Nandina domestica known as nandina, heavenly bamboo or sacred bamboo, is a species of flowering plant in the family Berberidaceae, native to eastern Asia from the Himalayas to Japan. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Nandina. Despite the common name, it is not a bamboo but an erect evergreen shrub up to 2 m tall by 1.5 m wide, with numerous unbranched stems growing from ground level. The glossy leaves are sometimes deciduous in colder areas, 50–100 cm long, bi- to tri-pinnately compound, with the individual leaflets 4–11 cm long and 1.5–3 cm broad. The young leaves in spring are brightly coloured pink to red before turning green; the flowers are white. The fruit is a bright red berry 5–10 mm diameter, ripening in late autumn and persisting through the winter. All parts of the plant are poisonous, containing compounds that decompose to produce hydrogen cyanide, could be fatal if ingested; the plant is placed in Toxicity Category 4, the category "generally considered non-toxic to humans", but the berries are considered toxic to cats and grazing animals.
Excessive consumption of the berries will kill birds such as cedar waxwings, because they are subject to cyanide toxicosis, resulting in death to multiple individuals at one time. The berries contain alkaloids such as nantenine, used in scientific research as an antidote to MDMA. Nandina is considered invasive in North Carolina, Tennessee and Florida, it was placed on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's invasive list as a Category I species, the highest listing. It has been observed in the wild in Florida in Gadsden, Jackson and Citrus counties, in conservation areas and floodplains. In general, the purchase or continued cultivation of non-sterile varieties in the southeastern United States is discouraged. Nandina is becoming invasive in wild areas farther north, in May 2017 was added to the Maryland invasive plant list with a tier 2 status. Although grown extensively in Texas because of its tolerance for dry conditions, fruiting varieties of Nandina are considered invasive there; this is due to birds spreading seeds into natural areas where Nandina proliferates and crowds out native species, both through seeding and by the growth of rhizomatous underground stems.
N. domestica, grown in Chinese and Japanese gardens for centuries, was brought to Western gardens by William Kerr, who sent it to London in his first consignment from Canton, in 1804. The English, unsure of its hardiness, kept it in greenhouses at first; the scientific name given to it by Carl Peter Thunberg is a Latinized version of a Japanese name for the plant, nan-ten. Nandina is grown in gardens as an ornamental plant. Over 65 cultivars have been named in Japan, where the species is popular and a national Nandina society exists. In Shanghai berried sprays of nandina are sold in the streets at New Year, for the decoration of house altars and temples. Nandina does not berry profusely in Great Britain, but it can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 6–10 with some cultivars hardy into zone 5. Nandina can take heat and cold, from −10 to 110 °F, it needs no pruning, but can spread via underground runners and can be difficult to remove. Despite Nandina toxicity, the berries can be left on the plants for birds to harvest in late winter.
Spent berry stalks can be snapped off by hand in spring. Due to the occurring phytochemicals this plant is used in rabbit and javelina resistant landscape plantings. Nandina is derived from the Japanese vernacular name, ナンテン, pronounced ‘nanten’. Domestica means ‘domesticated’, or ‘of the household’. Huxley, A. ed.. New RHS Dictionary of Gardening 3: 284–285. Macmillan. Flora of North America: Nandina domestica Nandina domestica database Nandina domestica information Heavenly Bamboo information and resources
Swimming is the self-propulsion of a person through water for recreation, exercise, or survival. Locomotion is achieved through coordinated movement of the body, or both. Humans can hold their breath underwater and undertake rudimentary locomotive swimming within weeks of birth, as a survival response. Swimming is among the top public recreational activities, in some countries, swimming lessons are a compulsory part of the educational curriculum; as a formalized sport, swimming features in a range of local and international competitions, including every modern Summer Olympics. Swimming relies on the nearly neutral buoyancy of the human body. On average, the body has a relative density of 0.98 compared to water, which causes the body to float. However, buoyancy varies on the basis of body composition, lung inflation, the salinity of the water. Higher levels of body fat and saltier water both lower the relative density of the body and increase its buoyancy. Since the human body is only less dense than water, water supports the weight of the body during swimming.
