Monday, September 1, 2014

Septem means seven, so it must be the ninth month :-)

 My previous post, my last for the month of August, remains incomplete.  My title suggested I was going to write about the thinking abilities of ants, specifically their aspirations.  My actual intention was to write about "organization," exploring the pros and cons.  I saw the colony of Carpenter Ants as a model of organization.  I've been wrestling with the ideas of organization and efficiency as opposed to creativity, although they are not necessarily opposed.  I'm still not sufficiently organized to commit my thoughts to that blog post.  But I am organized enough to remember where I left them.  I shall return.

Meanwhile, I had to run an errand up Mt. Hough this afternoon.  I had to investigate what one of my friends told me was a devastating logging operation.  I braced myself for the worst.  I bought a hot tea from the Co-op to fuel the drive.  However, before I could leave town, I was distracted by the beautiful Fritillary (above).
All logging operations are ugly - unless you find them beautiful.  I must admit I was startled for a few minutes by the disappearance of various subtle landmarks that I always communed with on my drives up Mt. Hough.  I wondered if I would recognize Reinhardt Meadow, or the turnoff to the lookout.  At one point, as I was headed down hill, I thought I had missed the turnoff and was already descending to Taylorsville.  Once the initial shock wore off, I must admit I fantasized about driving some of that heavy equipment and had flashbacks to my youthful love for Tonka toys and my kids' periods of fascination with them.  Then I realized that the actual devastation wasn't nearly as bad as I had braced myself for.  I realized also that I'd become a bit possessive about Mt. Hough and might resent any alteration of my favorite stopping places.  I eased my mind into a grudging acceptance of our destructive ways of life and started looking for beauty.  That first appeared with the only remaining blooming flowers I could find, the Rabbitbrush.  I stopped to get a closer look and was pleased to find their most common visitors this time of year, the Skippers, a sort of cross between butterflies and moths.  I could stare for quite a while at that proboscis inserted into a single flower.
After that brief photo session, I headed down the mountain as quickly as I could because I had to prepare for tomorrow's classes.  When I hit the pavement, I got the overwhelming urge for one more side trip.  That was to check out one of my "milkweed spots" near my old friend Mike's former residence on Chandler Road.  The Showy Milkweed still had pods, and they were turning brown, but were not burst open yet.  I'll be back to catch some of that action.
Very close to the milkweeds were a couple of nice patches of Star Thistle.  I like to look at Star Thistle.  That doesn't mean I like to walk through it with bare legs, nor do I believe in cultivating it.  However, I do think it's beautiful and I am fascinated by its closeness to Bachelors Buttons. 

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