Two months ago, on December 7, 2019, I visited Alamance Battleground with my buddy Ray. I posted the first batch of pictures on December 8, intending to post the rest on December 14. For obvious reasons, that didn’t happen so, here are the rest.
All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic
Back in May, I did a post on the Battle of Alamance so, I won’t revisit the historical details. Yesterday, I visited the actual battleground with my buddy, Ray. They were having German Heritage Day with authentic German food for visitors. I was so glad we had a beautiful day. It was chilly but, there was a really good turnout. I hadn’t been to this site in nearly 45 years.
All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic
More to come…
As I type this, I am nearly comatose from the tryptophan overload. I’m glad I went for a walk before I ate as I would never have been able to get off the couch. I didn’t prepare a full size turkey as there was only three of us eating. I slow cooked a turkey breast in my crock pot. I did have the usual mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce and my lumpy mushroom gravy. With a small gathering, no traditional dressing but, stove top stuffing instead. I’ve struggled for years to make non-lumpy gravy. It just ain’t happening. *sigh*
Many well wishes and, safe travels to family and friends. The weather is a mess in many parts of the US. *yawn* ~Vic
This one isn’t mine. This is a shot my buddy Ray captured at IBM. ~Vic
I did a Beaver Moon post last year with background information and alternate names. I won’t duplicate the information, here…just some new pictures.
100% illumination occurred, here, at 8:34am EST.
All pictures are my personal collection ©. Howl for me! ~Vic
Old Farmer’s Almanac
Last year, I did a post on World War I for Veterans Day as it had been 100 years, exactly, since the end of that war. I also covered how other countries memorialize and/or celebrate and, ended the post with two poems. I’ve written in a previous post about my almost Army brat status and referred to my significant other in this post.
Ken’s first foray into the ‘military’ was the Hargave Military Academy in Virginia. His mother sent him there for summer school to assist with grades after a poor eighth grade year. He stayed for his ninth grade year and did very well. Unfortunately, it was extremely expensive and he returned to regular high school for tenth grade.
At the end of his junior year, he’d had enough of regular high school and made it clear to his mother that he wanted to go into the Navy. The military was all he was interested in. So, at the tender age of 17, his mother signed him into service. He went into the reserves for two years and began to train as a Corpsman. His sea duties were aboard the USS Robinson (DD-562), a Fletcher Class destroyer, the second ship in the Navy to be named after Captain Isaiah Robinson (Continental Navy). The “Robbie” received eight battle stars for World War II service and appeared in the movie Away All Boats.
After two years of training, he went active duty…and the Navy lost its mind. Orders to report to his new ship in hand, he was sent to Charleston, SC, to be assigned to the USS Canisteo (AO-99), a Cimarron Class fleet oiler, named for the Canisteo River in New York and the only ship to bear that name. It’s crew received nine medals.
Unfortunately, upon his arrival, there was no ship to board. The Charleston Naval Base had no record of it being there and, in the meantime, he was sent to the transit barracks. While waiting, he volunteered to be a lifeguard for a week. The remaining time was spent waiting at the barracks. After three weeks, the Navy adjusted his orders and sent him to Norfolk Naval Base, the home port of the Canisteo. Upon arrival, no ship. He was, again, assigned to the transit barracks…until they could find the ship. After a four-day wait, the Navy adjusted his orders a second time and he was sent to the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard. The shipyard had no record of the Canisteo being there so, he was sent…a-gain…to the transit barracks. His ship was finally found at the Todd Shipyards in Red Hook Brooklyn, a civilian shipyard. With his orders in hand (now, a rather large portfolio of paperwork), stamped by the Navy (adjusted a third time), he headed to his ship. He reported to the Officer of the Deck and was told that he had been reported AWOL. The OOD examined the orders, informed him that his Corpsman striker slot had been filled due to his (unintended) absence and, just like that, he was transformed into part of the deck force, wiping out two years of training. He became a Bosun’s Mate striker. *facepalm*
He left active service in 1964 and rolled into the IRR, waiting for the end of his contract to expire. On March 8, 1965, Marines landed near Da Nang, marking the beginning of the ground war in Vietnam. Ken was working a full time job and was watching what was going on. By the summer of 1966, he decided that he was going to go back to the Navy, interested in the River Patrol (and PBRs) and went to see a prior service recruiter. The recruiter told him that the Navy would not give him his rank back. Ken left his office and was stopped by a Marine recruiter in the hallway. He told him to go back in and ask about the Seabees. He did so and the Navy prior service recruiter changed his tune. Off he went to Camp Endicott in Rhode Island for training. He was assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74 and sent to Gulfport, Home of the Seabees.
