A LUCKY STRIKE

 

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For me, it was a Lucky Strike. I found Old Gold in Chester’s Field and fell Pall Mall down the stairs in Phillips Morris’ Place in the hills of Marlboro County. That Old Gold got me elected to Parliament where I Scored Mildly with the Duke of Winston.  I was not in Vogue, though, until the Viceroy and the Duke of Kent, Lord Tareyton, became Players in my club in Newport. That did the trick. This Maverick finally got Max exposure in Hollywood under the LA Lights. It is  Basic fact, life begins at Eve. Let the Camel carry you to the Crossroads. Be Smart and forget Salem. Be Kool.

– L&M

THE FIRST WOMAN CANDIDATE FOR U.S. PRESIDENT: VICTORIA WOODHULL

Major Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Woodhull

Victoria-Woodhull-by-CD-Fredericks,-c1870

Victoria Woodhull by CD Fredericks. circa 1870

 

Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for President of the United States in 1872. An activist for women’s rights and labor reforms, Woodhull was also an advocate of free love. She believed women should be free to to marry, divorce, and bear children without government interference.

Woodhull was politically active in the early 1870s, when she was nominated as the first woman candidate for the United States presidency, for which she is best known.

Woodhull was the 1872 candidate for the Equal Rights Party, who supported women’s suffrage and equal rights. She was arrested on obscenity charges a few days before the election, for publishing an account of the alleged adulterous affair between the prominent minister Henry Ward Beecher and Elizabeth Tilton. This bit of red meat added to the sensational coverage of her candidacy. Though she was on the ticket, she did not receive any electoral votes, and there is conflicting evidence about popular votes.

 

LICKING CO, OH SIGN WOODHULL

Licking County, Ohio Historical Sign

EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION

Born Victoria California Claflin, she was the seventh of ten children (six of whom survived to maturity),in the rural frontier town of Homer, Licking County, Ohio.

“Her mother, Roxanna “Roxy” Hummel Claflin, was illegitimate and illiterate. She had become a follower of the Austrian mystic Franz Mesmer and the new spiritualist movement. Her father, Reuben “Old Buck” Buckman Claflin,  was a con man and snake oil salesman. He came from an impoverished branch of the Massachusetts-based Scots-American Claflin family, semi-distant cousins to Governor William Claflin. -Wikipedia

When seven years old, Victoria was accused of burning down a cupola.

She was beaten, starved and sexually abused by her father when still very young.

She believed in spiritualism – she referred to “Banquo’s Ghost” from Shakespeare‘s Macbeth – because it gave her belief in a better life. She said that she was guided in 1868 by Demosthenes to what symbolism to use supporting her theories of Free Love.

By age 11, Woodhull had only three years of formal education, but her teachers found her to be extremely intelligent. She was forced to leave school and home with her family when her father, after having “insured it heavily,” burned the family’s rotting gristmill. When he tried to get compensated by insurance, his arson and fraud were discovered; he was run off by a group of town vigilantes.  The town held a “benefit” to raise funds to pay for the rest of the family’s departure from Ohio.

FREE LOVE  

Victoria_Woodhull_caricature_by_Thomas_Nast_1872

VICTORIA WOODHULL caricature by Thomas Nash, 1872.

Woodhull’s support of free love likely started after she discovered the infidelity of her first husband Canning Woodall. Shortly after their marriage she learned that her new husband was an alcoholic and a womanizer.

Women who married in the United States during the 19th century were bound to their unions, even if loveless, with few options to escape. Divorce was limited by law and considered socially scandalous. Women who divorced were stigmatized and often ostracized by society. Victoria Woodhull concluded that women should have the choice to leave unbearable marriages.

Woodhull believed in monogamous relationships, although she also said she had the right to change her mind: the choice to make love or not was in every case the woman’s choice (since this would place her in an equal status to the man, who had the capacity to rape and physically overcome a woman, whereas a woman did not have that capacity with respect to a man).[17]

Woodhull said: “To woman, by nature, belongs the right of sexual determination. When the instinct is aroused in her, then and then only should commerce follow. When woman rises from sexual slavery to sexual freedom, into the ownership and control of her sexual organs, and man is obliged to respect this freedom, then will this instinct become pure and holy; then will woman be raised from the iniquity and morbidness in which she now wallows for existence, and the intensity and glory of her creative functions be increased a hundred-fold . . .”

