Musings about life on Earth in all its aspects…

Month: April, 2023

On the 10th Anniversary of the Publication of My Scientific Paper Describing Glaphyrophlebia anderhalterorum, a Permian Insect named in honor of My Grandmother, Katherine Anderhalter, and Her Son, My Uncle, Prof. Oliver Anderhalter.

On May 20-22, 2013, an international meeting devoted to all aspects of Carboniferous-Permian geology with special emphasis on the Carboniferous-Permian transition was hosted by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque, New Mexico. At that meeting, I presented a paper entitled “A NEW SPECIES OF GLAPHYROPHLEBIA HANDLIRSCH, 1906 (INSECTA: NEOPTERA: BLATTINOPSIDAE) FROM THE LOWER PERMIAN WELLINGTON FORMATION OF NOBLE COUNTY, OKLAHOMA, USA.” In it, I described a new species of fossil insect which I named Glaphyrophlebia anderhalterorum in honor of my grandmother, Katherine Anderhalter and my uncle, her only son, Prof. Dr. Oliver Anderhalter.

The fossil is a spectacular one, with much of the body as well as the forewings preserved exceptionally well for a Wellington Formation insect. The insect’s wing color pattern is preserved on one half of the fossil, the other half comprising an impression of the wing and body.

The species name “anderhalterorum” is a “patronymic,” that is, it is chosen to honor a person or persons. The suffix “-orum” is used behind the name to indicate that more than one person is honored. Here is the text of the Etymology section of the paper, which gives the origin of the name chosen:

Etymology: The specific epithet anderhalterorum honors my maternal grandmother, the late Katherine Vollet Anderhalter, and her son, the late Prof. Dr. Oliver Anderhalter. My grandmother encouraged me from my earliest school days to excel academically so that I might follow in my uncle’s footsteps and earn a PhD. Her expectations and his example nurtured in me an early interest in science and learning that has lasted a lifetime.”

Here is a color image of the fossil:

And her is a link to a pdf file of the full paper:

And, finally, a photograph of my grandmother and uncle:

~Roy Beckemeyer, 23 April, 2023



Oh, and the blue sage is in bloom today,
Salvia azurea scattered across the prairie
Like shards of sky,
The petals the color
Pachelbel’s Canon would be
If you could see music with your eyes.

I noticed that its flowers have the same blue glow
That Rublev used for the cloaks
Of the three wanderers in his Trinity icon.
Remember when we saw it in the Tretyakov Gallery?

He painted it 600 years ago
With pigment ground from lapis lazuli
From the Kokcha Valley,
And you said that he had captured
The blue of an Archangel’s eyes in those cloaks.

Can you picture how his icon must have stood out
Like a blue beacon against the towering gold and red
Iconostasis of the Trinity Monastery?

The blue beacons of sage are angels today, blessing
These wide tawny fields of gold-leafed Indian grass
With their singularly azure essence of blue.

~Roy Beckemeyer, 2011, revised 2023.

My wife, Pat, and I were fortunate to see this icon on our visit to the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. It had resided there from the 1918-9 restoration, which first revealed something of the artistry of Rublev’s original work, until July 2022, when it was returned to the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, where it had originally resided. On previous returns of the icon to that monastery, exposure to the uncontrolled humidity and temperature and to the candle smoke and incense had caused the icon to deteriorate. It has apparently been returned to the Tretyakov, but there may have been some deterioration and it may not be available for viewing for some time.

This photo is from the Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses website,
and shows blue sage in a grassy landscape in Saline County, KS.