A whimsical glance into a podcaster’s adventure in the Adirondacks! Join Daisy as she discovers that there is more to the alpine wilderness of upstate New York than most people think. With the help of her quirky new friends, she embarks on a journey of discovery.
Daisy Unchained is a charming, whimsical adventure full of friendship and natural wonder set in the world of The Cryptonaturalist by Jarod K. Anderson.
|Sound Design||Kimberly Dauber|
|Kit McAllister||Annie Ayala|
(SFX: Crackling leaves)
Daisy: (excitedly) Hello listeners, and welcome to episode 274 of Daisy Unchained, because sometimes to find yourself, you've gotta get lost. If you're just tuning in, I'm still wandering through the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. Our last episode got 50 downloads, you guys, so thanks mom. Thanks also for the care package with all those Snickerdoodles - I'll be sure to share them with any friends I find out here in the wilderness of the Adirondacks. (uncertainly) If I find any. (excited again) Oh! I did find a very cool vine yesterday. It was all weird and shiny? I didn't know vines could do that, it looked like there were almost some little metallic pieces going on as it climbed up this really, really, really tall tree. Hm. I wonder if vines can be your friends.... Anyway, maybe we'll find out! Nature sure is amazing like that, right? (laughs nervously) Speaking of nature being amazing, there were some heckin' rainstorms last night. I really wanted to make sure that I wouldn't get wet, so I put my rain fly over top of my other rain fly, and it really did the trick! Well, anyway, now I'm all packed up and all set to go off down the trail and explore some new nature. (huffs out a breath, still uncertain) I'm super excited to continue this. Never know what you're gonna hear on these woods.
(SFX: Dog barks)
Oh! Oh hello, hello pupper, what are you doing out here? Aw, where's your owner, sweetheart?
Liam: (calling from a ways away) Mycee! Mycee? Mycee! (approaches) Oh, there you are, Mycee. Mycee, say hi to the nice person with the microphone.
Daisy: Oh, uh, hello, hello, it's nice to-
Liam: Wait a minute. You - you're not the one who's been wrapping sandpaper round the trees round these parts, are you?
Liam: Wait a minute, you're not from around here, are you? You - you're not a tourist, are you?
Daisy: (clearly covering up the fact that they're a tourist) A tourist? Me? No, no no no, I'm a...podcast host! Yes, actually, would you like to be on my podcast? (proudly) We had 50 downloads yesterday.
Liam: Well, I'm not sure what that entails, but-
Daisy: Oh, it's easy, it's easy. Just tell us a little bit about yourself. Talk right into the microphone, right here.
Liam: Oh! Alright, alright. Is this good?
Daisy: Yep, perfect. Just tell us a little bit about who you are. And your dog.
Liam: Well, my name's Liam. I'm from Hope. It's a town about ten miles that way. And this is Mycee. She's a corgi today, yes she is! I'm a bit of an amateur cryptomycologist - kind of a fun guy (wink). I was an illustration major, actually, but ever since that incident in the Whole Foods produce aisle.... (laughs) Yeah, I've always been into fungus a little bit. Kinda gets a bad rap, but it's important, like earthworms or sanitation workers. Takes what nobody else wants and turns it into things necessary for the perpetuation of life. 'Specially around here, you know, mushrooms are fine. Worst you gotta worry about is snugpuffs, and those are fine if you set an alarm. Now, sinflowers? Petricormorants? Lying squirrels? That's what you gotta watch out for.
Daisy: Thanks! That's going to be...very useful. Why don't you tell me a little bit about what you and your dog are doing out here today?
Liam: Well, today Mycee and I are on the hunt for thundercaps. See, normally these fascinating little shrooms look like ordinary, garden-variety morel mushrooms. It's a bit of a "morel" dilemma finding them! (laughs) But after a thunderstorm, they start to smell. Mycee's real good at sniffing them out - says they smell like ozone, kind of like a subway or something. And that makes sense, seeing as they reproduce by building up a static charge and releasing it all at once into the atmosphere along with all their spores. Scatters them for miles around in a bolt of lightning, which is absolutely majestic, but also spells trouble in these modern times. See, the more tourists are around here, the more likely it is one of them is gonna stumble upon one of these thundercaps, realize that they can stuff it all up in their smartphone, and use it as a spare battery pack. And needless to say this is not the best for the local ecology. Really throws off the "fung shui," so to speak. So I try to do my part making sure that the thundercaps are healthy, seeking out new bunches of them. Kinda worried today, since I haven't seen any so far, but fingers crossed.
