Shepherd: "Fie, daughter! When my old wife lived, upon
This day she was both pantler, butler, cook,
Both dame and servant; welcomed all, served all;
Would sing her song and dance her turn; now here,
At upper end o' th' table, now i' th' middle;
On his shoulder, and his; her face afire
With labor, and the thing she took to quench it
She would to each one sip. You are retired,
As if you were a feasted one and not
The hostess of the meeting. Pray you, bid
These unknown friends to 's welcome, for it is
A way to make us better friends, more known.
Come, quench your blushes and present yourself
That which you are, mistress o' th' feast...
(from William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, Act 4, Scene 4)
The lumberjack festival was a cut above the normal list of things to do in Northwest Florida last weekend. I felt pretty good about myself, having given up two hours to meet and greet the public in the name of all that is research-based knowledge. Wouldn't you know, though, that the camera went for a ride on SAM's shoulder and in the Honda on Saturday?--see my comment on the last post--so I made sure that it was fully engaged and gainfully employed the next day at Arcadia Mill.
After making the trek across the swinging bridge, single-file because the stream was so high, I found wild blueberries in bloom again--or are they sparkle berries?--along one of the many side trails. SAM's foot was bothering him so we took a short break in a clearing and sat down on a massive log. We heard voices closing in on us. Two young men and a young woman stepped through the surrounding brush. One of them, dread-locks bedecked, stepped forward and asked us what we were doing. Huh? What could be so mysterious about two pudgy, gray-haired people parked on a log? The sun is shining, the afternoon is wearing on, you can see that we have feasted well and often...This young man would not be satisfied by appearances only. He had to know. What do we think of this site? How old is that log you're sitting on? We got to talking. Well, at least he did. He was verbose. We could barely get a word in edge-wise. He finally understood that we love to hike, enjoy nature and each other's company, blog, and garden--well, at least I do, the latter two things. Many questions were answered, I hope, and that nice young man made me aware of something I had not noticed when crossing the bridge over the stream-too-high. Did you see the sliders? he asked. What? The sliders on the log, just past the first bridge. Oh! Well, you see, I was trying to keep the camera dry and trying to be careful where I stepped. I had missed them! What kind of a naturalist am I? The kind that went back to see those sliders still sitting on their log and not even know for sure that what the young man with the dread-locks called them was correct. It is, and they are--yellow-bellied slider turtles, that is, or if you're a purist, Trachemys scripta, "rough turtle that is marked."
Please visit Ramblingwoods.com for this week's Nature Notes/Signs of the Season post. You will be glad that you did. Let her and the other participants for this week know by dropping in and leaving a comment!