per·i·pa·tet·ic
ˌperēpəˈtedik/
adjective
  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.
    Aristotelian.
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Just Stopping By--Dead Man's Sink and Monarch Butterflies

Monarch butterflies on Baccharis halimifolia (salt-marsh elder aka Consumption Weed)

Secret Aging Man (SAM) and I both agreed on Saturday morning that we were ready for a change of scenery. How about the Aucilla River Sinks Trail? I had received a forwarded e-mail from someone earlier in the week. It promoted an upcoming field trip to this place, known for its abundance of wildflowers and unusual geologic features. Perfect for us! we thought--that is, until we met the man in the cherry-red truck.


Josh, he said his name was, and, now that I think about it, I don't think the name was a coincidence. We were lost, you see, having driven down dusty back roads for the better part of three hours. The map we had printed from an Internet site was pathetic, and the Suwannee Water Management District signs weren't very helpful either. True to our low-tech nature, we didn't have a GPS device on hand to direct our course and pinpoint our destination. Enter Josh, the man in the truck. Ya'll aren't from around here. Plannin' to drive that car down these here roads? Why yes, we're looking for this trail, you see, and we've been driving down these roads for a while now, looking for it...

Monarch butterflies not too proud to share the feast with some Common Buckeyes

He told SAM to pull up behind him just past the intersection of two more dusty roads. They both got out of the vehicles, he proceeded to introduce himself and his "wife" (who looked about 14 years old, according to SAM), and then he gestured in the direction of one part of the trail. The men walked several yards in that direction, and I missed most of the rest of their conversation while I waited in the car. I did hear something about Dead Man's Sink, people never being seen again after straying too far from the main road, and this here bein' drug runnin' country. By the time SAM made it back to the car, I had already made up my mind. Let's skip the Sinks Trail and go to St. Mark's National Wildlife Refuge instead.


We were both glad we did, because the Monarch butterflies were just stopping by on the way to Mexico, and the Muhly grass was showing off its pretty pink fluffiness all over the place.
Muhlenbergia capillaris seen at St. Mark's NWR

After driving around for hours, a walk was just what we needed. It was a sunny and very windy afternoon. Unlike Maria in James Joyce's story "Clay" (Dubliners), by the time we were ready to go home I wasn't "coloured with shame and vexation and disappointment" for having lost something because of confusion--plumcake in her case, time in ours. My cheeks were almost as rosy as Muhly grass from the sun, the wind...

Love is...a blind--for bird watchers

and the afternoon's adventure shared with my cohort in confusion.

SAM and Walk2Write on a trail at St. Mark's National Wildlife Refuge


(I dreamt that I dwelt in marble halls...But I also dreamt, which pleased me most, That you loved me still the same...)

17 comments:

  1. A spooky Halloween story? Or reality road running in Florida? In any case it sounded like fun. Here with the Troutbirders sans the GPS an arguement might have broken out..... :)

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  2. I think you made the right decision and high-tailed it out of that area!
    I always wanted to the flight of the Monarchs.....we have a few dropping by here in Nova Scotia in the summer but never of course in the numbers that you would see.
    'St.Marks' looks like a wonderful place to visit.......the flora is so different from here.
    Oh yes, I really like your header!

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  3. Looks like winter up there. Fun adventure. Who you meet is just as intriguing as what you see.

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  4. You two look so happy out in that lovely breezy air. Glad you found that better place to explore!St. Marks is just gorgeous! I remember we had found a little shanty on the water there and they had Crabby Patties like on Spongebob...but they were made of crab...not hamburger.

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  5. So you ended up settling down at the right place.Good for you!
    I don't think I've seen Muhly grass. They look lovely.
    Speaking of monarch butterflies, I remember seeing the picture of them clustering at coastal eucalyptus groves. They migrate to warmer places spending winter season there, right?
    I like celtic women. Thank you for the beautiful video.
    Have a nice week,W2W.

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  6. Hi Walk2write

    So u met ur butterflies again? anyway the trip was a wonderful one rite? good that u chose another destination instead of the one in ur initial plan

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  7. Hi

    Anyway I'm glad to know that you came back home SAFE!! I have never seen Monarch butterflies. They look great! And thank you for the youtube video. It is a nice song. Celtic Woman has many fans in our country too.

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  8. I love those "lost" adventures! Funny how they always end up a bit strange, though. We've had so many of those kind of road trips I've lost count. But finding the butterflies where you went to boot (Making a change can be good too!) was a bonus.

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  9. Dear Walk2Write,
    thank you for those beautiful pictures and the post! To change plans is a wise decision when something else doesn't work out - and see: you got those beautiful butterflies! (I haven't seen them in real life here). I read just at the moment of another person called 'Josh' - do you know "Letters of a fainthearted Feminist" by Jill Tweedy? Her man Josh is posh - but also not very trustworthy :-)

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  10. omg! Those photos are breathtaking! I love that one of the Muhly grass, and you know, I don't have a GPS either. What's wrong with asking for directions? You get the best stories that way!

    I also didn't know Monarch butterflies migrated!!! Can you believe I didn't know that til I had kids? Craziness. But they're gorgeous. Thanks for sharing~ :o) <3

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  11. Thanks for commenting, everyone! We didn't go hiking this past weekend so no new pics or stories to post in that regard. I've been reading an interesting book about nutrition for the past couple of days. After taking a look at myself in that last pic, I've been giving some serious thought to the subject. Holiday feasts coming up, oh boy!

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  12. That muhly is beautiful. So soft and shiny and fluffy. Absolutely gorgeous. Wow on the monarchs. Glad you guys found your way around. Are you going to go to Asheville for the Spring Fling? There is planning in the works for it and the dates are 18-20 May. Not sure if I'll go or not.

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  13. I'd love to go, Tina, but we're planning a trip back home sometime in the spring. Wanted to go this Christmas but would rather visit the Midwest in springtime instead of winter for some reason:)

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  14. Hi W2W .. what a drama .. getting lost - but then finding those amazing views and butterflies .. and that grass .. just lovely. Bet Josh is still living off the story ..

    It would be interesting to know more about the first park though .. sounds intriguing ...

    Cheers - Hilary

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  15. Miss Hilary, I think you're right about Josh. I'm sure he had a good laugh at our expense. Something to share with his buddies at the local watering hole. I would like to visit the first place again but with a large group of people:)

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  16. Hi W2W .. those sink holes are amazing and that park area .. or trail area .. fascinating description and views they had. No wonder it's called Dead Man's Sink Holes ... can understand now ...

    I can see why you'd like a few people around .. I'd like Jake the dog to be there!!

    I posted about Turkeys - not sure if you saw this one .. but if not the Sink Hole park reminded me of the north Florida Everglades - that I have no knowledge of - but saw this tv programme that so enthralled me I had to write a post: http://positiveletters.blogspot.com/2011/08/lets-talk-turkey.html

    There's also another one of the pythons that have escaped into the Everglades and how they've adapted and multiplied ..

    Thanks for commenting on Neroli Oil, and the two Emily Hobhouse and Oxford posts of mine recently .. lovely to have your thoughts .. cheers Hilary

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