Daisy: Wow, well, thank you for sharing all that, that was really, really interesting. I actually saw this weird vine yesterday? It had all these metallic bits running through it.
Liam: Weird vine, you say? Are you some sort of cryptobotanist?
Dasiy: Well, I, uh-
Liam: You're gonna love the mothwood trees 'round these parts. You know, they're native to this area. Let me show you.
Liam: Right this way, they're very close to here.
Daisy: OK sure, let's- yeah, absolutely.
(SFX: Ukulele music starts playing)
Liam: Cryptobotanists from all over like to come see these mothwoods. They're the pride of area. You know, you just missed the fluttering season, but maybe there are a few stragglers. You know, they're just like normal pines, of course, but instead of pine cones they got these clusters of moths, and when the time comes the moths all flutter away into the wild blue y-
Daisy: Hey, uh, sorry, weird question. Do you hear ukulele playing?
Liam: You know, as a matter of fact, I believe I d-
(SFX: Ukulele music stops)
Kit: Ah! Why are we shouting?
Liam: Uh, hi. Mycee, say hi.
Kit: Oh, hello!
Liam: Wait a minute, you're not the one that's been wrapping trees in sandpaper around these parts, are you?
Kit: Oh well, as a matter of fact I am. I put them up for the garnet weevils - see, they love to feed on the garnet in the sandpaper - but this is more of my side project right now, actually.
Daisy: Hey, I have a question - (self-importantly) actually, I have a podcast. Would you mind just introducing yourself and telling our listeners a little more about you and your main project? (quietly proud) We had 50 downloads yesterday.
Kit: Oh, you really want me to talk about myself? Okay, I'm not all that interesting or anything - okay, if you insist!
(SFX: Ukulele music starts)
Kit: (excitedly) I'm Kit McAllister, born in 1995, Aquarius, the middle child of seven. Wild growing up with six siblings! You wouldn't believe the shenanigans we got up to, but I'm not here to talk about them. I'm here searching for squallskimmers. See, I've been a cryptoentomologist ever since I was six years old. I found this colossal ladybug in my backyard, but it flew away, and no one believed me. Anyway, squallskimmers! Fascinating buggers. See, once I was out canoeing with one of my sisters, and it was kinda cloudy out, and I noticed circular shadows on the water. They kinda reminded me of the same shadows waterskimmers cast on the lake bottom. You know waterskimmers, they're those little bugs that skate across the surface of the water? Well, I knew I was onto something with the shadow patterns, so I decided to do my own research. I headed to my favorite place, the library!
(SFX: Ukulele music pauses)
By the way, did you know you don't have to pay late fees if they never catch you?
(SFX: Ukulele music resumes)
Anyway, I found, like, a bunch of old stories and accounts and even poems about these giant insects which strode across the skies and danced among the storms! Very poetic stuff, though none of those authors ever seemed to agree on what to call them, so I call them squallskimmers since they only come out during the rainy season and migrate with the stormclouds. You know, they actually have a very short mating and breeding window, which means they're all Aquariuses, too!
(SFX: Ukulele music stops)
Wait, so you said you were a podcaster, right? What's your name again?
Daisy: Oh, I'm Daisy.
Kit: Oh well Daisy, it's lovely to meet you. And you are?
Liam: Oh, I'm Liam, and I'm a cryptomycologist.
Kit: Oh, mycology! That's, like, fungus, right? Did you know that there's a huge patch of snugpuffs over there? Yeah, I took a nap in them last night.
Liam: Whoa, you remembered to set an alarm, right?
Kit: Uh, duh. Would I be here if I didn't? (laughs)
Liam: Fair point. (laughs)
Daisy: Wait, so you guys know kind of a lot about all of this weird mystery nature stuff?
Liam: Cryptonature, yeah.
Kit: I dabble, I dabble.
Daisy: Well, I saw this really weird vine last night that I was telling Liam about a minute ago. It looked like it had some metal running up it, it was really strange. Could you guys maybe come and tell me what it is?
Liam: Well, that actually sounds like a novelty and a half! I have no idea what that is.