He arrived in Vietnam in July of 1967. His base was Camp Haskins on Red Beach in Da Nang. The Marines were on Monkey Mountain across the bay and at Da Nang Air Base in the opposite direction, across the highway. At the beginning of the Tet Offensive, the bombing of the Air Base in January of 1968 nearly knocked Ken out of a guard tower. He was designated a builder and did his share of such but, spent most of his time running patrols with the Marines.
On November 3, 1967, a fellow Seabee had an accident with a saw while cutting some wood. A sawhorse shifted and the man injured himself, accidentally. The blade cut an artery in his thigh and Ken’s Corpsman training kicked in. He, literally, stuck his hand into the guy’s thigh to clamp the artery with his thumb and forefinger. When the rescue helicopter arrived, the coagulated blood on Ken’s arm prevented him from being able to remove his hand from the guy’s thigh. Ken got a free ride in the helicopter to the hospital with his charge. A life was saved (the actual details are pretty gruesome).
And, this concludes my long-ass tribute to my Fleet Navy/Vietnam Seabee veteran. If you have a veteran in your life…hug them. ~Vic
[Addendum: When I moved in with Ken some years ago, I was looking at his DD-214. He swore he only had one and I saw from the data that he had two. We sent off for his records and, sure enough, there were two. I discovered that, when he went to the prior service recruiter, the guy didn’t bother to check to see if Ken was still on contract. He was and, had he checked, Ken could have returned to the Navy, with rank intact, and left for Vietnam as part of the Brown Water Navy…and most likely died. The life span of PBR guys was fairly short.]
I’ve posted enough times about the small town I live in. It’s old, it’s eclectic and it is walk-able. It’s also way too expensive, unfortunately. But, I am enjoying it while I am here. ~Vic
Now that I have gotten the Billboard nonsense off of my chest, today is the first day of Autumn. The Equinox of 2018 fell on September 22. I wasn’t out and about, today so, no pix but, I do have some from last year.
The Equinox for our area occurred at 3:50am EDT. ~Vic
My paternal grandfather was a firefighter, my brother-in-law is and my dad nearly was. I grew up going with my grandmother to my hometown’s fire department HQ, bringing lunch for my grandfather. When he retired, he worked dispatch.
As a Drivers License Examiner, I got to give road tests in firetrucks.
I was lucky to catch this. I was walking home from the local market. ~Vic
Training The Next Generation
The deer in this town are so used to not being hunted, they will come out in broad daylight, eat, play and stare at you. Some are almost tame and you can get rather close to them. They’re cute but, they will mess up a garden if it is not properly secured. I learned the hard way not to plant tulips and I discovered that they like green/white Hosta but, not the green/yellow. They will not touch Narcissus. ~Vic
I did a Harvest Moon post last year and, once again, I can’t get any pix of tonight’s moon. We have an incredible low ceiling and I haven’t seen the sun all day. On a positive note, a low ceiling makes sound travel farther and I can hear the local high school football game from three miles away. The last time there was a full moon on Friday the 13th, it was January of 2006 and it wasn’t here. Technically, my area won’t be full illumination until 12:33am EDT but, the rest of the country, westward…Jason might turn into a werewolf.
I DO have some shots from September 15, 2016, tho, taken with my, then, Samsung S5.
From Moon Giant:
September’s Full Moon was called the Full Corn Moon or Harvest Moon by the early North American Farmers. The term “Harvest Moon” refers to the Full Moon that occurs closest to the Autumnal Equinox. The Full Moon closest to this Equinox rises about 20 minutes later each night as apposed to the rest of the year when the moon rises around 50 minutes later each night. In the northern hemisphere, the Full Harvest Moon rises very soon after sunset, providing plenty of bright light for farmers harvesting their summer crops. September’s full moon is so well-known for its luminosity and brilliance that certain Native American tribes even named it the Big Moon. The Full Harvest Moon holds major cultural significance in many different communities, who spend this full moon not just celebrating the fall harvest but, also, the moon itself.
