Monday, September 27, 2010

Ruby Tuesday: Rooster

Found  this amusing sculpture made from recycled materials
at a local garden center. I liked his rusty red rooster head,
his washer eye and his battered tail.

I didn't bring him home because I didn't want him
crowing when the sun came up 
and disturbing my sleep.

I prefer the still serenity of
Buddhas and Kuan Yins.

Mosaic Monday: Mellow Yellow

I'm not a big fan of yellow.

But today, I'm making an exception.

For more Mosaic Monday fun,
click HERE.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Weekend Reflection: Lucky Shot

Images with reflections are near and dear
to my heart.

They just seem magical to me.

This one was truly a lucky shot.
Loved the way it looked.
Printed it and entered it in the local art show.

It was one of two pieces that sold.

I called it "Virgo, Aries Rising."

For more reflections on reflections,
click HERE

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sepia Saturday: Buffalo Soldier

This portrait shows Isaiah H. Mays, an American hero
who was nearly forgotten, buried anonymously
in a graveyard of the Arizona State Hospital. 

 Library of Congress photo collection

Isaiah was born into slavery on February 16, 1858 in Carters Bridge, Virginia. According to the 1870 Federal Census, Isaiah was the son of John and Sallie Mays of St. Ann's Parish in Albemarle County, Virginia. Isaiah was one of many children, including Albert Mays (b. about 1850); Millie Mays Harris (b. about 1852) Rebecca Mays (b. about 1855); Phillip Mays (b. mid-1860), and Walker Mays (b. about 1865). There may have been older siblings as well, but as the 1860 Slave Schedule lists only an inventory of slaves belonging to particular slave-holders, it's hard to know for certain.  

He enlisted in the Army as a "Buffalo Soldier" when he was in his late twenties. He apparently was living in Ohio at that time, as that was his enlistment site.

His duties in Company B, 24th U.S. Infantry, took him out west to fight in the Indian Wars and to provide some semblance of order to the mainly white settlers. He was a loyal, diligent soldier.

One of his assignments was to assist Major Joseph Washington Wham, an Army paymaster who took charge of  nearly $29,00 in gold and silver intended as pay for the Cavalry troops in Arizona Territory. Mayes' job was to help protect the shipment.  During transit, the troops were attacked by masked bandits near Tucson, Arizona. Corporal Mayes and Sergeant Benjamin Brown took heroic action in a fierce battle to protect the shipment and their colleagues. Eight soldiers were seriously wounded. (Click on Major Wham's name for more info on the robbery and HERE for more detail on the robbery.)
Photographic "Carte de Visite" courtesy of 
Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library

Mays was shot in both legs, but manage to walk and crawl two miles to a nearby ranch to sound the alarm. Eight bandits were arrested but the money was never recovered.

The incident inspired this image by Frederic Remington.

For their valor, Corporal Mayes and Sergeant Brown were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1890.
Interestingly, though Buffalo Soldiers testified against the robbers, all of whom were whites, not a single robber was convicted. There may have been a reluctance on the part of the all-white jury to accept the testimony of a black over the word of a white defendant. 

Mayes was discharged in 1893 and worked as a laborer and farm hand in New Mexico and Arizona. In 1920, he was living by himself in Bonita, Graham County, Arizona. He was a single man who rented his residence and worked on a livestock farm. He applied for a federal pension in 1922, citing his military service and record. His application was denied.

He was eventually committed to a public hospital that housed the mentally ill, tuberculosis patients, and indigents with nowhere else to go.

He died at the hospital on May 2, 1925. His grave stone was a modest marker etched only with a number. In 1935, a fire at the hospital destroyed records of burials, making it hard to find his remains.

Luckily, some of the hospital staff and a small group of Arizona veterans identified Mays as a Medal of Honor recipient and fought to give him recognition.

In 2001, Mays' gravesite at the hospital was marked by a Veteran's Affairs headstone identifying him as a Medal of Honor winner.

