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National Carnivorous Plant Day


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#1 Tim Bailey

 
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Posted 19 December 2011 - 14:21 PM

The CPS has been approached on whether there is a National Carnivorous Plant Day by Church Bell-ringers, on which they can ring tunes composed already for CPs (yes there are at least 3: Triffid, Sundew and Pitcher). Sounds like a great idea to us, so we are going to suggest making 2 April a National CP Day, which coincides with the earliest date when the Venus Flytrap was first made known in a letter by Arthur Dobbs (1689-1765) to the English cloth merchant and naturalist-collector Peter Collinson (1694-1768). In doing so we seek to honour Arthur Dobbs himself, a Scottish-Irishman who went on to become the Governor of North Carolina, too.

Dobbs is recognised in several respects: playing a significant in British politics, in particular improving the fortunes of Ireland's poor economic climate; his search to find the Northwest Passage into the South Sea (Pacific); his scientific study Concerning Bees and their Method of Gathering Wax and Honey (represented at the distinguished Royal Society); astronomical observations (Royal Society); the colonisation and expansion of Northern America; contributing towards driving the French from North America; and of course the formal discovery of the VFT - "We have a kind of Catch Fly sensitive which closes upon anything that touches it...." (Dobbs, 2 April 1759). By coincidence Dobbs was also born on 2 April. Such recognition would go down well within the scientific fraternity, and on both sides of the Atlantic. Dobbs part in British and American history is not widely recognised and this is an excellent opportunity to both honour him and carnivorous plants in general.

We did think of Charles Darwin, but haven't taken it forward as Darwin is recognised in many other ways already - you may think differently.

The 2 April is also as good a date as any to mark the beginning of the new carnivorous plant season, avoiding April 1st!

We are also looking to mark other significant calender dates too, such as individual plant species and events (e.g. John Wyndham, Triffids) throughout the year.

We have a SGM on 15 January, where we will put this to a vote, along with any other suggestions we may get from our membership. If you have other suggestions for a National CP Day we would appreciate your reasons with supporting text re the person/event you wish to honour in this way. This is a serious request, the result of which would need to be presented by the Society to various scientific bodies, ideally along with a supporting biographical memoir, etc.

Beyond a National CP day, if anyone has other calendar dates which would be good to mark in our annual diary please let us know.

Kind regards

Tim

Tim Bailey
Chairman and Publications Editor
The Carnivorous Plant Society

#2 mobile

 
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Posted 19 December 2011 - 18:17 PM

Arthur Dobbs sounds like an excellent candidate to me. I find it hard to believe that there are three CP related bell-ringing tunes though and if you'd suggested a date of 1st April for the National Carnivorous Plant Day then I would have definitely thought you were pulling our ropes legs!

#3 David Ahrens

 
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Posted 20 December 2011 - 19:38 PM

Bell ringing 'tunes' are actually called methods.
I used to be quite a keen bellringer but I haven't rung for years now. I tried to go back to it about ten years ago. I just haven't got the concentration needed for it any more and I tended to get lost in the middle of a method. People outside bellringing probably aren't aware but tower captains usually come across as quite sociable, nice people. However, when one loses one's way in the middle of a method, they turn into some sort of psychopath and start shouting at you. I am just past this sort of thing and just want a quiet life so I gave up. I have known people not go to Essex Association meetings for this reason. Untill the bellringing community gets it's house in order, they are always going to lose ringers for this reason.
Something else you didn't know about bell ringing.

#4 blueflytrap

 
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Posted 30 December 2011 - 11:21 AM

A National day for CP's strikes me as a good idea , however whilst the idea may have come from the bell-ringers, I think that we may be in a (slight ) danger of shooting ourselves in the foot.
Presumably its not all about ringing bells? I'm assuming that the National day is there to publicise our hobby and raise awareness not just by hobby-growers but by the commercial side as well?

With that in mind wouldn't it be a better idea to move the date later, so that the plants we love,may be in strong growth (and will hold more interest and fascination by the media and public)?
Its not going to go down too well if we bring out a sarracenia that is only just sprouting with the line of "come back in two weeks and it'll look absolutely fabulous!"

If the National day is going to mean anything then I would propose that we pick a date when the plants have fully formed traps/pitchers, so that the general public are interested by what they see. Is the 1st of May a suitable alternative?

(BTW Dave- Thanks for enlightening us on the subtleties of bellringing. I can't get the picture out of my head of some wannabe Gordon Ramsey-type figure, effing and blinding at some poor sod who pulled the rope at the wrong time!!!)

#5 mobile

 
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Posted 30 December 2011 - 12:57 PM

Whilst I agree that for publicity purposes it would be better to have it at a time of year that the plants are looking their best, I very much doubt that having a national day will significantly increase the awareness. There are dozens of national such-and-such days every year, most of which pass us by without us even being aware of them. Many people cannot even remember their Nation's Saints day.

#6 James O'Neill

 
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Posted 30 December 2011 - 20:51 PM

Many people cannot even remember their Nation's Saints day.


Who could forget good old St Patty? (there should be a shamrock emoticon :sarcastic_hand: )

#7 mobile

 
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Posted 30 December 2011 - 21:06 PM

Who could forget good old St Patty? (there should be a shamrock emoticon :sarcastic_hand: )

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#8 blueflytrap

 
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Posted 31 December 2011 - 02:37 AM

Okay Mobile, you're right. However if we are going to start off a 'national day', then at least we should have a fighting chance to do something with it (if we so choose) and I would contend that it should be on a date when the plants are at their best (or at least grown!).

If we aren't going to do anything with it (apart from the bellringers of course), then what's the point?

However even if we, as a group/society dont do anything with the day, then we can individually spread the word..........I for one, would definately wear the t-shirt!

#9 Tim Bailey

 
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Posted 30 March 2012 - 08:34 AM

At the SGM we voted on the idea of a National Carnivorous Plant Day, which came to light from an external enquiry from a group of bell-ringers. The vote was to make the 2nd April the NCPD, in recognition of Arthur Dobbs (1689-1765), Scottish-Irish, Governor of North Carolina and naturalist, who first made the iconic Venus Flytrap known to botany, in a letter to English cloth merchant and naturalist-collector Peter Collinson, dated 2 April 1759:

"We have a kind of Catch Fly sensitive which closes upon anything that touches it...."

Dobbs also happens to be born on 2nd April. The date is also a nice marker for the beginning of the growing season for a lot of genera grown in the British Isles.

Dobbs is recognised in several respects: playing a significant role in British politics, in particular improving the fortunes of Ireland's poor economic climate; his search to find the Northwest Passage into the South Sea (Pacific), albeit ending in failure; his scientific study “Concerning Bees and their Method of Gathering Wax and Honey “ (represented at the distinguished Royal Society); astronomical observations (Royal Society); the colonisation and expansion of Northern America; contributing towards driving the French from North America; and of course the formal discovery of the VFT.

Dobbs’ part in British and American history is not widely recognised and this is an excellent opportunity to both honour him and carnivorous plants in general.

In due course we will provide a full account on the NCPD, including a biographical memoir on Dobbs.

The bell-ringers will mark the day each year, ringing the methods Triffid, Sundew and Pitcher.

We're hoping we will be able to post a short piece of the bell-ringing online in due course.

With the 2nd of April upon us we do not have anything specific in mind beyond bell-ringing to mark the day. If you have any ideas for future NCPDs, please let us know.

Kind regards

Tim

Tim Bailey
Chairman and Publications Editor CPS.

#10 VFTLance <3

 
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Posted 30 March 2012 - 11:32 AM

This is so very cool =D i will make sure to spread the word on Monday =D