PLEASE STOP TAKING
PICTURES OF THIS
SIGN WHILE DRIVING
A sign warns drivers on the highway heading into St. Louis, Missouri, from Illinois.
It’s Okay. I was a passenger.
I was standing at the edge of the surf on the beach at Cape Canaveral, Florida, looking for dolphins to photograph, when I heard thrashing sounds in the surf on the beach about ten feet away. It was a shark, about five-feet-long, attacking a fish. It was a ferocious struggle. Too close for comfort. Another reason why I never swim in the ocean!
I don’t know what kind of shark it was. I’m guessing that it was a tiger shark, because of the shape of the head and because it was so aggressive. But I’m not a shark expert.
Here’s a list of sharks you might find off the coast of Cape Canaveral and nearby Cocoa Beach, Florida. Seven Florida Shark Species.
A fishing site describes the seven shark species: Descriptions of Seven Florida Shark Species.
Click on this photo to see more details:
I love turtles, so I was glad to see The Turtle Hospital exists to help sea turtles in distress. My husband and I visited The Turtle Hospital while visiting Marathon in the Florida Keys.
The Turtle Hospital, 2396 Overseas Highway, was the first state-certified veterinary hospital in the world for sea turtles. Among the threats to sea turtles are monofiliment entanglement, rope and net entanglement, boat hits, oils spills and tar, intestinal impaction from eating debris, such as cigarette filters (which look similar to shrimp) and plastic bags, coastal development that can damge nests and disorients adults and hatchlings from artificial light, and fibropapilloma tumors that result from a virus. Also, turtles also can suffer from extreme cold when they don’t migrate to warmer waters soon enough.
The Turtle Hospital, which is housed in the former Hidden Harbor Motel complex, is funded entirely by donations and tickets sales to visitors, who take a tour. The motel owner Richie Moretti founded The Turtle Hospital. After a hurricane ruined the motel, Moretti decided to dedicate the motel entirely to turtle rescue.
Five species of sea turtles are found in the waters of the Florida Keys: Loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Green (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii).
In 2014, a friend and I drove to Santa Fe, New Mexico from Kansas City, traveling on two-lane highways in April. We took a different two-lane highway route on our return, including Route 66 and the Santa Fe Trail.
I’ve lived in the eastern half of Kansas most of my life, have traveled throughout the world, but there were many areas within a day’s drive or two of my house that I’d never seen. It was a very enjoyable and fascinating trip. Although our primary destination was Santa Fe, I found the stark beauty of the High Plains on our route to be an unexpected pleasure.
In book club we recently read Timothy Egan’s “The Worst Hard Time” about the Dust Bowl in the 1930s in southwestern Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, northeastern New Mexico and southeastern Colorado. which prompted me to revisit my photographs from that trip, which was a journey through that region. Although the area experienced a very harsh time, there is plenty to see of beauty and history to see there now. We didn’t stay long, unfortunately, so I’d like to return and see more of the area, including the museum in Clayton, New Mexico. Perhaps, I could book a room in the historic Eklund Hotel, where my friend and I ate a delicious lunch in the beautifully decorated 19th century dining room. Another museum to visit would be the XIT Ranch Museum in Dalhart, Texas.
You’ll probably wait a long time for a haircut at this Oklahoma Panhandle Barber Shop, which seems to be permanently closed. In the background is a grain elevator. The stand alone building looks desolate, but next door is a thriving full service gasoline station next door that serves a busy highway.
IN FLANDERS FIELDS
In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ Fields.
~Lt Col John McCrae
Although, snow was forecast, a friend suggested we make a trip to the final night (Nov. 11, 2018) of the Poppy Display at the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, a 45-minute drive. I was reluctant to go, but I’m so happy that we did. It was a very moving experience. And the snow waited until after we got home. The Liberty Memorial is part of the National World War I Museum and Memorial of the United States.
Although The National World War I Museum and Memorial is far from the battle zones of World War I, few Americans were untouched by the sacrifices made in that war. My grandfather, a farmer in South Dakota, was deployed to France at the end of World War I. Fortunately, he came home.
