Glossary

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Anachronisms – A “new” post category I created (in June of 2011) to identify posts I’ve made to this humble blog in the days since I retired it in May of 2010. Update 1-JAN-2012: And now I’ve revived the blog, so most of these anachronistic posts will be reposted with current dates. Life marches on!

Bag Experiment – An observation I made of three plastic grocery bags of different materials to see which would biodegrade soonest/latest in typical outdoor weather. Though the experiment lasted several years, the results were inconclusive.

Barataria – A fictional island that was not an island in Don Quixote. Sancho Panza was given rule of it for a time. It is also another name for Libby’s Island, which also isn’t an island because the lake is rarely full enuf to surround it.

Bentonite – A type of white clay that in powdered form can be useful for plugging leaks in dams. I’ve thrown a lot of Bentonite into my lake, and I tell myself that every ounce of it has done at least some good at slowing the leaks.

Blackberry Corner – The extreme northwest corner of Roundrock, so named for the house-sized tangle of blackberries that once stood there. It is now the Pine Plantation.

Blanche – Libby’s little red Honda Accord.

Bokeh – A Japanese word for the unfocused areas in a photo.

Breccia – The soupy, mineral-rich melange of salt water and assorted rocks that formed after the meteor impact in my part of the world 350 million years ago. It was in the breccia matrix that my beloved round rocks were formed.

Cabin at the End of the Road – A dream realized in late 2009.

Ceegar – An infrequent and often regretted indulgence I allow myself. It reminds me of my grandfather and those idyllic boyhood summers in Kentucky. Update: Now that my running mania has taken over, I no longer have even an occasional ceegar.

Central Valley – The main topological feature of Roundrock. The half mile by quarter mile of our woods is basically one long valley. The lake is in the Central Valley.

Comfy Chairs – Where we sit and rest, even when we’re not tired. They sing a siren song of seduction. (See Stupor.)

Critters (as opposed to varmints) – The wild things at Roundrock that haven’t proven themselves nuisances.

Crusher – The Chihuahua/Boston Terrier mix my daughter and son-in-law are raising. He lives in a fourth-floor walk up apartment in Brooklyn and seems to be happy living as an urban doggie.

Dam – Not a misspelling, but close. The dam that holds back Lake Marguerite has been a headache from the start. It rises more than 18 feet above the valley floor and is about 200 feet from end to end.

Danger Island – The children’s name for the new island we had made when we had maintenance done to the lake bed. It’s also known as Isla de Peligro and Gefahrinsel. (Apparently Danger Island was also once a television adventure show.)

Drain – A valved device built into the floor of the lake to allow me to bleed off water for various purposes. (I’ve only opened it once, and that was just to see if it really worked.)

Earthly Toil - What the young cedar trees face and what I liberate them from.

Ecotone – A transitional area between two natural communities. This could be on a large scale, such as the transition from Eastern forests to Western prairies where Roundrock lies, or it could be on a small scale such as edge areas.

enuf – My attempt at evolving the language and leaving my stamp on it.

Fallen Timbers – Our name for our other little bit of forest on the edge of the Missouri Ozarks. It was once 40 acres, but we’ve sold half of it. (We’ll sell the rest eventually.) We completed the sale of the second half in March of 2010.

Fast Fish – And old whaling term signifying a free swimming whale that is considered someone’s property. I consider the wild fish in my lake to be fast fish.

Festival of the Trees – A blog carnival devoted to trees and the people who respect them.

Flick – The given name we use for all ticks. It serves as both a noun and a verb, as in “Flick the tick.”

Flike – My Border Collie pup. Born in late August of 2009. Sweetest little bear cub of a dog ever. Named for what I consider the greatest dog in all of cinema.

Frisson – A subtle and fleeting feeling of well being I sometimes get when I indulge in iced tea (unsweetened, of course). All is right with the world and everything is still possible for these few minutes.

Gefahrinsel – Yet another name for Isla de Peligro or Danger Island.

