2019

Shutterbug Sunday: Alamance Battleground

Posted on Updated on

Battle of Alamance Marker Image One
12-07-2019

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

State Archives Monument Image Two
Battle map behind the Visitor Center Museum, facing the battleground.
Map Image Three
3-D Map of NC Militia troops and the Regulators.
Creek & Rock Image Five
The rock in the 3-D battle map and
the small creek/tributary of Beaver Creek/Big Alamance Creek/Lake Mackintosh.
Field Cannon Image Four
Field cannon.
First Monument Image Six
Facing Inscription:
“HERE WAS FOUGHT THE BATTLE OF ALAMANCE
MAY 18, 1771
BETWEEN THE BRITISH AND
THE REGULATORS
First Monument Image Seven
Left Inscription:
Crossed Cannons & LIBERTY
Right Inscription:
FIRST BATTLE OF THE REVOLUTION
Battleground Sun Image Eight
Battleground Sun

More to come…

Flashback Friday: Altamont Concert 1969

Posted on Updated on

Grace Slick Image Three
Grace Slick
Photo Credit: Bill Owens

[Note: I originally posted this, yesterday, just before midnight. In researching the data, I stumbled across Bill Owens, a photographer that was at Altamont. He was hired by the Associated Press to cover the concert. I emailed him, reference the two photos of his I posted. I hit ‘publish’ before I found his contact page and statement about photos for sale. In my haste to get this up while it was still Friday, I jumped the gun and quickly made the post private. I asked Bill what the price would be to use two of his pictures. As a photographer myself, I understand copyright issues but, I also recognize the gray area that many a blogger operate in, in the blogosphere….Fair Use (link on that, below). Anyway, this very kind gentleman has allowed my one-time use for this 50th anniversary post. He also provided me with a copy of an interview, conducted by Tony D’Souza in April 2019, covering his Altamont experience and other questions regarding his career. I will post an excerpt and attach the full interview, below. ~Vic]

Fifty years, ago, today, a free rock concert was held at the Altamont Speedway in Tracy, California. Described as “rock and roll’s all-time worst day, […], a day when everything went perfectly wrong“, the event saw violence and four deaths, the most notable being the stabbing of Meredith Hunter.

The concert featured (in order of appearance): Santana, Jefferson Airplane, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, with the Rolling Stones taking the stage as the final act. The Grateful Dead were also scheduled to perform following CSNY but, declined to play shortly before their scheduled appearance due to the increasing violence at the venue.

Approximately 300,000 attended the concert, and some anticipated that it would be a “Woodstock [West Coast verson]”. Woodstock was held in Bethel, New York, in mid-August, less than four months earlier. Filmmakers Albert and David Maysles shot footage of the event and incorporated it into the 1970 documentary film titled Gimme Shelter.

[Source]

Naked Guy Image Two
The naked guy.
Photo Credit: Bill Owens

[It’s] not every day that a rock and roll band’s performance, let alone the Rolling Stones’, is accompanied by a knifing, stomping murder within a scream of the stage.

“The violence,” Keith Richard told the London Evening Standard, “just in front of the stage was incredible. Looking back, I don’t think it was a good idea to have [Hells] Angels there. But, we had them at the suggestion of the Grateful Dead. The trouble is, it’s a problem for us either way. If you don’t have them to work for you as stewards, they come, anyway and cause trouble. But, to be fair, out of the whole 300 Angels working as stewards, the vast majority did what they were supposed to do, which was to regulate the crowds as much as possible without causing any trouble. But, there were about ten or twenty who were completely out of their minds…trying to drive their motorcycles through the middle of the crowds.”

The Maysles Brothers, the film company which had shot the whole Stones’ tour, complete with its violent climax at Altamont, had gotten some remarkable footage of Hunter’s killing.

[Source]

Robert Hiatt, a medical resident at the Public Health Hospital in San Francisco, was the first doctor to reach 18-year-old Meredith Hunter after the fatal wounds. He was behind the stage and responded to Jagger’s call from the stage for a doctor. When Hiatt got to the scene, people were trying to get Hunter up on the stage, apparently in the hope that the Stones would stop playing and help could get through quicker.

