A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Word of the Day: Catadromous

Catadromous means migrating from freshwater to the sea to spawn. It's the opposite of anadromous, which is migrating from saltwater to freshwater. The term which encompasses both is diadromous.

Salmon and shad are anadromous. Eel are catadromous. The eel is a declining, nearly endangered fish, for reasons which are not well understood. But one factor is certain: river dams. Eels can't get over them, and this limits their habitat.

The manmade solution to helping eels conquer this manmade obstacle is the eelway. An eelway is a pegged ramp up which eels can wriggle. It leads to a box filled with water, which houses the eels until they can be transported upstream past the dams.

Eels are an important part of the Connecticut river ecosystem. The Connecticut River has gone, in the past thirty-odd years, from "the nation's best landscaped sewer" to a clean and vibrant waterway. The Connecticut River Watershed Council constructs and mans eelways on the river. And they work for the removal of "dead beat dams"--those which no longer serve a community purpose. Props to these advocates for the catadromous!

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