I Saw The Light

Like the Beatles said, “It’s been a long cold lonely winter”

Actually I haven’t been lonely at all, thanks to my wonder dog, and most loyal friend Uschi. She takes me on walks, and she gets full credit for this picture.
We went for a walk after one of the many, “Ice Episodes”. That’s what the news and weather people on television call them. I don’t remember which one. I’ll have to ask Uschi when I get done writing. She’s smarter than me, and her memory is better too.

I don’t want to hear any comments on that.

I do remember trying to capture a good shot of the ice on the twigs and branches. It’s the same picture nearly all of us who live north of Tampa, have been trying to get for months.

I wasn’t satisfied with any pictures that day, especially with the ice, and snow on everything, and the sun so bright and the sky so blue. One stood out.

Where did this light come from? Were Aliens taking off from deep inside the earth, like a discarded chapter from a Jules Verne novel? Is this something like Paul saw on the road to Damascus that brought on his conversion? In the summer we have firecrackers. Do we have snow crackers in the winter, that I don’t know about? Did someone long ago see this same light, and it became the inspiration for a Gospel song?

If no one comes up with an explanation, then I’m going to take credit for some never before discovered photographic light trick. This could revolutionize Photography.

O.K., I’m getting delusional. I’ll leave the technical lighting effects to you shutterbugs who know what you’re talking about.

One thing I can say though is,…..

“I SAW THE LIGHT”.

A GRANDMOTHER AND HER SOLDIER

A GRANDMOTHER AND HER SOLDIER

This a picture of my father and his grandmother. It was taken in the spring of nineteen forty three.

He had just completed boot camp, and somehow made his way from Sandiego California to Arthur Indiana for a brief visit.

They had no way of knowing, that they would not see each other again for over three years.

He was about to be sent to Guadacanal, Guam, Saipan, Peileiu, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and eventually Japan.

He would be chosen for the First Marine Raider Battalion. They were Special Forces trained to do things, I will write about another time. I bring this up, because this week is his birthday. He was born at midnight February nineteenth. Because of this he always said his birthday was February nineteenth and twentieth. Even his obits couldn’t get it straight, so he pulled it off all his life and even afterwards.

My daughter’s birthday is tomorrow the seventeenth. She almost held out long enough. They never got to meet. She was conceived within days of his death. In our family we always say they passed each other on the way up and down.

That would be just like my dad. ” Once a Marine always a Marine”. He would have made sure someone took his place on the Battlefield of life to fill that void.

Where did he learn to be that way?

A lot of the credit goes to that little woman standing next to him. She raised him for much of his early childhood.

She was born in 1868, but I knew her. I was thirteen when she died. I miss her.

Happy Birthday Dad! I miss you.

Happy Birthday Daughter. I miss you too.

Unicorn sighting # 2

Unicorn sighting # 2

I just wanted you to know that I happened upon another Unicorn.

He, or she, or however that works out in Unicorns, is stone looking, like the other one I met recently. He doesn’t move though, and lives in a weird place as you can tell from his neighbors.

That little guy in the upper left with the cone hat said, they have been living here since the sixthteenth century. That would explain why Uni, ” he said he didn’t mind if I called him Uni”, looks a little worse for the wear. He’s real out of shape as you can see from his paunch, and his energy level just isn’t there.

Also, there is no Billy Goat beard Like the first one I met had. It’s a whole different deal here.

I didn’t stick around to find out more, because those characters made me feel very uncomfortable. It was kind of like…? I don’t know… bad art or something.

Well, at least you know, that since I have proven already that there truly are Unicorns, I’m continuing on with more documentation.

The guy in the cone hat told me there are more in the area. I don’t know if I can trust him. Most of the folks around him seem a little crazy to me.

I’ll keep you posted. I’m excited about the possibility of more sightings, since that would support my MultiCorn theory.

Just so you know, this is going to hinder my Bigfoot search somewhat. I’ll multi task as best I can, but I may be hot on the trail of discoveries of historic proportion.

FROM A CHURCH TO A PUB !!??

FROM A CHURCH TO A PUB !!??

There is a modest flat around the corner from this building. I stayed in that flat for two weeks, while visiting my daughter and roaming around Edinburgh Scotland, and as much of that Country as I could figure out how to see.

On the first morning I began the twenty minute walk to see her, and passed this place and it caught my eye. I don’t know if it was the red doors or the architecture or perhaps the trash cans.

At first I couldn’t tell what the building was used for, but then I noticed the brass, gold looking letters, that said, ” Cloisters Bar”. Now, I was very interested, and saw the ” All Saints Parsonage ” on raised letters above the door. Really, every single Saint?

I hurriedly fetched my camera and took this picture. I wish now that more time had been taken, because it’s a beautiful and quaint place.

After a long day On the town, with darkness approaching and a thirst coming on, I stopped by, and hesitantly entered the red doors. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Where I come from if you put up a sign that says Bar, it is mandatory to have neon signs in the window that say Budweiser, or Coors or something close to that.

Now, what is a Parsonage? It is a place where the Minister or Parson lives. There are older definitions, but we shall save them for a later snooty blog, that shows off my knowledge of History, Religion, and, well, you know; JUST HOW AMAZING I AM!

Inside the atmosphere was pleasant, with a lot of wood and brass, and interesting pictures and posters, and a wide choice of beers and whiskeys. There was a large chalk board on the wall that was changed daily, and told about the beers and whiskeys available. It listed their alcohol content, ingredients, and of course price.

