Okay, if this is a bit rambly and divergent, I claim sleep deprivation as my excuse…
Brief background: The door of the classroom at the nature park has a clear glass window. It lets in too much light to do activities requiring darkness – like simulating night vision, showing slide presentations, and facilitating our own version of Mystery Science Theater. Some of the naturalists also find it to be a source of distraction for them and for their audiences to have curious heads popping in and out of the window while presentations are in progress. Until a few days ago, the window was covered with a make-shifted privacy film. This morning, I went to Home Depot to purchase a commercially-produced window film of a botanical, stained-glass pattern (as per the naturalist team’s preferences).
An associate helped me locate the display of window film, and when we only found rice paper, frosted glass, amber glass, and pebbles, he set about to locate the extra stock for wisteria, magnolia, or clematis. As I stood there waiting for him to check in some out-of-site place, and then on a shelf around the corner, I spied the word “Gila,” and then the word “clematis,” about 12 feet above the mini blinds display. He was quite impressed that I found the items when he could not. I explained that the “Gila” brand name was on other window film products, so it caught my eye as I was looking up. Then, of course, “clematis” is one of the patterns I was shopping for, so that, too, got my attention.
When he struggled to pronounce those two words, the naturalist revealed herself. “I think it’s Hee-la, like the venomous lizard the Gila Monster.” Which is, by the way, named after a river and the area around the river where the lizard was discovered. “And it’s Clu MA tiss, A flowering vine.” As he confirmed the connection to the Gila Monster (because doesn’t everybody watch Animal Planet), I realized I may have honed in on those words because they are in my vernacular as a naturalist, whereas they have little to do with window coverings.
So before my first cup of coffee after a long night of mediating conflict between a basset hound and a Virginia opossum (a story for another time), I and the home depot associate learned something new.