Angles & Verticals

R R Station-Bellows Falls, Vt.

Reverse side – Message from a father to his daughter, January 18, 1917. The father is in Bellows Falls Vermont and the daughter is in Spokane Washington. The father writes that he is still working at the paper mill. It is snowing that evening..

(I wonder how it is that the daughter is so far away – it looks like the daughter is married.

Most Memorable Moments: Eskimo Potatoes

Wonderful sighting and photos.

Wickersham's Conscience

WC was in Denali National Park in early spring, 2012, en route via shuttle bus to Camp Denali for a meeting. On the flood plain of the Toklat River, just before the bridge, we encountered a grizzly bear sow with a second year cub foraging for Eskimo Potato quite close to the road.1 We pulled over to the side of the road and watched. It was an amazing, intimate view of a legendarily fearsome predator sniffing out, delicately excavating and munching down the nutritious roots.

“Eskimo potato” is a mildly derogatory name for Alpine Sweetvetch. In Yup’ik it’s Marallaq or Masru; In Iñupiaq it’s Masu. In Dena’ina Athabaskan it’s K’tl’ila. Among botanists, it’s Hedysarumalpinum. WC will call it “Maralluk” in memory of growing up in Bethel, a Yu’pik community.

The “potato” is the rhizome, a segmented underground stem that stores energy for growth of roots and stems. As…

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ZEBRAS AGAIN

Wonderful photos of zebras.

Something Over Tea

A few readers enjoyed the glimpse of zebras in my post on the landscape of the Eastern Cape, so I thought of providing a few more pictures of them for your enjoyment. These photographs were all taken in the Addo Elephant National Park. The first shows a zebra in a field of gazanias. It is wonderful to see how this park transforms into a floral wonderland once the first spring rains have fallen.

While we often see herds of these beautiful creatures in the open grasslands, occasionally one or two walk purposefully next to the road. What a joy it is to see them from so close.

This one has a particularly intricate pattern on its back.

While this one shows recent battle wounds. Males attack each other quite fiercely to gain or maintain breeding rights.

During the winter, even dry grass contains some nourishment.

Lastly, a photograph to demonstrate…

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OF FINE WOMEN AND SONG

The Observation Post

One of the enduring blessings of having been born in the so-called GOLDEN AGE OF POPULAR MUSIC is that I grew up with with music which has stood the test of time (if not of popularity). It was a time rich in great songs performed by great musicians and vocalists, & written by the likes of George & Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein II,and many others.

Female songwriters were scarcer in those days than role model GOP politicians these days….but among those rare few were two born on the 3rd day of December in 1898 and 1909, and a third not born on Dec. 3, but in the same time period. Today, I’d like to celebrate tomorrow’s birthday of ALBERTA NICHOLS and DANA SUESSE (as well as the whenever birthday* of KAY SWIFT) with one of each of their songs.

*different sources give…

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Nominees for WC’s 2022 Hypocrite of the Year

Wickersham's Conscience

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R, California), Wickersham’s Conscience 2021 Hypocrite of the Year

As 2022 mercifully grinds and lurches towards an end – at least a chronological end – we’re approaching the time for WC’s annual Hypocrite of the Year Award. The recipient is selected by WC’s readers from among an impressive list of egregiously hypocritical political leaders.

Past winners of this dubious honor have included TheDirty 13,Captain Zero, Moscow Mitch McConnell, Lindsay “No Shame” Graham, Rep. Scott DesJarlais and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, to name just a few. All worthy of the award, WC thinks you will agree. Each received a fancy certificate by U.S. Mail, although WC notes none have thus far acknowledged the honor.

Nominees for 2022 so far include U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R, Wisconsin), U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R, Missouri) and U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R, Idaho). A…

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Trumbull – Dear Alumni – Lad Home and Winterizing – September 27, 1942

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

With Lad and Dan able to get home frequently, Ced is the only one receiving regular letters at this point, although Lad and Dan are probably receiving their own copies also.

Ced @ 1945

Cedric Duryee Guion

Trumbull, Conn., Sept. 27, 1942

Dear Alumni:

‘Tis one of those heavy dull days, damp within and without, that seem to permeate into one’s brain cells and arouse enough enthusiasm to induce a nap. The only event to lift one temporarily out of the state of sluggishness was having Lad home with us again for Sunday dinner, he having hitchhiked from Aberdeen and surprisingly, making the trip in less time than he would by train on an overall basis. He reports having driven his car down last Sunday without mishap of any sort. Tires held up and gas held out. He will probably sell it if he gets an attractive offer or is transferred to California…

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