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.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Water That Moves: A Catalyst for Commotion in Motion

Fountain at Lake Ella Park in Tallahassee, 9-15-2012
You know what they say about a body in motion? It not only tends to stay in motion but could also become a catalyst for commotion. Well, that last part is not what "they" say. It's something I added. I put myself in motion this last weekend to visit Daughter in Tallahassee. There were plenty of reasons for the visit:
  1. I hadn't seen Daughter in a few weeks.
  2. It was my turn to make the 3-hour-each-way journey by car.
  3. Recent telephone conversations with Daughter have been almost as sketchy and unsatisfying as some versions of text messaging. "How u been? OK. Me 2. Wassup w/wrk? Same ol same ol. Same here. OK. Luv u. Luv u 2. Bye." (Would you believe I can't bring myself to text like that? I have to spell it all out. It can be agonizingly slow, but old writing habits are hard to break.) 
  4. A massage CEU course was being offered at Core Institute on Saturday. Interestingly, it dealt with movement--the Feldenkrais approach to it. Huh? That's what I thought when I received an e-mail from the Big Bend Chapter of FSMTA. Something massage-related I'm not familiar with and two credits for my effort and curiosity? I'm game. Count me in. Same for Daughter. Plans for the weekend? Too bad. Mom's comin' for a visit.

The trip wasn't all about serious stuff like learning. Really? You can learn a lot from a soul that's been dipped in the icy waters at Wakulla Springs. There must be something in the minerals or the constant movement of the water.

Whatever it is, someone needs to bottle it and call it "Commotion in Motion." Or maybe "Endymion Energizer."


The rising moon has hid the stars;
Her level rays, like golden bars,
Lie on the landscape green,
With shadows brown between.

And silver white the river gleams,
As if Diana, in her dreams,
Had dropt her silver bow
Upon the meadows low.

On such a tranquil night as this,
She woke Endymion with a kiss,
When, sleeping in the grove,
He dreamed not of her love.

Like Dian's kiss, unasked, unsought,
Love gives itself, but is not bought;
Nor voice, nor sound betrays
Its deep, impassioned gaze.

It comes,--the beautiful, the free,
The crown of all humanity,--
In silence and alone
To seek the elected one.

It lifts the boughs, whose shadows deep,
Are Life's oblivion, the soul's sleep,
And kisses the closed eyes
Of him, who slumbering lies

O, weary hearts! O, slumbering eyes!
O, drooping souls, whose destinies
Are fraught with fear and pain,
Ye shall be loved again!

No one is so accursed by fate,
No one so utterly desolate,
But some heart, though unknown,
Responds unto his own.

Responds,--as if with unseen wings,
An angel touched its quivering strings;
And whispers, in its song,
"Where hast thou stayed so long!"

(Henry W. Longfellow, 1807-1882)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Firebush: Native or Not? The Burning Question of Plant Miscegenation

A native (I hope) Firebush, Hamelia patens
Adam was but human--this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple's sake; he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent.  (Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar, Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson)

Gardening seems to be the net that captures much of my attention and folly, often at the same time for some reason. Since laying the blame at someone else's feet seems to be the fashion these days, in politics and elsewhere, why shouldn't I play along and try to fit in?

So, it all started years ago when I helped my parents with their vegetable garden. It was never complicated then. Plant seeds or seedlings, tend the plants to adulthood, eat them or their progeny. Consume, consume, consume! The carnage continued in later years but on a more sophisticated level within the slick pages of plant catalogues. See that beautiful plant pictured here in all of its impeccably air-brushed glory? Buy it, buy it, buy it! The more exotic the name, the better. Especially if it ended in sinensis. If the Chinese were having smashing success in their country with a certain plant, why not give it a go here in the good ol' U.S. of A.? If they can make it grow, we can make it flourish. Then I started hearing cries--very faint at first and gradually getting louder--DON'T BUY IMPORTED PLANTS! USE NATIVE PLANTS! Would I succumb to my hedonistic, Adam-ant, consumerist instincts or listen to reason?

I bought the plant pictured above at a Master Gardener plant sale earlier this year. As far as I can tell, based on this UF/IFAS article about firebush, it has orange-red flowers and hairy leaves. It must be a native firebush. Hooray! For once, I had chosen well and listened to reason. But wait...There's more.

Hamelia patens, var. glabra?

Three additional shrubs purchased a few months later at one of the big box stores and also labelled Hamelia patens joined their sister (brother? cousin?) in the garden. Only now do I discover that the blooms start out red but turn into trumpets of yellow. And--worst of all!--I finally notice that the leaves are hairless. Could it be the dreaded Hamelia patens var. glabra?

So, what's the harm in putting native and non-native firebushes together in the landscape? Could there be a possibility of plant miscegenation beginning its insidious work here, gradually corrupting the native population and confusing a bunch of pollinators? Read the article and decide for yourself. Don't believe me. I'm just a gardening fool, and I like reading, especially Pudd'nhead Wilson. Don't read it! I forbid it! You might end up liking it too.