As a result, swimming is “low-impact” compared to land activities such as running. The density and viscosity of water create resistance for objects moving through the water. Swimming strokes use this resistance to create propulsion, but this same resistance generates drag on the body. Hydrodynamics is important to stroke technique for swimming faster, swimmers who want to swim faster or exhaust less try to reduce the drag of the body's motion through the water. To be more hydrodynamic, swimmers can either increase the power of their strokes or reduce water resistance, though power must increase by a factor of three to achieve the same effect as reducing resistance. Efficient swimming by reducing water resistance involves a horizontal water position, rolling the body to reduce the breadth of the body in the water, extending the arms as far as possible to reduce wave resistance. Just before plunging into the pool, swimmers may perform exercises such as squatting. Squatting helps in enhancing a swimmer’s start by warming up the thigh muscles.
Human babies demonstrate an innate swimming or diving reflex from newborn until the age of 6 months. Other mammals demonstrate this phenomenon; the diving response involves apnea, reflex bradycardia, peripheral vasoconstriction. Because infants are innately able to swim, classes for babies of about 6 months old are offered in many locations; this makes strong swimmers from a young age. Swimming can be undertaken using a wide range of styles, known as'strokes,' and these strokes are used for different purposes, or to distinguish between classes in competitive swimming, it is not necessary to use a defined stroke for propulsion through the water, untrained swimmers may use a'doggy paddle' of arm and leg movements, similar to the way four-legged animals swim. There are four main strokes used in competition and recreation swimming: the front crawl known as freestyle, the breaststroke, the backstroke and the butterfly. Competitive swimming in Europe started around 1800 using the breaststroke. In 1873, John Arthur Trudgen introduced the trudgen to Western swimming competitions.
The butterfly stroke developed in the 1930s, was considered a variant of the breaststroke until accepted as a separate style in 1953. Butterfly is considered the hardest stroke by many people, but it is the most effective for all-around toning and the building of muscles, it burns the most calories. Other strokes exist for specific purposes, such as training or rescue, it is possible to adapt strokes to avoid using parts of the body, either to isolate certain body parts, such as swimming with arms only or legs only to train them harder, or for use by amputees or those affected by paralysis. Swimming has been recorded since prehistoric times, the earliest records of swimming date back to Stone Age paintings from around 7,000 years ago. Written references date from 2000 BC; some of the earliest references include the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Bible and other sagas. The coastal tribes living in the volatile Low Countries were known as excellent swimmers by the Romans. Men and horses of the Batavi tribe could cross the Rhine without losing formation, according to Tacitus.
Dio Cassius describes one surprise tactic employed by Aulus Plautius against the Celts at the Battle of the Medway: The thought that Romans would not be able to cross it without a bridge, bivouacked in rather careless fashion on the opposite bank. Thence the Britons retired to the river Thames at a point near where it empties into the ocean and at flood-tide forms a lake; this they crossed because they knew where the firm ground and the easy passages in this region were to be found, but the Romans in attempting to follow them were not so successful. However, the swam across again and some others got over by a bridge a little way up-stream, after which they assailed the barbarians from several sides at once and cut down many of them." In 1538, Nikolaus Wynmann, a Swiss professor of languages, wrote the first swimming book, The Swimmer or A Dialogue on the Art of Swimming. There are many reasons why people swim, from swimming as a recreational pursuit to swimming as a necessary pa
Boating is the leisurely activity of travelling by boat, or the recreational use of a boat whether powerboats, sailboats, or man-powered vessels, focused on the travel itself, as well as sports activities, such as fishing or waterskiing. It is a popular activity, there are millions of boaters worldwide. Recreational boats fall into several broad categories, additional subcategories. Broad categories include dinghies, paddlesports boats, daysailers and cruising and racing sailboats; the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the organization that establishes several of the standards that are used in the marine industry in the United States, defines 32 types of boats, demonstrating the diversity of boat types and their specialization. In addition to those standards all boats employ the same basic principles of hydrodynamics. Boating activities are as varied as the boats and boaters who participate, new ways of enjoying the water are being discovered. Broad categories include the following: Paddlesports include ears and oceangoing types covered-cockpit kayaks.
Canoes are popular on lakes and rivers due to efficiency on the water. They are easy to portage, or carry overland around obstructions like rapids, or just down to the water from a car or cabin. Kayaks can be found on calm inland waters, whitewater rivers, along the coasts in the oceans. Known for their maneuverability and seaworthiness, kayaks take many shapes depending on their desired use. Rowing craft are popular for fishing, as a tender to a larger vessel, or as a competitive sport. Rowing shells are long and narrow, are intended to convert as much of the rower's muscle power as possible into speed; the ratio of length of waterline to beam has much importance in marine mechanics and design.. Row boats or dinghies are oar powered, restricted to protected waters. Rowboats are heavy craft compared to other has Sailing can be either competitive, as in collegiate dinghy racing, or purely recreational as when sailing on a lake with family or friends. Small sailboats are made from fiberglass, will have wood, aluminum, or carbon-fiber spars, a sloop rig.
Racing dinghies and skiffs tend to be lighter, have more sail area, may use a trapeze to allow one or both crewmembers to suspend themselves over the water for additional stability. Daysailers tend to be wider across the beam and have greater accommodation space at the expense of speed. Cruising sailboats have more width, but performance climbs as they tend to be much longer with a starting over-all length of at least 25 feet re-balancing the dynamic ratio between length of waterline and beam width. Freshwater fishing boats account for 1/3 of all registered boats in the U. S. and most all other types of boats end up being used as fishing boats on occasion. The boating industry has developed freshwater fishing boat designs that are species-specific to allow anglers the greatest advantage when fishing for walleye, trout, etcetera, as well as generic fishing craft. Watersport Boats or skiboats are high-powered Go-Fast boats is designed for activities where a participant is towed behind the boat such as waterskiing and parasailing.
Variations on the ubiquitous waterski include wakeboards, water-skiing, inflatable towables, wake surfing. To some degree, the nature of these boating activities influences boat design. Waterski boats are intended to hold a precise course at an accurate speed with a flat wake for slalom skiing runs. Wakeboard boats run at slower speeds, have various methods including ballast and negative lift foils to force the stern in the water, thereby creating a large and "jumpable" wake. Saltwater fishing boats vary in length and are once again specialized for various species of fish. Flats boats, for example, are used in protected, shallow waters, have shallow draft. Sportfishing boats range from 25 to 80 feet or more, can be powered by large outboard engines or inboard diesels. Fishing boats in colder climates may have more space dedicated to cuddy cabins and wheelhouses, while boats in warmer climates are to be open. Cruising boats applies to both power and sailboats, refers to trips from local weekend passages to lengthy voyages, is a lifestyle.
While faster "express cruisers" can be used for multiple day trips, long voyages require a slower displacement boat with diesel power and greater stability and efficiency. Cruising sailboats range from 20 to 70 feet and more, have managed sailplans to allow small crews to sail them long distances; some cruising sailboats will have two masts to further reduce the size of individual sails and make it possible for a couple to handle larger boats. Diesel- powered Narrowboats are a popular mode of travel on the inland waterways of England. Racing and Regattas are common group activities in the sub-culture of boaters owning larger small
Selaginella is the sole genus of vascular plants in the family Selaginellaceae, the spikemosses or lesser clubmosses. This family is distinguished from Lycopodiaceae by having scale-leaves bearing a ligule and by having spores of two types, they are sometimes included in an informal paraphyletic group called the "fern allies". S. moellendorffii is an important model organism. Its genome has been sequenced by the United States Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute; the name Selaginella was erected by Palisot de Beauvois for the species Selaginella selaginoides, which turns out to be a clade, sister to all other Selaginellas, so any definitive subdivision of the species leaves two taxa in Selaginella, with the hundreds of other species in new or resurrected genera. Selaginella occurs in the tropical regions of the world, with a handful of species to be found in the arctic-alpine zones of both hemispheres. Selaginella species are creeping or ascendant plants with simple, scale-like leaves on branching stems from which roots arise.
