Reminds You Of What?

Recently, Jim and I were going through some photos he’d taken. (I don’t take photos. I don’t even really like to handle a camera).

A Joshua Tree -- Or Is It?

When the one over on the right came up, I started laughing.

“I love that one. It looks like an alien masquerading as a plant. A triffid maybe. Southwestern branch, of course. Pun intended.”

Jim grinned. “Ouch! It reminded me of some creature from Dr. Suess.”

We shared a laugh. Jim somehow managed to miss Dr. Suess, so it wasn’t until he and I got together that he learned about those strange and wonderful stories. We started with the video of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. (Almost time to watch that one again). Then I brought home Fox in Socks. Jim had heard part of this one because I can recite the ending almost letter perfect these many years later. It was my sister Susan’s favorite book when she was little and the grand finale is engraved in my memory.

I gave Susan’s first son a copy of Fox in Socks when he was small. I believe firmly in sharing the wealth.

“I thought,” Jim said, indicating the curved stalk at the top of the plant, “that looked sort of like a question mark.”

“As if the alien was asking questions of the universe,” I said. “Or at least for directions.”

“It could be a tongue,” Jim offered.

“Like the long tongues of the Grogs in Larry Niven’s Known Space stories,” I offered. Jim looked puzzled. “They’re sessile telepathic creatures who would lure their prey to them and then have them jump right into their mouths.”

“I think I missed that one,” Jim said.

“They’re in the short story ‘The Handicapped,’” I said, “which is in the collection Neutron Star. I love Known Space. I think I first read the stories when I was in college. If you’d asked me then what futuristic job I wanted, I would have chosen single-ship miner in the asteroid belt, no question.”

“I’ve got to read those.”

“We have the collections out in our library,” I said. “Good stuff. Ringworld, too.”

“I’ve read that,” Jim replied. “Want to see the next photo?”

“Make a note of that one, please,” I said. “If I can have a copy, I’d like to ask the folks at Wednesday Wanderings what they think it might be.”

9 Responses to “Reminds You Of What?”

  1. Julie Hagan Bloch Says:

    Nah, not a Space Person. Well, maybe descended from one. But that individual is totally acclimated to the environment. The rest of the family lives underground; they all greatly resemble each other, and most humans would not be able to tell the difference between them, so it *looks* like the same “tree” in the same spot. Though highly social, they require extended periods of solitude in order to maintain their inner peace and happiness. Next time you pass one, greet him/her/it gently. I think they’d like that. But remember, they need their period of solitude, so don’t stay too long. Then again, what is too long to us might well be quite a different kettle of cactus spines to them.

  2. Heteromeles Says:

    Awwwwww, reminds me of my childhood. For years, we used to have a flower stalk that looked just like that sitting on a nice wooden base in the corner, on top of a speaker. My uncle had found it out in the desert and mounted it up as an abstract art piece/gag gift. Every Christmas, we used hang little elves on it, and during the rest of the year, my mom hung a stained glass beetle off the bottom hook.

    That was its ultimate downfall. About 20 years after we got it, I’d left home and my mom got a couple of rambunctious cats. They decided it would be real fun to swing on the crook too, and it broke when it hit the floor. So sad.

  3. Alan Robson Says:

    It’s a triffid; there is no doubt about it. Trust me — I’m an expert on triffids.


  4. Nicholas Wells Says:

    No, it’s a Triggle! They’re an ancient race that live in the ground much like plants. When threatened, they simply go still and blend in with the rest of the foliage. I thought they died out during the ice age. Watch those spines. Some have thought them poisonous, though no one knows for sure.

    As for that stalk let me see *digs through books of legends* wow. Someone got lucky. That stalk marks this Triggle a supreme leader. A president, if you will. Wait… on second thought, maybe it’s something a little more…. intimate.

  5. Heteromeles Says:

    I’m surprised no one’s said anything about Kokopelli yet. It’s not like he always plays his flute pointed down

  6. Alan Kellogg Says:

    Looked like a triffid frog to me, just after missing a long vanished insect.

  7. janelindskold Says:

    Love the responses!

    I think Nicholas and Julie get gold stars for originality.

    Jim and I both got giggles over the Kokopelli comment…

    And the variations on triffids have real potential.

    I wonder if it could be an Ent? They’d need to be very different to survive in this climate. Of course, junipers might be a better candidate for Ents. They have amazing ability to deal with drought, including essentially “shutting down” when it’s very dry. For that reason, juniper cannot be used for tree ring dating — which, of course, frustrates archeologists.

  8. Patrick Doris Says:

    I did not want to judgment but I agree it is an refugee triffid who escaped from the English to wander alone and lost in the Southwest like Jefferson Davis’ camels

  9. janelindskold Says:

    Sadly, Jefferson Davis’ camels didn’t make the transition. Maybe this triffid will do better…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: