one day at a time…
Wednesday, 31 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Too Cold For Figure Photography
CREDIT: © Eolake Stobblehouse/Stobblehouse.com
WHERE: Karrebæksminde, Denmark. WHAT: wintery ice flowers on car windows.
MAP: Næstved, Denmark. Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images on source pages.

Ice Flowered Windscreen © Eolake StobblehouseIce Flowernbsp;Pattern © Eolake StobblehouseAt the shivery end of 2003, we decided to feature some suitably seasonal macro images of frost patterns. Back in August 2002 we did an item on artist and writer Eolake Stobblehouse, which became one of the popular links of that year. In addition to his Stobblehouse.com web site for art and art creators, Eolake also runs DOMAI.com (please note that there is tasteful female nudity at this link). Perhaps when the weather warms up a bit Eolake will be able to focus on something a bit less cold and forbidding. While you are waiting for that, also new on Stobblehouse.com is a photo record of a trip Eolake made back to Karrebæksminde, near Næstved, in his Danish homeland. This gallery gave us the opportunity to exercise our bridge obsession, something else we seem to share with Eolake. A studio size monitor is needed to comfortably view these images, and there is no lower resolution version.
Karrebæksminde 1 © Eolake StobblehouseKarrebæksminde 2 © Eolake StobblehouseKarrebæksminde 3 © Eolake StobblehouseKarrebæksminde 4 © Eolake Stobblehouse
Whoever you are, wherever you are, HAPPY NEW YEAR! We hope 2004 brings you and yours good health, happiness, and peace with those around you.

Tuesday, 30 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Bubba's Memorial For POWs & MIAs
CREDIT: © Ray 'Bubba' Sorenson/SorensonCrew.com
WHERE: Adair County, Iowa. WHAT: patriotic Memorial Day rock painting.

Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images on a single source page for all six views.

2003 Memorial Day Rock 1 © Ray 'Bubba' Sorenson2003 Memorial Day Rock 2 © Ray 'Bubba' Sorenson2003 Memorial Day Rock 3 © Ray 'Bubba' Sorenson
2003 Memorial Day Rock 4 © Ray 'Bubba' Sorenson2003 Memorial Day Rock 5 © Ray 'Bubba' Sorenson2003 Memorial Day Rock 6 © Ray 'Bubba' Sorenson
The Sorensen family hail from Fontanelle, Iowa. Most family activities center around agriculture, but Ray, who is also known as 'Bubba', is a mural painter. Since 1999, around every Memorial Day (traditionally May 30th but observed on the last Monday of the month), Ray has painted a local boulder with a patriotic theme in support of the US armed forces. POWs & MIAs are a particular focus of the memorialization.

The Greenfield web site offers the following information: 'The Patriotic Rock, located at the Schildberg Construction - Jefferson Quarry. The rock was a local graffiti rock for twenty years for the surrounding schools, but out of respect, the local students have not defaced the painting in the past five years since Bubba has been painting his tribute. Bubba draws a sketch of his idea on paper and then draws the design by free hand onto the rock. This takes him anywhere from one to three weeks to paint and he has been doing it for five consecutive years. Bubba is interested in military history and gets his ideas from books, movies, previous artwork and images by other artists. The rock is located on Highway-25, just 1 mile south of Interstate-80 near Greenfield, exit-86. If traveling from Greenfield junction 25 & 92, take Hwy-25 north 12 miles.'

Ray's work has been widely circulated around the Internet, often without attribution for any photographs used, or without links to Ray's web site. We will try to remedy that, though the trail is unclear at times. Sorenson.com is unequivocally the Sorenson family web site, and Ray has a section on the family web site where his paintings are featured. A link on Ray's own page leads to a frequently referenced page on Barbara J. Pfrommer's Serene Moments web site, which in turn credits a page by T. Cornish on the Iowa City West school web site. Confusingly, Barbara also credits a page by 'Bob', for what looks to us like the same set of images.

We apologize for burdening our visitors with these considerations, and in the final analysis we decided to credit Ray Sorenson for everything, including the pictures. We felt the real photographer would probably defer to this arrangement, but if not we will make the appropriate corrections should somebody complain.

Meanwhile, anyone whose patriotism extends to putting their hand into their pocket, may like to support Ray's endeavors. The 2004 paint costs to update the rock art will be funded by the sale of prints from photographs of the 1999-2003 versions, which are available singly or in sets from Ray's web site. Also available is a print of Ray's 'Veterans Memorial Wall' in the town of Casey, Iowa

Monday, 29 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Sacred & Profane Stars & Stripes
CREDIT: © Barry Lewis/NetworkPhotographers.com
WHERE: the USA at large. WHAT: Stars & Stripes in a wide variety of contexts.

Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger images.
American Flag 1 © Barry LewisAmerican Flag 2 © Barry LewisAmerican Flag 3 © Barry LewisAmerican Flag 4 © Barry LewisAmerican Flag 5 © Barry Lewis
From the galleries on NetworkPhotographers.com we chose Flags Over America, a feature by Barry Lewis. There are forty two images in the gallery, showing the US flag or Stars & Stripes derivatives, in a wide variety of contexts. Our own choices were made to support the contention that this icon is possessed of an amazing resilience. If human advancement, such as it is, began with symbolic representation, then the ability to differentiate between reality and representation is something devoutly to be wished in associates, and indeed the citizenry at large, if that is not too big a hope.

Sunday, 28 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: One Millennium Of Work Completed
CREDIT: © Martin Mayer/Millennium Photo Archive
WHERE: Bedfordshire, England. WHAT: workers at the end of the first millennium.
MAP: Bedford. Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images on source pages.
Barry Fountain, cobbler © Martin MayerMichael Holiday, street cleaner © Martin MayerJohn Lowe, blacksmith © Martin MayerJim Herbert, wattler © Martin Mayer
In the words of the people behind today's feature: "The main sources of photographs today are newspapers, lifestyle magazines and advertisements. These give a distorted picture of real life that is heavily biased towards the rich and famous. Ordinary people, of course, take family photos, but these tend to concentrate on holidays, children and birthdays. Where are the photos that show how people really live their lives today, at work, at home, out enjoying themselves? The Millennium Photo Archive sets out to fill these gaps and show the ordinary, everyday lives of the people of Bedfordshire, England at this historic time." Funding for the project is uncertain, and some of the gaps remain unfilled, but what there is so far makes interesting viewing.

We chose the World of Work gallery, featuring (left to right) [1] Barry Fountain, cobbler; [2] Michael Holiday, street cleaner; [3] John Lowe, blacksmith; and [4] Jim Herbert, wattler. Nine galleries are available, so expect us to make a return visit.

Saturday, 27 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Wintertime Warmup Tips For Pet Owners
CREDIT: © Lisa Van Valkenburg. WHERE: Utah, USA. WHAT: Warm pugs.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images.

Junior & Sasha © Lisa Van ValkenburgJunior © Lisa©Van©ValkenburgThe editorial policy of this publication strictly prohibits cutsie pictures of babies or animals. Therefore, you will understand that this feature serves solely to remind you to ensure your pet is adequately protected against the cold this winter. Working to ensure a stylish and fashionable appearance is entirely optional, though probably much appreciated by your pets if they make frequent street appearances. Larger more robust dogs may enjoy a romp in the snow: for your pet's comfort, immediately afterwards, check for compacted snow turning to ice in the webs between the toes. Remove with care, checking for embedded fur.

Friday, 26 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Lonely Lakeland Sheep Walk
CREDIT: © Andy Bannister/LakeDistrictDesktops.com
WHERE: Skiddaw Forest, English Lake District. WHAT: lonely upland sheep walk.
MAP: Skiddaw Forest. Thumbnail clicks pops-up larger image.

Skiddaw Forest © Andy BannisterRiver Caldew © Andy BannisterThis pair of pictures features the Skiddaw Forest, though the term is confusing because the very things missing from these landscapes are trees! The Medieval Latin forestis meant 'outside', and the tree (silva) association only came later. 'Forest' is often used in the sense of an area set aside.

Andy Bannister's LakeDistrictDesktops.com web site continues to go from strength to strength. In the first picture the fells are Skiddaw on the left, with heather purpled Great Calva, and the Snab ridge of Knott on the right. This area was set aside as a giant sheep pasture, with a row of shepherds cottages called Skiddaw House, which was the only dwelling in the forest. The building was last used by a shepherd in our own lifetime: Pearson Dalton walked over every week from the village of Fell Side to tend his charges. The building then became a private hostel for walkers, then after planning consent problems was operated by the Youth Hostel Association.

The last we heard is that even they have had difficulty maintaining a presence, and the buildings have once again been abandoned. The sheep still roam, but these days are attended less frequently. Free from LakeDistrictDesktops.com as desktop wallpaper files, both pictures are available sized at 1280x960 pixels. The wallpaper collection is growing, and features a wider variety than just the tourist hot spots. Walk through the awesome landscapes featured today, and you will be unlikely to see more than a handful of human walkers, even on weekend days. Long may that last we hope, consistent with the widest possible enjoyment by the greatest number of people.

Thursday, 25 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Mother Earth & Father Sky Needs
CREDIT: © Ian Scott-Parker/PishTush.com. Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images.
WHERE: St. George, Utah. WHAT: The Tree Of Light And Life
Tree Of Light And Life 1 © Ian Scott ParkerTree Of Light And Life 2 © Ian Scott ParkerTree Of Light And Life 3 © Ian Scott ParkerLight Of The Earth And Sky © Ian Scott Parker
'The Tree Of Light And Life', a sculpture by Jerry Anderson of Silver Reef, Utah, which is installed in the Peace Plaza at the new Dixie Regional Hospital in St. George, Utah, comes to you as a symbolic good wish at Christmas. The symbol exists in many cultures: in the desert southwest of what is now the USA, the rock art forms often seen are similar to the Jewish menorah. As archaeologist Boma Johnson explains, "In this symbol, there must be two parts: the roots reaching down into the earth for nourishment and grounding, (physical needs) and the branches reaching toward the sun for light (spiritual needs). Life is sustained by the composite gift of Mother Earth and Father Sky.". On the same day that the photographs of the tree were taken, there was a magical light across earth and sky, which even in the prosaic environment of a suburban street with a parked truck, we found very inspiring.

We hope both your Mother Earth and Father Sky needs are fulfilled in the days ahead. Please click on the control icon below, for a tuneful version of this greeting.

Song by Matthew (age 6) and Margaret (age 4)  

Our thanks go to all the people who have contributed in any way to this web site, the medical people whose efforts made it possible to continue, and to our own friends, family, and loved ones. If you do not fall into any of these categories, then we thank you most of all, the visitors to One Day At A Time

Wednesday, 24 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: English Lake District Panorama
CREDITS: © Ann Bowker/Mad About Mountains MAP: North West Fells
English Lake District Panorama © Ann Bowker
This is the eastern elevation of the hills generally known as the North Western Fells, from the classification and book by Alfred Wainwright. With only four summits in the area standing at over 3,000 feet of altitude, and with a maritime climate that usually brings low pressure and wet conditions from the Atlantic west, winter snow is not a significant climatic feature. When it does arrive, especially if there is barometric high pressure with clear skies and sunshine, then the district becomes a wonderland painted in greens, browns, and white. Often the downside is that these conditions are usually accompanied by bitterly cold Arctic airflows from the north or east.

Tuesday, 23 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: What Is Real And What Is Not
CREDITS: photograph [1] © Ian Davey/SuffolkCAM.com; paintings [2] © Sandra Francis; [3] © Philip & Glyn Martin; [4] © Ipswich Museum (by Leonard Squirrel).
WHERE: Kersey, Suffolk, England. WHAT: art & photography of village scenes.

MAP: Kersey, Suffolk. Thumbnails pop-up [1] larger image [2] [3] [4] source pages.
Kersey  © Ian DaveyKersey by © Sandra FrancisKersey by © Philip & Glyn MartinKersey (by Leonard Squirrel © Ipswich Museum
One might be tempted to think that the rural village quaintness of Merrie England, if it ever really existed, has gone forever. Perhaps it may be found in old illustrations remembered from picture books read on rainy days in early childhood, or in watercolors and engravings. The high born among you may even have enjoyed a Constable depiction of such scenes in pater's private collection. Amazingly, such idyllic scenes do still exist and, with the exception of a few modern motor cars parked around rather than the hay wains of Constables day, they seem to have survived as far as superficial visual appearances are concerned.

The first image, on the left above, is from a compilation that may be seen in the SuffolkCAM.co.uk archives. Not only has web master Ian Davey depicted the surviving quaintness of the village of Kersey, but his compilation also includes pictures of one of John Constable's famous painting locations at Flatford Mill.

Monday, 22 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Chilling Vacation Destination
CREDIT: © Sue & Tony Wright/Wright-Photo.com
WHERE: My Lai hamlet, Vietnam. WHAT: site of 16 March 1968 war time atrocity.
MAP: Vietnam. Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger images.
Traditional Vietnamese Agriculture © Sue & Tony WrightGuardian Of The Ox © Sue & Tony WrightMy Lai Memorial Gateway © Sue & Tony WrightMy Lai Memorial Sculpture © Sue & Tony Wright
Sue & Tony Wright author the Wright-Photo.com web site to document their wide ranging travels. Site visitors may usually select from links on maps of the countries visited: we wish more sites offered such intuitive navigation.

Trips to Greece & Turkey, and Myanmar (Burma) sit comfortably alongside a page about Seaham, on the County Durham coast of England. There are sailing pictures taken on the Wright's 32ft sloop 'Meriah' from Toronto to Newfoundland, and north up the Labrador coast as far as Cape Chidley, and a passage from Sydney, Nova Scotia, to Greenland. Far eastern Asia is represented by Bali, China, Thailand, and Vietnam.

We decided to visit the Vietnam section of the web site. What we had in mind were hauntingly beautiful coastal landscapes, and the life and people of an exotic foreign country very different from places that are familiar to us. Those things are there, and very enjoyable. However, Sue & Tony also visited Cu Chi, where, as an artifact of 'The American War' of the 1960s and early 1970s, there are 200kms of tunnels that are said to have stretched to Saigon, and into some American bases.

It was the map link to a place named My Lai that caught our eye, and sent a chill through us. Anyone who was around to listen to news broadcasts in 1970 will probably remember the name of an otherwise unremarkable hamlet in the Son My village. The two year lag, between the date of the atrocity and the trials and media attention, was almost as shameful as the original incident.

Douglas Linder has written an account for those unfamiliar with the history, or those in need of a reminder. Our own memories were proven unreliable in places when we read the timeline of the post WWII history of the conflicts in Indochina. Our featured travellers visited in 1994, and at the start of the second millennium Wade Hatler toured Vietnam, frequently on a recumbent bicycle, producing an interesting journal and photo gallery. Wade's pictures of the My Lai sculptures, and journal entries when visiting such places as a latterday civilian American, give an interesting perspective. There are many sides to any story: soon, we hope to bring you another.

We cannot think of any of our features that contains such a contrast: the two pictures on the left, showing a peaceful and traditional rural way of life; the two pictures on the right, representing the darkest and most violent side of human behavior.

Sunday, 21 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Chasing The Weather Down Under
CREDIT: © Anthony Cornelius/DownUnderChase.com
Where: Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia. WHAT: powerful storm pictures.
Thumbnail click pops-up source page with larger photo series images.

Redcliffe Storm © Anthony CorneliusAnthony Cornelius is a weather chaser. On 26 October 2003, accompanied by his buddy Jason, he observed a storm passing over Redcliffe, which is about a 45 minute drive from Brisbane. The pictures are awe inspiring, and have been widely circulated on the Internet as a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. The presentation wrongly credits another local weather watching web site, belonging to James Chambers, who makes it clear on his 'Brisbane Storms' web site that Anthony Cornelius was the true photographer. Both sites contain large numbers of weather pictures and reports, and both are worthy of further investigation. [Thanks to Carmel Glover for the original lead to this story.]

Saturday, 20 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: We Are Children Of Our Landscape
CREDIT: © Ann Bowker/Mad About Mountains
WHERE: Cogra Moss, nr. Whitehaven, Cumbria, England. WHAT: mountain lake circuit.
MAP: Cogra Moss. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image. Smaller screen users, please click here for a resizable scrolling panorama if you become pixel challenged.

Cogra Moss Circuit © Ann BowkerThe theme of landscape as a profound influence on cultural, literary, and spiritual matters, is the subject of academic courses at all levels. A Google search will turn up many similar to this Georgia Southern University example, 'Spirit of Place in British Literature'.

The title of today's piece is a quotation from Lawrence Durrell, "We are children of our landscape; it dictates behavior and even thought in the measure to which we are responsive to it." D.H. Lawrence wrote 'Studies in Classic American Literature', which has an opening chapter named 'The Spirit of Place'. The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University has an interesting online exhibition entitled 'The Illustrating Traveler: Adventure And Illustration In North America And The Caribbean 1760-1895'. All these resources are worthy of further investigation.

However, as interesting as these learned works are, the experience of deus loci, manitou, spirit of place, or… call it what you will… can be experienced simply by being in places where the phenomenon manifests itself most readily. One such place that we have oftentimes experienced is seen in today's feature picture, Cogra Moss and Blake Fell. The able bodied should have little difficulty finding locally somewhere similar.

Friday, 19 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: English Lake District Jewels
CREDIT: © Tony Richards/LakelandCAM.co.uk
WHERE: Keswick, Cumbria, England. WHAT: lake and mountain scenery.
MAP: Keswick-Ambleside Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Derwentwater & Keswick © Tony RichardsIn early December of this year Tony Richards, web master of the LakelandCAM.co.uk site, took this picture from the Hawse End to Grange road. This western lake shore road runs along the foot of a hill named Catbells, with fine views over the lake of Derwentwater and the town of Keswick. More often seen with the heights of Skiddaw behind, in this view Keswick is backed by the equally grand hill Blencathra, part of the upland region known as the Northern Fells.

