kintner at nas.com
Sun Jun 3 12:01:45 PDT 2001
Did he say that the duck smiling or frowning? If so, it could be a further
clue to his observational as opposed to imaginational skills.
Aix sponsa, WODU, you're right, doesn't nest in October anywhere as far as
I know. I think, having been disturbed, that this one was just getting the
flock outta there. The only nesting activity I'm aware of in Ohio in the
fall is that stimulated among Homo sapiens by a few here and there which
dress in breeding plumage - football players, cheerleaders, that sort of thing.
Loved the review!
Jack Kintner kintner at nas.com Blaine, WA
At 11:00 AM 6/3/01 -0700, you wrote:
>I have been reading The Botany of Desire, and early on the writer Michael
>Pollan makes an observation that struck me as erroneous, perhaps careless.
>It is October in Ohio, and he is in a canoe on a river. He disturbs a wood
>duck, and the duck skitters away across the water. Chapman observes that the
>duck probably has a nest nearby and is luring the intruder/predator away
>from the nest. OK, so some birds do engage in this behavior but I did not
>believe as I read his remark that a wood duck would be nesting in October in
>Ohio, and this carelessness on the part of the author early in the book has
>made the whole work suspect. My question to you, tweeters: Do wood ducks
>nest in October in Ohio? If not nesting, would wood ducks continue to
>protect their empty nest well into autumn?
>Despite the endorsements from various plantspeople, I cannot recommend this
>book as a work of serious science reporting. It is an interesting historical
>survey of the four plants in question: the apple, tulip, marijuana, and the
>potato. It is chock full of elegant arguments regarding beauty and
>intoxication and chock full of references to dead Greeks and dead French
>people, but it is NOT, despite Dan Hinckley's assertion, The Beak of the
>Finch. It is a book by an informed and classically educated gardener who
>wonders why he likes pretty flowers so much.
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