Thursday, April 27, 2006

William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats is one of my favorite poets. Perhaps my favorite poet. I think it is because of the images he creates in my mind.

I would say that the following is perhaps my favorite poem by him:

Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

William Butler Yeats

Viola hastata. Commonly referred to as the Halbeardleaf yellow violet. Photographed by Thomas on 04/15/06.

Dreams, like spring woodland flowers, can and often are fleeting.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Jewels and Love

Erythronium americanum. Commonly referred to as the yellow Trout Lily.

Some of my favorite jewels are not necessarily of the type measured on a hardness scale.

Some of my favorite jewels are those in the plant kingdom.

When I originally embarked on a career in the natural sciences, I thought about becoming a botanist. No doubt my love of the plant kingdom would have served me well in this profession. However, I thought, that perhaps my love of plants would hinder me more than serve me in this aspect.

You see, plants for me have been an escape from the outside world and whatever ails me. I find great joy in examining the structures of a flower as well as picking up a botany book to read before falling asleep. I could never see this joy ever as work and I would not want to. I feared that if I chose this path as my profession, someday, the boundaries between work and love would be blurred. Since I hold plants as a joy, I would never want to ever see them as something I had to do. I wanted to make sure that they would always be my respite from the outside world. I wanted to make sure that plants would always stay my escape. I wanted to be selfish and reclusive. I never wanted to impose work on my love and my escape.

Scilla siberica. Commonly referred to as Siberian squill.

I do not regret my decision about not persuing botany as a profession. Although sometimes I do wonder about the paths not taken.

However, when trekking through the woods this past weekend, I found myself delighted in finding spaghnum moss growing in a bog and finding a field of skunk cabbage. In this delight, I found myself so lost in this that there was no more outside world. Nothing else existed, and most importantly, nothing else mattered.

Thus, in my decision, I have found a world where only beauty exists...

Sanguinaria canadensis. Commonly referred to as the Bloodroot.

The pictures in this post was taken during the expedition on 04/15/06. Thanks goes to Thomas for his mastery of the camera lens. Can you find the tiny jumping spider in the purple flower (Siberian squill)?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

There is No Place Like Home...

The above spring peeper was a rather bold and cooperative photography subject due to the fact that it was busy calling for a mate. This spring peeper was photographed at North Chagrin Reservation at night on 04/15/06. Please click on the photos for a better closeup!

Although I am still feeling melancholy from my trip to San Francisco, I have discovered something else. This weekend I was very fortunate to be reminded of the fact that to find adventure and magic, sometimes all you have to do is look in your own "backyard" so to speak.

So, I was gently lead through an expedition of various woods and bogs. To my complete amazement, I discovered and rediscovered things that gave me the sense that I was completely separated from the outside world. A spell was cast and all that existed was complete and utter enchantment. I easily and willingly fell under this spell.

The spell consisted of bog plants, moss, woodland flowers, shy reptiles, blue heron, an assortment of woodpeckers, very friendly chickadees, and singing amphibians.

There is beauty in loneliness...

Thanks to Thomas for his usual photographic expertise, his extensive knowledge, and his willingness to be a guide.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


The above picture was taken at Muir Woods. I came across this area of Muir Woods where all these trees were covered in this wonderful moss. It was rather enchanting and even magical to behold. It is my favorite picture from my trip to San Francisco.

For the past week since I have returned back from San Francisco, my thoughts repeatedly wonder back there.

I never would have thought a place would have such an effect on me. San Francisco is a city filled with such vibrancy and serenity. Truly a dichotomy.

I have to confess, that right now, I have a touch of melancholy in that I am longing to be back there right now.

I long to visit the places I did not get the chance to see as well as revisit the places I did see.

I think I left a part of myself back there.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Guilty Pleasure

The famous Golden Gate Bridge

Muir Woods
Sequoia sempervirens (commonly referred to as the Coast Redwood)

Katie at Fisherman's Wharf

I have returned from San Francisco! Reluctantly!

I attended the Centennial Celebration and conference of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

It was delightful! The talks were really great as well as the poster presentations. I adored all the sights and sounds of this west coast city.

It was wonderful to be immersed in this scientific community. It was also great to be away from the bench for a while. Although I do feel a bit guilty for being away.

The San Francisco Symphony was really a true treasure to behold and hear.

I am very grateful to ASBMB for thinking that my research was worthy enough of the wonderful award and opportunity to travel!

Yes, this has been my guilty pleasure!
my pet! Locations of visitors to this page