Jarn’s Journal Year 4 Day 236 #SFFSat

 Year 4 day 236

Nile sunsetOne of the bits of information that is in the computer files is that pregnant women sometimes crave particular foods, and that seems to carry over to the People. At least Songbird would very much like some dates.

The particular clone of trees I found earlier did indeed produce a fruit that the People relished, but most of the trees of that type do not. Since that clone does not currently have ripe fruit, I added testing of palm trees to my mapping–somewhat doubtfully, as the coastline I am now mapping is pure desert. Today, however, I levitated enough to get an overview of the area (and make myself very short of breath) and while I did not see any ending of this very salty sea to the north, I spotted a thread of green far to the west. A river? Could it flow into the tideless sea I seek?

It was indeed a river, and on its banks grew not only reeds, but date palms. And the river flows northward! I spent the rest of today checking for ripe fruit, feeling for high sugar content.

Jarn’s Journal is the fictional journal of a fictional alien, a R’il’nian, stranded in Africa roughly 125,000 years ago. His story is part of the back story of the science fiction universe in which my stories are set. At the moment the child he saved when she was abandoned has grown up, mated with Giraffe, and is expecting her first child. A longer version of today’s post is in my main blog; the journal to date is on my author site.

Do check out the other science fiction and fantasy snippets on Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday. And we all appreciate comments!

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About sueannbowlingauthor

Sue Ann Bowling earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at Radcliffe/Harvard and a Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Alaska. After thirty years of teaching, she retired to focus on writing. Bowling has lived in Alaska for fifty years. Visit her Web site on canine color genetics at http://bowlingsite.mcf.com/Genetics/Genetics.html.
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23 Responses to Jarn’s Journal Year 4 Day 236 #SFFSat

  1. T. M. Hunter says:

    Always good stuff…though I may have missed one of the original posts. Why is Jarn seeking this “tideless sea”?

    • He’s trying to map the coastline of Africa and knows that there is salt water without noticeable tides (the Mediterranean) to the North from his first random explorations. He was puzzled by the northeast trend of the coast in southern Somalia, which seemed to indicate that he was on part of Asia. Which he is, as far as the possibility of going from one to the other by land is concerned.

  2. Peter Vialls says:

    I’m wondering if this salty sea is the Red Sea. It’s an intriguing sequence. Thanks!

  3. tinacrone says:

    This is a compelling read. A good mix of science and natural history.

    • I’m writing this with satellite photos of Africa in my left hand! Had to back up of the dates I mentioned a few weeks ago when I found out that the wild ones were inedible, though. They wouldn’t have been domesticated if at least an occasional mutated wild plant did not produce edible fruit, though.

  4. tktoppin says:

    As usual, great snippet! Wonder what he’ll do when Songbird craves pickles…. 😉

  5. Gayle Ramage says:

    Cloned trees? Interesting. So happy Jarn found dates for Songbird. 🙂

    • Sure. A clone is a genetically identical copy, and natural clones of plants are common. Stands of aspen, for instance, which can actually be seen when their leaves change color. Dates clone by means of stem offsets, and if a mutation to sweeter and more chewable fruit developed in one–well that’s probably how domesticated dates got started. But there had to be an occasional natural mutation first.

  6. jccassels says:

    I am once again impressed with the details of your research! There were so many brilliant little gems in this snippet! I loved his being short of breath and the descriptions! Wonderful!

  7. Diane Dooley says:

    Lovely snippet. Just lovely. Is the north-running river the Nile?

  8. Jarn has such a lovely tone. And as usual, the details are beautiful. Great snippet.

  9. Pippa Jay says:

    How is he ‘feeling’ the sugar content? With some of his instruments or his telepathic talent?

  10. Katje says:

    Awww, that’s sweet of Jarn to go looking for dates for Songbird. 🙂

    As always your snippet is fascinating — great blend of story and science.

  11. Chantal says:

    Yummy dates and lucky Songbird! Great snippet, as always 🙂

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