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Archive for the ‘Trivia’ Category

Yesterday was my birthday

It was even more unique … maybe even special because there was in fact a Blue Moon. For those who do not know, a blue moon is not actually blue. It looks like any other beautiful full moon. However,the so designated Blue Moon is special because it is the second full moon within one calendar month.

Blue Moon

Blue Moon

Needless to say, there were many reasons to feel special on my birthday … my wife, my family, my friends, my co-workers, my health … yes, many reasons. I guess the Blue Moon just made me stop and think for a minute about how very blessed I truly am.

Oh, one other mention: I love the music of folksinger, Nancy Griffith . Her song “Once in a Very Blue Moon” is a favorite of mine. In fact,so much a favorite that I presented her a Key to the City when she performed in Little Rock. That evening she did not sing the song on stage but did sing it for me backstage … A cappella.

As Paul Harvey would say at the end of his broadcast: “Now You Know the Rest of the Story”

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Frost Flower

Frost Flower

Yep … it is known as a Frost Flower and this is the first time I have ever seen one.
First, let me set the stage by telling you two of my buddies and I (see our photo below) were hiking in the Buffalo National River valley near Boxley, Arkansas. It was a cold morning in the mid 20’s and we were heading into a beautiful box canyon know as “The Penitentiary”. Very shortly after beginning the two mile trek into the canyon, we started seeing a forest floor dotted with these strange silky, ribbon like sculptures of delicate ice wrapped around small plant stems. Fortunately Bryan had read about them, knew what they were called so we spent countless minutes inspecting, photographing and marveling at this never before seen (at least by us) wonder of nature. I commented that whether we made it to the Penitentiary or not, this made the trip worthwhile.

Further research on the internet explained the phenomenon … the air temperature must be well below freezing while the ground temperature is still warm enough to send sap up into a stem. At that point, a small crack in the stem seeps liquid slowly that immediately begins to freeze and sculpt into a FROST FLOWER.
NOW YOU KNOW “THE REST OF THE STORY.

The other serendipitous advantage of hiking in below freezing weather is depicted in a few other shots below … waterfalls, unique ice formations, etc. Try it, you may like it!!!

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Colorado Aspen and Arkansas Hardwoods …

I simply love Fall … the pictures below make this point in living color.
An eight mile hike yesterday in the Arkansas Ouachita Mountains gave me a glimpse of the colors to come. My shot of grouped leaves was just enough to get me thinking poetically … Wine colors … Cabernet, Pinot, Chardonnay. Fruit colors … Limon, Lime, Orange, Peach, grape. And the Elixer of the Gods, the golden brown richness of 18 year old Macallan single malt scotch.

Most of the shots were of Colorado Aspen at the peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. Clearly they speak for themselves. In addition there are shots of Elk … this is the rutting season and we witnessed the evening ritual of female elk drifting into the meadows followed by first the bugling of males and then the grand entry of these huge, stately creatures.

We were celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary of friends … just had to go to the Historic Stanley Hotel where we had a wonderful dinner and returned the next day for a complete tour … enough to prompt me to again read Stephen King’s book “The Shining”.

Finally, and pictures will come in the next few weeks, I am heading back to Colorado with three of my hiking buddies. To be continued then.

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Why Eureka Springs, Arkansas  … what’s the big deal?

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Well … after a long weekend in Eureka Springs … let me tell you What’s the big deal.

This tiny historic mountain city sometimes called the Little Switzerland of America may be one of the most uniquely diverse spots on the Arkansas map … maybe on any map. In short it is one of the most tantalizing collections of Sights, smells, sounds, stairs and healing springs of just about any small town in America.  For starters, pictured above is the 1912 Carnegie Library, one of four built in Arkansas by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and still operating as a Public Library.

ImageOne of the top one hundred small Arts Cities in America

As the main street, Spring Street, snakes its way up the hill from Basin Park Spring,  it passes thru a wide selection of collectable art studios and galleries, gourmet coffee bars, restaurants, hotels and shops plus the random placement of street singers, guitar and banjo players.  In the cliche of old, “there’s a little of something for everyone here”.

ImageImageImageImage..Sights, sounds and Stairs …

The hood ornament on an old car fits the “sights” category,  I guess we can include deer and architectural details as well.

ImageImageStairs, Stairs and More Stairs,

One of the challenging and engaging facets of the city is the thousands of stairs … stairs as fire escapes, stairs from one street level to the next, stairs between buildings, stairs directing a patron into basement restaurants, bars and shops  …

Ouch !!!

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Clearly, one can see this is a very special place to visit.  I’ve barely scratched the surface … haven’t even touched on the colorful local politics … this topic could merit another blog entry.

I haven’t talked about the healing springs, the hundreds of B&B’s (my favorite, the Peabody House), the thunder of motorcycles or clinking of beer bottles dumped each morning in the recycling trucks … nor have I mentioned the Catholic Church one enters thru the bell tower, or the haunted Crescent Hotel … OK, OK, enough, enough.

Come see for yourself … you can’t  just go once.

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