Visitors to the Lakeland are well catered for with accommodation and visitor attractions. Just outside the National Park area, the towns of Penrith, Cockermouth, and Kendal, offer a wide range of facilities. Within the National Park, the towns of Keswick, and Ambleside, are the two centers offering the most for visitors. Our favorite guide web sites for these jewels are: Julian Thurgood's VisitCumbria.com for visitor attractions; Andrew Leaney's Leaney.org for walks and organized lists of the hills. Regular doses of pictures may be had from Tony Sainsbury (yesterday), Tony Richards (today), or Ann Bowker (tomorrow).

Thursday, 18 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Sainsbury's Best Twelve For 2003
CREDIT: © Tony Sainsbury/EyeOnTheLakes.com
WHERE: English Lake District. WHAT: Picture round-up for 2003 - one for each month
MAP: English Lake District. Thumbnail clicks pop-up source page.
Newlands Valley © Tony SainsburySharp Edge, Blencathra © Tony SainsburyConiston Old Man © Tony SainsburyStriding Edge, Hellvellyn © Tony Sainsbury
We regularly visit Tony Sainsbury's EyeOnTheLakes.com web site, so we were delighted to discover his 'Christmas Web Card' edition. Tony has selected twelve pictures, one from each month of 2003, and added a cover picture taken on Todd Crag, looking across his hometown of Ambleside. The content may change before you visit, but may still be available in the archives for a few weeks.

Thumbnails link to the same source page, and the following links are to maps (left to right): May, Newlands Valley with Dale Head on the far left, the double peaks of Hindscarth and its ridge of High Crags and Scope End in the center, and Robinson on the right; March, Sharp Edge, Blencathra; February, Coniston Old Man summit; and June, Striding Edge ridge from Helvellyn.

Wednesday, 17 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Journey's End Caprice & Whimsy
CREDIT: © Michael Morse/'Crazy Guy On A Bike' journal
WHERE: the Rocky Mountains. WHAT: the US Continental Divide on a bicycle.
MAP: GDMBR: Great Divide MtB Route. Thumbnail clicks pop-up source image pages.
Continental Divide, Interstate-10, Separ, New Mexico © Michael MorseBannack State Park, Montana © Michael MorseNear Quemado Lake, New Mexico © Michael MorseAntelope Wells, New Mexico © Michael Morse
Most journeys have beginnings, travelling middles, and ends: that hardly seems worth saying, until the further implications are considered. We decided that our own journey, accompanying Michael Morse as he pedalled from Canada to Mexico, should end with caprice and whimsy. We hope the pictures speak sufficiently that you will want to click on them, and from the source page use the 'Journal' link to go to the text.

The sign is one of those pieces of understated Americana that have a vulgar attraction like a bar blonde in leopard skin and red heels. The truck is part of an historical preservation in the state park at Bannack, which was briefly the territorial capital of Montana in 1864, before statehood in 1889. The derelict building is only one example from the journal; if you read thoroughly, you will find a great throw away line at another similar site. It seemed somehow fitting that our final picture selection is Australian Owen Phillis, posing beside the sign on the Mexican side of the border. Oddly, the bicycles seem almost unimportant in the overall scheme of things, though there are plenty more in the journal for gear freaks to admire.

Left to right (as before, not in journey order) are: [1] one of many Continental Divide crossings, Interstate-10, Separ, New Mexico; [2] truck in Bannack State Park, Montana; [3] abandoned building near Quemado Lake, New Mexico; and [4] journey's end, across the border from Antelope Wells, New Mexico.

Tuesday, 16 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Every Desolation Row Has Inmates
CREDIT: © Michael Morse/'Crazy Guy On A Bike' journal
WHERE: the Rocky Mountains. WHAT: the US Continental Divide on a bicycle.
MAP: GDMBR: Great Divide MtB Route. Thumbnail clicks pop-up source image pages.
Aspen Meadows Bicycle Hostel © Michael MorseSepar, New Mexico © Michael MorseCumbres & Toltec Railroad © Michael MorseSilver City, New Mexico © Michael Morse
One of the seminal experiences of travel is trying to make sense of the unfamiliar, and sometimes the inexplicable. Bicycling provides many metaphors for life. Reinhold Aman's 'Maledicta', the International Journal of Verbal Aggression, is said to contain an almost untranslatable Italian imprecation, "Dio scapa da letto in bicicletta!" (God escaped from bed by bicycle!) The inexplicable is usually inarguable, too.

This selection of four pictures may make everything clear if you read the appropriate journal entries that are linked to them on the source web pages. On the other hand you may only become more confused: sometimes that is the price we have to pay in our search for understanding. Left to right (and again, not in journey order) are: [1] Aspen Meadows Bicycle Hostel; [2] Separ, New Mexico; [3] Cumbres & Toltec Railroad; and [4] Silver City, New Mexico.

The first picture is connected to journal entry for a day when the intrepid travellers stumbled across a haven full of bonhomie and support. Reading travellers tales, it seems that nearly all significant journeys contain at least one such episode. It always seems to happen when the traveller has the least expectations: not the lowest, mark you, but the least. Now there is a metaphor for living, if ever we fashioned one.

One might imagine that a journey on unpaved roads, following the Continental Divide, might be lonely, pastoral when not threading between a rock and a hard place, and untouched by industrial society. Obviously parts of the journey are like that: however, when contact is made with the world that is more normally experienced, the senses are even more highly attuned to register the nuances. What more potent symbols of industrialization than trains, both old and new, as shown here? The best travellers tales always communicate this sense of being there with the teller.

The building shown in the last pictures was the only one left standing when the town of Silver City, New Mexico, was all but destroyed by a flood. What was once the main street of the town is now a creek bed. In the middle of a desert, the town has high kerbs against the possibility of another flood. William Boney, a.k.a. Billy the Kid, and Judge Roy Bean were formerly associated with the town. This traveller's tales are beginning to make 'Alice in Wonderland' seem rather prosaic.

