Charles Meryon’s “Le Stryge” (a Grotesque)

A Scholarly Skater

While doing some research, the following note about gargoyles caught my attention. “They are perhaps most famously illustrated in the etchings of the 19th-century French printmaker Charles Méryon.” (Clarke 107)

What’s this? I had never heard of Méryon before, but I figured that I should look him up if he’s somehow significant to gargoyles. I soon learned that Charles Méryon (1821-1868) was a very talented French etcher who is best known for his series of prints depicting Paris. (Etching is a form of printmaking.) One of his most famous prints depicts a grotesque on the façade of Notre-Dame de Paris.

Charles Meryon - Le Stryge Charles Méryon, “Le Stryge”, 1853, etching on paper. The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Google Art Project. We’ve all seen this little dude. He’s not an actual medieval gargoyle. He’s in fact a 19th-century grotesque created by restorer Viollet-le-Duc, but he’s certainly the most famous “gargoyle” on Notre-Dame if not…

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Lake Magadi

These posts about Kenya bring back so many wonderful memories of our years there. (1966-68 and 1989-94)

A Bushsnob in Africa

The rotten egg smell of the ostrich egg post [1] brought back memories of lake Magadi and its malodourous beauty.

After a few months in Kenya we got to know a few people interested in nature and we connected with them immediately. Most were working around Nairobi (Kenya Agriculture Research Institute, Muguga and the International Laboratory for Research in Animal Diseases, Kabete). We were all agriculture or livestock specialists that shared an interest in nature.

A sunny Sunday we were invited to a day trip to lake Magadi. We knew nothing about the place so, after some enquiries, we learnt that it would be a picnic at the lake and that bird watching would be high in the agenda. We had not done any bird watching as such in our lives so we lacked binoculars, bird books, etc. but we accepted so we could start learning new ways.

At the…

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Okinawa – June 1945

Pacific Paratrooper

Last picture ever taken of Lt.Gen. Buckner, the day before he died

By 10 June, the Marines had captured Yuza Hill.  The 10th US Army suffered severe casualties before they and the USMC advanced to Kunishi Ridge, the western anchor of the Japanese defense; a massive fortress.

Gen. Buckner had been sending messages to Gen. Ushijima, urging him to surrender.  So, when over a dozen Japanese wearing white hats appeared, the Marines assumed they were surrendering and they ceased operations.  Shortly after the enemy soldiers ran, a mortar barrage began.

By morning, the Americans had a foothold on the ridge, but reinforcements were cut down when they tried to advance.  Nine tanks were used to deliver 54 fresh men and supplies, but returned with 22 wounded.  As the battle for Kunishi raged on, the tanks opened a road to continue supplying the Americans.


By 16 June, the US 96th…

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