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.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

NN/SOTS: Golden Age, Spring Anew?

Then sprang up first the golden age, which of itself maintained
The truth and right of everything unforced and unconstrained.
There was no fear of punishment, there was no threatening law
In brazen tables nailed up, to keep the folk in awe.
There was no man would crouch or creep to judge with cap in hand,
They lived safe without a judge, in every realm and land.
The lofty pine tree was not hewn from mountains where it stood,
In seeking strange and foreign lands, to rove upon the flood...

Men knew none other countries yet than where themselves did keep;
There was no town enclosed yet, with walls and ditches deep.
No horn nor trumpet was in use, no sword nor helmet worn;
The world was such that soldiers' help might eas'ly be forborne...

The fertile earth as yet was free, untouched of spade or plow,
And yet it yielded of itself of every things enow.
And men themselves contented well with plain and simple food
That on the earth of nature's gift without their travail stood...

Did live by raspes, hips, and haws, by cornels, plums, and cherries,
By sloes and apples, nuts and pears, and loathsome bramble berries...

And by the acorns dropped on ground from Jove's broad tree in field.
The springtime lasted all the year, and Zephyr with his mild
And gentle blast did cherish things that grew of own accord;
The ground untilled all kinds of fruits did plenteously afford...

These three photos (church, lake, and crabapple tree) were taken at Lake Ella Park in Tallahassee in late January.

No muck nor tillage was bestowed on lean and barren land,
To make the corn of better head and ranker for to stand...

Then streams ran milk, then streams ran wine, and yellow honey flowed
From each green tree whereon the rays of fiery Phoebus glowed.

Trillium erectum

Found in Lafayette Heritage Trail Park, Tallahassee, January 2010. Picture of stream also taken there. First three photos are from Fort Pickens, Pensacola, Florida, late January.

The poetry I paired with the pictures above came from Arthur Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, which he completed in 1567. Shakespeare was partial to Golding's Ovid, and his references to the classic myths in his own work reflect that fondness for Golding's English version. Even the Elizabethans, it seems, yearned for that same elusive Elysium we look for today--in our diets, our environments, our families, our governments, our world. Will we ever find it? Or, more importantly, would we be satisfied with it if we did?

Please visit for more links to her Nature Notes/Signs of the Season post this week.


  1. Wonderful post and set of photos.

  2. Well done! I thoroughly enjoyed this post! And look forward to perusing your archived posts when I have a few extra moments. Have a great day! ~karen

  3. Love that pic of the church steeple in the snow, between the tree trunk branches! Beautiful!

    I know hubby and I have been to Ft. Pickens before...they have all blurred together in my mind over the years! All great.

  4. It must be nice to have greenery in January. :)

  5. Okay, in the first picture, I thought you had taken up crafting. I saw tiny corncobs painted and strategically placed to form a bloom! Ha, I had a laugh myself on that one. A wonderful poem and pictures to boot. We have lots of trillium throughout our woods in the front yard. So pretty when the ground is dead I have some green to enjoy....

  6. This was a great post. Love how you set the photos with the poem.

  7. Fantastic series of nature photos and thank you for introducing me to that poem.

  8. I heard so much about Ovid in my Shakespeare class, but we didn’t read Ovid. It’s a delight to read an excerpt on your blog. I love how you tie the old prose to our current issues with such gorgeous images. Thanks for teaching me something new today. Brilliant post!

    I just got back from seeing Avatar with the kids - the themes tie into this post as well.

  9. Thanks, Eileen! I really like your post about the cuckoo.

    Karen, I'm glad you enjoyed it and thank you. I'll be back to your site to read some more too.

    Julie, it does look like snow, but it's actually spray from the fountain in the middle of the lake. The wind was very strong that day, as you can tell from the flag. You need to make a point of visiting Fort Pickens if you ever come this way. I'm savoring every minute I get to visit there because it was closed for such a long time after Hurricane Ivan. Too many more big storms, and it may be closed permanently.

    Stine, it's been one cold winter this year in Florida, but at least the pine trees and live oaks stay green and lovely to cheer us.

    Haha, Skeeter! You see the same thing I did. Is the trillium the same kind as this one, and is it really stinky? I'm used to the grandiflora kind (white-flowered) that I've seen in southern Illinois, so this was new for me. Apparently, when the flowers open, they have an unpleasant odor. I was wanting to go back to the park soon and see them open, but now I'm not so sure.

    Thanks, Marnie. It's my favorite kind of post to put together.

    Well, thank you, Denise. It was actually a new one to me too, but these lines are just an excerpt of the entire work. Arthur Golding must have spent a long time translating the whole thing and writing it all down by hand. And I'm sure the original wasn't easy to read. It makes me appreciate what we have today.

