Date: April 14th, 2017 | Comments : none | Categories: blue, Flowers, Garden, issues, Oregon, Seasonal, Spring.

Forget-me-nots, planted in honor of my Grandma, my Mom and my Mother in law who all had Alzheimer's.

 

Date: December 29th, 2016 | Comments : none | Categories: Animals, issues, Oregon, Smile, Travel USA, Unusual Interest.

Wall of peoples' cat drawings, Purringtons Cat Lounge, Portland OR

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Purringtons Cat Lounge, Portland OR is a “cat cafe” and adoption center for cats.

Reservations are recommended due to consideration for the cats.

A limited amount of customers are allowed in the room at one time.

$5 purrrr half an hour visit. Tea and snacks are available. Above: portion of a wall of peoples’ cat drawings.

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Purringtons Cat Lounge, Portland OR Purringtons Cat Lounge, Portland OR Purringtons Cat Lounge, Portland OR

 

Date: September 18th, 2015 | Comments : none | Categories: issues.

My parents' hands. Mom has Alzheimer's.My parent’s hands. Mom has entered the late stages of Alzheimer’s and is finally in a long-term care facility, where she is safe and cared for by professionals. Dad visits every day.

Link for Alzheimer’s Society Canada. For information in USA, Alzheimer’s Association.

 

Date: August 23rd, 2015 | Comments : none | Categories: Elements, Environmental issues, issues, Landscape, Oregon, Seasonal, Silhouettes, Sky, Summer, Travel USA, Trees, USA, Washington State.

Forest fires affecting air quality, Hwy 47 near Amity, Oregon

 

Forest fires in Washington and Oregon affecting air quality, Hwy 47 near Amity, Oregon

 

 

Date: July 7th, 2015 | Comments : none | Categories: conservation, Design, Environmental issues, Green, issues, Landscape, Oregon, Summer, Travel, Travel USA, Trees, USA.

Shepherd's Flat Wind Farm near Arlington, ORStorm near Echo, OR on the Oregon TrailShepherd’s Flat Wind Farm near Arlington, OR and storm over flat terrain near Echo, OR on the Oregon Trail, just before crossing the Wallowa Mountains.

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Greenwood Tree Farm, Columbia Basin, Hwy 84, OregonDriving past the perfectly aligned poplar trees on the Greenwood Tree Farm, Columbia Basin, Hwy 84, eastern Oregon. Large sections of trees at various ages can be seen from the highway. The company specializes in the hybridization of fast-growing, high yield poplar trees, and managing sustainable tree farms with the aim to help reduce reliance on natural forests and non-renewable energy sources.

 

Date: January 24th, 2013 | Comments : none | Categories: Arizona, City Streets, Cultures, issues, Landscape, red, Travel, Travel USA, Unusual Interest, USA.

Odd from a Canadian's perspective, Phoenix, AZ, USA

 

Date: March 20th, 2011 | Comments : none | Categories: Cultures, Environmental issues, issues, Reptiles, Seasonal, Series, Spring, Texas, Travel, Travel USA, Unusual Interest, USA.

Children watch on as snake-wranglers demonstrate - fangs have broken balloons, laying on the ground hereLeft: Children watch on as snake-wranglers demonstrate various tricks goading the rattlesnakes. Fangs have broken the balloons, foreground, during demonstrations at the annual Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, Texas. The Texan cultural tradition, both horrifying and curiously fascinating, takes place during Springtime every March, when thousands of rattlesnakes are competitively captured each year and placed in pits inside the local arena, with wrangling demonstrations, milking, skinning, tables of bizarre crafts, the sale of deep-fried rattlesnake, and even a meat-eating contest involving Miss Roundup’s participation. Next photo: Individuality – each snake has its own unique markings and colors.

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Individuality - each snake has unique skin color and patternsNow that we have moved from Texas, and may never live there again, I’m so glad we went. View more photos posted on March 15th 2009, the initial post of Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater TX.

 

Date: August 12th, 2010 | Comments : none | Categories: Birds, Canada, City Streets, Design, Historic significance, issues, Ontario, travel Canada, Urban and Provincial Parks.

Wawa, ON - Canada Goose sculptureWawa, ON - Canada Goose sculptureCanada Goose monument in Wawa, Ontario commemorating the opening of the last link of the Lake Superior section of the the Trans-Canada Highway on Sept. 16th, 1060.