According to the National World War I Museum and Memorial Website: “For the nine days leading up to the Armistice, the official WWI memorial of the United States was illuminated with a nearly 55 million pixel, 800,000 lumens display featuring more than 5,000 poppies each evening in a massive and moving light installation. Every 15 minutes, a special presentations of images, footage and details about World War I will appear. Peace and Remembrance marks the centennial of the Armistice of 1918 that brought an end to WWI, with each day of the installation leading up to the Armistice signifying one million of the total nine million combatant deaths of the conflict.”
Opened to the public as the Liberty Memorial museum in 1926, the National World War I Museum and Memorial.was designated in 2004 by the United States Congress as America’s official museum dedicated to World War I.
In 2004, construction started on a new 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) expansion and the Edward Jones Research Center underneath the original memorial. The year that this was completed, Liberty Memorial was designated a National Historic Landmark (September 20, 2006)
In the spring of 1915, shortly after losing a friend in Ypres, a Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was inspired by the sight of poppies growing in battle-scarred fields to write a now famous poem called ‘In Flanders Fields’. After the First World War, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of Remembrance.
National WWI Museum and Memorial
America’s official World War I museum and memorial, located in Kansas City, Mo. Home to the most comprehensive collection of WWI objects in the world.
National World War I Museum and Memorial Official Website.
My husband and I visited several U.S. National Parks in the last year and a half, and we didn’t see one large mammal — even in Yellowstone National Park, where you can always see bison. I’d seen plenty of elk, moose and bison a few years earlier, but I had entered an animal drought. I was determined to see some elk on our trip to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in early November 2018. We stayed just outside of the park in the town of Estes Park. I was very eager to shoot a few elk with my new camera.
We’d visited RMNP in August, and I only saw a large ground squirrel in the park. During that visit, we’d hoped to see bighorn sheep at Sheep Lakes, where we’d seen a herd in a visit a few years ago, but the ranger report this year indicated that the sheep hadn’t visited in a week. We waited for two hours, anyway, before giving up.
We were returning from our second no-elk trip from RMNP, when friends texted me that there were seven bull elk lounging right outside our condominium building! My friends seen one or two elk before, but the elk had always eluded me. On our way to the condo, we saw a large herd of elk — females led by a big bull elk. They were so magnificent. There were elk all over the town of Estes Park! We went from visual famine, to visual feast.
The elk or wapiti (Cervus canadensis) is one of the largest species within the deer family, Cervidae, in the world, and one of the largest terrestrial mammals in North America and Northeast Asia.
I recorded part of Foreigner’s “Hot Blooded” song (in video above.) I thought the fire and lighting effects were fun (I don’t get out much. Maybe this is standard at concerts now.) Although I hadn’t specifically followed Foreigner’s music and don’t own any Foreigner albums, I recognized every song from the radio. Very singable music! They just don’t write songs the way they used to, this old timer says.
I’ve been a big Led Zeppelin fan for decades. On July 17, 2018 (I’m a little late posting this…), my husband and I went to see “Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience” at Starlight Theater, an outdoor venue, in Kansas City, Missouri. The Experience plays Led Zeppelin music exactly as I remember it. It gave me goosebumps, and not just because of the rain. I always see Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin’s lead singer, when he performs town. Next time is in September 2018! My husband and I already have tickets.
I got soaked at the Starlight Theater concert, but it was worth it. After The Led Zeppelin Experience, we enjoyed “Whitesnake” (a guilty pleasure) and then the main act was “Foreigner,” a band I’ve always enjoyed on the radio. It performs in Kansas City every year, I think, but this was my first time to see Foreigner in concert. This band has devoted fans!
For the past nine years, Foreigner has welcomed a local choir to join the band in performing a song at every show on its tour. With each road stop, the performing school gets $500 towards its music program. St. Thomas Aquinas Choir to Perform With the Band Foreigner.
Part of Whitesnake’s iconic song “Here I Go Again.” Sorry I didn’t get the entire song. Hey, it was still raining a little.
Set List for Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, Starlight Theater, July 17, 2018
Set List for Whitesnake, Starlight Theater, July 17, 2018
Set List for Foreigner, Starlight Theater, July 17, 2018
My blog post about my love of Led Zeppelin. Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin.
You can also find more information about these bands and their members on Wikipedia, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.