Enter the Dragon

I was out and about enjoying a couple of hours hiking at Henry Cowell Park, which is a state park near Santa Cruz, California, when I ran across (fortunately not literally) an elusive lesser brown dragon!*

Pretty eyes, don’t you think?

My job involves a split shift where I’m at loose ends for a couple of hours in the middle of the day, so I have been filling my time with hiking, running, and working out.  One unanticipated side effect of this is I’ve been seeing all sorts of sights I think are worth taking pictures of and collecting here.  I figure that since I want to post at least somewhat regularly on my blog and I’m not painting as much these days, then I need to expand my horizons a bit … so enter the dragon, as it were.

Beware a dragon on the move!

Our newt, as you can see, blends in pretty well with the detritus of the trail.  I only saw him/her/it because she was legging it pretty hard and the movement caught my eye.  Thank goodness because I would not have been happy at all to accidentally step on such an adorable little creature!**

Time to hide?

The beastie made it to the other side of the trail and I think she’d thoroughly had enough of the strange, probably hideously smelly giant taking pictures of her, and appeared to look for a convenient rock or branch to hide under.  I took this as my hint and decided to leave the lesser brown dragon alone and get back to my hike.

I did play another game of Blood Bowl last night too (busy day) and will post about that soon.  I’m going to work a little on painting today too.  It is pretty nice outside for February, so I might try and prime a couple of Nurgle linemen/rotters.  I also have a couple of pretty sexy pictures of various banana slugs I encountered further along on the Rincon Trail.  So all in all lots to talk about these days.

* My husband did a little poking around online after I mentioned to him that I had done so without success and said that he thought our draconic friend was a rough-skinned newt.  What stood out most to me was reading that the dragon could release a “strong toxin” from its skin, etc. etc.  I’m glad my only designs on our friend were photographic!

** The encounter give me the germ of an idea about a giant who doesn’t want to step on things, which are quite large to us but small to her.  Not sure where to go with that yet but time will tell.


27 responses to “Enter the Dragon”

  1. Great to hear that you’re getting outdoors, and the pic is pretty awesome. It’s pretty rare that I get to see a salamander, but very cool when I do. Did you win your Blood Bowl game? Interested to hear how it went.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never would have seen the salamander if it hadn’t been scuttling across the trail. I’m very glad I did though. Going to post some banana slug pics soon, from the same day.

      I’ve been playing a lot of Blood Bowl lately. I haven’t really been in the mood for 40K much for awhile — seems to have coincided mainly with starting a full time job again. But I have a number of friends, who are into BB, and two who are very proactive about organizing games so I’ve been having fun with that.

      I did win the last BB game I played. I’ve been playing humans a lot, so this time the choice was playing orks or humans so I picked orks because while I’ve played against them a bunch I’ve never played them. The final score ended up being 2-0. I utilized a running game entirely and had a humorous turn over a couple of spaces from my opponent’s goal when he knocked my ball carrying goblin into the stands. I tried utilizing a basic, close cage formation and in that game it worked pretty well. Interesting game, BB. It can be very beer and pretzels, but I’m seeing it has tactical possibilities as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yea, it depends on how serious you want to get with it. I’ve chatted with a number of tourney players, and they would say it’s very strategic. The main strategy being ‘force your opponent to make dice rolls, and not you’. Humans are a fun team. I like their versatility. They usually fare well in early season, but later their generic nature makes it really hard to compete as the other teams start tuning their players to be monsters on the field.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I’m seeing from doing some reading that tournament play and leagues are a whole ‘nuther animal. So far all of the games I’ve played have been one-off’s with non-developed teams. I can see where humans might end up suffering in favor of the power of increasing specialization. Certainly have seen that in other games over the years.

          I like the idea of forcing the other player to roll dice as a strategic imperative. I’ll have to keep that in mind and see how it goes.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yea, it’s a very interesting strategy and changed my perspective on gaming in general. With failed dice rolls being especially punishing in Blood Bowl, it certainly makes sense to develop an aversion to rolling dice. Though I think it’s certainly more fun to play to occasionally take those risks and ‘go for the gold’.

            I haven’t played tourneys, but I have setup my own leagues with friends. That’s where the game really gets fun, though at the expense of additional record keeping.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, a certain amount of going for it seems like it would be fun, especially if you aren’t playing in a tournament, etc. I vaguely remember someone telling me years ago about the idea of playing different types of games in a system that you are serious about getting better at (I think at the time it was Chess) … he said that you should play experimental games where you try and see what works and what doesn’t and then play other games where you don’t experiment quite so much and focus on winning. But play both styles of games where it doesn’t matter since both are practice games with a different focus, and then make playing where it does matter, i.e. a tournament, a third type of game since the atmosphere of it all makes it different psychologically than the other two types of games.

              I doubt I’ll ever want to take Blood Bowl that seriously. Probably I’ll do what I did with 40K: work on becoming reasonably good at the game and leave it at that.

              The leagues with friends do sound like fun.

              — Ann

              p.s. So for the next time I play orks and if I have access to a troll, I’m going to experiment with throwing goblins with and without the ball. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              • That practice idea does sound interesting. Yea, the variety on the Orc team is pretty cool. You can leave out the Troll and Goblin, focusing on bash. Or go a little crazy with the goblins. I love to use the goblins to tangle up people or add more tackle zones to the field. You could also try throwing your goblin at another player. 😉

                Liked by 1 person

                • I hadn’t thought of that, lol. I re-read the rules for throwing players and this seems like a very funny tactic that with a little luck with the automatic scattering could end up well. Talk about (literally) trolling your opponent! Can’t wait to try this out in a game, thank you.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Yea, I think some people use that tactic as a cage breaker. Aiming for a corner of the cage or the ball carrier. You should give the Goblin team a try sometime. They are totally crazy. Winning with them can be really tough, but they are fun.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • One thing I like about it is that you can knock someone down and stand a decent change of the goblin not even getting knocked down himself, and then if he hasn’t moved, if I’m reading the rules correctly, he can go scampering off himself too after the throw.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yea, I’m pretty sure that’s how it works. Because if he started the turn by the Troll, without moving there, then he hasn’t taken an action that turn. The Troll throwing the Goblin, would be the Troll’s action, and not the Goblins.

                      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll post some slug pics soon. Alexis is right, they are slugs but they are … yellow. I’ve found they vary from a sort of flat, dull yellow to a brilliant yellow. Attractive, interesting beasties if you like slugs. Much nicer than the brown and black mottled ones that used to eat my dad’s cucumbers in Maine back in the Olden Days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And unlike the black and brown slugs that are invasive over here, banana slugs are not only native to the west coast, but they eat dead and decaying plant matter rather than live, so they won’t eat your plants, and they actually improve the quality of the soil in areas where they’re common. My mom is a huge fan of them and loves when they’re in her gardens.

        Liked by 2 people

        • That is all good to know. So no putting out bowls of beer or running out into the morning mists frantically wielding a salt shaker in each hand. I’m glad to know that they are our little, yellow friends. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. So cute! Great little dergon there.

    Have you seen any of Hilda, on Netflix? There are a few bits toward the start comparing the relationships between humans and elves, and between giants and humans, each pair of which are about the same proportions to each other. It’s also just generally cute and fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, I have never heard of it; I’ll have to check it out, thanks.

      Yes, as you say, a cute little beastie. I was going to make some joke about breath weapons when I was writing the post, but then my husband poked around and found some more information on it and apparently they can release poison from their skin. I had no idea! Imagine such a creature but scaled up to be say 70 feet long or so….


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