MAN i love anything and everything gothic americana like think about southwestern gothic with flickering motel lights and thieves and snakes hiding in sunset deserts, but also new england gothic with deep dark woods and bodies sunk into the bottom of freezing lakes, and appalachian gothic with dirty-feet tangle-haired children and small crumbling houses and the wind whistling eerily, and even midwest gothic with lonely tractors rusting away in the sunlight and endless plains and plains of vast nothingness as far as the eye can see, florida gothic (old bones sunk into the swamp), wisconsin gothic (the town’s been snowed in for weeks now, who knows what’s happening up there), california gothic (they don’t call ‘em ghost towns for nothing), colorado gothic (something’s living up in those mountains and it only comes out at night) and of course southern gothic to rule them all, a landscape of witchery, poverty, hellfire and damnation
hell yeah todays a bird night lets talk about birds
one of my favorite birds, besides pigeons and that bride of frankenstein duck and the bird that collects blue things and Very Small Birds of Prey is the hoatzin
this bird lives in the amazon rainforest, and is about the size of a small pheasant. now im all for this bird just based on its 80s glam rocker down on their luck looks, but its also got a few other things going for it, like how its the only species of bird that subsists entirely on leaves. just leaves and occasionally fruit, all day and nothing else
their digestive systems have adapted to this diet with a larger, ridged crop used to break down the plant materials , AND as a side effect they tend to smell like cow manure or rotting hay, earning them the nickname stinkbird. nothing really wants to eat something called stinkbird - the biggest thing these guys have to worry about is deforestation (which admittedly is a pretty big thing)
the adaptions theyve made in order to eat all these leaves though has left them pretty poor flyers, and since the leaves they consume take a long time to digest, almost 80 percent of their day is spent being a huge smelly lump in a tree, hanging out with up to 30 other bright smelly lumps and calling out periodically with hisses, whistles, screeches, and shrieks
now whats REALLY GREAT about these birds is that their chicks, awkward gangly balls of grey fluff that spend most of their early lives climbing trees, are born with claws at the end of their wings
the claws fall off after about three months, and are used in aiding the little thing in hoisting itself up after jumping into a river to escape a predator (because theyre actually pretty good swimmers, go figure), or just getting getting itself stable on a branch, but CLAW WINGS
now this and a lot of other factors have made the hoatzin extremely difficult to class in relation to other birds - its been suggested that theyre closest relatives are doves and cuckoos, but several attempts at dna sequencing have suggested otherwise, and its still up in the air. as a result its become the only member of the genus opisthocomus, (which is actually really greek for “wearing long hair behind”)
so who knows whats up with this bird ! the hoatzin sure doesnt care. all it wants is to sit around and eat with its bird buds, a philosophy i agree with greatly
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Little planchette, guided by hands.
Scrawling out the damned’s demands.
We wonder where this spirit dwells,
And what these letters soon shall spell.
Sterling silver planchette amulet with natural moonstone cabochon.