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The Little Review
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Poem for Monday


Afton Water
By Robert Burns


Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

Thou stock-dove whose echo resounds through the glen,
Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,
Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear,
I charge you disturb not my slumbering fair.

How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighboring hills,
Far marked with the courses of clear winding rills;
There daily I wander as noon rises high,
My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye.

How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,
Where wild in the woodlands the primroses blow;
There oft as mild evening weeps over the lea,
The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.

Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
And winds by the cot where my Mary resides;
How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
As gathering sweet flowerets she stems thy clear wave.

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dreams.

--------

Today in between the first day of Hebrew school and the first soccer practice after the disastrous game yesterday in which my son's team, robbed of all its best players from last year who moved on to the more aggressive county select teams, lost badly, we went to the butterfly garden at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton Regional Park. It's the second-to-last weekend so we figured we had better get there while we could. It's just so relaxing to stand with all those wings fluttering around you in near-silence -- most of the conversation is kids proving to their parents that they know more about chrysalises and butterflies than the adults know (mine certainly do) and there are many amateur photographers comparing notes on how best to photograph the very quick postman and tiger longwing.

Since it was a spectacularly beautiful day, we then went for a walk in the outdoor gardens, where there are fewer geese this year and the ponds seem to have become very overgrown. This is bad in some ways, as the water is thick with scum and algae, but good in others, because the turtles, frogs and fish were all easily visible just under the surface in the middle of all the plants. We must have seen ten turtles in one spot by the Japanese garden. We had to get home for soccer practice so we didn't get to go to the nature center but we saw plenty of wildlife out in the gardens. And the Redskins won their opening game, whoo!


A swallowtail and a black and tan butterfly enjoying the flowers at Brookside Gardens.


Warning: these two photos contain sex! Here a pair of crimson-patched butterflies get it on...


And a pair of viceroys (I have been assured that they are not monarchs, though I can't tell them apart myself) do the flutter-and-grind.


A blue cracker sits on the case above a row of cocoons.


These tawny owl butterflies had just emerged. They hung onto their cocoons for awhile, then tested their legs and eventually flew away.


This sara's longwing butterfly has amazing color.


But this is everyone's favorite thing about the exhibit...the butterflies come and land on you!
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My internet flaked out in the morning and we completely lost power for awhile in the evening -- now the house smells really good because I did not bother to blow out all the candles I lit when we had no electric lights. When my computer was working, I installed the new version of Netscape which is so much like Firefox that it makes me happy even though I'll probably rarely use it. Then I installed Thunderbird, as I have been looking for an Outlook replacement for a long time and this one seems so much more user-friendly (and similar to what I'm used to in Outlook, plus easier to import things) than Eudora Light. So far I am absolutely loving it but I was wondering whether anyone had any tips or warnings!
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