> jumping into life.

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the professor is back down the creekbed with somebody or other, talking about some specific question they had that he didn't think worth bringing to the class's attention. we're spread out over a modest distance, going over our notes, looking at new plants. we've spent the past two hours covering about twenty yards; examining, identifying, questioning and explaining just about every single thing we come across. what's this plant? oh, it's a lupine. and what kind of leaves does it have? deciduous compound pinneate. and what kind of seed? legume, which means a single carpel holding multiple ovules and having two sutures. how does it disperse its seed? by dessicating and twisting both sutures open, scattering said ovules over an area of approximately one square foot. what's this plant? what's this bug? what's that bird? what it is eating? is this a willow or a cottonwood? how can you tell? what kind of willow? why?

slowly, we find ourselves all collecting around one tree. we haven't seen it before. it looks like it's in the rose family, alternate simple leaves, no sign of flower or fruit to help us. we spend a while trying to think of trees in the rose family that might be found in riparian areas of the ponderosa belt. botanical refernce books are referenced, much discussion discussed. after ten minutes or so, the professor ambles up to us, grouped and puzzled around the tree.

"oh that?" he says, "that there is a domesticated apple."

so don't throw your apple cores around, folks. it really confuses the hippies.

(ps: snippets of pathetic ecology humor: he was reading the package of his whoppers, and exclaimed "there's artificial ingredients in this?! i thought it was an achene!" and yes, we all laughed.)

(pps: i'm amazed at how quickly my dork-transformation has taken place. i mean, clearly all the pieces were there to begin with, and certainly i've been on some level of dorkitude for probably most of my life, but really, i think it's getting out of hand. please, let me know if you get too bored, and i'll change the subject.)