Girl Scout Water – A polite name for charcoal lighter fluid, which is something a true outdoorsy person would never use to start a fire!

Gone Pecan – Someone or something beyond rescue. Considered a noun phrase.

Good Neighbor Brian – Our neighbor to the west who watches over our woods, mows our roads and dam, and has all the great tools. He has a bobcat now.

Great Hiatus – A period between May 18, 2010, and January 1, 2012, when I allowed Roundrock Journal to sit idle. (Also a period when the world thought Sherlock Holmes was dead.)

Green Machine – My old green Chevy Silverado pickup. I almost got it to 200,000 miles.

Greenway – Our road along the northern property line, prone to raising a nice crop of grass. (If you’re going east, it leads into the Road Through the Trees.)

The Hinterland – The southeast corner of our woods, which we tend to visit the least.

Idyllic Boyhood Summers – The childhood summers I spent on my grandparents’ small farm in western Kentucky. Among the most formative experiences of my life.

Impact Structure – The area of the ground that is roiled by the impact of a meteor. It is larger than the actual crater. Roundrock sits within a meteor impact structure.

Inosculation – The growing of a tree around some other object, often another tree. At Roundrock most of my inosculation involves rocks.

Interlopers – A nicer name for trespassers. I appear to have plenty of interlopers at Roundrock when I’m not there.

Isla de Peligro – The official name of Danger Island, in Lake Marguerite at Roundrock.

Kodiak – The name Seth gave his Toyota Camry. It’s now Adam’s car as he toils through med school, but once he’s a rich doctor, he’ll probably replace it. Update May 2011: It’s now Aaron’s car. Adam is a rich doctor doing his residency in Portland, Oregon.

Lake Marguerite – The lake at Roundrock. It’s about two and a half acres in surface, though this varies with rain and drought (and the leaky dam) as well as who is doing the measuring.

Libby’s Island – The official name of Wildflower Island, sometimes also known as Barataria.

Libby’s Turtle Friend – A turtle that lives in Lake Marguerite. In warm weather, it rises from the water every twenty minutes or so in the same general part of the lake to sit on the surface for a few minutes before diving below again. Update: In the summer of 2013, we saw as many as a half dozen turtles surfacing in the lake.

Loppers – A long-handled cutting tool I always carry in the forest with me. Ideal for liberating young cedars from their earthly toil.

Max – An aloof but loyal Shetland Sheepdog who was a member of our family for more than a decade. He now sleeps in the Pine Plantation.

Mighty Pole Forest – An area in the southern half of our woods full of young trees, sometimes known as poles. (Note: Not a location in Europe.)

Monkey Jacked – An expression meaning screwed up, as in “My front-end loader is monkey jacked!” Sometimes also heard as “turkey jacked.”

Mouse-proof Cabinet – A tall metal cabinet in the corner of the cabin where we put any food (peanuts, oatmeal, seasonings) so that mice cannot get to them. We’ve actually never seen any sign of mice in our cabin, but it’s always nice to be safe about attracting them.

Old Man of the Forest – A very large cedar tree growing near our southern property line that is much older than the other cedars in our forest.

One Match Fire – The sign of a well-laid fire is the ability to light it with only one match

Ossiferous Ornamentation – The skulls and bones and turtle shells we collect when we’re wandering the wild woods.

Overflow Drain – A catchment basin built into the side of the dam, nearly at the top, to bleed off high water before it rises to the level of the spillway. A clever little arrangement, but it tends to clog with twigs and leaves.

Ozark Howler – A fabled black cat the size of a cow with glowing red eyes and even horns. Although its origins are traceable to a prank, many people insist they have seen this monster.

Ozarks – A geographic area found mostly in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, with bits touching Kansas and Oklahoma. Containing some of the oldest mountains on the planet, the largest spring in the world, many excellent float streams, as well as a much caricatured rural culture, the Ozarks are home to Roundrock.

Pecan Plantation – The acre of land below the dam where we’ve had middling success raising pecan trees.