 

Date: August 7th, 2010 | Comments : none | Categories: Alberta, Canada, Cultures, issues, Smile, travel Canada, Unusual Interest.

The first electric curling irons, Rowley, Alberta MuseumTheme displays with antiques and creepy maniquins, Rowley, Alberta Museum. I almost feel bad about laughing because the people who have created these displays are quite serious about bringing the town back to life, and they hope to put it on the map as a tourist destination. The amateurishly displayed decor is part of the ambiance and curious charm of the place. Rowley is now a ghost town, and was a shoot site for the films “Legends of the Fall” and “The Magic of Ordinary Days” in addition to “Bye Bye Blues”
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The first electric curling irons, Rowley, Alberta MuseumTheme display with antiques and creepy maniquins, Rowley, Alberta MuseumTheme display with antiques and creepy maniquins, Rowley, Alberta Museum

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Theme display with antiques and creepy maniquins, Rowley, Alberta Museum barTheme display with antiques and creepy maniquins, Rowley, Alberta MuseumTheme display with antiques and creepy maniquins, Rowley, Alberta Museum
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Date: May 18th, 2010 | Comments : none | Categories: Architecture, City Streets, Design, Historic significance, issues, Landscape, Missouri, Silhouettes, Sky, Travel, Travel USA, Trees, Unusual Interest, Urban and State Parks, USA.

St. Louis, Missouri Gateway ArchThis is not a black and white photo – the sky was ominous that day my friends!  :} The Gateway Arch in  St. Louis, Missouri was built in 1965, commemorating Thomas Jefferson and the westward expansion of the United States. One of the most influential people in the history of  United States, Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826) was the the third U.S. president and author of the Declaration of Independence.

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Bunny sculptures downtown St. Louis, MissouriSt. Louis Arch, MissouriEads Bridge over the Missouri River, St. Louis

 

Date: September 29th, 2009 | Comments : none | Categories: Autumn, conservation, Environmental issues, Flowers, issues, Landscape, New Mexico, Seasonal, Sky, Storms, Summer, Travel, Travel USA, wildflowers, yellow.

Autumn storm near Taos, New Mexico. Wildflowers: Bird's Beak
I recently watched a very interesting documentary about the perilous state of our planet, and things we can do to affect the course of necessary change. Narrated by Leonardo Dicaprio I highly recommend seeing this film,  The 11th Hour

 

Date: March 15th, 2009 | Comments : none | Categories: Animals, conservation, Cultures, Historic significance, issues, Reptiles, Seasonal, Series, Spring, Texas, Travel, Travel USA, Unusual Interest, USA.

Thousands of rattlesnakes are caught for the Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, Texas each year. Here,1 of 4 pits. Thousands of rattlesnakes are caught for the Rattlesnake Roundup each year. The arena is divided into sections for wrangling demos, milking, skinning, crafts etc.

Rattlesnake wrangling You can get your picture taken beside a live snake bearing fangs Children watch the snake wranglers

Individuality - each snake has its own unique skin color and pattern Barrel of snakes that have just had heads cut off, ready for skinning Bloody Snake-skinning hand-prints, proudly signed

Individuality Deep-fried rattlesnake - all bones and grease! Miss Roundup and the rattlesnake eating contest

Taxidermy for sale Fang-bearing snake heads in jars for $11 each Crafty key-rings