Monday, 15 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Two Wheel Heroes All Down America
CREDIT: © Michael Morse/'Crazy Guy On A Bike' journal
WHERE: the Rocky Mountains. WHAT: the US Continental Divide on a bicycle.
*MAP: GDMBR: Great Divide MtB Route. Thumbnail clicks pop-up source image pages.
O'Haver Lake, Salida, Colorado © Michael MorseRed Rock Lake, Montana © Michael MorseGrand Teton Mountains, Jackson, Wyoming © Michael MorseDevils Causeway, Steamboat Springs, Colorado © Michael Morse
In the Summer of 2002, Michael Morse went for only one bicycle ride; he pedalled the 2,470 mile route from the US-Canadian border at Roosville, Montana, to the US-Mexican border at Antelope Wells, New Mexico. The GDMBR (Great Divide Mountain Bike Route) is the longest mapped, off-pavement cycling route in the world, and generally stays within 50 miles of the Continental Divide, crossing some of the wildest and most rugged terrain in the USA. Like all great journeys, it is a journey within; the external journey is mostly about pedalling, eating, sleeping, boredom, and frustration… the occurrence of joy, exultation, and moments of deep connection between self and others and the earth, goes without saying.

Michael's odyssey is hosted on Neil Gunton's CrazyGuyOnABike.com web site, 'A place for bicycle tourists and their journals.' The site implementation is a tour de force of journeyman programming: we would normally not mention such matters, but with 85 pages and 285 pictures for this single journal, we suggest it is a good idea to use some of the sites features to make your visit easier, and to enhance your enjoyment. Controls are easy of access and use, quickly becoming transparent for the visitor. The alternative, for diehard masochist Luddites, is to click as often as Michael turned the pedals, but without a concomitant sense of continuous progress.

We looked at every picture in the journal, using the slide show function to jump back and forwards to the text, when making our picture selection. The thumbnails link to the slide show pictures, and from there you too may jump into the relevant journal entry from the page menu. As you may imagine, the landscapes on such a journey are spectacular, but we tried to find other aspects of the journey that represented a voyage through America. Today, however, we just settled for the spectacular! There will be two more selection galleries from the journal.

Left to right (and not in journey order): O'Haver Lake outside of Salida, Colorado; Red Rock Lake, Montana; Grand Teton Mountains, north of Jackson, Wyoming; and the 11,800 feet of altitude Devils Causeway, near Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

*More detailed maps of the GDMBR (north to south): [1] Roosville to Polaris; [2] to South Pass City; [3] to Silverthorne; [4] to Platoro; [5] to Pie Town; and [6] to Antelope Wells; may be seen on the ACA (Adventure Cycling Association) web site. Serious potential riders will purchase the ACA set of six detailed, printed maps.

Sunday, 14 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: National Guide For Local Walking
CREDIT: © Joel Sax/LocalWalking.com
WHERE: Zion National Park, Utah, USA. WHAT: example walk from hiking web site.
MAPS: Zion Park, and Watchman. Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages.
Zion Watchman 1 © Joel Sax & LocalHikes.comZion Watchman 2 © Joel Sax & LocalHikes.comZion Watchman 3 © Joel Sax & LocalHikes.comZion Watchman 4 © Joel Sax & LocalHikes.com
Today's featured web site has USA-wide coverage, with a comprehensive guide to places for hiking, walking, or even just strolling. The site is very well implemented, from the zip code search through to mapping and information services for your chosen walk. Most of the listed hikes are found close to metropolitan areas, indexed by state.

Ours was in under 'ZZ' for hikes remote from urban areas. We thought this was a good way to group the walks, and very useful if you are in an unfamiliar city. We tested the site with a familiar walk up the Watchman Trail at the entrance to Zion Park in southwest Utah. We checked for a metro area walk too: Cathedral Rock sounds just the place for the next time we are in Las Vegas and boozing, gambling, and pressing the flesh with the rich & famous, begins to pall.

If you want to see more of the Watchman Trail check out our own online web photo gallery containing a selection of pictures taken during the hike. You may also visit Joel Sax, who filed the hike report for the Watchman Trail, and sample his 'Paths of Light' experimental photography, or one of his other hiking guides.

Saturday, 13 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: In Every Cloud a Little Sunshine
CREDIT: © Tony Richards/LakelandCAM.co.uk

WHERE: Gt. Langdale, Ambleside, Cumbria, England. WHAT: mountain sun splashes.
MAP: Gt. Langdale and Dungeon Ghyll. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Langdale Sun Splash © Tony RichardsThe Langdale Valleys of the English Lake District are one of the premier destinations for tourists to the district. Rock climbers, and persons training for extreme expeditions to the world's highest mountain ranges, come here for the exposed routes on some of the crags where the early skills of the sport evolved. One seam of particularly hard rock was used by the ancients to make stone axes that were traded widely, possibly for ceremonial use because of their fine quality.

This recent picture from Tony Richards on LakelandCAM.co.uk was taken near the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. We thought the picture very reminiscent of the best of Lakeland: we have no wish to be cleverly contrary, but the rain and cloud as much as the sunshine make this a very special place. As Billy Connolly says of Scotland, "Of course it @#*•!*# rains, that's why it's so @#*•!*# green!" The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel is still in existence, indeed it is thriving. The hotel has linked with two other hotels, the Scafell Hotel and the Wasdale head Inn in the neighboring valleys of Borrowdale and Wasdale respectively, to create a three valley walk, featured on a dedicated web site named LakelandWay.com with all the details.

Friday, 12 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Painter On Scottish Location
CREDIT: © David Fallows/PaintedScotland.com
WHERE: Newtonmore, Scotland. WHAT: TV series 'Monarch of the Glen' paintings.
MAP: Newtonmore. Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images on source pages.
Loch Laggan Beach © David FallowsStrathmashie © David FallowsLoch Insh, Badenoch © David FallowsLoch Laggan at Ardverikie © David Fallows
If you have never seen the BBC Television series 'Monarch of the Glen', then perhaps you may like to read an earlier item featured here that should give you sufficient background information to make sense of what follows.

