Posts Tagged ‘Real-Life Dragons’

IMG_20180303_154747890Here’s another dragon I met in the grocery store. It’s on a tin of Newman’s Own brand mints. These are ginger flavored. Nummy!

This dragon is so cute with his bushy eyebrows and crazy moustache. Not to mention the tongue action.

Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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In addition to rockets and missiles, the U. S. Navy does have one sea dragon that made it into the real world. That’s the MH-53E heavy helicopter, manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a longtime pioneer in helicopter design.

Sea Dragon helicopters can operate from aircraft carriers or on land. Fitted with weaponry, they can support ground troops when needed. What they’re best known for, however, is mine sweeping. Sea Dragon can be used to tow all manner of detection devices, with or without countermeasures.

Even with these capabilities, the Sea Dragon has a down side. It is considered crash-prone, with a number of deaths linked to the aircraft over time. Since Sea Dragons already are no longer manufactured, there was serious consideration of grounding them entirely. But without a ready replacement, these helicopters will remain in service for the foreseeable future.

Perhaps the Sea Dragons would be happier if they were used to find sunken treasure instead of mines?

Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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The Sea Dragon missile, in development by the U. S. Navy, is actually not the first such device to bear that name. Back in the 1960s, a heavy rocket called Sea Dragon was developed but never field-tested or deployed. If implemented, this rocket would have been considerably larger than the Saturn rockets used by N. A. S. A. at the time.

The concept, originating with Robert Truax of Aerojet, was a cargo rocket that could be launched from sea. The design was self-contained and independent of any land base. This saved the expense of facilities and personnel. Sea Dragon would have been built with standard materials at already existing shipyards, then towed to sea. A system of ballast tanks would have brought it to the upright position from which it could launch. Remarkably, the lower half of the rocket would have been submerged during launch.

Aerojet formed a partnership with the spacecraft corporation T. R. W. to implement Truax’s designs. However, outside budgetary constraints caused the project to languish. It was eventually cancelled, so that Sea Dragon never existed beyond the domain of drawings and schematics.

Truax was ahead of his time with this design. Sea Dragon would have been operated remotely and included reusable components, much as Space-X spacecraft do today. Who knows — maybe one of today’s commercial space corporations will take another look at the Sea Dragon.

Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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Recent reports show that Chinese hackers were able to penetrate an American defense contractor and steal a substantial trove of data. Some of the information has since been released to the public. The name of the contractor is still being concealed, but among the projects revealed was one called Sea Dragon.

It appears that this is a new type of guided missile for America’s submarine fleet. Sea Dragon will be able to target ships, aircraft and other missiles at supersonic speed. Because of the speed, it’s believed that Sea Dragon is based on the currently existing SM-6 missile, which is launched from battleships. Upgraded capabilities include the ability to accept guidance data from a variety of Navy planes and spy-drones.

According to this report in Popular Mechanics, the Sea Dragon system was scheduled to begin testing later in 2018 and could have been deployed as early as 2020. Of course, now that the secret has been laid bare, we’ll have to see if the Navy continues development as planned.

Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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“Dragon” radishes. Photo by Deby Fredericks, 2018.

Last time I shared a photo of a dragonfly from my garden. This time I have a more delicious dragon to share.

These are “Dragon” radishes, a favorite variety of mine. They grow fast, like all radishes, with that nice peppery burn.

My previous plantings didn’t do well. Either maggots infested them or the neighborhood cats dug up the soil before they sprouted. This year was the charm. They are great in salads. Definitely worth the wait!

Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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Remains of a Blue Eyed Darner dragonfly. Photo by Deby Fredericks, June 12, 2018.

I am both happy and sad to share today’s discovery with you. What is it? The remains of a dragonfly, found in my back yard.

The reason I’m happy is that I had at least one dragonfly in my garden. I garden as close to chemical-free as possible, which means there is always the possibility of an insect attack. Finding a predator bug is always good news.

If I’m right, this was a Blue-Eyed Darner, Rhionaeschna multicolor. It’s one of the more common dragonflies in the western U. S. and usually the first species to appear in spring. From the vivid coloration, it was a male. Females have a more drab appearance.

I’m sad that it’s dead, because dragonflies are simply amazing. It saddens me to pick up the frail shell of what should be a lively, fierce flyer. We have had chilly temperatures overnight for the past few days. I suspect this is what brought him down.

Still, I’m glad to know my garden was home to a ferocious dragon — at least for a little while.

Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.




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With a name as evocative as “Dragon’s Breath,” perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that people have applied it to a variety of products. Not only does Dragon’s Breath ammunition turn your shotgun into a flame thrower. Not only does Dragon’s Breath dessert make you breathe steam like the proverbial dragon.