    Thanks, Sarah! I had a similar experience when I studied Shakespeare in college. Ovid was referenced all over the place but not discussed at length. I think it's essential to study what kind of work informed a writer like Shakespeare. He didn't just pull his ideas out of thin air.

    Avatar was some pretty intense stuff. I may have to see it again. Some kid sitting next to me in the theater kept cheering and jabbing me with his elbow every time something exciting happened, so you know how often that was!

  10. Great set of photos, perfect for the verse.

  11. Great job of illustrating Ovid's poetry! I don't think we'll ever find Elysium, but I think this is what I'm after when I'm in the garden. It's my own little piece of Utopia, even though it's far from perfect, too:)

    Are you getting snow, too?

  12. There was no town enclosed yet, with walls and ditches deep.
    No horn nor trumpet was in use, no sword nor helmet worn;
    The world was such that soldiers' help might eas'ly be forborne...

    Reminds me of "Charge of the light brigade"

  13. Sometimes I think our own imaginations are our worst enemies. We think ourselves clever by half and then when life hands us lemons we get pinch faced and never quite recover. Photography has a way of inducing me to pay attention to what's in front of me and for that I'm grateful.

  14. Hello

    I enjoyed this post very much!
    The Ovid's poem is GREAT!
    I didn't know Ovid's poetry so I've learned a new world from you.
    Your photos are nice too!
    Thank you so much!

  15. This was a wonderful post and I enjoyed your words and nature photos so much.

  16. You are trying to give me a great literature education...which I need having long forgotten that it was my favorite subject..but it's not too late is it.

    Your ability to pair prose with photography is really special. Your blog is unique in that respect.

    Thank you for your kind comment concerning my birthday.. My mother always called me a monkey. I guess she was right... Michelle

  17. Okay, that first photo of the pink-red flower is one of the neatest that I've ever seen. It looks like a bunch of corncobs stuck together!

  18. Nice mix of verbage and image; it was very enjoyable, a welcome relief from the mud and rain!

  19. Paradise or the underworld? Elysium is used in reference to both.

    I never read much epic poetry. Come to think of it, I've not read any. I think it's because I can't pronounce "dactylic hexameter." ;~P

  20. Nice!

    I haven't come across Metamorphoses in ages. Thanks for this post and for sending me on a trip down memory lane.

  21. I have never seen any flowers on our trillium. I keep my eye on them at different times of the year but have never seen one bloom... Hummm, wonder whats up with dat???

  22. Sorry, everyone, for not keeping up with the blog. SAM and I have been celebrating over the past several days.

    MyMaracas, thank you for the visit and wonderful comment!

    Rose, I think I'll make a garden marker with that inscription: My Elysium--a Mythical Place of Perfection. We were supposed to have snow about a week ago, but it never materialized here. School was even cancelled! It has been cold enough to do it, believe me. We've only had a few nice days all winter. This isn't the Florida I know and love!

    Haddock, that part does have a martial aspect to it or rather a longing for life without the martial aspect.

    Paula, I usually get into trouble when I don't pay enough attention to my imagination or try to control it--just the opposite of when I was a kid. Photography somehow lets me see into or beyond what's there in front of me. Sometimes, it pulls me in directions I don't expect to go.

    Thank you, Sapphire. I'm learning right along with you. So far in my literary studies, I've just had tantalizing tidbits of Ovid and want to know more.

    Carver, I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks!

    Michelle, it's never too late to learn something, which is why I enjoy your work so much. I'm glad I could help in some way. I used to call our daughter a monkey too. She was a hairy little thing when she was born, and she could climb just about anything once she learned to walk. Fortunately, she's more ladylike now.

    CM, I found it--pine blossom?--just above eye level on a trail leading to the fort. The sun shining on it at that time of day (late afternoon) really made it pop.

    TIG, we seem to be stuck in a similar pattern here in NW Florida. Not much mud here--mostly sand--but plenty of cold rain. I hope to have some sunny pics to post soon.

    TC, don't you just love its ambiguity? Say what? Dactylic...? I can't quite put my finger on that one either. I'm not fond of epics, but if you read them in smaller sections like this one, they're not difficult to swallow.

    Glad I could help, MBT. I hope your Burpee's catalog finally got to you. Companies should know by now they can't get away with being careless or forgetful. Bloggers will pin 'em to the mat.

    Skeeter, I'm not sure. Maybe they're sterile or lacking a pollinator? I'm not familiar with this type of trillium, so your guess is as good as mine. I do know that the ones with the large white flowers have their seeds spread about by ants.

  23. Your post is full of info and such a great array of photos for my green eyes to feast on. Thanks!

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  24. I'd love to visit the panhandle sometime. It's rivers have such a different look ... and also its coast. I love that old fort.