Rattlesnake Roundup, Sweetwater, Texas March 13 – 15, 2009

From a cultural standpoint, I was quite curious about the Texan Rattlesnake Roundup. Attending, the view was to try to be unbiased and open-minded without any preset opinions. Still, as an animal rights ally I was interested to know whether the four event-filled days were about rattlesnake-appreciation or rattlesnake-loathing. I remain mystified, because it seems to be a mishmash of both.
Driving the three and half hours it takes to get back to Dallas, I marveled how what is acceptable for some, is taboo and unconscionable for others. Since many customs the world over, and across time, are basically borne of societal needs to collectively overcome threats and various natural causes, did this event begin in a similar way?…only here the rituals include a number of large people walking around eating disgusting, deep-fried rattlesnake that was more bone and grease than meat, and corn on the cob? Were the original celebrations of rounding up rattlesnakes actually efforts toward creating a communal mindset of safety, and have they evolved to dominate, even abuse, a predator that was perhaps more of a concern to the earliest settlers than it is now?
For Sweetwater locals, the occasion is an important part of their heritage and present lifestyle that brings the community together, draws in tourists and boosts their economy annually. Scheduled each year are: a parade, carnival grounds, a Miss Rattlesnake Roundup pageant, a Gun, Knife and Coin Show (because coins are obviously in the same category as knives and guns!), a snake-hunting competition, rattlesnake meat-eating contest, and vendors who earn a living selling various rattlesnake parts, products, and bizarre crafts. Unfortunately for raccoons and turtles it was an opportunity to sell their parts as well.
The demise of the rattlesnakes is undeniably sad and seemingly senseless, but the truth of every matter has many dimensions. It is easy to get caught up in the intrigue, and fall under the spell of groups in a festive state, to the point where I did try the deep-fried snake…but after one nip, threw it in the garbage, on top of others’ waste who had done the exact same thing.
I absolutely love reptiles, but admit to have considered buying one of the open-mouthed, fang-baring, stuffed intact, coiled-up snake souvenirs (not the ones sporting tiny cowboy hats and raccoon tails though). Although, upon guilty reflection, is one by-product any less vulgar than the other? I actually thought the coiled up rattlers ready to strike were really pretty, and only wanted one because I’m not likely to see a living one so up close and personal, hopefully.
Whether we agree or disagree, people earn a living doing things we can’t imagine. Practices and beliefs are incorporated over periods of time and passed down through generations. What was once relevant may have lost all sense currently, or in the future. Our consciousness evolves regardless though, and I wonder if in a distorted sort of way, most people leave the fairgrounds of cotton candy and snake pits every year with a deeper appreciation for the uniqueness of all creatures? I certainly did.
Only a human could come up with something so preposterous as little cowboy hats glued to rattler heads. Only a human would buy them! Generally what every pro/anti-whatever-activist-religious-righteous group is seeking is respect. It’s really about respecting all creatures, including humans, who do strange and unpredictable things.

 

Date: February 25th, 2009 | Comments : none | Categories: conservation, Environmental issues, Green, Historic significance, issues, petition, Seasonal, Series, South Carolina, Summer, Travel, Travel USA, Trees, Unusual Interest, Urban and State Parks, USA.

Thanks to individuals rallying together and signing the petition, we are reassured that small efforts can and do make a difference on this planet. The land surrounding the Angel Oak is no longer in jeopardy. http://www.savetheangeloak.org/

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Update – originally posted September 11, 2008

The 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaThe 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaThe 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaThe 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaThe 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaThe 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South Carolina
This set of photos honors the efforts of a petition to halt construction on John’s Island, South Carolina that would encroach on an area of land boasting an Oak tree estimated to be between 1,400 and 1,500 years old.
Charleston, SC is proud of its heritage and respected for its commitment to preserving history in the area, so residents hope that plans will not proceed to cut down nearby trees and forest in favor of land development. Charleston, SC is proud of its heritage and respected for its commitment to preserving history in the area, and on the Angel Oak petition website, even if you don’t sign (but please do), you will still be able to read pages of interesting comments and pleas from residents who have fond memories of climbing the immense branches as children, and whose children now do the same; how a nearby elementary school carries its’ name, and exclamations by tourists who have visited the area specifically to see the Angel Oak.

The 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaThe 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaThe 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaArbourists have propped and supported the weight of the branches of the Angel Oak with stakes and cables.Arbourists have propped and supported the weight of the branches of the Angel Oak with stakes and cables.Arbourists have propped and supported the weight of the branches of the Angel Oak with stakes and cables.
This summer my husband and I drove through South Carolina and took a short detour to John’s Island. We drove through wicked rains at the edge of Tropical storm Faye, so when we arrived at Angel Oak park no one else was there. The tree trunk and lower branches are so immense, they have been propped up with stakes and heavy cables here and there, which is a little intrusive but obviously necessary. Growth is spread outward more than upward, occupying an enormous space at least 150 feet wide.

It occurred to me that this tree has lived through one serious chunk of history, and wondered what was happening on our planet when The Angel Oak was knee-high to an acorn? 1400 years ago it was the year 608 A.D., Common Era. Almost everything we are familiar with; our collective modern identity has been shaped by many of the events and people who lived and died since the Angel Tree established its first roots in the earth.

