Saturday, August 4, 2012

golden chinquapin ~ 08/04/12 ~ Henry Cowell Redwoods



posted 08/06/12 - Chinquapin. I'm amazed at the various pronunciations of this word, just like I was surprised at how quinoa is inconsistently pronounced. The etymology of chinquapin supposedly has an Algonquian reference to chestnut.

Unfortunately, I will now always associate the word with inexplicable mass shootings. Why? On our way home from camping at Mt. Madonna on Friday, July 20, with thoughts of blogging about the pictures of chinquapins that I took there, we heard on the radio of the mass shooting in a Colorado movie theater. Then, yesterday morning Sunday, August 5, as I was about to blog on the pictures shown above, I found the news of another mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. What is wrong with people!?! Add in the current chaos in Syria, and I barely want to go online to check e-mails, blogs, or Olympics upates.

Nature is starting to cease being a comfort to me. I can't seem to bury my head in the sand deep enough. I can feel the currents of tension in the air. It is filled with sadness and grief. Chinquapin.

8 comments:

randomtruth said...

Ah, associations. For some reason whenever I hear the word chinquapin I think of that odd Jodie Foster movie, "Nell", with Liam Neeson. I think she said some word like that.

Keep going back to nature, it'll always come through. Maybe you need to go further afield? Power your wonder with a new habitat or quest.

And/or, go check out what NASA pulled off last night - it'll bring back a bit of your wow for mankind.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Thanks for your support, Ken. A new habitat is a good idea. I heard of the excitement about Curiosity on the radio. Maybe I should check it out on the web, too.

John W. Wall said...

The Curiosity story I heard on the radio choked me up. What an astounding feat of engineering. Also, if I'm going to dwell on a nutcase, I'll take a chinquapin any day.

Randy said...

Being upset by such dark sensless events is a sign of health Katie. You know you are sick when unspeakable violence does not phase you any more. Nature is alwasy a good refuge, but ultimately we all have a connection to society that we cannot deny, and it's sometimes disturbing. Good friends and timeless values are all we really have.

Jennifer said...

What a sad association to make....you will probably never look at that plant normally again!

Imperfect and tense said...

That's certainly an unfortunate pair of coincidences. I wish for you an imminent life-affirming nature encounter to lift your spirits and restore some faith in the biosphere that we share with every living thing.

Leaving the doom and gloom to one side for a while, those amazing structures in your photos are flowers, aren't they? I initially assumed that they were seed cases, along the lines of those in the Beech family, but when I zoomed in, I wasn't so sure.

I hope this missive finds you in the healing hands of Nature.

ps Just proof read my typing and realised I sound like some New Age mystic. May have to change my name to Cobweb, or some such.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Good people, all. I realized after this post that it isn't nature that's getting me down; it's getting sucked into the attention-grabbing headlines. I once was accused of being too happy at work and to tone it down. Seriously? Is sorrow more universally relatable than joy? Here's my rectification for that: http://othernatureid.blogspot.com/2012/08/online-feel-good.html

John, great pun if there ever was one.

Randy, thanks for the reminder.

Jennifer, hello, let's get together!

Graeme,those spiny golden structures are the bur-shaped fruits and the elongated, fuzzy white twigs hold the male and female flowers: http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=199. Ha, you'd fit right in here on the mystic Central CA Coast, Mr. Cobweb.

Imperfect and tense said...

Thanks for explaining. So they were fruit. I really am a dufus.