One of the characters in the series is called Molly MacDonald, played by the durable Susan Hampshire. In Series 3 Episode 4, paintings were required by the program's directors, to be represented as the work of Molly in one of the plot lines. The series is shot on location in the Scottish Highlands, and local artist David Fallows was chosen to supply the original works. Some of the original paintings are still available for sale: four are shown here (L to R) [1] 'Loch Laggan Beach' [2] 'Strathmashie' [3'Loch Insh, Badenoch' [4] 'Loch Laggan at Ardverikie'; and including the one not illustrated here, number [5] 'Cairngorms from Boat of Garten', they may all be seen on show in David's online originals web gallery.

For the less well heeled, but equally enthusiastic and appreciative, there are another nine images available in David's print gallery. We thought prices were very reasonable at only £140-£150 ($245-$262) for an original watercolor, and £300 ($524) for an original oil painting. Limited edition prints are available in two sizes at £4.95 ($9) or £11.95 ($21), mounted ready for framing. US dollar conversions may fluctuate.

David's real world gallery may be visited if you are in the Newtonmore area, perhaps visiting the nearby Aviemore resort for skiing or summer sports.

Thursday, 11 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Disquiet Deep In The Forest
CREDIT: © The Wilderness Society/Wilderness.org.au
WHERE: Tasmania, Australia. WHAT:giant swamp gum (Eucalyptus regnans) tree.
MAPS: Tasmania. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

El Grande © The Wilderness SocietyThe largest living thing outside of North America was discovered in 2002. It was the largest flowering plant in the world. It was the largest hardwood tree in the world. It was 350 years old, 79 metres (260 feet) tall, and was given the soubriquet 'El Grande'. It grew in the Florentine Valley, west of Hobart, Tasmania. It was a swamp gum, or mountain ash tree, of the classification Eucalyptus regnans.

The state authority, Forestry Tasmania, took the tree into their care. Early in 2003 a controlled burn became anything but, and the tree was badly burned. On 15 April 2003 Forestry Tasmania issued a press release, which began, 'Derwent District Forest Manager Steve Whiteley said today that Tasmania's largest hardwood tree, 'El Grande', has once again demonstrated the natural resilience eucalypts have to fire.' Yesterday Forestry Tasmania general manager of operations, Kim Creak, admitted, 'A group of forest scientists has conducted an assessment of the condition of the tree. Unfortunately, it is deceased.' There have been calls to suspend logging operations to protect other tall trees.

The debacle has brought worldwide attention to the Tasmanian forestry industry, though there have been accusations that Tasmanians and the Tasmanian media are apathetic. The Wilderness Society has a report from Alan Gray, the consultant botanist who said the tree was dead way back in April. The ForestryTasmania.com web site (no connection with the official body with a similar name) has information on the Tasmanian forestry industry, which is overseen by Tasmania Forestry (the official body) as described on their web site.

El Grande was the largest tree by volume, but there are taller Eucalyptus trees, including one declared for publicity purposes to be the world's tallest Christmas tree. Other botanical records may be found on Wayne P. Armstrong's Wayne's Word web site, which lists the world's tallest tree as a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), standing 367 feet (112 metres), and the tallest swamp gum (Eucalyptus regnans), at 322 feet (98 metres). Also mentioned is the 1872 report, by William Ferguson, of an E. regnans said to measure 18 feet (5.5 metres) in diameter and 435 feet (132 metres) in height. Environmentalists hope that interest in these individual record holders will raise awareness of larger issues in the forestry debate.

Wednesday, 10 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Exotic Grampians Down Under
CREDIT: © Bruce Henderson/WarrnamboolCAM.com
WHERE: Halls Gap, Victoria, Australia. SEE: mountain views, parrots, and a wallaby.
MAP: Grampians, Victoria, Australia. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Halls Gap © Bruce HendersonOn our routine visit to WarrnamboolCAM.com to check out Bruce Henderson's latest offering, we found that he had visited the Grampians. The antipodean ones, of course. This view is of Halls Gap, taken from the Boroka lookout, with Lake Bellfield beyond. If you visit, there will be no confusion because of the name, and you will know for certain that you are not in Scotland: the red parrots and the wallaby give the game away! Not to mention the sunshine.

Here is Bruce's succinct introduction to the pictures set (content may change by the time you visit): 'In March of 1836 Thomas Mitchell set out on an expedition to survey the Darling, Lachlan and Murrumbidgee Rivers and to find out if they connected with the Murray river. By June the 13th, he had established that the Murray, Darling and Murrumbidgee were all part of one river system and crossed the Murray and headed South West. Within two weeks his party was confronted by a small mountain range which he named 'The Grampians', after the ranges of the same name in his native Scotland. He skirted the Grampians and to the South discovered a vast grass plain which he described as 'Australia Felix' (fortunate land). On his return to Sydney the news of the discovery quickly spread, and sparked a land rush by new settlers'

Tuesday, 09 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Tall Ships Down At The Harbour
CREDIT: © Charles Winpenny/CornwallCAM.co.uk
WHERE: St. Austell, Cornwall, England. SEE: tall sailing ships in harbor.
MAP: Charlestown, near St. Austell. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Tall Ship 'Kaskelot' © Charles WinpennyEarl of Pembroke' and 'Phoenix' © Charles WinpennyIt seems a while since we visited Charles Winpenny, so here are a brace of pictures, me hearties! Taken at Charlestown Harbour, the pictures on the left shows the tall ship 'Kaskelot' with the Pier House behind; and the one on the right shows the 'Earl of Pembroke' and the 'Phoenix'. You may see more pictures around Charlestown and St. Austell by visiting Charles' web site, check the 'Recent Photographs' links at the head of the page for 'St. Austell and Charlestown' (content may have changed by the time you visit), or check the archives at the foot of the page (sorry, there were no permanent links at the time of writing).

All three ships, [1] Kaskelot, [2] Earl of Pembroke, and [3] Phoenix, are part of the Square Sail Ship Yard fleet. For a closer look, you may call on Julian Thurgood's web site at VisitCumbria.com, where you will find a tour of the Kaskelot (it means 'sperm whale' in Danish), and a photo record of the three day fleet visit to the Cumbrian port of Whitehaven. The 2002 visit was an assessment of Whitehaven as a home port for the fleet: it did not work out, and Charlestown is the home port.