The Stones & The Hells Angels Image
Stones on stage with Hells Angels.
Photo Credit: allthatsinteresting.com

Three others […] died (two in a hit-and-run accident, another by drowning) and, countless more were injured and wounded during the course of this daylong “free” concert. It was such a bad trip that it was almost perfect. All it lacked was mass rioting and the murder of one or more musicians.

All these things happened, and worse. Altamont was the product of diabolical egotism, hype, ineptitude, money manipulation and, at base, a fundamental lack of concern for humanity.

[Source]

Interview with Bill Owens:
bill@billowens.com
Bill Owens: Altamont 1969 (Amazon)
50 Years After Altamont: The End of the 60s (The New York Times April 15, 2019)

Bill Owens took iconic photos of the Hells Angels beating concertgoers with pool cue sticks at the Rolling Stones’ performance during the Altamont Speedway Free Festival four months after Woodstock on December 6, 1969. Altamont, which included violence almost all day and one stabbing death, is considered by historians as the end of the Summer of Love and the overall 1960’s youth ethos. This series of photos include panoramas of the massive, unruly crowd, Grace Slick and Carlos Santana on stage with the press of humanity so close in, they’re clearly performing under duress.

Of that day, Owens has written: “I got a call from a friend, she said the Associated Press wanted to hire me for a day to cover a rock and roll concert. I road my motorcycle to the event. I had two Nikons, three lenses, thirteen rolls of film, a sandwich, and a jar of water.”

Owens was so fearful of retribution by the Hells Angels that he published the photos under pseudonyms. Some of the negatives were later stolen…Owens believes by the Angels. He continues to have conflicted feelings about Altamont. He had no interest in violence and took no pride in photographing it.

In 1972, Owens released a book of black and white photography called Suburbia, also, now, an American icon. Irascible, stubborn, funny, grouchy, ornery and deeply rooted in small town life, Owens is built like a middleweight puncher and wears his hair as though he was a Marine. Indeed, Owens was never a hippie but, a clean-cut newspaper photographer, husband and father, who joined the Peace Corps to serve his country and “do good.” Turning 80 this September, Owens has also had noted careers as a craft beer brewer and pub owner, a magazine publisher many times over and, is now a distiller. His books include Suburbia, Working, Leisure and many others. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim and two NEAs. His work is collected in leading museums the world over, including the Smithsonian. Recent coverage of Owens includes an April retrospective in the New York Times (link above) of his Altamont photos for the event’s impending 50th anniversary. The photos are available for viewing at Owens’ website (link above and below).

I first met Owens at the defunct Rostel Gallery in remote and far northern Dunsmuir, CA, in late August or early September of 2008 (I remember because my daughter had just been born and the event was the first outing of her life), where they were showing images from Suburbia. These are images of people embarking on a new, modern way of life that they look excited by, but also confused, as though technology and the modish styles of the time were costumes they were still getting comfortable in. Owens’ photograph of a young suburban boy wearing cowboy boots, carrying a toy rifle and riding a Big Wheel, “Ritchie,” has always haunted me, though I couldn’t say precisely why.

Continue reading the interview HERE (PDF)

Set List
Death of Meredith Hunter
Reactions
Let It Bleed (Rolling Stone Magazine January 21, 1970)
Rock & Roll’s Worst Day (Rolling Stone Magazine February 7, 1970)
Altamont Rock Festival: ’60s Abruptly End (Livermore History March/April 2010)
Altamont Rock Festival of 1969: The Aftermath (Livermore History January/February 2011)
Biggest Rock Concert Ends (The Bulletin December 8, 1969)
Bill Owens Site (Associated Press Photographer at Altamont)
Ruling On Fair Use (American Photography May 3, 2019)


 

Thanksgiving 2019

Posted on

Riverwalk Sunset Image One
Riverwalk Thanksgiving sunset this evening.

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

Riverwalk Thanksgiving Sunset Image Two
I was actually trying to capture not only the sun setting but,
the crescent moon as well.
Crescent Moon Image Three
You can just see the crescent moon in the center.
Just below it, hard to see, is Venus.
It’s a truly slim crescent but, my phone always blurs Moon.

Shutterbug Saturday: Sky Gazing 2.0

Posted on Updated on

Beauty when you look up. All photos are my personal collection © ~Vic

Part I & Sunsets Local

Cloud Image One
A “W” with a smile.
06-22-2018
Cloud Image Two
A big feather or…a Gremlin?
06-27-2019
Cloud Image Three
Reminds me of cooked fish.
10-17-2019
Cloud Image Four
Ribbons of color.
The phone couldn’t capture the deep pinks.
11-12-2019

POTD: Firebird In The Sky

Posted on

This one isn’t mine. This is a shot my buddy Ray captured at IBM. ~Vic

Firebird Image
08-06-2019

Beaver Moon 2019

Posted on Updated on

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

Beaver Moon 2019 Image One
Rising over the Riverwalk.
11-11-2019
Beaver Moon 2019 Image Two
Across the Eno.
Beaver Moon 2019 Image Three
Rising over the town.
Beaver Moon 2019 Image Four
Looks like birds in flight.

Old Farmer’s Almanac

Veterans Day 2019

Posted on Updated on

Veterans Day Image One

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 Image One
Hargrave Military Academy Circa 1958

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.

Robinson Image Two
The Robbie
Circa 1953
Ken Image Three
Circa 1961

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*

Canisteo Image Three
The Canisteo
Circa 1961
Ken Image Four
Circa 1962
While on board the Canisteo, he participated in the Cuban Blockade

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.

Ken Image Five
Gulfport, MS
Ken on the left.
The puppy had been rescued from a house fire.
Circa 1967
Ken Image Six
Camp Haskins
Notice the guy waving in the background.

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).

Ken Image Seven
A life saved…

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.]

POTD: Jupiter

Posted on

My stupidphone actually captured Jupiter. ~Vic

Jupiter Image
The white dot, top right, is Jupiter…believe it or not.
10-02-2019

Shutterbug Saturday: The Town

Posted on Updated on

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

Courthouse Image One
Orange County Courthouse
09-28-2019
Library Image Tow
Local Library
10-06-2018
Old Cedar Walk Image Three
Old Cedar Walk Sign
06-13-2018
The Cedar Walk Image Four
The Cedar Walk Circa 1818
07-17-2018
Old Courthouse Image Five
Old Courthouse
07-17-2018
Old Courthouse Back Entrance Image Six
Old Courthouse
Back Entrance
07-14-2019

(Length 00:01:40)

(Length 00:03:53)

Autumnal Equinox 2019

Posted on

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.

Flag Image One
House a block away from mine.
09-23-2018
Riverwalk Path Image Two
Riverwalk path.
Cedar Tree Image Three
Odd looking Cedar tree that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight.
Riverwalk Bridge Image Four
Riverwalk iron bridge.

The Equinox for our area occurred at 3:50am EDT. ~Vic

Facts & Folklore

Meteorological Fall

Time and Date Issue #88

Shutterbug Saturday: Training

Posted on Updated on

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

Ladder Truck Image One
Rotating and extending. 09-09-2019
Ladder Truck Image Two
Reaching for the Moon.
Ladder Truck Image Three
Retracting.
Ladder Truck Image Four
Successful test for the young buck.
Department Sign Image Five
Serving our small town and the rural communities. They are a wonderful crew. 12-01-2018

Shutterbug Saturday: Wildlife

Posted on

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

Wildlife Image One
Evening Walk
04-30-2019

Wildlife Image Two
Around Town
05-22-2019

Wildlife Image Three
Grazing, fear free.
05-22-2019
Wildlife Image Four
Tried to zoom in a bit.
The fuzziness makes it look like a painting.
05-22-2019

Harvest Moon 2019

Posted on Updated on

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.

Harvest Moon 2016 Image One

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.

Harvest Moon 2016 Image Two

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.

Harvest Moon 2019 Image Three
From the front porch…
Harvest Moon 2019 Image Four
Little bit darker.

Howl for me! ~Vic


 

Shutterbug Saturday: Critter Collections Part VII

Posted on Updated on

All Things Critter
All photos are my personal collection. ~Vic
Part I/Part II/Part III/Part IV/Part V/Part VI

Grasshopper Image One
Big grasshopper.
Taken with my old Samsung Alias II.
Nature Preserve
Round Rock, TX
10-25-2008
Lizard Image Two
Another shot of the blue tail.
05-06-2019
Tiny Bee Image Three
Tiny bee in my side yard.
05-13-2019
Ladybug Image Four
On the Riverwalk, headed to Gold Park.
Love the Ladybugs.
05-13-2019
Dragonfly Image Five
Dragonfly in the Butterfly Garden.
He looks like a Skivvy Waver.
05-17-2019
Wolf Spider Image Six
Wolf spider running on the Riverwalk.
05-19-2019
Bumblebees Image Seven
Hungry Bumbles
05-31-2019
Preying Mantis Image Eight
Young Preying Mantis on a Black-Eyed Susan.
Riverwalk
05-31-2019

FOTD: Phlox

Posted on

Walking around town. ~Vic

Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge

Phlox Image
04-10-2019

Flashback Friday: War Begins & Ends 1914-1919

Posted on Updated on

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

Franz Ferdinand Image One
Image Credit: smithsonianmag.com

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.

[Source]

Treaty of Versailles Image Two
Image Credit: pinterest.com

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.

[Source]

Poppies Image Three
Evening walk.
05-07-2019

Summer Solstice 2019

Posted on

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

Solstice Sun Image
From my Adirondack chair in the side yard.
Cardinal Image Two
Young Cardinal checking things out.
Caterpillar Image Three
Fuzzy, green caterpillar that I can’t identify.
I tried.
Crawled up on my chair.

National Day Calendar Image Four

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.

[Source]

FOTD: White Narcissus

Posted on

This was a nice find on an evening walk. I’d never seen a solid white one, before. ~Vic

Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge

Narcissus Image
04-10-2019

Strawberry Moon 2019

Posted on

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

Strawberry Moon Image One
Standing in my driveway.
I supposed my photos could be impressionist like Monet.

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.

Strawberries Image Two
Image Credit: moongiant.com

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.

Strawberry Moon Image Three
Power lines always get in the way.

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.

Strawberry Image Four
Peaking through the Willow Oak.

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.

[Source]


 

FOTD: Tree of Lavender

Posted on Updated on

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

Lavender Flowers Image
Tree of flowers.
I don’t know what they are.
04-07-2019

POTD: The Other Shroom

Posted on

A week ago, I posted a photo of a rather large tree mushroom. It had a smaller twin on the other side. We’ve had a very wet spring. ~Vic

Tree Shroom Image
04-15-2019

Shutterbug Saturday: Rogue Artistes Part IV

Posted on Updated on

This will be the last in the graffiti series for a while until some new ones show up or I find artwork somewhere else. ~Vic
Part I
Part II
Part III

Seek Love Image One
This is really hard to see but, it says “Seek Love”.
Riverwalk path.
05-26-2019
Sell Souls Image Two
How to sell soul to a soulless people who sold their souls?
06-09-2017
Love More Image Three
Love More
06-01-2019
Nothing Is Easy Image Four
Nothing is easy, especially high voltage.
06-09-2017
One-Eyed Smile Image Five
One-eyed smile?
06-01-2019
Storm Cloud Image Six
Storm cloud over the soulless people.
How apropos…
06-01-2019
Smiley Image Seven
Smiley scribbled in the window.
This is the shed next to the house from the first post.
05-19-2019
New Canvas Image Eight
Remember the winter tree with the red heart, love, pain and voodoo?
It’s gone. New canvas for new art.
05-17-2019

Foto Friday: Critter Collections Part V

Posted on Updated on

All Things Critter
All photos are my personal collection. ~Vic
Part I/Part II/Part III/Part IV

McKinley Spider Image One
A McKinley by the lamp post at the First Baptist Church.
The web was enormous.
09-02-2017
Orb Weaver Image Two
An Orb Weaver off the corner of the front porch.
09-22-2017
Preying Mantis Image Three
I guess she was enjoying the flowers.
10-02-2017
Preying Mantis Image Four
She posed for me.
What a ham.
Slug Image Five
Slug on the front porch.
10-18-2017
Lady Beetle Image Six
It took me a while to find this one.
Google “black bug, yellow dots” and you will get tons of pix.
This is an Asian lady beetle larva.
10-28-2017
Slug Image Seven
Larger slug on the side of the house.
06-16-2018
Moth Image Eight
Moth on the kitchen window.
04-03-2019