Meaningful Migrations: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail 51

Take a moment to listen to William Bartram’s account of migratory birds, between Philadelphia and Georgia, as observed by him 250 years ago.

*

Silhouette of Mallard Mother in the Rain

Silhouette of Mallard Mother in the Rain, Augusta, GA: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail

250 Years Ago…

250 years ago a man migrated south from Philadelphia. His was The Migration of his life, and his account of this migration, Travels, would shape the literature about Nature, the poets of his time, the settlement of the Southeast, and the names of plants growing in the Southeastern United States, forevermore.

Native Azalea, Oconee Forest, Athens GA: From Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail.

Native Azalea, Oconee Forest, Athens GA: From Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail.

250 Years Later….

250 years later, I found one of the migratory birds mentioned begging for food in Philadelphia. Quite fearlessly, a mallard couple introduced themselves to me and my beloved on the Philadelphia piers in May. Whether they had recently arrived from a more Southern climate they couldn’t say.

Philly Mallard Couple: Philadelphia Piers: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail

Philly Mallard Couple: Philadelphia Piers: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail

Migrating in the Footsteps of a Giant…

You see, I have traveled in the footsteps of a giant, William Bartram, for 3 years now. My migration has not perhaps been as exciting, however, I have run into alligators, South American Vultures, and entered into the Okefenoqua Swamp in Search of the Daughters of the Sun. Recently Alligators swarming has been captured on video, proving Bartram’s account of the same to be true, and King Vultures have been found in the fossil record in Florida.

South American Vultures, outside Charleston, SC in Birds of Prey Center: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail

South American Vultures, outside Charleston, SC in Birds of Prey Center: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail

Diving and Re-Emerging…

Sadly, the Florida aquifer has been depleted, so the great fountain that inspired Coleridge in an Opium Dream while reading Travels is a mere upwelling of water, however, colorful fish dive into the opening and re-emerge still.

Fish in Crevice, Florida Spring: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail

Fish in Crevice, Florida Spring: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail

Ubiquitous Philly Mallards…

Yet leave it to the lowly Mallard Duck, common, ubiquitous, and always begging for stale bread, to connect the wildlife of the Southeast to the wildlife of Bartram’s hometown, Philadelphia.

Mallards Flying, Philadelphia Piers: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail.

Mallards Flying, Philadelphia Piers: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail.

Metropolis of Georgia Mallard Mother…

Here’s a Mallard Family in Bartram’s Great Metropolis of Georgia, Augusta, hanging around and posing for the camera in the hopes of a hand out….

Mallard Mother, Rainy Day in Augusta, GA: Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail

Mallard Mother, Rainy Day in Augusta, GA: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail

 

Finally, here is a Possible Perception of Mallard Mother and her brood, taken from the image above. I have to say, the computer doesn’t do this image any favors, so please come and check out the print at my show at the Botanical Gardens Fall of 2015!

Mallard Mother, by Beth Thompson, Possible Perception Series

Mallard Mother, by Beth Thompson, Possible Perception Series

 

 

This entry was posted in Beth's Travels. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please do some math! to leave a comment. *