In this same speech, which became known as the “Steinway speech,” delivered on Monday, November 20, 1871 in Steinway Hall, New York City, Woodhull said of free love: “Yes, I am a Free Lover. I have an inalienable, constitutional and natural right to love whom I may, to love as long or as short a period as I can; to change that love every day if I please, and with that right neither you nor any law you can frame have any right to interfere.”

Woodhull railed ag

Victoria-Woodhull-by-Bradley-&-Rulofson

Victoria Woodhull by Bradley and Rulofson

ainst the hypocrisy of society’s tolerating married men who had mistresses and engaged in other sexual dalliances. In 1872, Woodhull publicly criticized well-known clergyman Henry Ward Beecher for adultery. Beecher was known to have had an affair with his parishioner, Elizabeth Tilton, who had confessed to it, and the scandal was covered nationally. Woodhull was prosecuted on obscenity charges for sending accounts of the affair through the federal mails, and was briefly jailed. This added to sensational coverage during her campaign that fall for the United States presidency.

 

 

 

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE 

Woodhull announced her candidacy for President by writing a letter to the editor of the New York Herald on April 2, 1870.

Woodhull was nominated for President of the United States by the newly formed Equal Rights Party on May 10, 1872, at Apollo Hall, New York City. A year earlier, she had announced her intention to run. Also in 1871, she spoke publicly against the government being composed only of men; she proposed developing a new constitution and a new government. Her nomination was ratified at the convention on June 6, 1872. They nominated the former slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass for Vice President. He did not attend the convention and never acknowledged the nomination. He served as a presidential elector in the United States Electoral College for the State of New York. This made her the first woman candidate.

While many historians and authors agree that Woohull was the first woman to run for President of the United States, some have questioned that priority given issues with the legality of her run. They disagree with classifying it as a true candidacy because she was younger than the constitutionally m

Victoria_Woodhull_by_Mathew_Brady_c1870

Victoria Woodhull by Mathew Brady, c1870

andated age of 35. However, election coverage by contemporary newspapers does not suggest age was a significant issue. The presidential inauguration was in March 1873. Woodhull’s 35th birthday was in September 1873.

Woodhull’s campaign was also notable for the nomination of Frederick Douglass, although he did not take part in it. His nomination stirred up controversy about the mixing of whites and blacks in public life and fears of miscegenation (especially as he had married a much younger white woman after his first wife died).

Frederick Douglass, the famed civil rights activist, was nominated to be her vice president, though he never acknowledged or accepted the nomination publicly. But while historians look back as Woodhull’s nomination as an historic first, her long-shot candidacy caused her serious trouble as soon as the nominating convention was over, Richman and Freemark report.

“As a result of the notoriety of the nomination, Woodhull was evicted from her home and she had some trouble making ends meet,” [biographer Amanda] Frisken tells [reporters Joe] Richman and [Samara] Freemark. Woodhull’s family was forced to sleep in her brokerage office for a period of time, as New York landlords were unwilling to rent to her, Kate Havelin writes in her book, Victoria Woodhull: Fearless Feminist. Woodhull’s 11-year-old daughter, Zula, meanwhile, had to leave her school as other parents didn’t want Zula to influence their children.

The Equal Rights Party hoped to use the nominations to reunite suffragists with African-American civil rights activists, as the exclusion of female suffrage from the Fifteenth Amendment two years earlier had caused a substantial rift between the groups
Having been vilified in the media for her support of free love, Woodhull devoted an issue of Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly (November 2, 1872) to an alleged adulterous affair between Elizabeth Tilton and Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, a prominent Protestant minister in New York (he supported female suffrage but had lectured against free love in his sermons). Woodhull published the article to highlight what she saw as a sexual double-standard between men and women.

JAILED BEFORE CONVENTION

That same day, a few days before the presidential election, U.S. Federal Marshals arrested Woodhull, her second husband Colonel James Blood, and her sister Tennie C. Claflin on charges of “publishing an obscene newspaper” because of the content of this issue.[32] The sisters were held in the Ludlow Street Jail for the next month, a place normally reserved for civil offenses, but which contained more hardened criminals as well.

