We started today with an announcement: Emily and Dale will lead a walk at 9:00 AM next Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, at Sandy Creek Nature Center. Everyone is welcome to attend. This is the first of a monthly series of walks at the Nature Center. Emily plans to have them on the first Tuesday of each month.
We had three readings today; Hugh read an excerpt from Sean Beeching's book, I Like You But What Can You Do Can You Be A Bird, pp. 45-46.
Inland is a low forest of oaks and gums, holly and willow, the floor is mud, muddy roots and soggy leaves, it is composed of low mounds and water-filled hollows, and it is dark, even in winter, under the live oak leaves. The history of the Ohoopee's past wanderings is here, these are the old channels and banks, oxbows and meanders, I suppose, but it is too confused and too dim to be read by me. The two great trees here are live oak on the banks and cypress in the swamps. Both are covered with the other great player in the coastal landscape: Spanish moss. Does this bromeliad cast (a) spell of lethargy over the South? Fully developed on a big oak, ancient, shaggy, overextended. it billows in the breeze, supported not by its own efforts but by the oak, dormant as often as not. Should some fall, so what? There's plenty more. Perhaps it exudes a substance, Tillandsiadol, an invisible elixir that seeps into the minds of Southerners, that makes them say, "Aw, it's alright," whether it is or not, and makes them think that living is work enough. If this potion could be bottled I would carry it on my back and breathe it straight through a tube.
Dale read a piece about scientific names from Alpine Plants of the Northwest Wyoming to Alaska, p. 12:
If we can no longer argue for scientific names on the basis of stability, we can still make an argument for clarity. After all, even after scientific names change, there is still only one official scientific name-the new one. (Numerous common names usually remain.) You can also learn scientific names to impress people, around the barbeque or at other social gatherings. Inexplicably to some, Carla Bruni married former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. She explained that, after a courtship stroll in the Elysee Palace gardens, it struck her that "He knows all the Latin names, all these details about tulips and roses. I said to myself, 'My God, I must marry this man.'"
Terry read a wonderful poem by Janisse Ray:
Where does its fire go
when a monarch dies?
Does it vanish
or turn suddenly to rain?
Does it lay dead
against a mountainside
which will harbor in its richness
millions of small burning ships
sailing a deep-green forest,
never to be seen?
Or does the fire seep
into the ground,
running in rivulets
toward the blazing core
of the earth,
one day to return:
a volcano spewing wings?
The subject of today's ramble was butterflies. Dale began with a few comments about books and equipment useful for learning about Georgia butterflies.