Monday, 08 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: World's Most Scenic Dump
CREDIT: © Brad Weis/Moab-Utah.com.
WHERE: Moab, Utah, USA. SEE: mountains, slickrock, & custom cars.
MAPS: Utah physical, Slickrock Trail, and Moab area MTB trails.

Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger images.
World's Most Scenic Dump © Brad WeisMoab Town Vista © Brad WeisArches National Park Monolith © Brad WeisMoab 'Rod Benders' Car Show © Brad Weis
Brad Weis & Don Gray are collectively Moab Internet, and since 1996 (1,170,908 visitors, when we last checked) they have maintained the Moab Information Site, which has community and portal pages for their area in southeast Utah.

Moab is world famous in bicycling circles for its slick rock trails, and a popular destination with tourists: perhaps less well known, it once held an 'Outside Magazine' top rating as the 'World's Most Scenic Dump'. You will see from the second picture that the town itself is very pretty. Check out the Utah physical map (map links are in the header for this item), and see how many world class scenic sites are close to hand, or foot, or indeed fat tire. Brad seems to be the photographer of the duo, and his galleries show many of the breathtaking features around where he lives. The third picture shows a winter scene of a monolith at the entrance to Arches National Park.

The area has all sorts of social and visitor activities, most of whom seem to be customers of Brad & Don, so as an example and for the last picture, we chose an image from the Moab April Car Show 2002, known as the 'Rod Benders Show'. We hope that the lady who wrote to tell us she was not interested in cars will forgive us, and that the custom car enthusiasts will also enjoy the landscapes.

Sunday, 07 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Mirror, Mirror, On The Lake…
CREDIT: © Tony Richards/LakelandCAM.co.uk Click to guess the genuine one.
Mirror Lake © Tony RichardsMirror Lake © Tony Richards
Mirror, mirror, on the lake, which one is real, which one is fake? This picture from Tony Richards caught our eye. Both copies are the same image, but one of the pair has been rotated 180°. Your task, should you wish to accept the assignment, is to click the one you think is the correct way round. As in real life, if you are right there is no prize, though you will see the picture pop-up full size. If you are wrong there will be shame and humiliation, with abuse and a collective sneer from your peer group.

Saturday, 06 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Pretty Picture Or Politicization
CREDITS: Southern Utah Wilderness Association/SUWA.org
Photographers and copyright holders (left to right):
© James Kay; © Tom Till; © Chris Brown; © Ray Wheeler

Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages.
Narrows in the Dirty Devil Area © James KayWindowblind Peak at Sunset © Tom TillTop of House Park Butte © Chris BrownWhite Cliffs © Ray Wheeler
This is the last day of the three part series of selections from the SUWA.org web site. On a photographic level our favorite picture was yesterday's first on the left, showing the Fremont River and Mount Ellen. Other reasons for this personal selection are the historical and geological associations of that place.

John Charles Frémont was one of the early explorers of the West, whose journeys along the Oregon Trail in 1842 and 1843 were documented by his wife Jesse Benton Frémont, whose father, Thomas Hart Benton, was a powerful Missouri senator and a promoter of westward expansion as part of the ideology of 'Manifest Destiny' for the emergent United States. The Frémont name lives on in many locations, ironically including Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, where there is an overhead lighting display that offers something of a contrast to the Fremont River. We have wondered if the street is more representative of the Fremont-Benton ethos than the river.

Mount Ellen at 11,615 feet of altitude is the highest point of the Henry Mountains. An 1875 monograph on the Henrys, by Grove Karl Gilbert, proposed a new theory of mountain uplift. Gilbert's term was laccolite (which was later modified to laccolith), suggesting that in some places the earth's crust was thrust upward by injections of magma from below, which never broke the surface as volcanos.

This description from the SUWA page on the Henrys is almost poetic:

There is something mysterious about the Henry Mountains; something incongruous, something odd, something alien. Anyone who encounters them, hovering like spaceships over the lunar landscape of desert badlands surrounding them, gleaming with fresh snow or brooding in lavender tones under an umbrella of storm clouds, receives an immediate and lasting impression that they do not quite belong where they are. "They are by far the most striking features of the panorama," observed the geologist Clarence Dutton, "on account of the strong contrast they present to the scenery about them. Among innumerable flat crest-lines terminating in walls, they rise up grandly into peaks of Alpine form and grace like a modern cathedral among catacombs -- the gothic order of architecture contrasting with the elephantine."

On another level, the context of the pictures, in fact their presence on an explicitly political site such as SUWA.org, makes them political statements. A century and half ago the bicycle was being developed, and white European Americans were gazing westward. Today the flocks of Bighorn sheep, whose tracks were reported to be like flocks of domesticated sheep according to Father Escalante, and the herds of bison (called buffalo by the Americans) that were said by Mari Sandoz* to be so numerous that they stretched from horizon to horizon, are long gone.

Today the resource issues are oil to quench the thirst of motor vehicles, and water to green the desert. In a nominally democratic country, with far greater numbers of car drivers and golfers than back to the land bicyclists, perhaps the vote on the issue of protecting wilderness is a foregone conclusion. None of the locations we have shown can support oil wells and dams, but still retain their wilderness qualities. Everything has a price, let us hope the wilderness is also perceived as having a value.

* This site misrenders in some versions of MS Internet Explorer web browser, leaving page gaps. If you have this probem, then scroll past the empty parts of the pages to reach the content, then again to reach the continuation links.

Friday, 05 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Objectivity Becomes Sidestepping
CREDITS: Southern Utah Wilderness Association/SUWA.org
Photographers and copyright holders (left to right):
© John George; © Chris Brown; © Tom Bean; © Scott Smith

Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages.
Fremont River and Mount Ellen © John GeorgeHatch and Fiddler Cove Canyons © Chris BrownBull Valley Gorge © Tom BeanComb Ridge © Scott Smith
When choosing which web resources we will feature here, our decisions could hardly be more subjective. Thereafter we hope we switch into a more objective mode, trying hard to avoid overtly pushing our opinions, politics, and tastes.