The arrest was arranged by Anthony Comstock, the self-appointed moral defender of the nation at the time. Opponents raised questions about censorship and government persecution. The three were acquitted on a technicality six months later, but the arrest prevented Woodhull from attempting to vote during the 1872 presidential election. With the publication of the scandal, Theodore Tilton, the husband of Elizabeth, sued Beecher for “alienation of affection.” The trial in 1875 was sensationalized across the nation, and eventually resulted in a hung jury.

Woodhull again tried to gain nominations for the presidency in 1884 and 1892. Newspapers reported that her 1892 attempt culminated in her nomination by the “National Woman Suffragists’ Nominating Convention” on 21 September. Mary L. Stowe of California was nominated as the candidate for vice president. The convention was held at Willard’s Hotel in Boonville, New York, and Anna M. Parker was its president. Some woman’s suffrage organizations repudiated the nominations, however, claiming that the nominating committee was unauthorized. Woodhull was quoted as saying that she was “destined” by “prophecy” to be elected president of the United States in the upcoming election.

VIEWS ON ABORTION AND EUGENICS

Her opposition to abortion is frequently cited by opponents of abortion when writing about first wave feminism. The most common Woodhull quotations cited by opponents of abortion are:  “the rights of children as individuals begin while yet they remain the fetus.”

“Every woman knows that if she were free, she would never bear an unwished-for child, nor think of murdering one before its birth.” 

One of her articles on abortion not often cited by opponents of abortion is from the September 23, 1871 issue of the Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly. She wrote: “Abortion is only a symptom of a more deep-seated disorder of the social state. It cannot be put down by law… Is there, then, no remedy for all this bad state of things? None, I solemnly believe; none, by means of repression and law. I believe there is no other remedy possible but freedom in the social sphere.”

Woodhull also promoted eugenics which was popular in the early 20th century prior to World War II. Her interest in eugenics might have been motivated by the profound intellectual impairment of her son. She advocated, among other things, sex education, “marrying well,” and pre-natal care as a way to bear healthier children and to prevent mental and physical disease. Her writings demonstrate views closer to those of the anarchist eugenists, rather than the coercive eugenists like Sir Francis Galton.

In 2006, publisher Michael W. Perry claimed in his book “Lady Eugenist” that Woodhull supported the forcible sterilization of those she considered unfit to breed. He based his claim on a New York Times article from 1927 in which she concurred with the ruling of the case Buck v. Bell. Whether the article accurately stated her views or not, it stands in stark contrast to her earlier works in which she advocated social freedom and opposed government interference in matters of love and marriage.

Other women, including Belva Lockwood, have launched runs for the presidency since, but nearly a century passed between Woodhull’s run and the first woman to vie for the nomination of a major party. Maine Sen. Margaret Chase Smith tried in vain for the Republican nomination in 1964; New York Rep. Shirley Chisholm tried for the Democratic nomination in 1972, as did Rep. Patsy Mink from Hawaii. In more recent years, Colorado Rep. Patricia Schroeder, cabinet secretary and later North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachman would compete for the nomination of the Republican or Democratic parties. It is, when one thinks about it, astonishing that a woman, in a country in which women are the majority of voters, has never been the nominee of either major party. And in 2016, with some 20 competitors for the Republican nomination, all but one—extreme long shot Carly Fiorina—are men.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/04/victoria-woodhull-first-woman-presidential-candidate-116828#ixzz4FxD3FuAS

ADDITIONAL SOURCES:

Felsenthal, Carol. “The Strange Tale of the First Woman to Run for President.” Politico.   5 April 2015.

Greenspan, Jesse: “9 Things You Should Know About Victoria Woodhull.”

History.   23 September 2013.

LaGanga, Maria L: “Women Who Ran Before Hillary Clinton: ‘I Cannot Vote, But I Can Be Voted For.'” The Guardian. 8 June 2016.

Lewis, Danny: “Victoria Woodhull Ran for President Before Women Had the Right to Vote.” Smithsonian SmartNews. 10 May 2016.

REFERENCES:

1 Kemp, Bill (2016-11-15). “‘Free love’ advocate Victoria Woodhull excited Bloomington”. The Pantagraph. Retrieved 2016-04-13.

The Revolution, a weekly newspaper founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, had begun publication two years earlier in 1868.

Goldsmith, Barbara (1998). Other Powers. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 20. ISBN 0394555368.

