04 September 2013

It Must Be That Time

A few leaves on one of the bigleaf maples outside my window have gone yellow, and the black cottonwoods are starting to look tattered and worn. Scarecrow is starting to whine about having to sweep the leaves off the deck. We've had an amazing summer, but it won't last forever. It must be that time. Fall is on the way.

Juvenile dispersal is a big deal to biologists. Where juveniles go affects population growth, resource utilization, the genetic structure of the population, all kinds of stuff.

It must be that time. Tuffy went off to Japan. One of her friends is in the military, stationed in Hawaii (that should count as dispersal, since she's from Seattle, and in the service there's no telling where she'll wind up.) A friend's son just left for a year in France. In a few days my oldest nephew, Arkman, is leaving for 18 months in Bahrain. They'll all be doing interesting things, in interesting places. I'm looking forward to sharing their adventures; it's one of the advantages of belonging to a relentlessly verbal family.

I recently discovered that Tuffy's relentless verbosity is all Scarecrow's doing. A couple of weeks ago, pretty much by accident, I stumbled across a couple of things written by Scarecrow's fourth great-granduncle, Walter Bates. One was a narrative concerning, among other things, the early days of the revolution, "with some account of the sufferings of the loyalists." I knew that Walter's brother, William (Scarecrow's fourth great-grandfather), was a sergeant in the Queen's Rangers during the Revolutionary war. After the war, being less than welcome in the newly United States, William went to Nova Scotia, and eventually settled in Ontario. I didn't know anything about Walter, who apparently became High Sheriff of Kingston, Nova Scotia, in which capacity he wrote the concisely titled The mysterious stranger; or, Memoirs of Henry More Smith, alias Henry Frederick Moon, alias William Newman, who is now confined in Simsbury mines, in Connecticut, for the crime of of burglary: containing an acount of his confinement in the gaol of King's county, province of New-Brunswick, where he was under sentence of death : with a statement of his succeeding conduct before and since his confinement in Newgate. He also wrote some really bad poetry. Who knew? Judging from his narrative, he was a man of strongly-held opinions; another trait he seems to have bequeathed to his descendants.

Family history explains so much.


  1. My eldest brother once gave me the book Lysystrata (know for its bawdy illustrations) because he said that it 'sounded like me"'. The book went on and on and rambled to the end! (actually I never made it to the end).

    A college friend gave me a Lockhorns(?) cartoon which caption read "Loretta never says a single word. Every remark is a dozen paragraphs."

    So, then, I guess I have been called out for being loquacious.

    I say it comes from being the youngest in a family with four older brothers. I had to learn to be heard somehow.

  2. When I taught I called this the 'acorn theory,' as I saw the child replicating talents of parents and relatives.

  3. I'm imagining a cataloger commenting on that title! Fun finds.

    As it's been rainy on and off for two weeks on the island now, your count-down until Spring is a bit depressing. 194 days...