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.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nature Notes--Saturday Morning's Mitzvah

Time and experience in the blogosphere have taught me that Viceroy butterflies can easily be distinguished from Monarchs, if you know what to look for. Michelle of helped me identify a butterfly I found last year in Illinois. She directed me to note the difference in markings and provided a link to an appropriate identification site. You might even say she "mitzvahed" me into the mysteries of butterflies. I'm not trying to be irreverant here. I've been spending the past few weeks delving into some even more profound mysteries while preparing some unusual (eclectic?) studies for a small group that's meeting at our home this month. When someone gives me an assignment (mitzvah?), I tend to devote a lot of time and effort toward completing it, sometimes to the exclusion of other activities like blogging. This past week King David's mischief with Bathsheba commanded my undivided attention.

Nevertheless, I awoke early this morning, determined to gather some images from the garden and post about them. Not even those heavy legs I've posted about before could deter me from my mission. Look at the treasure I found! Tina of In the Garden handed me some orange Cosmos seeds last fall when we met in New Harmony, Indiana, which I dutifully planted this spring about three meters from where these plants sprouted. Since the garden slopes down from here, I'm thinking it must have been ants--or a clumsy gardener with ridges on her soles--that carried the seeds uphill to this germination point.

My early morning walk revealed an immature but determined visitor on one of our two pink grapefruit trees. From the looks of it (at first glance it resembles bird poo), it could either be the caterpillar form of the Viceroy butterfly, which can have more than two generations in the South, or perhaps of some type of Swallowtail (Papilio) species. Its unremitting desire to erect a consumer's temple at the site of my hopes for future citrus may have signed and sealed its death warrant. It won't even be allowed to carry it to the front lines like Uriah the Hittite did.

Even if I hadn't determined its fate, this unusual red bug I found a few days earlier nearby would have dispatched it without a shred of regret.
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
--Gerard Manley Hopkins' "Spring and Fall (to a young child)," 1880--

Why did I not remember this song earlier? It was one of my dad's favorites.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Idle Thoughts of a '49er'

Yes, I'm finally
A forty-niner!
But daughter's not a Clementine
She's got a gold feller,
Though he's not yeller,
Air Force chap
And mighty fine...
(Walk2Write's own verse sung to the tune of "Clementine.")

I can't say "nifty, nifty, look who's fifty" just yet. The verse above the first picture is the best I can do for now. No, 09/09/09 is not my 49th birthday. I wouldn't be that lucky. But I did celebrate sometime last week by walking with SAM at Arcadia Mill. We weren't sure if the non-boardwalk part of the trail would be passable with as much rain as we've had lately. Fortunately, we managed to stay reasonably dry, didn't endure too many insect bites, and managed to find some beautiful plants along the way. As far as I can tell from looking at various sites, the berries are the fruit of a Brazilian Peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi. If I'm right, it's probably not something the forestry people like to see because it's considered extremely invasive.

The walk last week at the old mill site must have whetted my appetite for even more treasure, and I didn't have long to wait before it was satisfied. My sister, the supreme fabric genius of the family, and my mom ensured that this 49er could celebrate in style.

Sis calls her creation "If Fishes were Stars." It's quite an intricate design using the Stack n' Whack technique. Sis even thought to provide care instructions on the back as a quilt block: "Machine wash only when soiled, mild detergent, gentle cycle, no bleach. Dry flat. Avoid direct sunlight." Guess that means no hanging it outside on the clothesline? So far, I've managed to avoid soiling it because I remove it at night before bedtime. I haven't reached the point where I need adult diapers yet, but Daughter keeps reminding me that it won't be long....

We took the Gold Feller--Mr. T--and Daughter to the National Naval Aviation Museum on Labor Day. He's in the Air Force Reserves--active duty right now--and lived in this area before but had never been to the museum. I think he was pleasantly surprised by the displays, sheer size of it all, and historical significance of the place located in Pensacola NAS, the Cradle of Naval Aviation. He and Daughter have a history of their own. They've been friends for five years, keeping in touch by telephone (Daughter doesn't use e-mail very often). When Mr. T found out that Daughter had split with her latest beau, he wasted no time in getting back to town and making his move. Pity da fool!

He isn't a fool, really. I think he fits right in with the rest of this clan.

I'm happy to say that Mr. T is quite welcome here, and I hope he likes it better than he used to (he hates hot weather). Let's not be in any rush to have Daughter movin' out west, especially way up to Alaska, young Gold Feller!