Thursday, 23 September 2010

Wren, unimpressed

Hello. I've been a bit quiet lately not least because my camera has disappeared off the planet, the computer's been playing up and anyway, even when it works I can't seem to get near it these days for kids doing homework and facebooking, frequently at the same time.  But a window of opportunity has appeared so... with apologies to proper poets.....

Fun and games with terrific scientific names,
can while away the airport hours
waiting for that bloody plane.
Take this.
Troglodytes troglodytes.
Who came up with that one then?
Its just absurd for the smallest bird,
with the shortest name in English, wren.
Must have been some English men
who chanced to choose a country boozer
with a dingy cellar
as inspiration for 
Cave-dweller cave-dweller.

On the other hand
they sometimes can
encapsulate within a name,
the very essence of the beast.
Take one, which loves to feast
on blood and which we like the least,
for starters.
Culicoides impunctatus,
aka, the Highland Midge
is but a smidge of life
yet generates such strife.
But the name itself is worth a smile,
and that was probably the plan.
It means, so says an Oxford Don, a man
of latin and of greek,
'wee puncturing bastard'
with delightful tongue in cheek.

One final note to end this verse
before it gets much worse.
The hoopoe's Upupa
is really rather super
and my favourite fish
Boops boops is even greater
but the latin name to end all names?
Gasteruption jaculator.

Luckily the flight departure was announced at this point - just as well....
I promise something deep and meaningful next time.

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