Archive for October, 2014


October 16, 2014

Before undertaking to pursue the subject further, it should be understood words do not always express an exact meaning. For example, “Pubescent” is described as, “covered with hairs, particularly if short and soft.” “Tomentose” means, “with dense wooly pubesence.” Now, this is all very well, but the exact difference is not clear, and what one man may believe is pubescent, another may call tomentose. And here’s the rub: a key based on the assumption that words alone can express an exact meaning, and therefore can be interpreted precisely as intended, may be misleading, unless the reader knows enough of the author’s work to be able to decide how a particular word should be interpreted. This may seem farfetched, but is probably the main stumbling block in following a botanical key. Therefore take heed of this, and much disappointment will be avoided.
George W.D. Symonds

Eagle Valor, Chicken Mind

October 6, 2014


Unhappy country, what wings you have! Even here,
Nothing important to protect, and ocean-far from the nearest enemy,
what a cloud
Of bombers amazes the coast mountain, what a hornet-swarm of fighters,
And day and night the guns practicing.
Unhappy, eagle wings and beak, chicken brain,
Weep (it is frequent in human affairs), weep for the terrible magnificence
of the means.
The ridiculous incompetence of the reasons, the bloody and shabby
Pathos of the result.

Robinson Jeffers 1945