Monday, August 13, 2007

What the Heck Is This Thing?

I have a rock garden.

By that, I don't mean that I have some lovely, proportionate rocks artistically stacked in rings around clumps of ferns or desert flowers. I mean my former flower garden is covered with weed barrier fabric, a layer of small rocks, and an assortment of larger rocks. While there are two terra cotta pots at either end of my rock garden, there are no plants anywhere else. Not even any weeds. (Dead leaves don't count!)

When the inlaws ask what I want for my birthday, I ask for rocks. When we go on vacation, we try to find a good sized rock to remember our journey--and help fill the rock garden. When I do the spring lawncare shopping, I buy rocks instead of flowers and fertilizer. My hubby humored me and put in the rock garden five years ago when it became painfully obvious I was not going to maintain any sort of living garden; and nor was he. So we've had our funny little rock garden in place for five years, slowly increasing in depth and number of rocks.

And what does this have to do with photoblogging and writing? Well, here in TN we've been experiencing a drought and 100+ temperatures. The other day when dashing from the air conditioned house to the air conditioned car, my eye chanced upon a strange protuberance in my rock garden. The white pea gravel had humped up in an odd fashion, so I reached down, poked around, and discovered:

I mean, what **is** that? The only things beneath my rock garden are weed barrier fabric and hard, dry Tennessee clay.

At first I thought it was a strange grey rock. Then I prodded it. It was smooth and round, like a softball. It had a bit of give, unlike any rock I know. And it was beneath the weed barrier fabric.

I couldn't piddle around in the 101 degree heat and contemplate the issue, so I trundled off on my errands, unable to put the strange protuberance out of my mind. Why was it there? What could it be? Was it dangerous?

And here is where the part about writing comes in. The things I imagined the protuberance could be that would lead to a story include:

1) A dinosaur egg about to hatch, baked to readiness in the unusually hot sun
2) An alien dinosaur egg about to hatch
3) An item buried, long before the rock garden, that was supposed to remain hidden for all time, possibly of a "Jumangi game" or "one ring" nature since it managed to burble to the surface in search of a new victim
4) An item buried mere days ago by someone fleeing the police/mob/Spanish Inquisition and desperate for a place to conceal it (next to show will be the code written in blood on my aggregate walk referencing a great work of art)
5) Some kind of weird chemically-induced bubble, hardened, from an underground lava lake/hotsprings/insert your chemical-releasing disaster movie fodder

What do you think it could be? For reals? For funs? I'll post the answer in a few days when one of our other staff members consents to share the day with my quick update :)

Jody W. *
PS: For the next two weeks, the staff at the Otherworld Diner is going to be doing some photoblogging (blogs inspired by photos) and bookblogging (blogs inspired by favorite paranormal romances). Y'all be sure and join us, if the starving alien dinosaur that hatches hasn't made mincemeat pie of the Diner!


  1. I think it is some kind of mold, or fungus. We used to get it a lot in our mulch, only ours was bright neon colors like yellow or orange. Oddly, it got worse during periods of drought! If that's waht it is, don't poke it - if it breaks open it might spread spores everywhere. Send the photo to the local extension service and see if they have any answers. :)

  2. Sounds like your fungi were from OUTER SPACE! I mean, bright orange? Spreading spores? So Carolan, tell us -- can you breathe underwater? :)

  3. Nothing's simple with you, is it Jody? : ) Though I can see why you're such a good writer. Your imagination is amazing.

  4. I vote for a turtle!!

  5. I think it's an egg, but not an alien dinasaur. That would be silly. It's a real alien baby. It could even be your alien baby, Jody, the one you made when the aliens kidnapped you and then wiped out your memory.

    I wonder if Mean Kitty will like it.

  6. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Um, yeah. *cough* Anyway, I'm going to guess...a rogue shrubbery. Practicing How Not To Be Seen, of course. Sorry, once I start thinking of the Pythons, there's nothing for it. Guess I'll be singing the Spam song today:-)

  7. I'm going with an underground supervolcano about to erupt. Either that, or Old Faithful's illegitimate love child has moved into your backyard and is preparing to blow. *G*

  8. I hope it is a space rock, which grants wishes or psychic powers. Let me know if I’m right because I’ll plan a road trip to your garden.

  9. It think its petrified mole. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    Yup. Yup. Yup.


  10. I'm still trying to get past the honest-to-goodness ROCK garden. No plants? I need something like this. It would sure beat the WEED garden I have out front. Probably much neater, anyway. ;-)

    As for the spoogie protuberance...perhaps it is as simple as a naturally occurring genetic mutation, which will adapt and multiply until a diabolical intelligence manifests itself, thereby threatening all life as we, it could just be some slime. ;-)

    Sandy :-)
    Sandra Barkevich - Romance Author
    *August 25, 2007 at Sandra's Goings On - Guest Blogger, Betty Hanawa ~ More Than She Wished For

  11. I'm much more morbid than everyone else it seems. Dead body long buried that has worked its way to the surface. Time to call for some very hot cops to investigate.