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Re: [aroid-l] Symplocarpus

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Symplocarpus
  • From: "G. D. M." <doji@interpac.net>
  • Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2004 09:50:45 -1000

I could not agree more with Julius.  More descriptions of this sort would be
most welcome.

Thank you, Gary

> >Dear Rand,
> What a wonderful story!   Do you write professionally?   I can not tell
> how much I enjoyed this oh-too-short tale!   Do you know from where the
> words you were taught by the old ones are derived?   Would 'hoosey' be a
> sort of tiny house??   From the Scotts??
> Thanks so much for sharing this with us!
> Sincerely,
> Julius Boos
> WPB,
> Thanks to Peter, Petra, Don and all who replied to my question on growing
> Skunk Cabbage.
> >
> >Most observations pretty much match mine, here in Eastern Canada, where
> >Symplocarpus foetidus grows natively. The driest I have personally seen
> >skunk cabbage growing and thriving was, perhaps, three feet above the
> >summer water level of a riparian intervale on the Saint John River in New
> >Brunswick, Canada and this subject to inundation by spring freshets each
> >year. S. foetidus is not nearly as abundant as it used to be in this
> >with the draining of wetlands, swamps and fens, but, with some effort, it
> >still may be observed in the wild, though I have not had the opportunity
> >see it for years.
> >
> >As a child I was struck by this plant that would burn its way through
> >ice in late winter and early spring to form its "faerie hooseys", which
> >were warm to the touch and usually inhabited by a bug or beetle or so
> >very occasionally, a tiny green peeper when they were not to be found
> >elsewhere. These little melt circles, sometimes numbering in the hundreds
> >alongside a slough or pond, certainly did seem to be magical places in
> >eyes of myself and my young friends. But then, we had help ...
> >
> >The Old Folks had it that these tenants "slept" the winter at the roots
> >the skunk cabbage and "woke up" when the plant thawed the ground around
> >and bloomed. Of course, the custodian faeries stoked little fires to keep
> >the plant warm and husbanded the accompanying creatures on their wee
> >These particular faeries, in these special places, made the magic of
> >hearing", fashioned and spun from the fabric of breezes caught in the
> >of their houses - a lesson for children - If you stood very still, you
> >could hear all the small, wild noises made by every living thing
> >and distinctively from each other. Then you would know their names, which
> >was very important: the wind carried names, yours as well, near and far.
> >had to be careful where we walked and try not to damage any of the plants
> >or the faeries could bring us bad luck. And, we would not want the wind
> >speak ill of us.
> >
> >This made certain sense to me then and I may still believe some of it
> >today. I wonder: Are there any scientific observations on microclimates
> >created by Symplocarpus that compare with the Old Folks' lore? Aside from
> >the increasingly homeless faeries, of course.
> >
> >Rand
> >
> >
> >--
> >Rand Nicholson
> >Zone 5b Eastern Maritime Canada
> _________________________________________________________________
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