The most widely known tradition associated with the Full Harvest Moon is the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated by Chinese communities all around the world. It is also known as the Mooncake Festival. On the full moon night of the eighth lunar month, people gather with friends and family to admire the brilliant full moon while eating mooncakes and drinking tea. Mooncakes are a rich pastry traditionally filled with sweet bean paste, or lotus seed paste, and sometimes, even include salted egg yolks. The sweet osmanthus flower also blooms during this time and, is often used in teas and the reunion wine drunk when visiting with family. It is a common tradition to celebrate by carrying brightly colored lanterns. [You] can often enjoy the beautiful sight of lanterns hanging in front of buildings or in parks, or sky lanterns floating towards the full moon.
The Japanese celebrate this full moon with the Tsukimi tradition (which literally means moon-viewing in Japanese), where people prepare offerings to the moon and eat round tsukimi dango, or rice dumplings. In Korea, this full moon is celebrated as Chuseok, which is one of Korea’s most major holidays, similar to Thanksgiving. People travel back to their hometowns for reunions with their family and tend to their ancestors’ graves. Traditional activities include exchanging gifts, playing folk games, drinking rice wine, and eating songpyeon, which is a rice cake shaped like a half-moon.
[The] Full Harvest Moon is called the Nut Moon by the Cherokee tribes, who gather all sorts of nuts to make nut bread, which is eaten during harvest festivals such as the Ripe Corn Festival. During this moon, Native American tribes pay respects to Mother Earth for her generosity in providing food for her children, including corn and other staple foods. Chinese communities, on the other hand, spend the Mid-Autumn Festival worshipping the Moon Goddess, Chang’e.
Just as I was creating this post, our clouds cleared. I got a couple of different shots as I was experimenting with my phone’s camera settings.
Howl for me! ~Vic
Much like June 14, June 28 is also a very interesting day. It marks the beginning and ending of The Great War or, The War to End All Wars. Though true that the guns fell silent on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month with the signing of the Armistice in a railroad car in Compiègne, France, today’s date serves as solid markers in the timeline. ~Vic
On this day in 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie are shot to death by a Bosnian Serb nationalist during an official visit to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. The archduke traveled to Sarajevo […] to inspect the imperial armed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908. The annexation had angered Serbian nationalists, who believed the territories should be part of Serbia. A group of young nationalists hatched a plot to kill the archduke during his visit to Sarajevo and, after some missteps, 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip was able to shoot the royal couple at point-blank range, while they traveled in their official procession, killing both, almost instantly.
The assassination set off a rapid chain of events, as Austria-Hungary immediately blamed the Serbian government for the attack. As large, powerful Russia supported Serbia, Austria asked for assurances that Germany would step in on its side against Russia, and its allies, including France and possibly Great Britain. On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and the fragile peace between Europe’s great powers collapsed, beginning the devastating conflict now known as the First World War.
World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles [on this day in] 1919. The treaty, negotiated between January and June […] in Paris, was written by the Allies with almost no participation by the Germans. The negotiations revealed a split between the French, who wanted to dismember Germany to make it impossible for it to renew war with France and, the British and Americans, who did not want to create pretexts for a new war. The eventual treaty included 15 parts, […] 440 articles, […] reassigned German boundaries and assigned liability for reparations.
The German government signed the treaty under protest. The U.S. Senate refused to ratify the treaty and the U.S. government took no responsibility for most of its provisions.
For five years the French and the Belgians tried to enforce the treaty quite rigorously […]. In 1924, however, Anglo-American financial pressure compelled France to scale down its goals and end the occupation. […] The French assented to modifying important provisions of the treaty in a series of new agreements. Germany in 1924, and 1929, agreed to pay reparations under the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan but, the Great Depression led to the cancellation of reparations in 1932. Hitler denounced the treaty altogether in 1935.
One can never know whether either rigorous Franco-British enforcement of the original treaty or a more generous treaty would have avoided a new war.
I did a post last year, celebrating the Summer Solstice of 2018. I got some really cool pictures that day. I got a few this year with some visitations from nature.
If anyone can identify my caterpillar, let me know. ~Vic
The Summer Solstice for our area of the planet was at 11:45am EDT.
The word “solstice” comes from Latin solstitium — from sol (Sun) and stitium (still or stopped), reflecting the fact that on the solstice, the Sun appears to stop “moving” in the sky as it reaches its northern or, southernmost point (declination) for the year, as seen from Earth. After the solstice, the Sun appears to reverse course and head back in the opposite direction. The motion referred to here is the apparent path of the Sun when one views its position in the sky at the same time each day, for example at local noon. Over the year, its path forms a sort of flattened figure eight, called an analemma. Of course, the Sun, itself, is not moving (unless you consider its own orbit around the Milky Way Galaxy). Tnstead, this change in position in the sky that we on Earth notice is caused by the tilt of Earth’s axis as it orbits the Sun, as well as Earth’s elliptical, rather than circular, orbit. The timing of the June solstice is not based on a specific calendar date or time. It all depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator.