1850 federal census, Licking, Ohio; Series M432, Roll 703, Page 437; father listed as Buckman, brothers incorrectly transcribed as Hubern (Hubert) and Malven (Melvin).

Wight, Charles Henry, Genealogy of the Claflin Family, 1661–1898. New York: Press of William Green. 1903. passim (use index)

Gabriel, Mary (1998). Notorious Victoria. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. p. 12. ISBN 1-56512-132-5.

“Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013, index and images, FamilySearch “Marriage records 1849-1854 vol 5 > image 273 of 334; county courthouses, Ohio”. familysearch.org. Retrieved 2015-06-09.

Underhill, Lois Beachy (1996). The Woman Who Ran for President: The Many Lives of Victoria Woodhull. Penguin Books. p. 24. ISBN 0-14-025638-5.

“Woodhull, Zula Maude”. Who’s Who. 59: 1930. 1907.

Dubois and Dumenil, //Through Women’s Eyes: An American History with Documents//. (Bedford; St. Martin’s, 2012)

Andrea Dworkin (1987). Intercourse,Chapter 7: “Occupation/Collaboration”.

“And the truth shall make you free.” A speech on the principles of social freedom, delivered in Steinway hall, Nov. 20, 1871, by Victoria C. Woodhull, pub. Woodhull & Claflin, NY, NY 1871. [1]

Speech is discussed and linked to also in Shearer, Mary L. “Abandoned Woman? A Review of the Evidence.” http://www.victoria-woodhull.com/prostitute.htm

DuBois and Dumenil. //Through Women’s Eyes: An American History with Documents//. (Bedford; St Martin’s, 2012)

Shearer, Mary L. “Frequently Asked Questions about Victoria Woodhull.” http://www.victoria-woodhull.com/faq.htm#who

Constitutional equality. To the Hon. the Judiciary committee of the Senate and the House of representatives of the Congress of the United States … Most respectfully submitted. Victoria C. Woodhull. Dated New York, January 2, 1871

Susan Kullmann, “Legal Contender… Victoria C. Woodhull, First Woman to Run for President”. Accessed 2009.05.29.

Messer-Kruse, Timothy (1998). The Yankee International: Marxism and the American Reform Tradition, 1848–1876. pp. 2–4.

“Notes on the “American split””. May 28, 1872. Retrieved 2010-08-05.

A Lecture on Constitutional Equality, also known as The Great Secession Speech, speech to Woman’s Suffrage Convention, New York, May 11, 1871, excerpt quoted in Gabriel, Mary, Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored (Chapel Hill, N.Car.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1st ed. 1998 (ISBN 1-56512-132-5)), pp. 86–87 & n. [13] (author Mary Gabriel journalist, Reuters News Service). Also excerpted, differently, in Underhill, Lois Beachy, The Woman Who Ran for President: The Many Lives of Victoria Woodhull (Bridgehampton, N.Y.: Bridge Works, 1st ed. 1995 (ISBN 1-882593-10-3)), pp. 125–126 & unnumbered n.

“Arrest of Victoria Woodhull, Tennie C. Claflin and Col. Blood. They are Charged with Publishing an Obscene Newspaper.”. New York Times. November 3, 1872. Retrieved 2008-06-27. “The agent of the Society for the Suppression of Obscene Literature, yesterday morning, appeared before United States Commissioner Osborn and asked for a warrant for the arrest of Mrs. Victoria C. Woodhull and Miss Tennie …”

Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly (1870)

Wheeling, West Virginia Evening Standard (1875)

“Victoria Martin, Suffragist, Dies. Nominated for President of the United States as Mrs. Woodhull in 1872. Leader of Many Causes. Had Fostered Anglo-American Friendship Since She Became Wife of a Britisher …”. New York Times. June 11, 1927. Retrieved 2008-06-27.

 

ECLIPSE FOLIAGE

by Kenneth Harper Finton, photos by author

 

IMG_3205

After mating, drake Mallard ducks shed their feather and look like the female. It is called “eclipse plumage”. Above is a Mallard beginning to shed for his eclipse phase.

The Mallard drakes cannot fly when they molt their wing feathers. This period lasts a month or more until they grow new feathers. The hen-like feathers help to protect and conceal them during this flightless period. By late summer, they again molt and grow the spectacular plumage they use fro attract a mate in the mating season.

