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  • Writer's pictureSandhya Kamala

Living the Logophile Life

Updated: May 1

In general I am a lover of words but I have a special love for binomial nomenclature, the formal naming system of living things. Because plants and animals can have multiple local and informal names, learning the scientific names of flora and fauna helps me categorize and identify species that are connected to each other locally and also their relative species found elsewhere in the world. I also enjoy diving into the etymology of scientific names as they often hold a poetic yet somehow sensible reference to the nature they describe. I am in no ways a scientist or a professional researcher but I am curious and that is enough of a reason for me.

Bird song, plants found along a sidewalk, a creature spotted in the trees or by the ocean... the more you learn, the more you see when you look... it's a wonderful cycle to be caught in. The connective threads of nature are everywhere.

Some nature recently spotted:

Accipiter cooperii - Cooper's Hawk, Chicken Hawk, Striker, Swift Hawk

Accipiter is derived from the Latin word, accipere meaning "to take or to seize" referring to how this genus of bird captures their prey.

Fritillaria meleagris - Snake's-head Fritillary, Guinea Hen Flower, Frog-cup flower, Drooping Lily

Fritillaria is derived from the Latin word, fritillus meaning dice cup, referring to the cup shape of the flower and its checked markings.

Meleagris is derived from ancient Greek and means guinea-fowl. This is also a reference to the spotted markings on the flower.

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