The Observation Post

The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” –William Faulkner (from his novel REQUIEM FOR A NUN)

The Faulkner quote is a particular favorite of mine because it bridges, in a span of few words, the path(o)s of life and history. Simply but sagely, it links where we’ve been to who we are — both as a society and as individuals. Even people not given to giving the past the “time of day” didn’t just clock in today, as it were. Though the past may not be dead, it constantly haunts us because many of us never learn from it.

Some consider it a good thing to never change — to be the same person today as years or decades ago. That’s all well and good….if, as young men and women, we were as clear sighted and head-on-straight then as now. I have known such…

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Walking in Edinburgh

Reminds me of several memorable trips with my late husband. Alas.

Richard Lakin's Blog

The rain mostly held off so we tried to see as much as we could. Here are a few pics and notes from a ramble round Auld Reekie.

We walked 11 miles in total. Edinburgh city centre is easy enough to walk on foot, with trams and buses if you need them.

3 Bridges

Not a great shot but the start of our day. It’s taken from the Forth Rail Bridge with the Forth Road Bridge and newish Queensferry crossing beyond.

Sir Walter

He’s not so widely read these days but was a serious bestseller in the past and his quotes and verse adorn Waverley station.


Edinburgh is built on hills with bridges spanning between them. So the closes between are steep climbs. It’s the kind of city with hidden bits everywhere. Keeps you fit too.

James Watt

This is Watt, immortalised in marble in the Scottish Museum. He…

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The Bird Photo Project: A Setback

Wickersham's Conscience

Long-time readers will recall WC, asked the seemingly simple question of how many different bird species he had photographed, has been struggling for the last four years to provide an answer. WC, as recently as July of this year, had the illusion he was making progress.

Then the American Ornithological Society released the latest update to its world list of birds.

What’s the problem? Let’s look at some examples:

A Collared Inca when the photo was taken; now either a Collared Inca, Green Inca or Gould’s Inca.

The Collared Inca, a beautiful hummingbird of the Neotropics, was split into three species. WC will have to look at each of his Collared Inca photographs (102 of them) and check where each was taken, and then try to match those with the three species. There are photos from at least three countries and probably a dozen different habitats.

The Gray Elaenia…

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Brush & Needle Studio Ogunquit Maine

Artist Postcard

This is a beautiful example of the work by Mimi Ireland. Mimi was part of the Art Colony in Ogunquit in the 1920’s. She established the Brush & Needle Studio and with her sister Alma lived and worked there for many years. I lived and worked there in the summer of 1957. I have very fond memories of these 2 women who made me feel like a granddaughter. It was a privilege to get to know them. Actually we are tenuously related – Mimi is my uncle’s mother.