The stems are aerial, horizontally creeping on the substratum, sub erect. The vascular steles are polystelic protosteles. Stem section shows the presence of more than two protosteles; each stele is made up of exarch xylem in centre. The steles are connected with the cortex by means of many tube-like structures called trabeculae, which are modified endodermal cells with casparian strips on their lateral walls; the stems contain no pith. Unusually for the lycopods, which have microphylls with a single unbranched vein, the microphylls of Selaginella species contain a branched vascular trace. In Selaginella, each microphyll and sporophyll has a small scale-like outgrowth called a ligule at the base of the upper surface; the plants are heterosporous with spores of two different size classes, known as megaspores and microspores. Under dry conditions, some species of Selaginella can survive dehydration. In this state, they may roll up into brown balls and be uprooted, but can rehydrate under moist conditions, become green again and resume growth.
This phenomenon is known as poikilohydry, poikilohydric plants such as Selaginella bryopteris are sometimes referred to as resurrection plants. Some scientists still place the Selaginellales in the class Lycopodiopsida; some modern authors recognize three generic divisions of Selaginella: Selaginella, Bryodesma Sojak 1992, Lycopodioides Boehm 1760. Lycopodioides would include the North American species S. apoda and S. eclipes, while Bryodesma would include S. rupestris. Stachygynandrum is sometimes used to include the bulk of species; the first major attempt to define and subdivide the group was by Palisot de Beauvois in 1803-1805. He established the genus Selaginella as a monotypic genus, placed the bulk of species in Stachygynandrum. Gymnogynum was another monotypic genus, but that name is superseded by his own earlier name of Didiclis; this turns out, today, to be a group of around 45-50 species known as the Articulatae, since his genus Didiclis/Gymnogynum was based on Selaginella plumosa. He described the genus Diplostachyum to include a group of species similar to Selaginella apoda.
Spring inflated the genus Selaginella to hold all selaginelloid species four decades later. Phylogenetic studies by Korall & Kenrick determined that the Euselaginella group, comprising the type species, Selaginella selaginoides and a related Hawaiian species, Selaginella deflexa, is a basal and anciently diverging sister to all other Selaginella species. Beyond this, their study split the remainder of species into two broad groups, one including the Bryodesma species, the Articulatae, section Ericetorum Jermy and others, the other centered on the broad Stachygynandrum group. In the Manual of Pteridology, the following classification was used by Walton & Alston: genus: Selaginella subgenus: Euselaginella group: selaginoides group: pygmaea group: uliginosa group: rupestris subgenus: Stachygynandrum series: Decumbentes series: Ascendentes series: Sarmentosae series: Caulescentes series: Circinatae series: Articulatae subgenus: Homostachys subgenus: HeterostachysHowever, this is now known to be paraphyletic in most of its groupings.
Two recent classifications, employing modern methods of phylogenetic analysis, are as follows: genus: Selaginella subgenus: Selaginella clade: "Rhizophoric clade" clade A subgenus Rupestrae subgenus Lepidophyllae subgenus Gymnogynum subgenus Exaltatae subgenus Ericetorum clade B subgenus Stachygynandrum genus: Selaginella subgenus: Selaginella Type: Selaginella selaginoides P. Beauv. Ex Mart. & Schrank subgenus: Boreoselaginella Type: Selaginella sanguinolenta Spring subgenus: Ericetorum Type: Selaginella uliginosa Spring section: Lyallia Type: Selaginella uliginosa Spring section: Myosurus Type: Selaginella myosurus Alston section: Megalosporarum Type: Selaginella exaltata Spring section: Articulatae Type: Selaginella kraussiana A. Braun section: Homoeophyllae Type: Selaginella rupestris Spring section: Lepidophyllae Type: Selaginella lepidophylla Spring subgenus: Pulviniella Type: Selaginella pulvinata Maxim subgenus: Heterostachys Type: Selaginella heterostachys Baker section: Oligomacrosporangiatae Type: Selaginella uncinata Spring section: Auriculatae Type: Selaginella douglasii
A plum is a fruit of the subgenus Prunus of the genus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera in the shoots having terminal bud and solitary side buds, the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems, the fruit having a groove running down one side and a smooth stone. Mature plum fruit may have a dusty-white waxy coating; this is an epicuticular wax coating and is known as "wax bloom". Dried plum fruits are called "dried plums" or prunes, although, in many countries, prunes are a distinct type of dried plum having a wrinkled appearance. Plums may have been one of the first fruits domesticated by humans. Three of the most abundant cultivars are not found in the wild, only around human settlements: Prunus domestica has been traced to East European and Caucasian mountains, while Prunus salicina and Prunus simonii originated in Asia. Plum remains have been found in Neolithic age archaeological sites along with olives and figs; the name plum derived from Old English plume or "plum, plum tree," which extended from Germanic language or Middle Dutch, Latin prūnum, from Ancient Greek προῦμνον, believed to be a loanword from Asia Minor.