 

IMG_3203

MALLARD

“Feathers are a marvel of natural engineering, but they require constant care and must be replaced periodically to maintain peak performance. Waterfowl spend a couple hours each day just caring for their feathers. An oil gland at the base of the tail secretes a preening fluid that keeps feathers soft and pliable, which in turn prevents them from breaking, keeps them waterproof, and enhances their aerodynamics. Waterfowl use their bills to distribute this fluid throughout their feathers while preening. Ducks and geese also use their bills to realign their feathers and reconnect any Velcro-like barbules that have become separated.” http://www.ducks.org/conservation/waterfowl-biology/waterfowl-feathers/page2

Ducks and geese rely on their feathers to keep warm. Down and feathers have been a used to keep humans warm for millennia.

mallard_glamThe Mallard’s head is usually green but its iridescent feathers reflect and absurd caring amounts of light creating a lustrous shine and changes color depending upon the sunlight and the angle at which it is viewed.

Like anything else, feathers wear out. Plucked and lost feathers are replaced right away, but broken and worn feathers are kept until they molt. All the species are flightless during the molting season until the new feathers replace the old.

“Female ducks molt as well, but differences between their basic and alternate plumage are far more subtle. Hens molt into their basic plumage just before nesting and keep this plumage until after the wing molt and brood-rearing activities are complete. Geese typically undergo just one complete molt a year, which has a much less noticeable effect on the birds’ appearance.” – http://www.ducks.org/conservation/waterfowl-biology/waterfowl-feathers/page2http://www.ducks.org/conservation/waterfowl-biology/waterfowl-feathers/page2

 

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https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Mallard/lifehistory

Cool Facts

•The Mallard is the ancestor of nearly all domestic duck breeds (everything except the Muscovy Duck). Domestic ducks can be common in city ponds and can be confusing to identify—they may lack the white neck ring, show white on the chest, be all dark, or show oddly shaped crests on the head.

•The widespread Mallard has given rise to a number of populations around the world that have changed enough that they could be considered separate species. The “Mexican Duck” of central Mexico and the extreme southwestern United States and the Hawaiian Duck both are closely related to the Mallard, and in both forms the male is dull like the female. The Mexican Duck currently is considered a subspecies of the Mallard, while the Hawaiian Duck is still given full species status.

•Mallard pairs are generally monogamous, but paired males pursue females other than their mates. So-called “extra-pair copulations” are common among birds and in many species are consensual, but male Mallards often force these copulations, with several males chasing a single female and then mating with her.

•Mallard pairs form long before the spring breeding season. Pairing takes place in the fall, but courtship can be seen all winter. Only the female incubates the eggs and takes care of the ducklings.

•Ducks are strong fliers; migrating flocks of Mallards have been estimated traveling at 55 miles per hour.

•The standard duck’s quack is the sound of a female Mallard. Males don’t quack; they make a quieter, rasping sound.

•Mallards, like other ducks, shed all their flight feathers at the end of the breeding season and are flightless for 3–4 weeks. They are secretive during this vulnerable time, and their body feathers molt into a concealing “eclipse” plumage that can make them hard to identify.

•Many species of waterfowl form hybrids, and Mallards are particularly known for this, hybridizing with American Black Duck, Mottled Duck, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Cinnamon Teal, Green-winged Teal, and Canvasback, as well as Hawaiian Ducks, the Grey Duck of New Zealand, and the Pacific Black Duck of Australia.

•The oldest known Mallard was a male, and at least 27 years, 7 months old when he was shot in Arkansas in 2008. He had been banded in Louisiana in 1981.

Credits

•Drilling, N., R. Titman, and F. McKinney. 2002. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). In The Birds of North America, No. 658 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America Online, Ithaca, New York.

•Dunne, P. 2006. Pete Dunne’s Essential Field Guide Companion. Houghton Mifflin, New York.

•Ehrlich, P. R., D. S. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1988. The birder’s handbook. Simon & Schuster Inc., New York.

•North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee. 2014. State of the Birds 2014 Report. U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, DC.

•U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2015. Waterfowl Population Status, 2015. U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC.

•USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2015. Longevity Records of North American Birds.

•USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2014. North American Breeding Bird Survey 1966–2014 Analysis.

