Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Monday, July 27, 2015
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Part II coming after dinner.
Friday, July 24, 2015
We were on our way down from the summit, heading to a place in the woods where we had parked. It was getting late, and we were beginning to get back into "check your watch" mode, when I saw this pretty little plant at my feet. We had hiked downhill about a half mile from the peak where we had eaten lunch. I bent down to consider a taking a photo, when I remembered that I already had decent photos of this species in my files. Suddenly, I realized my camera was not around my neck, and not in my backpack. I had left it hanging from a tree branch where we had lunch. As the kids say these days, OMG!!! Had to make a quick decision. We really needed to get back to town, but I couldn't leave my camera there. I contemplated going home, then making a quick trip back up there to get the camera, but knew that if I left it there overnight it might have been a goner. So, I left Joan and her dog by the Wintergreen, and quick-stepped my way back to the peak to get my camera and returned to continue our descent. If we'd gotten back to the car before making this discovery, it just might have been too late and too far to consider going back to get it. So, that's how this Wintergreen saved my camera, just by being there.
By the way, the Ericaceae are variously known as the Wintergreen Family, the Heath Family, and other names, and contain such unlikely members as Manzanita, Madrone, Pinedrops, Snow Plant and Prince's Pine.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
If the "sixth extinction" is well underway, as we are told, what will naturalists do when there's no more wilderness or places that can be called natural? That is, assuming humans are still able to survive for a while. Watching (even while trying not to) the tune-ups for the Republican primaries has given me some ideas. For example, types like that jackass named Donald are clearly over-specialized and are probably on their way to extinction like the Irish Elk and the Dodo. They may be having "their day in the sun," but the evidence seems to indicate they're getting too much sun. In a possibly viable substitute for studying mimicry, which has always been one of my favorite subjects within ecology, we have the spectacle of Senator Graham mimicking the behavior of the Donald by making videos of himself destroying his cell phone. Is there something wrong with me for being totally uninterested in watching such a spectacle? Is there something wrong with me for worrying that millions of people actually are interested in watching such things? I guess when there are no more Rattlesnakes to watch, nor Gopher Snakes to mimic Rattlesnake behavior, and no more Monarch Butterflies or Viceroys to mimic them, I'll have to decide whether to keep blogging based on my photo archives or start watching and writing about the new unNatural History and call myself an unNaturalist.