In the late 18th century, the word, was used to indicate "something desirable" in reference to tasty fruit pieces in desserts. Plums are a diverse group of species; the commercially important plum trees are medium-sized pruned to 5–6 metres height. The tree is of medium hardiness. Without pruning, the trees can reach 12 metres in spread across 10 metres, they blossom in different months in different parts of the world. Fruits are of medium size, between 2 and 7 centimetres in diameter, globose to oval; the flesh is juicy. The fruit's peel is smooth, with a natural waxy surface; the plum is a drupe. Plum cultivars include: Damson Greengage Mirabelle Satsuma plum Victoria Yellowgage or golden plum Different plum cultivars When it flowers in the early spring, a plum tree will be covered in blossoms, in a good year 50% of the flowers will be pollinated and become plums. Flowering starts after 80 growing degree days. If the weather is too dry, the plums will not develop past a certain stage, but will fall from the tree while still tiny, green buds, if it is unseasonably wet or if the plums are not harvested as soon as they are ripe, the fruit may develop a fungal condition called brown rot.
Brown rot is not toxic, some affected areas can be cut out of the fruit, but unless the rot is caught the fruit will no longer be edible. Plum is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera, including November moth, willow beauty and short-cloaked moth; the taste of the plum fruit ranges from sweet to tart. It can be eaten fresh or used in jam-making or other recipes. Plum juice can be fermented into plum wine. In central England, a cider-like alcoholic beverage known as plum jerkum is made from plums. Dried, salted plums are used as a snack, sometimes known as salao. Various flavors of dried plum are available at Chinese grocers and specialty stores worldwide, they tend to be much drier than the standard prune. Cream, ginseng and salty are among the common varieties. Licorice is used to intensify the flavor of these plums and is used to make salty plum drinks and toppings for shaved ice or baobing. Pickled plums are another type of preserve available in Asia and international specialty stores.
The Japanese variety, called umeboshi, is used for rice balls, called onigiri or omusubi. The ume, from which umeboshi are made, is more related, however, to the apricot than to the plum. In the Balkans, plum is converted into an alcoholic drink named slivovitz. A large number of plums, of the Damson variety, are grown in Hungary, where they are called szilva and are used to make lekvar, plum dumplings, other foods; as with many other members of the rose family, plum kernels contain cyanogenic glycosides, including amygdalin. Prune kernel oil is made from the fleshy inner part of the pit of the plum. Though not available commercially, the wood of plum trees is used by hobbyists and other private woodworkers for musical instruments, knife handles and similar small projects. Plum has many species, taxonomists differ on the count. Depending on the taxonomist, between 19 and 40 species of plum exist. From this diversity only two species, the hexaploid European plum and the diploid Japanese plum, are of worldwide commercial significance.
The origin of these commercially important species is uncertain but may have involved P. cerasifera and P. spinosa as ancestors. Other species of plum variously originated in Europe and America; the subgenus Prunus is divided into three sections: Sect. Prunus – leaves in bud rolled inwards.
