woodpecks

you know what would have been great? if ron got sorted into slytherin.

imagine– we have this kid on the train, the first friend harry meets, with his corned beef sandwiches and smudged nose. ron is eleven years old and he wants gryffindor, because he’s a weasley and that’s what always happens. but it doesn’t happen.

what a way to redeem slytherin house– or, god, at least complicate it. because ron is petty. he is mean and sharp and ambitious and jealous– and he is loyal to the ends of the earth. he is all those things, and he is and always has been good.

potter becomes before weasley in the alphabet, so harry says not slytherin please and gets told might as well be gryffindor. percy and fred and george are all sitting there in red and gold, ruffling the already-ruffled hair of the boy who lived, smug, and then ron sits down and the hat spits out slytherin!

c'mon it’d be fun. just imagine–

  • the weasleys freaking out– but even that first christmas molly sends him a sweater in beautiful green and silver.

  • snape taking points from gryffindor when ron breaks rules or mouths off. “i’m in your house.” “hm, couldn’t tell which weasley it was…” /drifts away

  • sitting with harry in potions and in flying– whatever classes they happen to share. meeting up to study. scarfing down their breakfasts at separate tables so they can go hang out in the empty classrooms before the day starts. hermione reads while they play exploding snap.
    • the trio signing up for all the same electives third year. this friendship being something they earn and work for; not just the one that looked easiest. (not to bash canon ron&harry, the bros to end all bros, but by putting this very obvious obstacle between them– it makes it that much clearer to the reader that this is a love worth fighting for, because they’re fighting for it).
    • ron being jealous that harry and hermione get to share this house, this home, these hours, while he’s stuck with malfoy and parkinson and goyle– because that would eat him up some days, some months, this insecure kid who’s been the last at everything all his life. this kid who always leaves and always comes back.

  • ron, who constantly compares himself to his brothers– not as smart, not as popular, not as good. one more nail in that coffin, here, yeah? he’s not a prefect, not a quidditch star, not a troublemaker– and even when he becomes those things, someone else has always gotten there first
    • well, i guess he got to this house first at least

  • ron still snaps at snape in potions, after hermione’s been ignored three times, “you know, sir, i think hermione might know the answer.” he still pulls the bars off harry’s window with a stolen, flying car. he still shows harry around the burrow shyly, not knowing what a wonder a warm home is. he still stands up in the shrieking shack as best as he can with a broken leg and tells a mass murderer that if he wants harry he’ll have to go through him first. 
    • ron weasley is a lot of things, but one of them is absolutely a true friend.

  • in their second year:
    • when everyone calls harry the heir, they eye ron at his side and sniff.
    • when hermione lays petrified in the medical ward, ron sits at her side and reads her homework assignments aloud and thinks my house this was my house
    • when ron hugs ginny’s damp, shaking frame after the chamber, ron says sorry and sorry and are you okay and i’m so sorry and ginny calls him an idiot.

  • the trio spends more time in the library with hermione, since ron can’t come to gryffindor tower to study, and homework remains a thing that has to happen. fred and george constantly try to sneak him into the tower anyway. 
    • “c'mon, ronnykins, you belong here, you deserve it, no one’s gonna fuss, it’s your BIRTHRIGHT,” and ron fusses and rolls his eyes at them
    • and then in fourth year in one of those periods where he’s not talking to harry and harry’s not talking to him– he just snaps at the twins
      • because it’s not, alright?
      • not his birthright, not his house, and maybe no one would fuss if he snuck in, maybe no one would care, and that makes it worse not better, because then he’s just that weasley who should’ve been gryffindor
      • and isn’t
    • (and harry overhears this caterwauling, feels his heart fall to his toes, and goes and awkwardly asks ron if he wants to go a few laps on his firebolt). 
    • (because, god, harry-the-chosen-one, harry-in-the-cupboard-under-the-stairs, harry-who’ll-save-us-all– he knows what it’s like to have should have beens on your shoulders, and he knows what it’s like to not be wanted).

  • ron cheers for gryffindor during quidditch matches in those first few years, and sits with hagrid and hermione and neville. harry’s seeker, and fred and george are beaters, and ginny becomes chaser eventually, and honestly screw the slytherin team. they have each and every one of them said disparaging things about ron’s mother.
    • harry and hermione badger ron into trying out for keeper fourth year; he and harry have been practicing on the quidditch pitch because its a non-library-shaped place to hang out where both of them are allowed. ron makes the slytherin roster, and malfoy grudgingly provides ron a team broom after the captain chews him out for a bit.
      • “he may be a weasley, but he’s our keeper, don’t you want to win, draco”
    • but the sort of things they spit in the locker room, the words the players hiss or snigger, the slurs that come easy to their tongues– ron would like to say that he considered just walking out of the cesspit, but instead he snipes and sasses and shouts and sometimes tries to spell slugs at the worst of them. 
      • it doesn’t do much, that one irritated voice of protest– except that it does. and he’s got a new (hand-me-down) wand, after the gilderoy fiasco, so the slugs even come out the right end.
    • fred gives him a black eye with a bludger one time (though ron does manage to block the quaffle) and molly sends a howler to gryffindor table with the morning post. (“RON DID YOU TATTLE”) (“IT WAS CLEARLY PERCY, FRED, SIT DOWN”)
      • (the weasleys often have family conversations across the great hall, with hufflepuffs and ravenclaws covering their ears long-sufferingly between them)

  • in the lake, it’s still ron hanging there in the water, still and bloated. it’s still harry’s heart that stutters in his chest, for all it’s just a game, just a game, just a game, right?

  • ron listens hard and tries to talk himself out of fist fights, all that next year in the slytherin common room as they read aloud rita skeeter articles.

  • when hermione calls dumbledore’s army to its first session in that pub, there are green scarves in that crowd– ron and one of the beaters who ron’s gotten to help glare to rest of the slytherin quidditch team into submission.

  • ron beats draco to being prefect (i think i remember it was dumbledore and not mcgonagall who seemed to award prefect status– snape doesn ’t get a say).
    • percy is SO PROUD, as usual, but so are fred and george. “did you see the little malfoy git? green with shame, my god.”

  • when harry has the dream about sirius, ron isn’t there to wake. but when draco’s pulled out of bed to be a professional bully– er, i mean inquisitorial squad member– ron follows at a careful distance and curses draco from behind. 
    • they ride thestrals over london. harry finds the prophecy and ron thinks about the sorts of things that get decided at your birth.  
    • sirius black was a son of slytherin who had a lion living in his chest that he couldn’t hide away. 
    • ron was meant to be gryffindor, and through a haze of injury and fear he watches sirius die just out of harry’s reach.

  • just imagine: ron with his temper and his sharp words and his fierce loyalty. ron who looks into the mirror of erised and sees house cups and prefect badges and ambitions earned– he could belong in slytherin. there is nothing wrong with wanting things, and he wants them so bad.

  • there are so many reasons to fight a war, and so many ways. harry and his sacrifices, his loving resignation. hermione’s good right hook and bottomless bag of supplies. luna, brilliant and a bit batty. lee jordan’s radio and mcgonagall’s burning patience and brittle, certain bones.

  • just imagine: when the last battle comes, there is a slytherin on the field who is not snape.

  • when draco and his parents walk away, in that last battle, ron–
    • who slept in the same dormitory as the boy for six years
    • who heard draco’s nightmares and saw him paling and desperate all sixth year
    • who is as pureblooded as lucius’s spoiled whelp
    • who remembers grimacing at the thought of squibs
    • who has known magic all his life
    • who spotted draco penning letters home to his mother every sunday and hiding them when the other boys could see–
    • ron sees them going.
      • he sounds no alarms. he says no farewells.
      • he turns back to his friends, and his fight, and lets them be.

  • just imagine: when harry kneels on the train platform and his second son asks him “but what if i get sorted slytherin, dad?” harry can say, “the bravest man i ever knew was in slytherin house. whatever you are, wherever you go, we’re going to be so proud of you." 
    • and they can both gaze over to where ron is squawking beside his daughter’s trolley of luggage because crookshanks (who will live to be forty eight million years old) has latched onto his shins with a violent fondness.
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BIG UPDATE!

I’ve finally finished my biological patches set! After many months of designing, editing, and trial and error, I’m proud to post up photos of the final products!

They are woven with bright, beautiful colors that will endure many washes and adventures to come. They’re only $8 in my store:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Monsternium



Here are the first five patches in my biological patch set. Once all ten are made, the rainbow of studies will be complete! Each one is illustrated, digitized, and embroidered by me. Stay tuned for more! Next up is herpetology ;)

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The second set of Roger Rabbit Universe photos- I post these on my main blog to blend them in with my usual barrage of vintage pictures. There are more in the works, but first, I have to take care of another important bit of business (Click here to see what I mean!)

(Individual posts filed here)

Amerindian signs

The Otter  January 20 - February 18

Originally posted by artyscorner

A little original, adventurous and unorthodox, the Otter is an animal difficult to identify. His methods are perceived as unconventional, and they are often not the first ones chosen by the rest of the community to carry out a task. This is a serious mistake on the part of the others - because even if they are sometimes strange, the ideas of the Otter are actually, in general, rather effective.

Yes, the Otter has an unusual way of seeing things, but it gives humans an extraordinary imagination and brilliant intelligence. Often very intuitive and capable of a great sense of perception, the Otter makes a very good companion, and can be very attentive and loving.
In a positive environment, with love and attention, the Otter is sensitive, sympathetic, courageous and honest. When left out, the Otter may be unscrupulous, rebellious and isolated.

The Wolf  February 19 - March 20

Originally posted by won-der-land89

Deeply emotional and passionate, the Wolf is the animal par excellence of love and passion, both in the physical and spiritual sense of the term. The Wolf knows that love is the greatest of natural forces, and he is entirely capable of supplying it with all his might.
If one considers his desire for freedom and ferocious independence, one realizes that the wolf is full of contradictions. He may be Solitary Wolf, or Mother Wolf, protective and filled with love. The Wolf needs his freedom, but he is also gentle and full of compassion.

In a positive environment, the wolf is intensely passionate, generous, deeply affectionate and gentle. When left out, the wolf may be recalcitrant, obsessed, vindictive and resentful.

The Falcon  March 21 - April 19 

Originally posted by sdzsafaripark

The Falcon is the animal of the born heads. It can always be consulted in order to have a clear and impartial judgment in delicate situations. The Falcon never loses time, knows how to strike / act at the right moment and beat the iron as long as it is warm. When something has to be accomplished, he knows how to realize it and act accordingly.

Very persistent, and endowed with a strong sense of initiative, the Falcon is a born leader and he wants to triumph. He is sometimes considered vain - but he is often right in his opinions, so this little touch of arrogance is understood and accepted by others.

In a positive environment, the Falcon can accomplish great things, and he knows how to feed passion and fire in relationships, while keeping some compassion. When left out, the Hawk may be vain, impolite, intolerant, impatient, and too sensitive.

The Beaver  April 20 - May 20

Originally posted by pakkastassu

Take charge, adapt, to overcome the obstacles … Here is the Castor’s motto. Very talented for trade-related things, the Beaver knows how to do the job with maximum efficiency and plenty of aplomb. Strategic and cunning, the Castor is a force that can be relied on for everything that is business, diplomatic and combat.
You have to think twice about whether you want to challenge the Beaver verbally and play the smartest with him - because his mind and mental acuity are sharp as razor blades. The Beaver seems to have everything for him, but his tendency to want to always do things the way he wants otherwise nothing can get him into trouble.

Yes, the Beaver is clever, but the bearers of this Totem may have to work their sense of tact. In a positive environment, Beaver can be compassionate, generous, helpful and loyal. When left behind, the Beaver may be nervous, cowardly, possessive, and somewhat arrogant.

The Stag/Deer  May 21 - June 20

Originally posted by kryzx

This Totem animal is in a way the muse of the Amerindian zodiac. The Stag inspires, it is filled with life and its spirit turns a hundred per hour. Featuring a “tailor-made” sense of humor, the Deer has a certain amount of talent to make almost anyone laugh. He can speak and speak verbally, and he loves conversations in general.
This, combined with his natural intelligence, makes the stag a guest of choice for parties and dinners, as it will always set the mood and entertain others. He is particularly aware of the things that surround him, and he is also very conscious of his own appearance … Some will say of him that he is a little self-centered. However, they will not blame him because he is very sympathetic and affable, which tilts the balance in his favor.

In a positive environment, the natural joy of life and the sparkling personality of the deer radiate even more around it. It emanates a force of inspiration for all positive and affectionate relationships. Left, the stag can be selfish, impatient, lazy and have mood swings.

The Woodpecker  June 21 - July 21

Originally posted by scientificphilosopher

The Woodpeckers are in principle the most attentive of all Totem animals. They are always listening, with a strong sense of empathy and understanding of others. It is a sign that one must seek when one needs comfort and help.
They make very good parents, friends and partners. They also tend to be naturally frugal, resourceful and organized.

In a positive environment, the Woodpeckers are devoted, loving and very romantic. When left behind, they can become possessive, edgy, jealous and embittered.

The Salmon  July 22 - August 21

Originally posted by wavegrower

Electrical but concentrated, intuitive and intensely creative, Salmon have fishing, to say the least! Their energy is palpable. Naturally motivating, their confidence and enthusiasm is very contagious for others.
Even when their ideas seem too far-fetched to function, they still manage to embark with others. Generous, intelligent and intuitive, it is no wonder that the Salmon have no difficulty in making friends!
This Totem also express a deep need to have a goal to achieve, a function, an objective. And when they embark on adventure, they know how to find volunteers to rally them to their cause!

