1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Centesimal Post--Exploring What's Outside the Florida Museum of Natural History

"I sate alone, and drew the blessing in
Of all that nature..."
"I wakened, opened wide
The window and my soul, and let the airs
And out-door sights sweep gradual gospels in,
Regenerating what I was..." --Elizabeth B. Browning, Aurora Leigh, First Book

Leaving Northwest Florida behind us for a couple of days, SAM and I traveled to Gainesville last week. He had a job interview, and I tagged along so I could see what the area had to offer. Home of the famous Gators college football team, the University of Florida offers up a host of other delights for the senses. The Florida Museum of Natural History was not yet open when we arrived on campus, so we took a stroll outside down a bamboo-lined path...

...alongside a palm-tree-studded butterfly rainforest, enclosed, of course, for the safety of the exotic butterflies and for the pleasure of the people paying to see them.

The choices we have made determine some difficult paths we must take, but we still find things to celebrate along the way...

Lotus flowers, for instance, make this gardener desire a water feature someday, somewhere.
"...O life,
How oft we throw it off and think, -- 'Enough,
Enough of life in so much! -- here's a cause
For rupture; -- herein we must break with Life,
Or be ourselves unworthy; here we are wronged,
Maimed, spoiled for aspiration: farewell Life!' (EBB)

Too much lotus perfection makes me wish for wildflower chaos, and I found it farther down along the path, past the enclosed rainforest. SAM and I were the only human visitors to this garden.

A Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae, (I had to look it up in my trusty Audubon Society insect field guide) paid a visit of its own and found something sweet. Like so many other butterflies, its caterpillar form protects itself and what it will become from harm by ingesting something toxic. In the Fritillary's case, the caterpillar's poison pick is the passion vine's foliage. The adult butterfly favors wildflowers like this Snow Squarestem, Melanthera nivea, a member of the aster family.

"And so, as froward babes, we hide our eyes
And think all ended. -- Then, Life calls to us
In some transformed, apocalyptic voice,
Above us, or below us, or around:
Perhaps we name it Nature's voice, or Love's,
Tricking ourselves, because we are more ashamed
To own our compensations than our griefs:
Still, Life's voice! -- still, we make our peace with Life." (EBB)

To be continued...


  1. Your photos are amazing and your words transport me to places celestial. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your soul.

  2. What fun! I hope you had a great time and the job interview went well. The walk along the garden path was wonderful.

  3. OMG! We were just in Gainesville last week! I lived there for 10 years from 1980-1990! I love it there and so does my husband. He wishes we could retire there, but the problem is now leaving family behind to do that!!! It will never work. I pray SAM will get the job if it is what he wishes! There are wonderful places to see there...oh so will love it so much! It is easy to travel to either coast for many adventures and so many places are just a few hours out from there. I will be so happy if you can go there to live and I will be very jealous also!!! LOL! You really should check out Devil's Millhopper there ( a huge sinkhole where you can climb down inside), a nearby town, MacIntosh (antique heaven), and Paynes Prairie...wildlife and nature galore! Also the Kanapaha Botanical Garden there in Gainesville. The art gallery at U.F. is devine also! You can't tell how much I love it, can you??? Ha ha ha! Oh, and if you are into good place we visited there on SW Archer Road last week, called Texas Roadhouse...all of our food was absolutely devine!
    Tell SAM good luck on his job!!!
    Best wishes...Julie

  4. The palm and bamboo lined path looks very inviting! And the shot of the wild area looks more like my kind of gaedening:) Great shot of the Gulf Fritillary and as always, I loved going through the verse.

  5. I love the first quote from Elizabeth; nature does indeed regenerate the soul. Looks like you took advantage of your time for business to do a little regenerating yourself. I wish the best for SAM and that the job interview went well.

  6. Sounds like you had a wonderful day trip to a wonderful place... I do hope that SAM did very well on his interview.

    BTW - I know all about Fritilary butterflies... the caterpillars have completely defoliated my passion-vine this year. Next year, I'm afraid I'm going to have to do something to control them.

  7. I'd love to visit that butterfly garden. Hope the job situation works out. Guess this may mean another move? Hard choices.

  8. Well, thank you, Anon. Glad I could help in some way. Stop by anytime.

    Tina, we did have a good time, and SAM felt very confident during the interview. Things are opening up a bit in the job market, just not yet around here where we live.

    Julie, I was impressed with what we saw of Gainesville, and I wish we could have seen the botanical garden. Unfortunately, it's closed on Thursday, which is the day last week we had time to visit. Thanks for the tips on places to go and the prayers as well.

    Kanak, SAM thought the wildflower garden was a bit too wild (not much of a path left uncovered), but it really appealed to my state of mind at the time. Glad you liked the post.

    Rose, thanks for the good wishes. We're not exactly holding our breath about the job--so many people vying for so few jobs! SAM's got some other things in the pen, so to speak, and we're hopeful one of them will break loose.

    Claude, I know how frustrating those critters can be. My parsley is completely gone, but the excessive heat had something to do with it. This has been the hottest summer we've experienced since we moved here five years ago.

    Marnie, I'll be posting about what we saw inside that enclosed rainforest, and it'll make you want to visit even more. Better hurry, though. It closes in early September. Yes, it would mean another move (sigh).

  9. I really like that bamboo laced path. I like almost anything that grows in the ground. Just that I like some things better than others.

    The blackberries are thornless and I like that about them. Apparently they sprout from roots if you dig them up to move them as I had planted two and moved them and now I have about eight where the two were originally planted. So next year I should be blessed.

  10. Great quotes and neat walk. I love butterfly gardens and often visit the one in Denver

  11. I love the part about finding what you needed after the Lotus flowers. hope the interview results are for the best.

  12. Thanks, Abe. I've been wanting to try bamboo here but need to build some kind of enclosure to contain the roots. Otherwise it can spread, even more rapidly than the blackberries! I hope you get a bumper crop of them next year. If your wife doesn't want to bother with the jam, just freeze them. Then when you want a pancake or ice cream topper, heat them gently in a saucepan with enough sugar to sweeten until thawed and add some cornstarch combined with water and mixed smooth, enough to thicken the mixture. Simmer until bubbly. It also tastes great over pound cake or biscuits.

    Troutbirder, I'm guessing the one you're talking about in Denver is climate controlled as well as being enclosed. I've never been there, but I can imagine it would be otherwise be difficult to regulate the humidity in such a dry climate.

    Wayne, the indoor butterfly exhibit (I'll be posting about it later) was spectacular, but I still preferred the outdoor garden--not crowded (by people), peaceful, and untamed. Solace to the soul.

  13. Another wonderfully vivid post..I like the way you always are willing to find something wonderful around you no matter what the circumstances are that led you there...that is a gift...Michelle

  14. Thanks, Michelle. You found some glowing treasures of your own in your flowers this week. Those Gerbera daisies in your collage are amazing!

  15. I know what you mean about a water feature. Saw a lily pond this spring that had me figuring out how I could have one too.

    Nice post and good luck with the interview. Crossing fingers for you all.


  16. Thanks, MBT. As you probably know, the water flower pics are really not lotus (Nelumbo) but water lilies (Nymphaea). I do have pics of lotus flowers somewhere in my files but couldn't find them, so the lilies (bless them) stood in for the lotus on short notice. I'm going to keep looking for those Lotus flower pics and feature them in the future. I'm kind of surprised that no one has said anything about the difference. I hope your water feature dream becomes a reality.