Azaleas are flowering shrubs in the genus Rhododendron the former sections Tsutsuji and Pentanthera. Azaleas bloom in the spring, their flowers lasting several weeks. Shade tolerant, they prefer living under trees, they are part of the family Ericaceae. Plant enthusiasts have selectively bred azaleas for hundreds of years; this human selection has produced over 10,000 different cultivars. Azalea seeds can be collected and germinated. Azaleas are slow-growing and do best in well-drained acidic soil. Fertilizer needs are low; some species need regular pruning. Azaleas are native to several continents including Asia and North America, they are planted abundantly as ornamentals in the southeastern US, southern Asia, parts of southwest Europe. According to azalea historian Fred Galle, in the United States, Azalea indica was first introduced to the outdoor landscape in the 1830s at the rice plantation Magnolia-on-the-Ashley in Charleston, South Carolina. From Philadelphia, where they were grown only in greenhouses, John Grimke Drayton imported the plants for use in his estate garden.
With encouragement from Charles Sprague Sargent from Harvard's Arnold Arboretum, Magnolia Gardens was opened to the public in 1871, following the American Civil War. Magnolia is one of the oldest public gardens in America. Since the late 19th century, in late March and early April, thousands visit to see the azaleas bloom in their full glory. Azalea leafy gall can be destructive to azalea leaves during the early spring. Hand picking infected leaves is the recommended method of control, they can be subject to phytophthora root rot in moist, hot conditions. In Chinese culture, the azalea is known as "thinking of home bush", is immortalized in the poetry of Du Fu; the azalea is one of the symbols of the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Azaleas and rhododendrons were once so infamous for their toxicity that to receive a bouquet of their flowers in a black vase was a well-known death threat. In addition to being renowned for its beauty, the azalea is highly toxic—it contains andromedotoxins in both its leaves and nectar, including honey from the nectar.
Bees are deliberately fed on Azalea/Rhododendron nectar in some parts of Turkey, producing a mind-altering medicinal, lethal honey known as "mad honey". According to the ancient Roman historian Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, an army invading Pontus in Turkey was poisoned with such honey, resulting in their defeat. Motoyama, Kōchi has a flower festival in which the blooming of Tsutsuji is celebrated and Tatebayashi, Gunma is famous for its Azalea Hill Park, Tsutsuji-ga-oka. Nezu Shrine in Bunkyo, holds a Tsutsuji Matsuri from early April until early May. Higashi Village has hosted an azalea festival each year since 1976; the village's 50,000 azalea plants draw an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 visitors each year. Sobaeksan, one of the 12 well-known Sobaek Mountains, lying on the border between Chungbuk Province and Gyeongbuk has a royal azalea festival held on May every year. Sobaeksan has an azalea colony dotted around Biro mountaintop and Yonwha early in May; when royal azaleas have turned pink in the end of May, it looks.
The Ma On Shan Azalea Festival is held in Ma On Shan, where six native species are found in the area. The festival has been held since 2004. Many cities in the United States have festivals in the spring celebrating the blooms of the azalea, including Summerville, South Carolina; the Azalea Trail is a designated path, planted with azaleas in private gardens, through Mobile, Alabama. The Azalea Trail Run is an annual road running event held there in late March. Mobile, Alabama is home to the Azalea Trail Maids, fifty women chosen to serve as ambassadors of the city while wearing antebellum dresses, who participated in a three-day festival, but now operate throughout the year; the Azalea Society of America designated Houston, Texas, an "azalea city". The River Oaks Garden Club has conducted the Houston Azalea Trail every spring since 1935. List of Award of Garden Merit rhododendrons List of plants poisonous to equines "Azalea". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911. Azalea Society of America American Rhododendron Society: What is an Azalea?