 

 

 

BIRD LIMERICKS

by Kenneth Harper Finton

 

COMMORANT

What great black wings has the cormorant.

They even have some out in Oregon.

They used to be rare,

Now they’re most everywhere.

They even have some in Cheboygan.

 

IMG_2077 - Version 2

Consider the hooded merganser

The best-looking bird in the land, sir.

You can tell by his stance

From the very first glance

That he is quite ripe for romance, dear.

 

RED WING

 

 

 

A garrulous bird is the redwing.

He sings to you about most everything.

He will send you a tweet

From his sharp pointed beak

No Twitter, no rightwing, no leftwing.

 

 

HERON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consider the black-crowned night heron.

She seems to be so all-aware and

Her glaring red eye,

Has the look of a spy.

At whom is her majesty starin’?

MALLARD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that the ducks in the barnyard

Most always derive from mallard?

They’ve a ring ’round the neck,

a bill made to peck

And purple-green heads, that’s what I heard.

 


 

[These verses were inspired by a limerick from 1912 by Dixon Lanier Merritt seen below.]

peliecan

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I’m damned if I see how the helican.


LABORS OF LOVE -AMAZON

https://www.amazon.com/Labors-Love-Kenneth-Harper-Finton-ebook/dp/B01B3C4414/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1466197864&sr=1-1&keywords=labors+of+love%2C+finton

LITTLE JOURNEYS: MOUNT EVANS, COLORADO

by Kenneth Harper Finton (Photos by the author)

#1

An hour from my Colorado home another world of exists, a wilderness of tundra, alpine forests, and the twisted trunks and branches of the bristlecone pines. Mount Evans, at a measured high of 14,271 feet, is the highest summit of the Chicago Peaks in the Front Range a few miles from Denver, Colorado. It is the highest paved road in North America, visited by many thousands of tourists between Memorial Day and Labor Day, closed to traffic the rest of the year because of the extreme elevation. This is a world where where summer is unknown and snow can fall any day of the year.

#02

In Colorado, every thousand feet gained in height is like traveling 600 miles further north. Driving the road to the summit is like going through Canada to Nome, Alaska. The landscape and weather is like the most Northern parts of the North American Continent. The forty-five minute drive to the summit compresses distance. It is like driving from Denver to the Arctic Circle.

#2

#3

#4

The alpine tundra is one of the harshest environments for life on the planet. It is consistently bombarded by intense sunlight  and buffeted by high winds. Flowers do bloom during the short spring season, but the leaves contain an anti-freeze-like pigment that converts sunlight to heat called anthocyanin.

#04

Predators like mountain lions are found anywhere on the mountain. Black bears tend to stay below tree line. Bighorn sheep and herds of mountain goats roam the mountain at will, retreating to lower elevations when the weather is very bad.

#5

#6

#8

#9

#10

The highest astronomical observatory in North America is at the summit. The Crest House Restaurant was built on the early 1940’s but burned down in 1979. The stone wall remains have been turned into a place of observation and contemplation today. The rock foundation and walls remain as a windbreak for mountain travelers, and the viewing platform is one of Colorado’s premier scenic overlooks.

#11

#13

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It is just a day trip to the top of The Mount Evans Scenic Highway from Denver. The journey snakes and climbs through nearly 9,000 feet of elevation gain, from the high plains of Denver through five climate zones to the summit of Mount Evans, one of 54 peaks in Colorado that soar to 14,000 feet and above – the famous Colorado “fourteeners.”

#panorama

face in rock

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When traveling in a car it is easy to forget that you are in one of the most inhospitable areas in Colorado. Average temperatures in the summer are around 42 degrees. The sun is capable of burning the skin badly and the winds can be strong enough to blow you off the peak.

FUN FACTS ABOUT NURSERY RHYMES

TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE STAR

Unknown

The joint authors of Twinkle twinkle little star were two sisters called Ann Taylor (1782-1866) and Jane Taylor (1783-1824). The first publication date was 1806. How many of us know all the words?

Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are?
Up above the world so high , like a diamond in the sky
When the blazing sun is gone, when he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light, twinkle, twinkle all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark, thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go, if you did not twinkle so.
In the dark blue sky you keep, and often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye, ’till the sun is in the sky.
As your bright and tiny spark lights the traveller in the dark,
Though I know not what you are — twinkle, twinkle little star.

