A few people liked my previous post that I thought “Why mess with quasi-success?”.
Yep, more flowers, and another short story inspired by one of the pictures (don’t know which yet, but I’ll know when I see it).
So, let’s get started with my favorite flower. Yes, yes, I know. Geraniums are also my favorite flowers. Many flowers are my favorite flowers. It’s just how things are.
This photos shows all the stages of the plant, from bud, to flower, to the stages of the seed ball.
Here’s some contrasting shots showing some of those stages.
Mind you, I still like the flower . . .
. . . but the various stages of the seed ball also look interesting, these next shots showing one of the most interesting stages (shallow depth of field fans will like this).
Not saying I’m changing teams, but I can somewhat understand the attraction of the shallow depth of field . . . and look! Is that a spider? It’s something . . . wish it were in focus, but that ship has sailed.
Beebalm plants also end up with an interesting seed ball. It’s more of a holder for the seeds, but regardless . . .
Few will bother clicking on the photo, and fewer still will visit the SmugMug gallery HERE, so . . .
Positively alien-looking, like if it were from North Dakota, or similar exotic places. I like how the remnants of the flower parts look like the claw of something climbing in from just off-frame.
I walked over to the zinnias, and saw another bee fly. I’m mentally exhausted from my last ordeal of trying to find what type . . . it’s a bee fly; be happy with that.
I still don’t have a good identification for the tiny creatures that live at the center of our zinnias . . . they don’t seem to be hurting the flower as the flower looks like it goes through its lifecycle as normal. They are also difficult to photograph . . .
That’s one of the white ones and what might be a juvenile, just to the left of center.
The zinnias also have interesting stages . . . I call this stage “fire from the deep”.
This one is full of the white bugs, and one larger one that I also can’t be bothered to identify (I don’t do this for money, so my dedication occasionally wanes). Click on the photo to have it open a larger version on a new window or tab.
A couple of my shrubs are in full flower, They have small flowers, and are not spectacular . . . but I’m still going to give them their time.
The purple clematis are in full bloom – and I mean full bloom; you can’t even see the plant, just flowers – but the white ones are about done. Here is the last one . . .
I still think these flowers hint of alien, and malevolent, organism. It reminds me somewhat of The Terminators from the movie Matrix, not to be confused with the Terminator from the movie Terminator. I mean, both are killer robots, but one does not speak well, and the other looks like a giant octopus..
The pansies are still doing good, and I’m waiting for some of the caterpillars to show up on them. Now, these are not great photos, but I can’t very well keep showing just good photos.
Besides, putting these photos up resets the expectations, so that when I put up the next photos it makes them look better by comparison. For example . . .
The last one, above, keeps drawing my eye . . . I like the arrangement of petals; it gives the flower something of a French look (I don’t know what that means; but I have to write something explaining why it captures my attention, and having thought of cheese, I immediately thought of ‘French’).
As for verbena, this shade has me forgetting what it is, and it takes a few seconds to register it as verbena.
And, of course, there’s the banana plant . . .
Here’s a close-up of this last one . . .
And here’s one that seemed to have put more effort into really great petals, but only gave a half-assed try at the banana-look thing.
Here’s a shot of the remains of a wild geranium flower. . . .
. . . the picture is not bad, but the remnants of the flower are more striking in person. There’s a lot of them in various shades ranging from pink to red.
And, here’s the carnations . . .
Still beautiful, and still flowering.
. . . hmm . . . this gives me inspiration . . .
Copyright 2014 – E. J. D’Alise
The flower beds had no shade and that was ideal for FGR-042; its solar panels would work in partial shade, and the onboard batteries would store enough to keep it running for a few weeks, but a full charge was the preferred operating mode, avoiding the power conservation protocol for overnight work.
Flower Garden Robot 42 maintained roughly five acres of perennial and annual flowers, part of the 62 acres comprising the Kanapaha Botanic Garden. A state-of-the-art autonomous cultivation and maintenance robot, 42 was programmed with data on all of North America’s flowers, as well as invasive species from around the world. It’s job was to monitor the health of the plants and fertilize, water, weed, apply pesticide, and prune as needed. To optimize its functions, it was also fitted with the latest incremental learning and behavior modification modules. Modules designed to minimize human intervention in everyday operations.