Azalea Collection of the U. S. National Arboretum Azalea Collection of Botany garten Pruhonice CZ
A picnic is a meal taken outdoors as part of an excursion – ideally in scenic surroundings, such as a park, lakeside, or other place affording an interesting view, or else in conjunction with a public event such as preceding an open-air theatre performance, in summer. Picnics are meant for the late mornings or midday breakfasts, but could be held as a luncheonette or a dinner event. Descriptions of picnics show that the idea of a meal, jointly contributed and was enjoyed out-of-doors was essential to a picnic from the early 19th century. Picnics are family oriented but can be an intimate occasion between two people or a large get together such as company picnics and church picnics, it is sometimes combined with a cookout a form of barbecue: either grilling, baking, or a combination of all of the above. On romantic and family picnics, a picnic basket and a blanket are brought along. Outdoor games or some other form of entertainment are common at large picnics. In established public parks, a picnic area includes picnic tables and other items related to eating outdoors, such as built-in grills, water faucets, garbage containers, restrooms.
Some picnics are a potluck, an entertainment at which each person contributed some dish to a common table for all to share. When the picnic is not a cookout, the food eaten is hot, instead taking the form of deli sandwiches, finger food, fresh fruit, cold meats and accompanied by chilled wine or champagne or soft drinks; the first usage of the word is traced to the 1692 edition of Tony Willis, Origines de la Langue Française, which mentions pique-nique as being of recent origin. The term was used to describe a group of people dining in a restaurant; the concept of a picnic long retained the connotation of a meal to which everyone contributed something. Whether picnic is based on the verb piquer which means'pick' or'peck' with the rhyming nique meaning "thing of little importance" is doubted. Picnicking was common in France after the French Revolution, when it became possible for ordinary people to visit and mingle in the country’s royal parks. In 18th and 19th centuries, picnics were elaborate social events with complex meals and fancy drinks that sometimes took days to prepare.
The word picnic first appeared in English in a letter of the Gallicized Lord Chesterfield in 1748, who associates it with card-playing and conversation, may have entered the English language from this French word. The practice of an elegant meal eaten out-of-doors, rather than an agricultural worker's dinner in a field, was connected with respite from hunting from the Middle Ages. Though it may have appeared in a 17th-century dictionary as "pique-nique," the actual usage began as "pique un niche" meaning to "pick a place," an isolated spot where family or friends could enjoy a jolly meal together away from the distractions and public nature of a communal life; the term after years of usage entered the official French language. Despite having been debunked, a spurious etymology linking the origin of the word to lynchings of African-Americans in the American South continues to resurface from time to time. After the French Revolution in 1789, royal parks became open to the public for the first time.
Picnicking in the parks became a popular activity amongst the newly enfranchised citizens. Early in the 19th century, a fashionable group of Londoners formed the'Picnic Society'. Members met in the Pantheon on Oxford Street; each member was expected to provide a share of the entertainment and of the refreshments with no one particular host. Interest in the society waned in the 1850s. From the 1830s, Romantic American landscape painting of spectacular scenery included a group of picnickers in the foreground. An early American illustration of the picnic is Thomas Cole's The Pic-Nic of 1846. In it, a guitarist serenades the genteel social group in the Hudson River Valley with the Catskills visible in the distance. Cole's well-dressed young picnickers having finished their repast, served from splint baskets on blue-and-white china, stroll about in the woodland and boat on the lake; the image of picnics as a peaceful social activity can be utilised for political protest, too. In this context, a picnic functions as a temporary occupation of significant public territory.
A famous example of this is the Pan-European Picnic held on both sides of the Hungarian/Austrian border on the 19 August 1989 as part of the struggle towards German reunification. In 2000, a 600-mile-long picnic took place from coast to coast in France to celebrate the first Bastille Day of the new Millennium. In the United States the 4 July celebration of American independence is a popular day for a picnic. In Italy, the favorite picnic day is Easter Monday; the 1955 film Picnic, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by William Inge, was a multiple Oscar winner. The film has been remade twice, in 1986 and 2000. Picnickers are used to illustrate the scale of one metre in the film Powers of Ten; the Office Picnic is a dark comedy set in an Australian Public Service office. It was written and produced by filmmaker Tom Cowan, now famous for his work on the series Survivor. In Peter Weir's myst