June 20, 2009
Today was the annual butterfly census here in Sewanee. Every year the North American Butterfly Association sponsors hundreds of butterfly counts across the United States, Mexico and Canada as a way of gauging changes in the butterfly population. Butterflies are considered indicator creatures — if global climate change or pollution or habitat destruction are going to have an impact on our ecology, it’s going to show up first in things like butterflies.
Anyway, this is an event that I run every year along with a colleague of Nancy’s in the University biology department. It was very hot today and there weren’t as many butterflies around as we had hoped, although we did wind up seeing thirty different species of butterfly and over 160 individual butterflies. I’m totally wiped — we start the count at about 8:30 am and finish at about 5:00 pm. We log a good twenty miles in the car and another seven or eight on foot. And it was 94 degrees here today.
Anyway, fun, tiring day. Time for a beer, me thinks.
March 6, 2008
After going on a bit yesterday about how glad I was that I no longer had a dog, I was reminded this morning that dog ownership does have its benefits. As I mentioned in my previous post, we’re caring for our friends’ dog, Violet, a medium-sized, short-haired mutt. She’s sweet as can be, but because she’s just barely out of puppyhood she has A LOT of energy. So this morning, instead of going to the gym for my usual workout, I put Violet in the car, drove out to a trailhead at the edge of the plateau, and took her on a hike.
December 16, 2007
We’re actually getting snow today! Yes, all you northerners and midwesterners, I know. You don’t want to hear about it. But down here snow has become so scarce that it’s always a treat when we get any at all. This is a very light snowfall — a faint dusting on the leaf litter in the woods around our house; a thin coat on rooftops and cars and the swingset out back. It looks beautiful.
Today’s music: “Studio 360” on NPR