Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Follow the Sun

Over at the Natural Navigator blog, Tristan Gooley has been writing about how the preferences of Wild Flowers can help with navigation. He reports on an apparent preferred location of Speedwells that can help in navigation, and asks readers to report on any similarly helpful habits of other wildflowers that they have come across.

Well, I may be blessed (like most males of the species) with a supreme confidence in my own natural sense of direction but there is no doubt that Tillerwoman is the flower and nature expert in our family. So I asked her Tristan's question. "Do you know any ways in which wildflowers can help with navigation, dear?" She thought for a few seconds and replied, "Well, sunflowers follow the sun."

Hmmm. Are sunflowers wild? I guess they are in some places. And is the fact that they follow the sun any real help in navigation? I mean, if you can see the sun then you don't need any help from the flowers do you?

But I didn't ask my dear wife these obvious question. Believe me, it would not end well. Instead I found her this delightful time lapse video on YouTube of sunflowers following the sun. There are times when it's better to agree than to argue.

Wait. Isn't I'll Follow the Sun the title of a Beatles song? It sure is. I could enter this post in my own group writing project for articles based on Beatles song titles or song lyrics, Please Please Me. I might even win a hat. No, wait. I didn't offer a hat as prize yet. And even if I did, how could I win it from myself?

"What has this to do with sailing?" you may well ask. Well, sailors need to navigate, don't they?

Hmmm. I guess sunflowers aren't much use for navigating oceans are they? Good point.

Ummm. Well, a lot of sailors who live in climates with cold winters (like me) do "follow the sun" to warmer climates in the winter. I've written here before about my trips to go sailing in Florida, the Dominican Republic, the British Virgin Islands, and even Australia in my quest to "follow the sun."

It is rumored, though not yet confirmed by the International Laser Class, that the next Laser Masters Worlds will be in Queensland in March 2012. I've even reserved a room at the motel next to the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron for the rumored dates of the rumored regatta at its rumored location. Yes, Tillerwoman and I may well be heading down under again this winter so that I can enjoy a bit of yotting somewhere a bit warmer than Rhode Island.

Just like those sunflowers -- and the Beatles -- we'll follow the sun.


Noodle said...

U might be blessed with navigational skills, I dunno. Some guys can even drive and navigate at the same time, but it's a rare combination. However, most guys seem to need help from flowers, when navigating their domestical waters. Sunflowers will do, but once a year isn't nearly enough; Especially if you want to change the tune from "We can work it out" to "She's got a ticket to ride" :-D

Tillerman said...

Thank you for the advice Noodle. I have found flowers quite useful on the domestic scene when it's necessary to "work it out" as you put it. I would never consider sunflowers in such a situation. Roses are always acceptable I find, or some seasonal bouquet perhaps.

Why would I want to give my wife a "ticket to ride"? I don't understand that part of your comment. You ladies do have mysterious minds.

Noodle said...

Uhm, must I spell it out? Guys, come on... What's to be done, after you work it out?

Tillerman said...

Well Noodle, according to Wikipedia (which is never wrong) even the writers of the song Ticket to Ride were confused about the meaning of the phrase. McCartney said it was "a British Railways ticket to the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight", and Lennon said it described cards indicating a clean bill of health carried by Hamburg prostitutes in the 1960s.

I don't think my wife needs either kind of ticket, thanks very much.

Noodle said...

Clearly U didn't read the entire Wikipedia entry ;-)

Tillerman said...

True Noodle. I forgot to mention that "the song features a coda with a different tempo that extends the song's length past three minutes, the first Beatles single ever to do so."

Noodle said...

I quote wikipedia now - to lead u to read the right part: "Riding was slang...". If u still don't get it I give up :-D

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