Pat Shingleton: "Anniversaries and Wild Flowers..."
On this date in 1925 remnants of a limestone ball shattered near Bleckenstad, Sweden. Researchers at Lund University found fossilized marine shells and particles of an animal resembling a trilobite in the debris. On April 11, 1983, a 100-pound block of ice smashed onto the pavement in Wuxi, China. “The Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible and the Ignored” reports that icefalls have been noted for hundreds of years. In the late 1700s, an elephant sized ice block fell in Seringapatam, India and in 1849 a thousand pound ice chunk clunked a farm in Ord, Scotland. Also in Scotland in 1950, 112 pounds of ice were collected in Dumbarton. In Hartford, Connecticut in 1985 a 1,500 pound sheet of ice 6 feet long crashed into a fence. Bob Fredericks was our high school biology teacher and a good one he was…Our advanced biology class included an assignment of collecting 50 species of insects and 50 different species of wild flowers. Butterfly nets were provided along with a “Ball” jar laced with formaldehyde to “prepare” the bugs. Darryl Smialek made the task easier by putting the top down on his convertible as we motored through the valleys with eight nets protruding from the car. This month, the U.S. Forest Service will release their wildflower map, identifying hundreds of locations, on national forests, for prime wildflower viewing. The map includes 317 wildflower viewing areas on National Forest System lands, referenced by state. Their website also includes more than 10,000 plant images. Another anniversary as memories resurfaced after a visit with Carlton Cremeens and Tommie Gibbens. A talent agent forwarded Carlton my credentials and he flew me out of a snowstorm in Kansas City in March, 1976 to warm, springtime weather here. He and Mr. Gibbens not only gave me a tour of Baton Rouge but parked me on a bench at L.S.U. during class change and for a single guy it was an “eye-opening” experience. We enjoyed dinner at Don’s Seafood on Airline where Carlton ordered up a tray of food that I thought was bait. It was Mr. Gibbens who first told my wife, “Mabyn, I have a weatherman coming for you!” Ironically we had never met. My first weathercast in B.R. was April 11, 1976.