Monday, June 11, 2018

The Butterfly Hotel is open for business--and packed!

We started, several years ago, to assist the butterfly population by nurturing the young specimens indoors. It was slow going.

But this year, the first wave of butterflies (black swallowtails and monarchs) came through and deposited many eggs on our dill and milkweed plants. I rescued as many as I could find. There is hardly any room at "the hotel" now.  That is called "success", I believe.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Walkabout in the American South in Early May

In Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. Just enough camping, some relaxing in hotels. We discovered the site of ancient family history above.

Once upon a time, over 400 years ago, this was the view from the coast at Jamestown.

We visited the Jamestown Rediscovery site, complete with lectures on archeology and history in the original location of the settlement by the English beginning in 1607. The brick church was added much later.

The investigation has expanded to include the nearby "Newtown" area.

 We visited Yorktown, across the peninsula from Jamestown. Perhaps the home above is old enough to have survived the decisive battle.

Enjoyed the free ferry boat ride from Jamestown to Scotland, VA and got this photo of old Jamestown from the boat.

On a visit to family in North Carolina, we took a hike up the Morrow Mountain, site of extensive tribal stone mining (to obtain material of projectile points). While in NC, we had lunch at the Chapel Hill soul food place, Mama Dips. Best food on the trip. Perfect fried chicken--so good.

Finished up at the Red River Gorge in east central Kentucky. Now I am home doing all the yard work that waited while we enjoyed our trip.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mothers Day...Mom as a tiny baby with her parents nearly a century ago.

Mother was only a 7-month old infant when this photo was made. Because other photos exist showing my 2-nd Great Grandmother in this setting, holding the baby, I figure the location as the Blatz home in May 1920 around the time of the death of my 2ggm's husband.

Mother eventually became a Grandmother herself. Her "Southern Grandma Name" was "Go-Go" as directed by my oldest son when he was learning to talk.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Short Escape from the Strange Great Lakes (USA) Region Springtime.

The American Midwest has had virtually no "spring" this year, just cold and maybe rainy weather. Today we have cold with "wintry mix" all day long. But last week was projected two nice days, so off we went for a "shake down" cruise for camping in 2018. We drove directly south by about 200 miles.

From my college days, I knew of these parks in western Indiana (Shades and Turkey Run State Parks). It's has been 50 years since I visited either one. Surprisingly, there are steep ravines, rugged trails, strange rock formations and dramatic overlooks you might not expect for Indiana, USA.

The Sugar Creek (which feels more like a river) flows through Shades. There are legends about how the place got its name, but formerly it was known as the Shades of Death! The park facilities have grown since I was last here, with many new camp sites added. It is easy to find real toilets and showers, for example. I always loved the place for its dramatic landscapes.  The wildflowers began to bloom during our short stay.

Shades is located near a little town that is (like many small towns in the US, sadly) dying a slow death before our eyes. Turkey Run, about 10 miles away is near a larger, more vital town.

Nearby there is a covered bridge from the 19th Century. Of course, Southern Indiana is one of the areas where they still have covered bridges, if only for exhibition and walking. Wednesday and Thursday last week were like summertime here. Then we drove back north to the "deep freeze" to avoid a "wet tear down" of the camp on Saturday morning.  Glad we did.

Covered Bridges are for lovers, you know.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Where Has the Time Gone? Mother Passed Away 19 Years Ago Today

 One of her earliest photos, this was taken in May of 1920; she was about 7 months old. Likely location is Louisville, KY; shown here with her young, attractive parents.

She's getting a little bit too grown up to ride the pony; she's probably 11 or 12, so it's the early 1930's. The photo was taken at her grandparents farm (still in the extended family) in Lexington KY.

The baby is my Uncle who grew up to take so many photographs. Taken in the yard of their home on Auburn Avenue in Cincinnati. Look at the good leather shoes on that baby!   Mom is about 9; I looked a lot like her at the same age. It must be fall or winter of 1927/28.     It was a fairly big deal in the family when Grandma Madeline got her very long hair "bobbed" in the style of the 1920's; this is one of the earliest photos of her with short hair that I have seen.

Mom went to college to be a dietitian, then did an internship for a year. By then it was 1942 and the War was on.  She was a Cincinnati girl, so she worked at Kroger in the product development area. Finally she became bored sitting around, tasting strawberry jam and trying report on it.  So one day she went to the Army Recruiter (as so many did at that time) and enlisted without mentioning it to her parents.    That was a bigger deal than Grandma's haircut!  The young woman on the left with her head turned is Mom. The photo was taken in NY (by one of those street photographers common in every town then) before the unit embarked for Europe aboard the Queen Elizabeth, used as a troop carrier at that time. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

My First Home...

Actually, it was my Grandparents' retirement property near Erlanger, KY. The car belonged to my Grandfather (he was a doctor who made house calls, so always had a reliable car). My Mom had the car in the mid-1950's, after she learned to drive.

The house burned down at some point; in the '70's or 80's.  The property is located where two major interstate highways intersect south of Cincinnati. It is a wasteland now, but in the early 1950's, a pleasant farm and garden; perfect place to be a little kid.

The Butterfly Hotel is open for business--and packed!

We started, several years ago, to assist the butterfly population by nurturing the young specimens indoors. It was slow going. But this...