The Zeal service (part of LookSmart, a player in the search engine market) is an attempt to create another human built directory of the web: they have formulated and published a set of guidelines, and if you want to measure your own abilities in such endeavors, then take the quiz. We have a friend who, after every piece of workplace research, reports back, "I never knew it was so difficult, or so complicated!"

This three part set, featuring pictures selected from the Southern Utah Wilderness Association (SUWA.org) web site, has exercised and tested our objectivity and restraint. If such things concern or interest you, we have left you to explore the SUA web site on your own. We hope you do not see this as sidestepping.

Many of the environmental issues raised in southern Utah are mirrored elsewhere. More immediately, following the Leavitt-Norton deals, Utah may become the model for the administration of wilderness areas in the whole of the USA. In the space of a paragraph we have become embroiled in a debate that is explicitly political in nature. We hope, at a later date, to examine the issues as objectively as we are able; it will be a difficult task to separate the facts from the abounding bias and misinformation.

Thursday, 04 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Stewardship Is Not Ownership
CREDITS: Southern Utah Wilderness Association/SUWA.org
Photographers and copyright holders (left to right):
© John George; © Tom Till; © Ray Wheeler; © Harvey Halpern

Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages.
Silver Island Mountains © John GeorgeCastleton Tower © Tom TillPinnacles Near Mount Pennell © Ray WheelerCorona Arch © Harvey Halpern
SUWA.org is the web site of the Southern Utah Wilderness Association. This their mission on behalf of all the citizens of the USA: 'SUWA's overarching goal is to protect Utah's remaining nine million acres of wild desert lands - lands owned by the American public and administered on our behalf by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). To this end, activists from Utah and across the country have compiled their own exhaustive fieldwork in a citizens' wilderness proposal now pending in congress. The proposal, America's Redrock Wilderness Act, will preserve one of the world's most unique landscapes - where towering buttes, sweeping plateaus, and intimate canyons are enveloped by a rare and breathtaking silence.'

Last weekend we were trying to decide on seasonal gifts for friends and family in other parts of the world. If they are reading this, they may as well know that they are going to receive… oh, better not to spoil the surprise. Everyone else gets twelve pictures, that for copyright reasons we are unable to make into an online calendar… now you know why they say it is the thought that counts. We were thinking about you.

SUWA.org contains many delightful, not to say inspiring, pictures of the area where we live. As you click on the four pictures in today's edition of the virtual calendar, you will be taken to the appropriate original page. Some of the descriptions, telling how the stewardship of the land is being implemented, are not for the faint of heart. Viewer discretion is advised: you may feel better if you became a member of SUWA, or made a donation. Stewardship is a heavier burden than ownership: but citizenship, too, is not just a set of rights, but comes with its own responsibilities.

Wednesday, 03 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: How To Never Miss Anything, Ever
CREDITS: © Ian Scott-Parker/PishTush.com Thumbnail clicks pop-up feature pages.
Hurricane Arch Bridge ArchiveJohn Wesley Powell ArchiveJim Bridger ArchiveHelicopter Ride Archive
We thought a quick guide might be useful, both to regular visitors and to new visitors: in the sidebar there is a pull down menu entitled 'Features navigation'. This has quick links to the site homepage ('Last 5 days'), and to the site fast access page ('Last 1 day'). These are provided simply for convenience. The section below the pecked line on the menu is for special feature length articles.

At the moment there are four feature entries: [1] Hurricane Bridge; [2]  John Wesley Powell; [3] Jim Bridger; and [4] Helicopter Ride. These are compendiums of previous articles on a common subject or theme. More such compendiums will be added over time, along with items specifically written for that section. When special articles appear they will always be referenced from a daily item on the day that they are added.

Our legal department have insisted that we point out that 'How To Never Miss Anything, Ever' is only valid for people who actually visit. We suppose this is to protect us against people who never visited, and complain that they missed something.

Tuesday, 02 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Artistic Agony And Anguish
CREDITS: © Michael Fatali/Fatali.com Thumbnail click pops-up source page.

Islands Of The Sun © Michael FataliToday we had occasion to visit the new hospital in St. George, Utah. On a recessed wall, there was a row of Fatali prints donated by the artist. Looking at those superb images, and making an odious comparison with our own humble efforts, we were sorely tempted to abandon today's feature in shame. Finally, we rationalized that either we should be inspired by such work, or we should stop looking. So we decided to be inspired to greater things in the future.

Monday, 01 December 2003

Pix Of The Day: Bryan Redpath's Birthday Treat
CREDITS: © Terry Smith/Trekking Scenes Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger image.
Allenheads Inn © Terry SmithMiddlesborough Transporter Bridge © Terry SmithEgton Bridge Nr. Whitby © Terry SmithSarah At The Horseshoe Hotel © Terry Smith
Bryan Redpath is a long time friend of Terry Smith, who is the webmaster for one of our regular sites, 'Tel's Interesting Trekking Scenes'. The last day in November is Bryan's birthday. This year is his seventieth year, which he celebrated in Canada, where he now lives. Terry did a two part [1] [2] photo feature of Bryan's old haunts as a birthday treat. For the rest of us, while wishing Bryan a "Happy Birthday", this is an excellent guide to the countryside and culture of the North East of England. This is only a small selection of the many and varied pictures in the two galleries.

Beer is much in evidence, and the first port of call is the Allenheads Inn. Be careful not to drink too much though, because those are stocks outside, for punishing would be trouble makers! The second picture is the Middlesborough Transporter Bridge, which was irresistible given our weakness for such structures. The third picture is the area around Egton Bridge, near Whitby. Terry called at the Horseshoe Inn at Egton Bridge, to raise a cheering glass to his old buddy. The lovely Sarah, who in the pictures has pulled a foaming pint of White Cinnamon from the Durham Brewery, by coincidence shares her birthday with Bryan. "Happy Birthday" to you, too, Sarah!

What a great day out, even when vicariously enjoyed.

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)