Peregrine – A log that floats about in Lake Marguerite. We haven’t seen it for a while, and it may have washed over the spillway and become lost in the scrubby growth below the dam. Or it may have finally become so waterlogged that it has sunk.

Pine Plantation – The former Blackberry Corner where we’ve had good success raising shortleaf pine trees.

The Pond – A small body of water near the Pine Plantation that is covered with duck weed in the spring, summer, and fall.

Post Driver – An indispensable tool for getting a steel fence post into the rocky Ozark ground. I generally forget to bring it on the trips when I need it. (Sometimes called the “poop chute” by the kids.)

Prolechariot – My new truck, nimble and efficient. (Technically, it’s a Toyota Tacoma four-door.) Bright red and not good for hiding in the forest.

Purple Paint Law – A bit of legislation in Missouri (and other states) recognizing the use of purple paint on a tree or post to indicate the property behind it does not allow trespassing and especially hunting.

Queequeg – Libby’s very clever and adorable Pomeranian, born in November of 2008. He’s been down to Roundrock, but we worry about predators the entire time.

Road Through the Trees – The road down the hill from our northern property line, terminating at the dam.

Round Rocks – I got ‘em. Born of a meteor impact, these stone concretions grew much like pearls do. Now they dot the forest floor in my woods, calling out for being collected and piled up in places.

Rumination Rock – A smooth bit of ledge overlooking the lake on which one can sit and chew on thoughts.

Secret Forest – Our original name for Roundrock, when we didn’t want the kids to know we’d spent money on land for ourselves rather than cars for them.

Slash – The leftover tops of trees after the timber has been harvested. These can be a fire hazard for years. We had a lot of slash at Fallen Timbers when our neighbor “accidentally” harvested several acres of our old trees.

Snag – A standing dead tree, though river folk define it differently. Great for wildlife habitat.

Spillway – Sometimes known as the emergency spillway. Sometimes given other, more colorful descriptions. A designed path for extra water to flow out of the lake so it doesn’t erode the dam. In theory.

Spoon Experiment – Much like the bag experiment, an observation of the biodegrading of a spoon exposed to the elements.

Standing Stump – An inverted snag buried roots-up in the ground as a sort of natural sculpture. Good for leaving peanuts on and for mystifying interlopers.

Stupor – What we generally fall into after lunch. Requires the application of comfy chairs.

Suburbia – Where Pablo lives during the long in-betweens when he isn’t at Roundrock. Somewhere near Kansas City, it is believed.

Talking Ape – In other words, a human. An effective appellation to distinguish it from other critters (and varmints) in my forest.

Tawney Tussocks – Not an exotic dancer but little bluestem grass in the fall and winter when it has dried and turned a soft brown, waving in the wind.

Thong Tree – A bent tree, held in shape as a sapling by leather thongs, used as a sign by Native Americans. Many survive to this day.

Timber Trespass – The theft (intentional or in error) of trees from another’s property. Generally the result of unclear property lines and/or inattentive land owners.

Turtle Fur – A fleece neck warmer I love. Often with the neck warmer and a hat I can dispense with a heavy jacket on winter days in the woods. Keep your torso, neck, and head warm, they say, and the rest of the body will take care of itself.

Unsweetened, Of Course – The way iced tea was meant to be enjoyed!

Varmints (no longer critters) – Wild things that have proven themselves a nuisance. So far we’ve not identified any varmints in our woods.

Weather porn – Generic term for much televised news dealing with weather that exaggerates the potential for extreme weather, punctuated with lots of graphics and video showing floods, tornadoes, hail storms, and such.

Whimsey – One of our Shetland Sheepdogs. A loving member of the family, she now sleeps on Libby’s Island.

Wild Fish – The fish that have been introduced to my lake by some means other than human action. They generally come in as eggs on the feet of waterfowl. I have no idea what kind of fish I have.

Wildflower Island – Another name for Libby’s Island, which also goes by the name of Barataria. We’ve tried to get stands of wildflowers growing here, but we haven’t had much success yet.

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