent trip, I found that no, there weren’t any dinosaurs. But the museum had many dinosaur bones to look at. Trivia note: The oil bubbling up in Beverly Hillbillies was inspired by the LaBrea Tarpts because tar does bubble up like that.

Dinosaur fossils are extremely collectable. It’s created a lot of problems for universities wanting to study the bones because collectors are snatching them up for millions of dollars. The collectors say there isn’t enough universities to dig up all the bones. What would you do if you found a dinosaur skeleton in your backyard?

Octopuses are Aliens

My first experience with octopuses was seeing it on the TV show Sea Hunt (when stations still aired black and white shows). Mike Nelson tangled with one of those in an exciting battle! Eight limbs versus two human limbs.

This is a fascinating look at what science has learned about octopuses. Their body type allows them to hide in very small places that even a cat couldn’t do. They have an amazing ability to camouflage, even doing different texture. But they’re also like 5 year old children. They like exploring and if they’re bored, they like to play.

Fascinating fact: Octopuses can see with its skin.

Dogs in Boots

This started out as research for Murder in the Lodge. There’s a diva-dog in the story and there’s a snowstorm. The boots started out as a running joke in the story. But when I hit a sticking point and left a future note for myself in the form of several questions. I realized it was a rabbit hole. So the boots mostly came out, but it was a lot of fun watching the video. We’re so cold in Virginia that any dogs out on walks are wearing boots and sweaters, and in some cases, head coverings to protect the ears.