In a positive environment, the Salmon is stable, calm, sensual and able to give a lot. When left behind, humans born under his sign can become selfish, vulgar and intolerant.

The Bear  August 22 - September 21

Originally posted by mizar113

Pragmatic and methodical, the Bear is the Totem to be called when an inflexible and upright hand is needed. Its practical, placid and weighted aspect makes it an excellent trading partner. It is often the voice of reason, in most scenarios, and it works well in duo with the Owl, which it complements and with which it restores balance. The Bear is also endowed with an enormous heart and unbounded generosity.
However, many do not even realize it because the Bear tends to be very modest, discreet and a little shy.

In a positive and loving environment, this Totem abounds with love and generosity in return. He also has a capacity for patience and a temperate character, which makes him an excellent teacher and mentor. Left behind, the Bear may be skeptical, slow, petty and reclusive.

The Raven  September 22 - October 22

Originally posted by nitratediva

Extremely enthusiastic, naturally enterprising, the raven is a sacred charmer! It seems natural to him. One recognizes in him his energy and his lightness, and one often asks his ideas or his opinions.
It is simply because the Raven is a great idealist, and he knows how to be diplomatic and ingenious and clever.

In a positive environment, the Raven is easy to live, friendly and open, it can be as romantic and sweet. It is endowed with a certain patience and a natural intuition. When left out, the Raven can be inconsistent, demanding, vindictive and corrosive.

The Snake  October 23 - November 22

Originally posted by fencehopping

Most Shamans were born under the sign of the Snake, and it is the fetish animal of those who are devoted to the world of spirits. Those who are guided by the Snake are naturally spiritual and connected to the other worlds. They are easily attracted to ethereal kingdoms, and make excellent spiritual guides. The Snake is also respected for its ability to heal and heal, and it excels in the medicinal and medical field.
The preoccupations of the serpent for the unseen and the untouchable often lead others to find them mysterious, cold and even frightening, for they seem detached from the real world. True, the snake can be secret and have a dark side - it is also extremely sensitive, devoted to others and thoughtful.

In a positive environment, the snake can be passionate, inspiring, humorous, helpful and vigilant. When left out, the Snake may become depressed, violent, and prompt to abnormal mood changes.

The Owl  November 23 - December 21

Originally posted by ofallingstar

Changing and light as the wind, the Owl is difficult to pin down. With a warm, natural, sociable temperament, the Owl seems to be the friend of the world. Those born under his omen are known to throw themselves headlong into life, a hundred miles an hour, and adore adventure.
This can turn against her, for the Owl can be thoughtless, negligent, dizzy or even unconscious. The people guided by her make excellent artists, professors and environmentalists. However, they are extremely adaptable and versatile, allowing them to focus on virtually any field they want.

In a positive environment, the Owl is sensitive, enthusiastic, and has a great ability to listen. The owl may be excessive, too indulgent, and inconsistent.

The Goose  December 22 - January 19

Originally posted by cmdrkitten

If you want something to be done, go to the Goose. Persevering, determined and ambitious, the goose sets goals to accomplish and knows how to achieve it. The Goose is determined to succeed in what it wants to achieve, no matter what the price is - not to have the approval of others, because they are fighting against themselves and their internal enemy.
People born under the auspices of the Goose are naturally inspired and seem driven by an invisible force that drives them to realize things.
When their character is tempered by the loving presence of their family and friends, they can excel with the support of others and achieve virtually everything they undertake.

In a positive environment, the Goose can be very passionate, funny, sociable and even sensual. However, when left out, the goose may fall into obsession or addiction, which can cause its loss.

This a photo submitted to Project Feeder Watch by Laura Frazier. The caption said

“This past spring, I watched these two female flickers flying around trying to impress the male that was sitting in the tree. After watching for half hour, the male still hadn’t made a choice, and the two females continued chasing each other around!”

Sharing because I think the male’s expression is hilarious. He looks like he was asleep and they woke him up. Like, they’re fighting outside and he sticks his head out to say “Can I have one moment of peace, please?” Every time I look at it I crack up again.

2

Downy woodpecker (Picoides pubsecens) anatomy

Drawn for my colleagues. On the left, the axial skeleton + pectoral girdle (without any limbs) and the longis colli: the primary muscle responsible for woodpecker drumming. As you might expect, it’s much larger in woodpeckers than other birds.

On the right: all of the above, plus the ol’ pectoralis major, responsible for the downstroke/powerstroke in bird flight.

I will eventually shade the rest of the skeleton.