One of the few wildflowers I haven’t had to relearn since childhood

The Commander was always going on and on about flowers and things, or so it seemed. Her brother (my uncle Austin) was a naturalist and she once told me she had wished one of her children would inherit his particular kind of talent. I’m not sure if she was remembering that he put dead owls and things in the family freezer or not.

Alas, it was not to be. Both of her children had many interests. The Engineer knew just about every automotive vee-hickle on the road at about age 3. Yer fav-o-rite blahgger was fascinated by flutes. How did all of those keys and mechanisms work, anyway? My brother and I were both good musicians in our day and we had many other interests and talents but we made our living in what people now call STEM fields. No owls in the freezer. The Comm did luck out with her son-in-law, as the GG has been known to put dead birds in the moomincabin freezer, right next to his tick collection. But he is only an amateur naturalist.

We were not always very polite when The Comm dramatically exclaimed over some beautiful specimen or vista or whatever. Once on a spring trip to Detroit there were so many of these exclamations that I finally said, “Look at the crooked barn door!” That sent me and the Engineer into huge gales of laughter for many miles. No, it doesn’t take much.

Needless to say, many plants and wildflowers were pointed out to me when I was a beach urchin. One of the few that I can actually recognize after all those years is Dutchman’s Breeches. I have had to relearn many others. Spring Beauty, Trout Lilly Lily, Trillium, Blood Root, and more. In all fairness, not all of these were in *our* woods when I was a kid, although I have seen at least some of them in other yooperland forests. So maybe I am actually learning some of them for the first time.

Then again, maybe the “naturalist DNA” skipped a generation (or more) because my mouse is intensely interested in plants and knows a lot about them, hence a lot of my new-found knowledge about spring wildflowers in the Great Lake State. Where did that interest come from for my child and my uncle. Were there other naturalists amongst our ancestors? Or is it simply an individual trait based on the infinite possibilities that recombinant DNA allows, a synergy of genetic material percolating within a person living in particular circumstances in a particular time.

P.S. That last paragraph is not about Mouse, just baggy old KW ruminations about life, the universe, and everything.

One Response to “One of the few wildflowers I haven’t had to relearn since childhood”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I’m very interested in plants and flowers but don’t know much about them. Both my girls are talented at things I don’t know how to do: athletics, canning, crocheting, art, etc. I do think that gifts sometimes skip a generation (or more), and that knowledge/expertise grows out of a curiosity or intense interest in something.