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The Blakeley Blog

The Blakeley Blog is a forum for discussion and discovery of the incredible natural and cultural treasures found at Historic Blakeley State Park.

Many of the poems in the Blakeley Blog by Sue Walker appeared in an earlier version in In The Realm of Rivers, published by NewSouth Press in Montgomery Alabama.

  
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ALPHABETICAL ACCLAIM FOR BLAKELEY STATE PARK: A LEXICON


Absolutely Astounding. Amazing. Alabama's Acclaimed

Blakeley State Park, in the heart of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, this

Comely, cosmotellurian, 1 catholicon 2 celestial chorus, this

Delightful domain of crappie, crow, crocodile, copperhead, cottonmouth, coral snake, coachwhip, William Bartram's favorite species snake, “as innocent as a worm, and almost tame.”

Eagle and egret. Et Hoc Genus Omne. 3

Fiddle-de-dee,” as Miss Scarlett would say, but let's turn to music, to the fly and bumble bee. 4

Gracious Goodness! Get your galoshes on. Even if puddles are on the ground, tour Blakeley,

Hill or hummock—Hi-Ho, Hi Ho. Come on, let's go

Investigate this “small miracle” of land that E.O. Wilson calls a “sanctuary of nature and spirit.” 5

Jactancy 6 is in! Boast and brag. To know this Delta, its history and habitants is to give life value.

Kerlarap, cavort, play. Kaloo Kalay, Oh joyous day! 7

Listen. Is that a loon yodeling? Look. Can you see it?

Meander over to Mound Island with its 18 mounds that rise majestically out of the swamp. 8

Notice now, how in this scrapbook of earth, the press of a deer ' s fleet foot near a fallen leaf.

Observe the Pseudemys Alabamensis, the red-bellied turtle; his real estate, his house, is not for sale.

Pause and imagine how it was in July, 1775 when William Bartram set out in a light canoe and named the flora and fauna. “ What a sylvan scene is here, ” he said.

Quawk. The night heron calls. Such quiddity! 9

Remarkable, the grandeur that is here in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. E.O. Wilson says it is “ not Just a place. It is a living, dynamical system. All of the Delta is alive. . . . 10

Save them, the black bears. Let them sleep warm in winter, secure that the Delta is where they ought to be. Save black bears from extinction.

Two-thirds of the Tensaw River received the highest protective designation by the unanimous vote of the Alabama Environmental Management Commission in 1998.

Understanding Nature, understanding the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, is an aspect of deep ecology that leads to an understanding of the self.

Venture into the sixteen-mile water route that stretches along the Tensaw River. Travel by double-ender or light canoe.

What joy! Why wait? “ Nae man can tether time or tide, ” wrote the poet, Robert Burns. Although the Delta has been around more than 124,00 years, we do not have such a span of time. Now is the hour.

Xenophanes, the philosopher, said that “ better than the strength of men and horses is our wisdom. ” To study Nature is to grow wise. It is our great teacher.

Yes, yesterday is over and gone. Let us say “ Yes to tomorrow and to 2017.

Zwetschenwasser 11 – a double plum brandy to celebrate the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and the Baby New Year.

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1. catholicom This word means relating to or affecting the earth and sky—think Blakeley.

2. Catholicon is a cure-all – or panacea, a remedy for boredom or the blues. Go to Blakeley State Park.

3. Et Hoc Genus Omne is a phrase that means “And all that sort of thing,” so why use, etc?

4. Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind – but better still, the music of J.W. Elliott:

Fiddle-de-dee, Fiddle-de-dee, 
The Fly has married the Bumble Bee, 
Says the fly, says he, 
"Will you marry me? 
And live with me, sweet Bumble Bee?" 
Fiddle-de-dee, Fiddle-de-dee, 
Oh, I love you, and you love me!

5. From the “Foreword” by Edward O. Wilson, world-renowned entomologist, in In the Realm of Rivers: Alabama's Mobile-Tensaw Delta by Sue Walker and Dennis Holt. Published by NewSouth Press.

6. Jactancy is to brag and boast. Have at it!

7. Kerlarap means to cavort or play, but the word resonates in “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll, but spell Callooh Callay with a K as is our wont.

8. The Bottle Creek Indian mounds were where the Mississippian Indians lived from 1250-1550. They were ceremonial sites, but also served as protective high land during the Delta's spring floods. Jean-Baptiste Le Moyde de Bienville once visited this sacred territory.

9. Quiddity is the essence of something, the whatness of it – or maybe a trifling nicety. Yet one might say, like Peter Bowler that the quiddity of a quiddity is its quirkish, quizzical, quibbling quaintness.

10. From Wilson's “Foreword” to In the Realm of Rivers.

11. Zwetschenwasser – a double brandy to celebrate the Mobile-Tensaw Delta – and 2017.




 

 

 

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