I suppose before there were Barnes & Nobles with nifty identifying books and prior to when Al Gore invented the Internet, we had to rely on our parents, grandparents and teachers to tell us the names of things. Now, Google can help us put names the creatures in the world around us.
That is, if you believe everything you read on the Internet.
Giving a name to an animal, a bug or a plant is the beginning of knowing the nature of that animal, bug or plant. When you can name it, you can refer to IT, add to your library of information about IT. It provides a pinpoint reference for what IT is. You can explain IT to others and feel on a first-name familiarity with IT. IT becomes a part of you.
At least, that’s what I think.
In the seven years we’ve lived here on this property (about 21 or so acres), I’ve made some on-again, off-again efforts at putting names to things. Now, with my nifty new camera by my side, I can photograph IT and then do research to identify IT that doesn’t have to rely on my aging memory.
And with this nifty new blog, I can check to make sure that I’m not off track about what IT is. I can ask people like Ruthie to help! Or maybe even Julie, the uber-naturalist, would drop by and straighten me out!
Out here in the country, the farmers give their own names to things. For example, Farmer Rudy, who tends our hay field, calls some of the vines in our trees monkey vines. Now, a quick Google search tells me that there are, indeed, some plants called monkey vines. But the vines he’s referring to have little or nothing to do with the monkey vines mentioned on Google.
So just what ARE those darned monkey vines?
Similarly, the locals call these beautiful, wild flowers that twine up high through the trees trumpet flowers, no doubt because of their trumpet-like shape.
Mystery Flower Identified – Trumpet Vine (Thanks Carol and Ruthie for the ID!)
But IS this a trumpet flower? We have dozens of them, providing bright spots of color in the foliage in the hot months of August.
Now, I’ve already threatened to have my own little butterfly gallery. So here are two more candidates.
Mystery butterfly #1
I’m pretty sure this is a butterfly and not a moth because of the knobby ends on his antennae. He’s a small, light green fellow. There are many of his mates that hang out with him at our butterfly bush–an aptly named bush if I ever met one.
Cabbage White Butterfly (Thanks Ruthie for the ID)
Similarly, this little white butterfly sporting the black spot is plentiful here at the Bumblebee Garden. I consider myself fortunate to have captured his image because they are usually flitting around rapidly, seldom landing for very long.
Cabbage White Butterfly
Not, I actually DO know the names of some things here at the Bumblebee Garden.
For example, I know that the box turtles around here are generally Eastern box turtles.
Eastern Box Turtle
One of the things I love about living out here is how people have respect for turtles. After a rain, it is not unusual to see dozens of turtles slowly crossing the road. People invariably drive around them. And it is not a rare scene to see someone stop a car and gently move a turtle off to the side. In fact, I have NEVER seen a squished box turtle. And there is PLENTY of other road kill around here.
Finally, I definitely know about these wild creatures.
They may look like tender fluffs of fur, but these animals are FIERCE. I just have to say the word “deer” in a normal tone of voice and they are on TRIPLE HIGH ALERT, darting from window to window, ready to stalk and chase down the offending creature. When I open the door, they RACE out and chase down the deer–at least until they hit the edge of the woods. They do not do woods.
They also know “squirrel,” “bird” and anything that begins with “Is that a…”
So there you go.
Anyone who wants to help advance my naturalist education, chime right in and give me the name for IT!