The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cahaba Lilies, Pitcher Plants and George Folkerts

Saturday Bobby and I travelled to West Blocton to see the Cahaba Lilies. Nice. The annual Cahaba Lily Festival was going on, but the river and its flora was really the draw.

You can learn more about the Cahaba Lily, aka shoals lily, at Cahabalily.com where there are really nice pictures and directions on how to get to the shoals where they are in abundance and more. My pictures were made from a little bit of a distance, because I was not prepared with flip flops or old shoes to wade in, and a woman exiting the water barefoot was complaining about cut feet.

The portion of the Cahaba river that holds the most lilies is in the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge

In Sunday's paper is an article about pitcher plants and George Folkerts, former professor of mine at Auburn. I would provide a link to the story but on al.com they ask me to sign in as an archive reader or some such nonsense (the story is a current story of today's paper) to view this story.

Dr. Folkerts instilled in me an interest in ecology and preservation that still is a great part of my biology interest. There is a site dedicated to him at George Folkerts Blog , there I have found comments from people I was in school with.

One was Audrey Goins, who I used to travel to Baldwin County with to do research on pitcher plants and a mosquito species that laid eggs that hatched in the pitchers. I can't remember the species name of the mosquito, but I remember being fascinated walking through the bogs and seeing the variety of plant life and learning how the animal and insect life interacted with the plants.

Maybe I can re-connect with Audrey, she lives in Oakland California now, and is now Audrey Brichi. Email me if you see this Audrey.

There is a poem written by Dr. Folkerts on the site. Here it is ( the links were already in the poem):





LAMENT OF A FIELD BIOLOGIST


My former choice collecting spots
Are shopping center parking lots.
The meadow, once abuzz with bee
Is still now, thanks to DDT.
Shades of Rachel Carson,
Whatever will become of me


The glen where trilliums lolled in shade
And toadlets hopped, and chipmunks played,
In a watery grave has lain for years
Drowned by the Corps of Engineers.
My wild world is sinking fast,
Whatever will become of me


The marsh, a haunt of coots and rails,
Where Typha waved and wagged its tails,
Succumbed to an ignominious fate,
It's a cloverleaf on the interstate.
Nature heaves a dying breath,
Whatever will become of me


Clear birch‑edged stream with fauna rank,
With iris blue upon your bank,
Your poisoned pools I now scan,
My seine haul yields one Falstaff can.
Everything I love is gone,
Whatever will become of me


The fields are being, with great precision
Transformed into a subdivision,
The eagle falls, the lily dies,
And on the road a 'possum lies.
No doubt what will become of me,
Molecular Biology.


GEORGE W. FOLKERTS



There is also a salamander named after him, Desmognathus folkertsi, and I lifted this picture right off of the site, with apologies.

George, you and I both have gone from bog to blog and you have left a mark, a positive one, on many people. Thank you.

2 comments:

Poks said...

I just scanned through my wetland biology notes from George's class. The pitcher plant mosquito is Wyomyia smithii. -Scott Pokswinski

Joe said...

Thanks Scott. I did some work with mosquitos last summer in Jamaica...biters.

Also, I recently re-connected with Audrey who I mentioned in the post.