New Music and Poetry

Just this once, if you enjoy any of this original verse and music, drop a comment with your state or country. I get thousands of “downloads” of music from the U.S. and many other countries, but I’d love to know where some of you are.

For you folks who like the old-fashioned in poetry, I offer a verse in regular meter and rhyme. For you who prefer playing tennis with the net down, I also post a free verse model. Both are about ancient stories and law, good old philosophy.

For music I’ve added a couple older pieces that I’ve revised, and a new one that, thank goodness, is only 39 seconds long.

Good old Theme 38
And Theme 36, which I call “Sweetness.”
New, Theme 175

And, for the form-challenged…

Songs and Flowers

South Texas is famous for the roadside flowers that Ladybird Johnson championed, but there are, of course, huge fields that are not planted, but simply flourish and bloom, each in its season (the top two photos). Beautiful stuff. And to go with it, two more pieces, the first a piano bit with a little orchestral backup, and the second an extended variation on a theme by Neil Young’s “If God Loved Me.” At least that’s what it reminds me of.

Theme 74

More on Nectaring: Specialists vs. Generalists

Here is a case in which a generally “obvious” fact is mathematically demonstrable. The premise is that if a butterfly requires nectar from only one particular flower species, it is an extreme specialist, whereas if a butterfly will accept nectar from any flower species, it is an extreme generalist. But it is also possible to distinguish the degree of specialization by extended observation of flower visits. I have made records of about 11,400 visits by 135 butterfly species to 110 species of flowers. From these data I have produced a graph that relates the number of flower species visited frequently by a butterfly (i.e. 10+ recorded visits) to the total number of flower species that that butterfly species visits. In case it’s not obvious, let me further clarify this.

This is a picture of specialization versus generalization in nectaring. Predictably and happily, the correlation, R2 = 0.936, suggests linearity. On average, butterflies that regularly visit only one flower species can be expected to ever visit only about 5 flower species, while butterfly species that regularly visit seven different species of flowers will be found to visit about 24 species of flowers in total. Remember, these are averages.

As examples, Oarisma edwardsi (Edward’s skipperling) feeds mainly from alfalfa, but may be found on three other flower species. In the middle ground, Satyrium calanus, (the banded hairstreak) commonly visits four flower species, but has been found on 13 total flower species. A still more extreme generalist, Phyciodes cocyta (the northern crescent) is frequently encountered on nine flower species, but also visits at least 18 other flowers.

Oarisma edwardsi on Astragalus flowers, one of four nectar sources.
Satyrium calanus on Physocarpus, one of its 13 nectar sources.
Phyciodes cocyta on Rudbeckia hirta, one of its 27 nectar sources.