[Tweeters] Depauperate

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sun Apr 6 06:27:49 PDT 2014

Emir's have their Emirates, Sultan's have their Sultanates. I have a Pauperate.

More accurately Depauperate. Depauperate is the sort of high-priced word that Ecologists use when they are feeling like they have to justify all the money they paid for college degrees. Using words that nobody else will understand just sounds more important, but I suppose sometimes really are more accurate.

Sometimes using those stilted terms is sort of a nice way to avoid conflict. Take depauperate for instance. An ecologist looking at my yard might say something like " this yard is a fine example of a depaupurate habitat". This is a polite way to avoid saying something like " Mr. Gibson, I'm afraid that the habitat in your yard really sucks! In fact your whole neighborhood sucks - too many neat lawns, and an appalling lack of native plants and biodiversity. Something could be done with that Large Woody Debris over there though". By Large Woody Debris the ecologist would mean what normal people call a log. I have one in my yard.

So anyway, depauperate habitat just means poor in overall conditions, low in nutrients, and poor in biodiversity. Being the head pauper of my little pauperate I really should do something about that, by planting more shrubbery and trees, and ferns and whatnot, and I have a bit.

Despite my whining, I have seen quite a variety of life at my place and it does have some native trees and shrubs that attract bird migrants and wintering birds. Nesting habitat - not real good yet. I have seen a lot of cool bugs and other small things. When I come out of my house to take photos of bugs, the bugs all cry out "here comes the pauper- razzi!"

One good thing about spending a lot of time in a depauperate neighborhood is that one can learn to appreciate seeing just about anything, and when you finally get out into some richer habitat, it's especially thrilling.

What started this post was seeing Towhee's just outside the window where I'm typing, here at my parents yard in Port Townsend. You see, in my yard, and local neighborhood in Everett, I've only seen one Towhee in 13 years - like I live in a Towhee Deprivation Tank.

Now when I see a Towhee, I thrilled, and my parents yard has lot's of 'em - having a big diverse hedgerow just across the road is good Towhee habitat. Oh sure Towhee's are generally common as brush, but a pretty cool bird - especially to the depauperate.

Jeff Gibson

Depauperate Wa

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