Source: Arizona Republic 

In March 2009, under the care and supervision  an organization called Old Guard Riders, Corporal Mays' remains were disinterred and moved to Arlington National Cemetery. 

He was honored in a special ceremony in May of that year. To see photographs of that ceremony, click HERE to go to the Arlington National Cemetery site.

For more SEPIA SATURDAY treasures,
click HERE.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Theme Thursday: Stretch

I know I'm a little behind, but things have been a little hectic. The challenge this week was "Stretch."

I'll give you images that show how
I'm stretching myself technically
with a camera in hand.

This shot was a photo first for me -- it was my first time
setting up my new tripod and first time using a model
in period costume.

The next shot was taken in Venice with my newest lens, an 18 - 24 mm wide angle. The lens has a tendency 
to stretch and distort.

I'd intended to use more examples,
but Blogger is being really weird right now.
I'm having trouble posting photos from my hard drive.

Oh well.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ruby Tuesday: Burano Color

How about a little dose of color from Burano?

There's a pop of red, of course, for

But how about ochre, periwinkle, petunia pink,
some azure and a hit of orange?

Color paradise
against a cloudy sky.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Snippets of Things

Can't tell you why precisely
but I love snippets of things
bits and pieces that hint of something
without telling the whole story.

Perhaps it's because I aspire
to be a Woman of Mystery.

For more Mosaic Monday intrigue,
click the icon on the right.

Shadow Shot Sunday: Shadows and Words


One-off from the thing itself,
blocking the light source
so it makes its mark quietly.

Yet telling a story in its own words,
words a little muffled and mudgy.

I think shadows are the realm
in which words invent themselves.

For more Shadow Shots, click here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Weekend Reflection: Little Boy

waterproof jacket
shoes with the speed of Nike
boy faster than foam

For more Weekend Reflections,
mosey on over HERE.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sepia Saturday: Bayeux Cathedral

Bayeux is a French city in the Calvados region of Normandy. It sits on the Aure River, a few miles before it empties into the English channel and occupies the site of Augustodurum, an ancient Roman town. It was thus near the site of the D-Day Invasion by Allied forces in the Second World War and was the first city to be liberated from German occupation. 

In this Photochrom print, however, the city is shown as it was around 1910.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Bayeux is said to be the oldest cathedral in Normandy.  The current structure -- or at least the parts of it that have endured -- was consecrated July 14, 1077. Built by the family of Duke William of Normandy, it replaced an earlier church dating from the Merovingian era. Thirty years later, fire destroyed all but the two towers. It was rebuilt then and again after other misfortunes.

Each time, some of the earlier elements were incorporated into redesigns, so features characteristic of several architectural eras are visible. The 1077 cathedral was built in the Norman-Romanesque style but as rebuilding took place, it became more 13th Century Gothic in character.

This historic cathedral fortunately has remained standing through religious and political strife, including two World Wars. It is, or has been, home to historical treasures including two pipe organs created in the 1860s by Aristide Cavaille-Coll.

The patron of the 1077 cathedral, Duke William of Normandy, is perhaps best known for his exploits in invading England and defeating King Harold at the Battle of Hastings, for which he became known as William "the Conqueror."

Scenes portraying the invasion and conquest of England were memorialized in an epic tapestry alleged to be the work of Matilda, wife of Duke William. The tapestry is 20 inches wide and 214 feet long and embroidered with colorful yarns that represent in pictorial form this collision of Anglo-French history known as the Norman Invasion. The tapestry was "discovered" in 1730 and is preserved in the library in Bayeux. It is a visual reminder of customs and events in early Norman-French history.

Photochrom images (taken circa 1910) are from 
the Library of Congress Collection.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Theme Thursday: Reveal

open yourself up
like a flower coming to fullness

and reveal your wisdom
to the world

For more Theme Thursday Reveals,
click here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thursday Challenge: Music

Give me rock 'n' roll
with a blues overlay.