Some branches measure at least two feet in diameter near the main trunk on the 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaSome branches measure at least two feet in diameter near the main trunk on the 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaSome branches measure at least two feet in diameter near the main trunk on the 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaBranches extend over thirty feet away from the trunk on the 1500 year old Angel Oak on John\'s Island, South CarolinaBranches extend over thirty feet away from the trunk on the 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaSome branches measure at least two feet in diameter near the main trunk on the 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South Carolina

Angel Oak’s parent-tree was undoubtedly alive for centuries before and during the year 476 A.D. when the last of the Roman emperors died, bringing about the Fall of Rome. Around the 7th Century A.D. an acorn falls from one of the magnificent Oaks on the southeastern shores of a land only known to the indigenous peoples; a land we now refer to as North America. The acorn sprouts along with many others…but this one will outlive the rest, seasoning hurricanes, wars, and countless generations of playful children climbing it’s branches; it sprouts in conjunction with the collapse of Teotihuacan, one of the major cities in Mesoamerica with widespread influence in central Mexico. The Toltec civilization was unheard of, and would not flourish for another 500 years (1100-1521). Aztecs did not seize power until the 13th century.

When this tree was 300 years old during 901 A.D., the Vikings discovered Greenland. In 1066 William the Conqueror and the Norman troops conquered England altering the English culture forever by bringing French rule and rivalry with France until the The French Revolution occuring from 1789 – 1799. Circa 1100 A.D. the famous Buddhist temple, Angkor Wat in Cambodia is constructed to house the Hindu faith. Around 1275 A.D. Marco Polo, the Venetian explorer and trader visits China via the The Silk Road, returning to Europe with new foods and goods from the Orient which impact modern culture, medicine and dietary habits today.

Healthy ferns support other organisms on the branches of 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaHealthy leaves continue to thrive on the 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaHealthy leaves continue to thrive on the 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South Carolina
The Black Death devastates Europe around 1348 A.D., while the 740 year old Angel Oak thrives. Columbus and other adventurers would not claim to discover America for another 144 years (C. 1592). Leonardo da Vinci, a man light-years ahead of his time in the field of science and medicine through his various studies. By the time he would paint the Mona Lisa and Michelangelo would paint the Sistine Chapel, the Angel Oak has lived for 900 years. The Tree continues growth beyond the life of Galileo, father of modern Astronomy, and through the life of Shakespeare, who established some of the most famous English literature in our era (c. 1564 – 1616).

Healthy ferns support other organisms on the branches of 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaHealthy ferns support other organisms on the branches of 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South CarolinaHealthy ferns support other organisms on the branches of 1500 year old Angel Oak on Johns Island, South Carolina
Year 1776 – Angel Oak is 1,166 years old when the U.S. breaks free from British rule and establishes the first Independence Day In 1895, and by the time the Angel Oak had already survived for 1,287 winters Sigmund Freud would bring modern medicine and humanity into a new open-minded age by announcing his theories of dream psychoanalysis and studies of the human psyche.

The First World War between 1914-1918 was followed by WWII, 1939 -45/51.
According to after the Category 5 Hurricane Hugo hit the coast of in 1989, Governor Carroll Campbell is reported to say that the storm destroyed enough timber in South Carolina to frame a home for every family in the state of West Virginia. All those trees and forests obliterated, yet The Angel Oak survived. It has since healed injuries inflicted by Hurricane Hugo.

The petition page has so many interesting comments left by those who signed the petition.

 

Date: November 5th, 2008 | Comments : none | Categories: Autumn, Flowers, Garden, issues, Seasonal, Texas.

White Portulaca, Lewisville, TXExcerpt from “Heaven’s Here On Earth” by Tracy Chapman from her CD, “New Beginnings”:
…Heaven’s here on earth    In our faith in humankind    In our respect for what is earthly    In our unfaltering belief in peace and love and understanding     I’ve seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people leading ordinary lives    Filled with love compassion forgiveness and sacrifice     Heaven’s in our hearts…

 

Date: August 22nd, 2008 | Comments : none | Categories: City Streets, Elements, Historic significance, issues, Leaves, Seasonal, South Carolina, Storms, Summer, Travel, Travel USA, Trees, USA.

Charleston, South Carolina - impending Hurricane GustavPelican, Charleston, South Carolina during impending Hurricane Gustav

 


 

 
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