 


WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN?

Unknown-2

The origin of the “Who killed cock robin” poem: ‘Who killed cock robin?’ Not really a nursery rhyme, this is best described as an English folk song or poem. The words of “Who killed cock robin” are said to refer to the death of the legendary figure of Robin Hood and not that of a bird.

The legend of Robin Hood encompasses the theme that he stole from the rich to give to the poor. The words of “Who killed cock robin” describe how help was offered from all quarters following the death of cock robin thus reflecting the high esteem in which Robin was held by the common folk.

“Who killed Cock Robin?” “I,” said the Sparrow,
“With my bow and arrow, I killed Cock Robin.”
“Who saw him die?” “I,” said the Fly,
“With my little eye, I saw him die.”
“Who caught his blood?” “I,” said the Fish,
“With my little dish, I caught his blood.”
“Who’ll make the shroud?” “I,” said the Beetle,
“With my thread and needle, I’ll make the shroud.”
“Who’ll dig his grave?” “I,” said the Owl,
“With my pick and shovel, I’ll dig his grave.”
“Who’ll be the parson?” “I,” said the Rook,
“With my little book, I’ll be the parson.”
“Who’ll be the clerk?” “I,” said the Lark,
“If it’s not in the dark, I’ll be the clerk.”
“Who’ll carry the link?” “I,” said the Linnet,
“I’ll fetch it in a minute, I’ll carry the link.”
“Who’ll be chief mourner?” “I,” said the Dove,
“I mourn for my love, I’ll be chief mourner.”
“Who’ll carry the coffin?” “I,” said the Kite,
“If it’s not through the night, I’ll carry the coffin.”
“Who’ll bear the pall? “We,” said the Wren,
“Both the cock and the hen, we’ll bear the pall.”
“Who’ll sing a psalm?” “I,” said the Thrush,
“As she sat on a bush, I’ll sing a psalm.”
“Who’ll toll the bell?” “I,” said the bull,
“Because I can pull, I’ll toll the bell.”
All the birds of the air fell a-sighing and a-sobbing,
When they heard the bell toll for poor Cock Robin.

 


 

RAIN. RAIN, GO AWAY

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The origin of the lyrics to “Rain rain go away” dates back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603). During this period in English history there was constant rivalry between Spain and England eventually leading to the launch of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

Once again, most of us know only part of the older poem. When rhe Spanish Armada was sent to invade England.  The attempt failed, not only because of the swifter nature of the smaller English ships but also by the stormy weather which scattered the Armada fleet. Hence the origin of the “Rain rain go away” Nursery rhyme!

Rain rain go away,
Come again another day.
Little Johnny wants to play;
Rain, rain, go to Spain,
Never show your face again!


BANBURY CROSS (RIDE A COCK HORSE)

 

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Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross
To see a fine lady upon a white horse
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
She shall have music wherever she goes.

 

Stallions were called ‘cock’ horses in old England. The reason is obvious to horse people. They say this rhyme is about Elizabeth I who went to Banbury to see the newly erected stone cross. The rings on her fingers anb bells on her toes refer to the Plantagenet dynasty custom of attaching bells to their pointed shoes. Banbury Cross was located at the top of a steep hill. The Queen’s carriage broke a wheel. so Elizabeth chose to get on the white cock horse to make the trip. The people celebrated her arrival with ribbons and hired minstrels to accompany her on her visit, so she had music wherever she went.

 

THE HOMEWRECKERS

 

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“They are tearing down my childhood home today,” he said, wishing instead he were already dead. “I should not watch. It is a sad thing to see,” he said, thinking softly of the past, wishing it could forever last.

images-1“I wish I could have done more to save it,” he mused, feeling the blues as it oozed from the news.

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“I ate watermelon at the kitchen table, sweet as summer’s breath,” he said, tasting the juice that his mind reproduced.

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“We had many a memory in that house,” he understated,

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watching as his reality was castrated.

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“I wonder it I was happier back then than now,” he exclaimed, unashamed that he had no fame. “Probably not,” he said to himself, knowing he had not mastered laughter in the face of disaster.

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“Some folk’s homes become museums,”he pondered as his thoughts wandered. “I was never that important,” he concluded, as he brooded.