Or is it the other way around?

To see other Thursday Challenge players,
click HERE.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lens Day Wednesday: Square

Square shapes, 

square presentation.

Too bad the spiders 
didn't get with the program.

Ruby Tuesday: Red Whisper

Sometimes red is the only noise
in a quiet place.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Public Markets

What if we could find fresh
and wholesome food

in a public market
right in our towns?

A feast for all of our senses. . . .

For more Mosaic Monday presentations,
click HERE.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday: Cafe Florian

Sit in the shadows at the Café Florian.
People watch.

Have a glass of wine. Listen to the music.

(There's a per-person cover charge
for the entertainment.)

The desserts are marvelous. 

For more Shadow Shot Sunday photos,
click on the button on the sidebar.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sepia Saturday: The Old Ones

These are portraits of my paternal grandfather's
maternal grandparents, if you follow that sidestep.

The bearded man is John James Madison Biggs.
The lady with the glasses and the hair pulled back
into a bun is Dicy Caroline Reed Biggs.

John was born in 1837 in Kentucky to Elijah Biggs, Jr. and Mary Benton Biggs. His family moved across the river to Illinois (Williamson County) during his childhood. His father died in 1849 and his mother farmed him and the other boys out to live with neighbors, the McCrearys. The McCrearys were said to be staunch abolitionists and may have influenced the Biggs' boys decision to fight on the side of the Union. Strangely, I can find military records for John's brothers, but haven't found ones I can identify as his and his grave marker 
doesn't bear a "G.A.R." identifier, 
as so many did if they served 
in the Union forces during the Civil War.

Dicy was born in 1841 to Abner Reed and Temperance Moutray. She grew up in Fayette County, Illinois, but for reasons I can't understand, she married John in Moultrie County when she was 17. Her parents appear to have been living in Fayette County at the time. But Dicy's sister married in Moultrie County at about the same time, so I wonder if perhaps Dicy and Sarah had been sent away to school or if they might have gone to live with a relative temporarily. 
Nor do I have a clue about how John 
came to meet Dicy or how they fell in love.

At any rate, the marriage produced 10 children, of whom seven were alive in 1900. John and Dicy
 would have been married over 41 years at that point. 
By then, they'd been living in McDonald County, Missouri 
for at least 30 years. It was there that their daughter 
Mary Biggs met her future husband Anvil Arnett 
and married him when she was only 14.
Can you imagine?

(Anvil and Mary's youngest son Loren Lloyd Arnett
was my paternal grandfather.)

Dicy died in 1912 and John hung around until 1924. 
I've never been able to find a death certificate for them -- Missouri took my money but told me 
there are no Missouri death certificates for either. 

They're buried in McDonald County, Missouri
in the far southwestern part of the state
right up next to Oklahoma. 

For more Sepia Saturday fun,
click HERE.

Weekend Reflections: Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time
there was an amusement park
with roller coasters and other rides
at Seattle Center

between Experience Music Project
(the rock n roll museum)
and the Monorail.

It made for some interesting reflections
in the metal skin
of the Frank Gehry-designed EMP.

The rides have been dismantled
and something more "dignified"
will go in the place occupied
by the Fun Forest.

But I bet the reflections
won't be as fun.

click HERE

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Theme Thursday: Reason

I'm late. Without a good reason.
Because I really wanted to join in on this 

It's challenging.

I chose this photo

and by way of explanation,
I made that choice 

1. Just because I can.

2. It's fun to play with layers and filters.

3. You never know what's going to emerge
when things are combined. 

I see all kinds of things.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Ancestral Sound

Wordless Wednesday. 

Sorry if the link doesn't work
but it appears that they're still having problems
with the site.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lens Day: Waves

filled with mad power
roaring up against the land
such ferocity 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ruby Tuesday: Mexican Color

Think of walls used as a canvas

Big, bright swaths of color.

Sunday, September 5, 2010