Did you know that the Sun actually sets more slowly around the time of a solstice, in that it takes longer to set below the horizon? This is related to the angle of the setting Sun. The farther the Sun sets from due west along the horizon, the shallower the angle of the setting Sun. (Conversely, it’s faster at or near the equinoxes.) Bottom-line, enjoy those long romantic summertime sunsets at or near the solstice!
Many cultures, both ancient and modern, celebrate the sunlight with rituals and holidays. Every year on the summer solstice, thousands of people travel to Wiltshire, England, to Stonehenge […]. There are many Midsummer celebrations all over the planet.
I did a post nearly a year ago for 2018. Last year, the Strawberry Moon appeared after the Summer Solstice. It’s also referred to as the Flower Moon and this year, it is also a Fathers’ Day Moon (I just made that up). Full illumination occurred at 4:30am EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic
The colorful name is closely linked with the spread of warmer weather across the Northern Hemisphere and many Native American and, First Nations peoples, have special names for this full moon. The Algonquin tribes of what is now New England coined the nickname Full Strawberry Moon because the phase marked the best time of year to harvest the wild fruit. Similarly, the Cherokee of the southeastern woodlands knew the moon as the Green Corn Moon, the time of year when fresh corn ears grow best.
The sweetest full moon of the year is June’s full moon […]. While the full moon itself is inedible, despite how round and delicious it may seem, the Full Strawberry Moon marks strawberry harvesting season in North America. Most Algonquin tribes understood that it was a sign that wild strawberries were starting to ripen and ready for the harvest. Delicious though ripe strawberries may be, June’s full moon has another name that’s even sweeter. What could possibly be sweeter than strawberries? Try honey. In Europe, June’s full moon was actually known as the Honey Moon. Other European names for it included the Hot Moon, signifiying the beginning of hot summer days, or Hay Moon, because of the first hay harvest. Those names aside, European names for the Full Strawberry Moon overall tend to have sweet, romantic connotations, a good example [being] the name Full Rose Moon. June’s full moon is also called Mead Moon, which could refer to the mowing of meadows during summer but, there’s another more romantic interpretation as well.
In Europe, it’s traditional to gift mead or honey to a newlywed couple during their first moon of marriage. The name Honey Moon, itself, has now become a common word in the English language, used to refer to the honeymoon holiday that couples go on right after they’re married. It used to be that newlyweds in ancient Europe would go on a sweet romantic holiday around the time of June’s full moon because the moon phases were seen as a symbol for the phases of a marriage with the full moon signifying the fullest and happiest part, the wedding itself. The Full Strawberry Moon is tied to romance and marital bliss all around the world. In India, for example, June’s full moon is celebrated as Vat Purnima where married women perform a ceremonial ritual to show their love for their husbands. Vat Purnima is based off a legend from the Mahabharata about a beautiful woman, Savitri, who is determined to save her husband, Satyavan, who is doomed to die an early death. Savitri fasts for three days before Satyavan dies, upon which she successfully negotiates with the King of Hell for the resurrection of her husband. Similarly, married women nowadays dress up in beautiful saris, fast and tie a thread around a banyan tree seven times to wish that their husbands will lead long, happy lives.
It is no wonder, then, that the Pagans also call June’s full moon the Lovers’ Moon. This is an excellent time to work on the connections in your life, romantic or otherwise, by showing affection to your loved ones and allowing yourself to be vulnerable to encourage intimacy in your relationships. During this Honey Moon, some Hoodoo practitioners will even use honey in magic rituals to sweeten other people’s feelings towards the practitioner. An example of a sweetening ritual is to pour honey into a saucer containing the target’s name before lighting a candle on top of it. Another example of a honey ritual is to tie two poppets together with honey between them in order to heal a broken relationship between two people. Honey rituals aside, true magic may happen when you invest your time and effort during this month to work on your relationships and, appreciate the love you have in your life.
This is a tree on the church grounds. It’s huge and gorgeous. I have no idea what kind, though. ~Vic
Addendum: This is a Rhododendron, courtesy of Love in Australia. I would encourage anyone that needs assistance with figuring out what kind of flower they have to contact him:
Love’s Flower Identification Service.
It’s free, for the moment. That might change in the future. He is very, very good.
Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge