may 17

Flower Moon 2020

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I did a pretty extensive write-up last year with Native American names and two videos. I won’t repeat all that here. I am including a shot from 2017 (before I was blogging again) and a shot from 2019 that wasn’t part of the previous post.

Full illumination occurred at 6:45am EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic

Flower Moon Image One
From this evening…
Flower Moon Image Two
Peek-a-Boo
Flower Moon Image Three
I caught the Moon with the setting sun.
It’s a little hard to see.
05-17-2019
Flower Moon Image Four
More Peek-a-Boo
05-11-2017

Movie Monday: The Sporting Venus 1925

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The Sporting Venus Image One
Image Credit: Mike Cline’s Then Playing Blog

Ninety-five years ago, today, the silent, black & white romance film The Sporting Venus was released by MGM. Directed by Marshall Neilan, story by Gerald Beaumont and screenplay by Thomas J. Geraghty, it was filmed at Cortachy Castle in Angus, Scotland and, MGM Studios. It starred Blanche Sweet (Neilan’s wife), Ronald Coleman, Lew Cody, Josephine Crowell and Edward Martindel. This was the first of two movies paring Sweet with Coleman.

Synopsis:

Lady Gwen, the last of the sporting Grayles, falls in love with Donald MacAllan, a bright young medical student far below her station. Gwen’s father, who opposes the match, introduces her to Prince Carlos, who wishes to marry her in order to pay off his creditors.

The Sporting Venus Image One
Photo Credit: imdb.com & amazon.com

Donald enlists during the World War and Carlos continues his courtship. When Donald returns from the fighting, Carlos tells him that he is engaged to Gwen and Donald, therefore, makes no attempt to see her. Gwen mistakes Donald’s seeming indifference for contempt and seeks to forget him by living riotously in several European capitals. Having exhausted her fortune, and ruined her health, Gwen returns to Scotland and goes to live in the same cottage where Donald used to study. She becomes ill and, in delirium, calls for Donald. Her old nurse goes to fetch him at the Grayle estate, which, having become wealthy, he has just bought. Donald rescues Gwen, who has wandered out in a storm, and nurses her back to health.

The Screen Review:

A Hollywood conception of Scotsmen who wear the kilt but, whose complexions betray nary a sign of the ruddy ruggedness due to Highland rain and wind, is to be seen at the Capitol this week in a picture called “The Sporting Venus” […]. [There] is a question [of] whether the Wallaces, the Bruces, the Watts and the McTavishes will smile with any satisfaction upon it. Not that they are intentionally maligned in this story but, that the men from the land of the heather are portrayed with studio-blanched complexions and, in one or two instances, wearing brocaded silk dressing gowns.

Ronald Coleman Image Two
Photo Credit: Ronald Coleman Gallery

Marshall Neilan, the director of this celluloid effusion, in his desire to depict Lady Grayle (Blanche Sweet) as a plucky person at the eleventh hour of a fast life, shows her ladyship smoking a cigarette before she breathes her last. Ronald Colman is undoubtedly a bonnie actor but, you just know that he never was born to wear a kilt, [though], he does for a few scenes. He impersonates Donald McAllen, frequently alluded to as a commoner.

Donald and the capricious lassie, Lady Gwendolyn, are happy in Scotland until the coming of Prince Carlos […]. This Prince, played by Lew Cody, is a man of many debts and a faithful valet. His creditors see only one way to get back their money and that is to have the oily gentleman marry a wealthy wife. Donald goes to France to fight, and when he returns on leave, [believes] the Prince’s story […] that [he], more or less, is to wed Lady Gwendolyn.

Lady Gwendolyn […] becomes […] a flighty young woman who gambles in millions. The young hero goes back to France, and as a surgeon, makes a great name for himself. He purchases Grayloch, the great estate of the Grayles.

With the background of Scotland, Mr. Neilan ought to have been able to make a production far stronger than this effort, which, at best, is only a mediocre diversion. It is true that it has some beautiful scenery and the settings are quite pleasing.

Mordaunt Hall
The New York Times
May 11, 1925

This film survived but, I can’t find any clips of it. Silent Era states that a premiere took place on May 10, 1925, at the Capitol Theatre in New York City and was released May 17, 1925. AFI disagrees. ~Vic

Sources:
The Sporting Venus (American Film Institute)
The Sporting Venus (IMDB)
Gentleman of the Cinema (Ronald Coleman Website)
The Screen (The New York Times)
The Sporting Venus (Wikipedia)

Shutterbug Sunday: Buddy 2.0

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Buddy came to me (and an ex) as a little thing. He had been born under a home 75 miles east and his mother had to leave him behind. The guy living there heard the crying mews and went to investigate. He found tiny Buddy in an upright cinder block, pulled him out and realized he was a newborn with his eyes still closed. He sought help from a veterinarian and began to feed him. Fast forward five weeks and the guy contacts my ex. “You want a kitten? I can’t handle him, anymore.” He shows up with this gi-normous litter box with a cover, that little Buddy could barely jump in and out of, a box of various toys and a gallon container of kitten food. The guy lived alone and traveled a lot so, he felt Buddy would be better off with us. I had lost my very first cat six months prior so, Buddy’s arrival was cause for celebration. He was my baby for nine years. (1997-2006). All photos are my personal collection. ~Vic

See also: Love Your Pet Day and Buddy

Buddy Image One
He loved to be held.
09-06-2004
Buddy Image Two
I found him napping in my sewing basket.
09-06-2004
Buddy Image Three
Kitty in his box.
05-17-2005
Buddy Image Four
I gave him my basket.
I had no choice.
09-13-2004
Buddy Image Five
These are my gifts.
This was his last Christmas.
12-18-2005.

Shutterbug Saturday: Critter Collections 7.0

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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

Shutterbug Saturday: Rogue Artistes 3.0

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The creative elves are back at it with more graffiti. If concrete or wood is bare, they have a canvas. All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Part I/Part II

Anarchy Man-hole Image One
Anarchy!
Even man-hole openings need decoration.
04-15-2019
Crying Man-hole Image Two
Crying man-hole.
Maybe its the smell?
04-22-2019
Happy Man-hole Image Three
Happy man-hole.
This one must smell better.
05-07-2019
Love Animals Image Four
Love animals.
Covered walkway to Gold Park.
05-17-2019
Save Earth Image Five
Save Earth.
Go Vegan Image Six
Go vegan.

POTD: The Dead Guide

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Yes. He’s dead…by his own admission. I heard him say he was born in 1735 when addressing his tour subjects. He was pleased that I wished to photograph him. I guess the lantern adds to the spookiness.

The town I live in is haunted…in some places. It’s pretty common knowledge. It is an old town. During the summer, there are ghost tours. I’m not kidding. I might take a tour one day. ~Vic

Dead Guide Image
05-17-2019

Flashback Friday: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 1900

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The Wizard of Oz Image One
Image Credit: wikipedia.org

One-hundred, nineteen years ago, today, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz children’s novel was published. It was written by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by W. W. Denslow and published by the George M. Hill company in Chicago, IL. The title was shortened to The Wizard of Oz for the Broadway Musical adaptation in 1902 and the Musical Film adaptation in 1939.

From Wikipedia:

The story chronicles the adventures of a young farm girl named Dorothy in the magical Land of Oz after she and her pet dog Toto are swept away from their Kansas home by a cyclone.

The book is one of the best-known stories in American literature and has been widely translated. The Library of Congress has declared it “America’s greatest and best-loved homegrown fairytale.” Its groundbreaking success and the success of the Broadway musical adapted from the novel led Baum to write thirteen additional Oz books that serve as official sequels to the first story.

Baum dedicated the book “to my good friend & comrade, My Wife,” Maud Gage Baum. In January 1901, George M. Hill Company completed printing the first edition, a total of 10,000 copies, which quickly sold out. It sold three million copies by the time it entered the public domain in 1956.

The Wizard of Oz Image Two
Image Credit: wikipedia.org

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is considered the first American fairy tale because of its references to clear American locations such as Kansas and Omaha. Baum agreed with authors such as Carroll that fantasy literature was important for children, along with numerous illustrations but, he also wanted to create a story that had recognizable American elements in it such as farming and industrialization. Baum did not offer any conclusive proof that he intended his novel to be a political allegory.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has become an established part of multiple cultures, spreading from its early young American readership to becoming known throughout the world. It has been translated or adapted into well over fifty languages, at times being modified in local variations. For instance, in some abridged Indian editions, the Tin Woodman was replaced with a horse. In Russia, a translation by Alexander Melentyevich Volkov produced six books, The Wizard of the Emerald City series, which became progressively distanced from the Baum version, as Ellie and her dog Totoshka travel throughout the Magic Land. More recently, the story has become an American stage production (The Wiz) with an all-black cast, set in the context of modern African-American culture.

Here in North Carolina, we have the Land of Oz at Beech Mountain. I went there in 1973 with my parents and, again, in 2017. ~Vic