You can also drink Dragon’s Breath beer. You can take a street drug called Dragon’s Breath or Devil’s Breath that allegedly makes you act like a zombie. (Why would you want to do that? Maybe it’s better not to know.)

In a more peaceful vein, you can plant Dragon’s Breath peppers. I’ll bet they’re spicy-hot! Or there’s Dragon’s Breath celosia, with a plume-like flower in shades of red, pink and orange. I wouldn’t mind that one.

Then again, there’s also a gemstone called Dragon’s breath. It’s a type of fire opal mined only in Mexico.

Yeah, sign me up for that last one!

Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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Earlier this year, I posted on a specialty dessert called Dragon’s Breath. Now I find the name is shared with a type of ammunition. These are 12-gauge shotgun shells loaded with magnesium pellets rather than the standard lead or other metal. When fired, these shells cause a remarkable, though short-lived, blast of flame!

Advertisements claim that the flame is at least 100 feet/30 meters and possibly up to 3 times that length. (This is an advertisement, bear in mind, not a scientifically documented study.) They say it can substitute for a road flare or even a flame thrower (!) should you ever have need of one. Ads also suggest that Dragon’s Breath shells would be perfect for home defense. Very intimidating, you see.

Well, I’m sure it would be… However, since magnesium flame can burn at over 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, there would be a great risk of destroying the home you were trying to save. Not to mention the chance of gruesome injuries to anyone in the flame’s path, whether or not they were invading the home.

Am I the only one who thinks this would be insanely dangerous?

Apparently not. These shells are illegal in three U. S. states (Illinois, Florida and California) and have to be treated as a hazardous material where they are legal. There is also some debate whether these shells should be regulated under the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. My guess is that Dragon’s Breath is useful chiefly for the entertainment value of the spectacular flame.

There’s lots more dragony fun in my book, Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Look for it at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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Here’s another teaser from Wyrmflight, A Hoard of Dragon Lore. Because I know you’ll never get tired of them. Also because I have a cold and even reading about dragons can’t get me energized today.

The Order of the Dragon (February 9, 2017)

The Order of the Dragon was a faux-chivalric order of knighthood active in Eastern Europe during the early 1400s. I say a faux order because the Age of Chivalry was pretty well over by then. Orders of Knighthood had been most active during the Crusades (roughly 1095-1291). Founding a chivalric order in 1408 was akin to modern Americans organizing ourselves according to the legends of the Wild West.

And here I shall refrain from snarky comments about the current political affairs of the United States.

The Order of the Dragon was founded by Sigismund, King of Hungary and Croatia. Like the European political leaders during the Crusades, Sigismund was under threat by the expansion of the Ottoman Turks into Eastern Europe. His reign (1387-1437) was turbulent with both internal and external strife. The Order of the Dragon allowed him to identify a core of supporters who he could count on in his various battles.

Pretty cool, eh? Look for Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.


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Since at least 2012, Florida residents have reported sightings of large lizards in neighborhoods that border canals and other waterways. The most persistent sightings, in late 2017, described an animal around 5 feet long (1.5 meters), drab green with white or yellow bands. It was thought to be a Water Monitor, but possibly a Nile or Savannah Monitor.

As reported in this news story, Florida wildlife officials stated that the lizard posed no risk to humans, but cats and small dogs could have been in danger if the animal got hungry. No one knew where such a creature could have come from. Perhaps it had escaped from captivity during one of the frequent hurricanes, or an irresponsible owner had released it into the wild.

The public was enlisted in an extensive effort to capture the potentially invasive reptile. People who spotted it were asked to take photos and give precise information on where and when they saw it. State wildlife officers then set traps around Key West in an effort to humanely capture the lizard. They did capture a smaller (2 ft long) Savannah Monitor, but the big guy remained at large. (Ha ha.)

Eventually the owner came forward to help with the search. Kevin Hennings explained that Poseidon, the Water Monitor, had indeed escaped his enclosure after Hurricane Irma damaged it. Once Poseidon was spotted, Hennings was able to approach and lure his pet with food. As of November 7, 2017, Poseidon had been returned home. Hennings planned to make improvements on his habitat and avoid a repeat of Poseidon’s big adventure.

Although this case ended happily, Florida is prime habitat for all sorts of tropical creatures. Wildlife officials have warned for years that other large reptiles are invading their state. Of particular concern are Boa Constrictors, which have established a permanent population and are wreaking havoc on the native wildlife. The state has  even begun having annual Boa Derbies to control the spread of these invaders.

It seems that it’s only a matter of time before they experience another dragon invasion.

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