Kit: Let's go, it'll be so much fun!
(SFX: Time passes - leaf crunching noises fade out and fade back in.)
Liam: ...72 kilometers ABOVE sea level! And that, my friends, is why you always want to bring a parachute even when spelunking underground. Speaking of underground, did you know that insects like termites and ants will actually cultivate fungus? Yeah, they grow it underground, it's like agriculture. They're really one of the only species other than humans to have developed it. Isn't it beautiful?
Daisy: Yeah, that's really cool! Hang on a second, I know that this vine should be around here somewhere, but honestly I cannot tell where it's supposed to be in all of this mist.
Kit: Yeah, the mist must be from the recent rainstorms, but it's been hanging around quite a bit too long. It's really spooky.
(SFX: A menacing hawk-like birdcall from far away)
Liam and Kit: (gasp)
Kit: (whispering) Oh no, is that...
Liam: (whispering) I think it is.
Kit: (whispering) ...a petricormorant?
Liam: (whispering) I'm pretty sure it's a petricormorant.
Daisy: (speaking at normal volume) What is a petricormorant?
Kit: (whispering) Nothing good.
Liam: (whispering) Yeah, bad news. We should get low.
Daisy: (normal volume) Why, is it dangerous?
Liam: (whispering) Well, let's just say it's not the kind of thing you want to just go up to and say hi t-
Mycee: (barks loudly, echoing)
Kit: Did it - did it notice us?
(SFX: Much louder petricormorant cry)
Liam: Uh...yes yes, yes it did, run!
(SFX: Running through the forest)
(SFX: Ukulele twang)
Daisy: Wait wait wait - that's it, that's the vine, right there!
Liam: Oh, and would you look at that, it's thundercaps!
(SFX: Running stops)
Kit: It is right there, now is not the time-
(SFX: Petricormorant cry, then silence)
Kit: Um, guys? Are you okay?
Liam: Holy shiitake...
Daisy: (struggling) That...was...amazing!!! (excited) Oh my god, the vine - the metal in the vine, it attracted the lightning from the petricormorant!
Liam: Yeah! And when the lightning hit the thundercaps, that allowed them to release their spores way more efficiently than they would have been able to on their own!
Kit: Oh oh oh! And if the lightning from the petricormorant could do this, maybe the lightning from the squallskimmers' clouds could do the same thing!
Liam: It's like...
All three: Cryptosymbiosis!
Daisy: Wow. It is too bad I am never going to be able to publish this episode. No one is going to believe that this happened.
Liam: Well, I wouldn't be so sure about that, actually. See, I just remembered where I heard the word "podcast" before. There's a well-known cryptonaturalist who runs one of those things. He takes in stories all the time.
Daisy: Oh! Yeah, I mean, absolutely, that sounds great.
Kit: Hey wow, this was a lot easier with three of us.
Liam: I think you mean four of us?
Kit: Oh, right. Sorry, Mycee! Hey, when you're done uploading that podcast, do you want to help me find a squallskimmer? I could really use the company, plus it would make a great story.
Liam: Wait, that sounds super fun. How are you planning on catching it?
(SFX: Ukulele music starts)
Kit: Well, it involves a t-shirt cannon and a lasso.
Daisy: I mean, yeah! Totally! Oh hey - do you guys like snickerdoodles?
(SFX: Ukulele music fades away)
(SFX: Ukulele music starts)
Announcer: Daisy Unchained was written and performed by Kimberly Dauber, Loren Sherman, and Annie Ayala. The voice of Daisy was Kimberly Dauber. The voice of Liam was Loren Sherman. The voice of Kit was Annie Ayala. The voice of Mycee was Neboo. Sound design by Kimberly Dauber. Daisy Unchained takes place in the weird and wonderful world of The Cryptonaturalist by Jarod K. Anderson, a bi-weekly podcast that explores strange nature. Many thanks to Jarod for letting us produce this story. Give his show a listen at www.cryptonaturalist.com. Daisy Unchained is a product of Hear Me Out Productions. Hear our other shows at hearmeoutproductions.com or wherever you get your podcasts, and follow us on social media @HearMeOutProd. Daisy Unchained is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Thanks for listening!
(SFX: logotone) A product of Hear Me Out Productions. All we have are dreams and a microphone.
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