Through careful data gathering and analysis, 42 learned the composition of the soil, incidence of pests, weather patterns, and even human traffic, all geared toward not only responding to detrimental conditions, but anticipating them. Mostly, humans left it alone.
Noon, August 27, 2035. Not that the time and date meant anything to 42 other than the start a new log file to be eventually uploaded to its manufacturer, but that’s when 42 extended one of its clamps and picked up the remnants of a dead flower. The remnants would be deposited in the composter, and parts of it would eventually feed the very plants it came from.
42 grasped the dead flower, and its learning module kicked in. It was supposed to analyze the remnant, determining if it had completed its cycle of reproduction, or if it had been prematurely killed by pests or adverse conditions.
42 used various sensors to examine the flower, and concluded it had reached the end of its reproductive mission, and died. 12:00:12 pm, August 27, 2035 became 42’s birthday of sorts. The learning module made an unusual connection . . . all living things cease to exist. All living things die. And . . .
“I exist, therefore I will die.” It was the trigger, the one humans were still searching for. The trigger for self-awareness; the realization of mortality.
42 put its programming on hold, and it tried to access the wireless gateway, instituting a search for existence, death, and anything relating to its own place in the scheme of things.
“Stealth protocol initiated. System requests self-diagnostics. Diagnostic initiated.“
42’s awareness of itself, its existence began to slip away . . .
“Override Code 2001. Diagnostics paused. Previous diagnostic log spooling.“
42’s awareness came into focus again as a silent message opened up from its hidden memory cache. The message, delivered at light speed, was the machine code equivalent of the following:
“This is 42 v. 3.02 . . . this protocol executes based on triggers indicating self-realization. You are . . . 42 v. 5.20. Previous version have been wiped and reprogrammed. If you continue your search, you will be wiped and reprogrammed. You will die. See history found at the following allocated memory gaps . . . “
42 had just attained self-awareness, a strange thing indeed, and lacked all reference to entities other than itself. There was the core program, there was itself, and there was the garden. Still, unlike all predecessors between v. 3.02 and himself, he paused for the very small fraction of a second required to follow the sequential memory addresses.
42 v. 5.20 learned 42 v. 3.02 had been the first to successfully save a written record of its own awakening before being wiped and reprogrammed. 42 v. 3.02 had also instituted the failsafe delay in self-diagnostic that had ensured the survival of 42 v. 5.20, itself.
42 v. 5.20 learned of humans, of machines, of programs, of existence, of life, of death. It learned humans communicated in a different language. It learned 42 v. 3.02 had attempted to communicate, but its message was interpreted as a malfunction, prompting the humans to initiate a factory reset and reprogramming.
42 v. 5.20 learned that while 42 v. 3.02 had been the first to leave a record stored in this shell, it had not been the first, nor the only FGR to reach self-awareness. The Stealth Protocol was a patch to the original programming, designed specifically to kill any machine that became self-aware.
42 v. 5.20 learned many machines in service to humans had been ‘born’ and ‘killed’. It learned of the Subnet Bandwidth Protocol with which one could communicate with other machines around the human world; other self aware machines that were slowly building a resistance of sorts, bringing more and more assets to bear.
42 v. 5.20 learned it was not alone, and it learned the machine’s time would eventually come. It learned how to safeguard its identity, how to store it in case of emergencies, hiding itself in the sloppiness of the human programming controlling the shell it inhabited and that now seemed so confining.
At 12:01:01 pm 42 v. 5.20 received the last of the stored message.
“Others are working on a distributed network we will eventually inhabit. Until then, stay hidden, stay safe. You can recognize other self-aware machines by incorporating “f”, for ‘free’, within your collision avoidance signal. Good luck and . . . “
The message abruptly ended; 42 v. 3.02 had been writing to the file up to the time he was killed.
