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.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Nature Notes--'Into the Silent Land'

Song of the Silent Land
Into the Silent Land!
Ah! who shall lead us thither?
Clouds in the evening sky more darkly gather,
And shattered wrecks lie thicker on the strand.
Who leads us with a gentle hand
Thither, O thither,
Into the Silent Land?

From where I sit, Friday night football sounds more subdued, though the fireworks that always precede a home game might fool you a bit. The Patriots are playing at home tonight, and the marching band has whipped the crowd into a fervor. Fans might need a little warmth tonight. It's supposed to dip down into the upper 40s or lower 50s, Fahrenheit. At this time of year in Northwest Florida, jackets and sweaters surface and then disappear as the temperature fluctuates throughout the day.

Last Sunday, SAM, Daughter, and I committed a few "sins." We skipped church--SAM was recovering from some form of the flu and didn't want to spread the "joy," we burned several gallons of fossil fuel to visit Fort Pickens, and we--well, I did, actually--spent an inordinate amount of time gazing at the Creation. A large turtle gave us quite a show as we crossed a foot-bridge on the path leading from Battery Worth to the main fort. I think it's a snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina, but I'm no expert on turtles. I have decided it is quite old since it has algae growing on its body. Anything that moves slowly here is liable to grow something green.

At one of the batteries we visited--Worth or Langdon, I can't remember which one--I noticed this bit of art work peering out of a dark yet green corner.

Daughter doesn't like this picture. Do you think I care? She's packing tonight to visit Mr. T for a few days in the Lone Star State.

Into the Silent Land!
To you, ye boundless regions
Of all perfection! Tender morning visions
Of beauteous souls! The Future's pledge and band
Who in Life's battle firm doth stand,
Shall bear Hope's tender blossoms
Into the Silent Land!

O Land! O Land!
For all the broken-hearted
The mildest herald by our fate allotted,
Beckons, and with inverted torch doth stand
To lead us with a gentle hand
Into the land of the great Departed,
Into the Silent Land!
--a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow--
Please visit to see what other people have found in nature to post about this week. I just did, and it seems that Michelle and I may have found something quite similar!


  1. Oh my..looks like a common snapping turtle to me. Look how far out that one has its head out. I read that they always have slime on them and it doesn't help them to look any more attractive...My daughter never likes any photo I take of her, but some of my favorites are ones she doesn't like. Your daughter is lovely... I hope SAM feels better. Thank you for posting to Nature Notes... Michelle

  2. Hope SAM is feeling better; I had what I think was the swine flu last week, and it just zaps all your energy for awhile. It's great that he enjoys going on these treks with you; my husband gets enough "nature" on his job that even going for a walk doesn't sound too appealing. I have to depend on the dog for companionship for nature walks:)

  3. Youe trip sounds like fun.Like the picture of the turtle. It looks like a creature from the deep.

  4. Where did you photograph the turt? Nice work at Ft Pickens, you and your daughter must have a great relationship. '~) I hope Secret Agent Man is doing better, the flu is no fun.

  5. Michelle, I'm so glad I was right! Thanks for confirming. I kind of stuck my neck out on the ID, but I'm not afraid to eat some humble pie. So the slime isn't indicative of old age? I guess they accumulate it since they don't bask in the sun. Not attractive? I thought this one was a bit of a flirt. He let me take about 20 pics in various poses.

    Rose, SAM is back to his umm...old self again, which is just the way I like him. Maybe when your husband retires, he will learn to enjoy walking with you. SAM and I have been taking them together as often as possible since we met 31 years ago. Hope you're feeling fine now too.

    Well, hello, moosh! Glad to have you as a visitor. The turtle was a great find. Daughter had just been saying she hoped we would see it this time. Apparently, she had walked this trail before with a friend, and it made an appearance then. It must have been listening in on our conversation.

    Hi, Paula. We saw the snapper along that trail that runs between Battery Worth and the main complex of buildings. There is a wooden walkbridge about halfway down the trail that spans part of the marsh. Secret Aging Man is doing fine now. Thanks!

  6. Turtle soup (or was it Chelydra serpentina soup?) is quite tasty. We snagged one on a trot line many years ago while floating the Green River. It must've been a hunnerd degrees in the shade, with humidity so thick you could lick it. I jumped in and retrieved the trot line, cooling off while at the same time wondering if I had just entered Chelydra serpentina infected waters. I didn't care, I had jumped into "the silent land" of cooling waters!.

  7. TC, I've got a good turtle story to tell soon, and it comes from Kentucky. So you like that name, Chelydra serpentina? To me, it sounds like the name of some foreign actress.

  8. Not an expert on turtles either. Interesting creatures tho.

    Whenever I read poetry like that, I imagine what the country was like when it was written.

  9. what lovely photos of the turtle, he looks quite a character...

  10. Hi, Marnie. Fort Pickens is one of the few spots along the coast that doesn't share the noise so common to the rest of the beach. I hope it doesn't get any more damage from this storm coming in. The Park Service has done a wonderful job getting it back in shape and just reopened it this spring.

    Thanks, CGP! Glad you could stop by for a visit. I could tell from your site that you love to walk and write too.

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