This is common in Scotland. You can learn where the ” Nectar of the Gods ” originated, and be guided towards something that suites your taste. The bartenders are extremely knowledgeable about their products, and can explain how climate, proximity to the sea, and soil and weather, affect the taste of the drink.

I stopped in there several evenings and, met laborers, professors and of course the bartenders. There were many nice people and some wonderful discussions. They even had a special beer, that a local brewery makes for them,
called,” The Holy Grail.” I bought a T-shirt that says, ” I FOUND THE HOLY GRAIL AT THE THE CLOISTERS BAR “.

So, there you go. Secularism creeps in , and a Parsonage becomes a Bar.

My daughter attends a church, that was once a retail shop. From the outside you can’t tell what’s inside.

Nothing stays the same.

I’m just glad, I found “THE HOLY GRAIL” at The Cloisters Bar.

EVEN CITY BIRDS HAVE TO EAT

EVEN CITY BIRDS HAVE TO EAT

City birds and country birds are a lot different. City birds have a shortage of traditional food sources. Berries are scarce, as are worms, bugs, and water.

They have to make do on whatever scraps the humans waste. Fortunately for them, humans waste a lot of food. Trash cans and streets outside restaurants are great places to forage.

I met this fellow outside a modern high rise made almost entirely of concrete. I didn’t get his name, so lets just call him Raven.

His ancestors would never have been caught dead in an environment like this. Actually, they would have been dead in an environment like this.

They had skills that Raven has lost. He has skills that they did not have.

It’s much like humans. The folks who understand nature survive much differently than their relatives who understand urban ways.

Raven has just noticed a Restaurant in this big concrete building.

Scotland 10-11 Randy 063

He’s going to read the menu, and then decide whether to move on or not.

Scotland 10-11 Randy 064 He has adapted quite well as you can tell from his plump breast.

City birds have to eat too.

THE POND IS FROZEN, AND I’M JUST A SHADOW OF MYSELF

THE POND IS FROZEN, AND I'M JUST A SHADOW OF MYSELF

I awoke up this morning as I have done my whole life. My parents did the same, and told me our folks have always awoken within a day or two of this day. They told me that I should come out of my hole no matter what the weather and look for my shadow.

I don’t know where shadows come from, but I have seen them year after year for my whole life.

Last fall before the weather turned unbearable the alarm on my smart phone was set, and here I am looking at a frozen pond and freezing in spite of my considerable fur.

I don’t know how my parents and grandparents and those who came before knew when to wake up. They had no electronic devices ,if you can believe that. They spoke of temperature changes and angle of the Sun and the axis of the earth and other things I was never taught in school. Somehow they figured it out as those before them had done.

I’m pretty sure, if we could just put a lot more money towards education then we could make me aware of how the world works. How did they do it, without sufficient funds or technology?

Grandpa used to say that we are losing our natural instincts for survival.

I don’t know what that means. I do know, that I’m climbing back in my hole, and hog the ground and turning on my electric throw, and wait until it gets warmer.

You gotta love evolution and progress and all that stuff.

Happy Ground Hog’s day!

All I see is a frozen pond and a shadow of myself.

PATIENT PREDATOR – THE RAPTOR STRIKES

This Dove was eating from a bird feeder less than twenty seconds ago.

The Doves show up in small groups, more like a covey than a flock. They like it on the ground. Many even nest on the ground. They like to peck around on what the bossy Blue Jays in their feeding frenzy fling to the ground.

The Jays are the bullies of the feeder. They don’t act so tough when the Pileated Wood Pecker shows up. You know; Woody Wood Pecker. I think somebody mated a chicken with flying Reptile.

Even though the doves like the ground, there are always one or two who like to check out the feeder eight feet above them. When they decide to return to the ground to join their family and friends, they sort of flutter down slowly.

That’s when the Cooper’s Hawk from the last post turned his head. He is hardwired to notice such an action. If you think he doesn’t know what a Dove is, you are wrong. That Dove is the best piece of meat that feeder has seen all day.

When I was growing up I was taught how to hunt Doves. By fourteen I could pluck them from the air with a twenty gauge shotgun. The 22 rifle was the weapon of choice. The Doves loved power lines, and set in a row of several or so, and could easily be picked off without leaving the vehicle. If shot in the head with the 22 the delicious breast was left intact.

Shooting Doves in Indiana was illegal, but I was taught by men, who first of all didn’t care about laws made in Indianapolis by soft handed men who had never fired a gun of any kind.
The men who taught me had been doing this since long before there were such laws, and they did it to provide food for their families. It wasn’t sport. It was survival. Ironically ; now there is a legal Dove hunting season in our State. It’ strictly for sport of course.

Some of this I tell you as a History lesson. Some of it I tell you so that you can understand how I can take photographs such as this. I understand these animals and how they behave. I’m not bragging. Someone said ;” It’s not bragging if you can do it”.

The Dove had only about eight feet to float and flutter down. Once the Cooper’s Hawk spotted him he covered over thirty yards before the Dove reached the ground. Quite astounding when you think about it. He was perched and not moving at all. There was a brief struggle, as you can see from the feathers scattered about. It wasn’t so much a struggle as the Hawk just finding his grip. There was never really any contest at all.

The Hawk got his grip and the Dove resigned itself, and the look in their eyes tells the whole story.

Now you know why the terms Hawks and Doves are used when people speak of war.

This image is the property of Randy Copeland Inc.
It may not be used or reproduced in any way without written permission.