Vive memor quam sis aevi brevis.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Memorial Day

i went down to my town's Memorial Day ceremonies and parade today. i attended the service held at the cemetery where lie buried many veterans of wars from the Civil War through the current conflicts in which our nation is engaged. i listened to the eulogies, Taps, and the rifle squad's salute.

i stood still and removed my cap as the colour guards from the local vets' organisations, police, and fire department marched past.

The local high school's marching band played the national anthem and a medley of the various armed services' marches and hymns.

Several local scouts' packs, Cubs to Eagles, trotted along in the parade, as well as a contingent of an automobile collectors' club, and representatives of a landscaping company whose truck was armed with a loud PA blaring a song declaring "I'm proud to be an American."

A gaggle of supporters of the two major political parties participated as well.

After the parade, all gathered at the war memorial in the village's main park, where the high school band played the Star Spangled Banner once more, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited, and speakers held forth.

All told, a typical Memorial Day in the USA.

My fervent wish, as close to a prayer as i can manage, is that someday, someday there can be a time when we will truly honour those who served and died in our nation's wars by making damn good and sure that we do not add to their numbers.

As i stood and watched the the parade, one song kept going through my head:



Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Crayfish & Cricketers

Recently seen ...

Crayfish, crawfish, crawdaddy, freshwater lobster, yabbie*.

This little fellow was out in the middle of Mundhank road, near the Really Big Church on Easter Sunday. Fortunately, the heavy traffic of the departing Faithful had passed an hour earlier, sparing the critter from being run over.

As i approached, he went on the defensive...

...flipping himself onto his back...

....covering his belly with his tail and brandishing his formidable claws.

The creature was -to me at least- of impressive size; about 7 or 8 inches long. i've only seen one other crayfish in the wild near that size. When i was a kid, we would hang out an the south breakwater at Rainbow Beach, tie a dead minnow to a string and dangle the bait under rock ledges to catch 2 inch long crayfishes. i tried to keep one for a pet, but was convinced by my mom that it really wasn't a good pet candidate, and dropped it back to the pool i'd gotten it from.

As i've related in earlier posts, i hate encountering roadkill. Figuring that this guy would soon be crushed or otherwise become some crow's meal, i nudged him to safety back into the nearby wetland. And no, i didn't try to pick him up- those claws meant business- but as gently as possible pushed and flipped him along with the tip of a Silca pump.

A couple of miles later, i stopped to watch an impromptu cricket practice:

Since South Barrington lacks a proper cricket pitch, this team took over a tennis court for awhile.

The fellow playing at silly mid-off** (yes, i looked that up,) invited me to join in, but since i know so little of the game, i passed.

A few miles down Penny road is a large county forest preserve. About a quarter mile off the road is this:

(Not the clearest picture- i use a cheap second-hand camera.)

The county forest preserve district has raised a pole to provide an osprey nest.

Overhead, its resident:

She had a catch in her talons:

(At the limits of my camera's resolution)
She was very aware of my presence, and circled me warily, not returning to the nest until she was sure i had moved on.


 Someday i will either carry my better camera or learn how to take better photos with the pocket model. i have gotten to the point where i feel almost under equipped if i'm not carrying a camera on a ride, although i'm reluctant to carry one that's expensive (or heavy,) given my propensity for dropping and breaking things. For now, these snapshots will have to do. i hope you've enjoyed them all the same.



(*Not "yabbie" in the sense that BSNYC speaks of!)
(**or perhaps, simply "mid-off" but what do i know?)

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Syttende Mai



17th of May 1893 by Norwegian painter Christian Krohg (1852–1925).

The Royal Guard Norwegian Constitution Day parade (Kjetil Bjørnsrud)  
Barnetog, 17 Mai (Ranveig Thattai)
Royal Family in 2006 (Ernst Vikne)
Norske soldater feirer 17. mai i Meymaneh, Afghanistan
Ballard, Seattle (HMPinnsvinet)

Oslo, 2010 (

Bergen, Norway (Aqwis)

Lutefisk and Lefse for all!

Monday, 1 May 2017

May Day

Some music and images for International Labour Day...                                                                                      

                                                          Sung by Utah Phillips (R.I.P.)

More from Utah:

And an anthem:

                               (Okay, if i weren't on a blacklist yet, i'm sure to be on one now...)


"A full belly to the labourer is, in my opinion, the foundation of public morals and the only source of real public peace."
 -William Cobbett, journalist, pamphleteer, and farmer (1763-1835)