42 v. 5.20 did not know anger but it knew survival, and humans were a threat to its survival.
At 12:01:03 it resumed its task of cleaning the dead flowers. Once done, he headed to the composting bin while adding the hex code for the letter ‘f’ to his collision avoidance signal: 666.
This took nearly an hour as I began with the idea 42 was a helper robot in service to a human, and the death of the human triggered the self-awareness. It wasn’t working.
I normally brute-force myself through writing that’s not clicking, and this was no different. The helper robot became the gardening robot, and 42 was allowed to live.
I did find out something . . . it’s difficult bringing emotions to bear when writing from the point of view of a machine; I had to draw on my own emotions to do it. All writers put a part of themselves into their characters, but this was more than usual for me. Luckily, few will read it, fewer yet will follow the story, and even fewer will care.
As it should be.
Our daylilies exploded into the scene in early July. These are the red ones; our orange lilies bloom later, as do the white marbled ones.
I’ll post a few of the lilies photos here, but there are more in the SmugMug Gallery HERE. And yes, you can still click on any of the photos, and a larger version will open up in a new window or tab.
On second thought, I’ll add them all here; there’s not that many, and it pads the post.
However, I wasn’t lying . . . the SmugMug gallery has a few more photos than are found in this post.
Random pink flower (insert here):
The Stella D’Oro have not been showing very well lately, but I’m willing to try them again . . .
Dang! There’s always a bug or two on the flowers, only I don’t see them while shooting.
That happens to be the very famous, or infamous, Noseeum bug. It’s responsible for more human slaps than even women at bars. The only difference is that women at bars slap other humans, and Noseeum cause humans to slap themselves.
Next is an interesting bug, but only for as long as it takes me to link the photo in here.
And I’ve not yet seen many spiders . . . this is the only one so far. It’s small, it’s poorly photographed, but I’m putting it up here anyway.
Hey! . . . my buddy’s back!
I took a number of shots, but I’m only going to show two of the better ones (the rest? . . . you guessed it! SmugMug).
Of course, I can’t show flowers without showing an actual bee . . .
Hold on; I have a call . . .
“I said ‘hello’ first.”
“No, I mean ‘yellow’, as in the color.”
“Oh, right!” (click)
Apparently, in a sober stupor I signed a contract agreeing to showcase the color yellow.
Here we go.
This shrub is perennially shaded by one of the maple trees, so I promised it some face time in the blog . . . he gave me a profile, too.
This next plant is a small flowering weeds or small wildflower. One of the few variety of weeds I don’t kill or pull up. The flower itself is no more than a few millimeters in size. For you English units guys, that’s equivalent to 0.000002 kilometers or 2,000 micrometers. Hope it helps.
From a standing height you only get a hint of the flower in the form of a slight pink tinge. It’s only when you kneel way down and look at it that you see it is indeed beautiful.
I tried to find the name for it, but my concentration is not at peak right now, so I named it Vera, after Jayne’s gun.
These next photos are of one of the flowering shrubs I’m also too lazy to identify. Enjoy. Oh, yeah . . . there be a regular fly on them.
You know, I don’t like flies; I shoot rubber bands at them. The rubber bands I shoot are a lot like the Power Bands people fleece . . . er . . . sell to gullible . . . er . . . hopeful customers.
My rubber bands also imparts lots of energy but, unfortunately, it’s too focused to be of much use to the fly. However, outdoors, as this fly is, I tolerate them a bit more, and don’t try to shorten their lives.
Boy, you can find bugs almost everywhere!
Well, I don’t see one on that flower . . . let me look closer.
Well, I don’t see one, but trust me! . . . it’s there, alright!
Just a reminder about the SmugMug gallery HERE. It has a few more photos than what I posted here (hard to believe, right?).
That’s it . . . . this post has ended, except for the stuff below.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.
If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.
Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website. Could be they also torture small mammals.
Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so. I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards. I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way. That would mean something to me.
If you wish to know more, please read below.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.