Archive for December, 2011
There is a purple martin house in a pretty little copse next to the parking lot I use south of the Library and Life Sciences building. I had a feeling I was being watched as I walked past earlier this week.
I moved around the structure until the curious occupant took a look to see if I was going to climb up to eat him. I decided against it.
Urban landscapes with active wildlife show a level of health that users may not regularly recognize, but is important. The turtles in the pond under the bridge to the large student parking lot south of my lot, the birds that hop in the fountain on the southwest corner of the Central Library, squirrels that ignore food from people because there is so much indigenous food, they’re welcome signs that the percent of lawn and trees, when compared to the amount of concrete and buildings, sustain an environment for these small animals. I watch people along with the wildlife, and am glad to regularly see individuals walking up the hill from the parking areas pause to watch the antics of a squirrel or grackles in the fountain.
In summer when there were concrete benches under the trees near University Hall one could see these squirrels spread eagle on the cool concrete, dissipating heat from their bodies through their torsos and the membranes at their armpit and groin areas. In fall you can pick up pecans on the lawn of the Library Mall and generate high-pitched scolds from the squirrels that are dropping the nuts from those trees. This isn’t random noise unrelated to you, you’re interacting with that tiny individual.
There’s a lot of life on campus, and I predict that with the advent of the community gardens more wildlife, with an adverse effect, may arrive. Here’s hoping resourceful gardeners can set up the gardens and its defenses in a way that don’t harm the beneficial wildlife while still finding a way to exclude the interlopers. The many facets of companion planting are useful in this. And have-a-heart traps. As with the squirrel above, wildlife doesn’t always live in the places we would wish them to (or not.)
The last Friends of the UTA Library meeting for 2011 will be on December 2, when folksinger Jed Marum performs forthe group. This meeting begins at 7:30pm in the Central Library sixth floor atrium. The library is located at 702 Planetarium Place.
Jed Marum was born in Massachusetts and until his early-30s spent his days working in construction and excavation and his evenings playing in bars and coffeehouses. For a number of years he dropped music and switched to IT work in both the airline and telecom industries, but at age 48 reversed course, picked up music again, and “I quit the day job in January of 2000 and I have earned my living at performing music ever since.”
He performs in Celtic or Folk/Bluegrass festivals (appearing for many years in Arlington at the North Texas Scottish Festival) and concert venues around the US. He has done “a little bit of TV and lot of radio” and has licensed songs and recordings to film and television productions playing to international markets on PBS, cable channels and in theaters. He produced and released nine albums on Boston Road Records and his music is published through Weston Grand Arts in association with ASCAP.
Marum’s album Cross Over The River: A Confederate Collection won the Traditional/Folk Album of the Year Award in the JP Folk Awards program in 2009. The album is a collection of true stories from history in song, as retold from the points-of-view of the American and Irish Americans who fought and reflects a true and South positive image throughout. His latest album is Rejoice!: A Christmas Album, released in November, 2011.
This meeting fills up early, so email or call Tommie Wingfield to hold a seat for you: firstname.lastname@example.org or 817-272-2658.