Showing posts from July, 2019

Harpers Ferry - The Epicenter of American History

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia Harpers Ferry, West Virginia is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Established in 1763, the town was a vital hub situated at the epicenter of American History concerning transportation, industry, slavery and the Civil War. Thomas Jefferson visited the area in 1783 and upon seeing the dramatic gap in the mountains, he declared “the passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in nature.” George Washington traveled there in 1794 and was impressed by the rugged beauty of the isolated outpost. Washington eventually chose Harpers Ferry as the site for a new national armory and by 1796 the U.S. military arsenal was established. Merchants, mechanics and immigrants flocked to the western Virginia township because of the commerce generated by the machine shops and rifle works factories. Probably the most famous event in the town’s rich history was aboli

The Wild Animal Sanctuary - A Haven of Hope

The Wild Animal Sanctuary Out on Colorado’s eastern plains, lions, tigers, bears and wolves roam majestically across the rolling prairie. Viewing the wonderful setting from high ground is like discovering a peaceable kingdom located in the North American Serengeti. The Wild Animal Sanctuary is an astonishing preserve that exists to rescue and provide a permanent home for wild animals that have been abused, abandoned, displaced or neglected. Most of the inhabitants were born in captivity and confiscated by law from people who tried to keep a large carnivore as a pet. Because the refugees were confined to backyards, basements or garages, often in deplorable conditions, they can never be released into the wild again but this animal asylum is the next best thing. While visiting TWAS it becomes obvious that the animals’ welfare is the number one priority. The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado is the largest carnivore shelter in the world. The magnificent menagerie houses over 500

Wilson's Snipe - A Feathered Phantom

The Wilson's Snipe The reclusive Wilson’s snipe lives in North America but you'd be lucky to ever lay eyes on one. Because of his secretive nature, he’s most active around dusk and dawn while preferring to sleep much of the daytime. When he's awake this plump, little shorebird uses his long, flexible bill to probe in the mud for larvae and earthworms. His unique mandible can move independently upwards allowing him to swallow small prey without having to pull his bill out of the dirt. The Wilson’s snipe is mottled brown overall with a white belly and streaked breast. Dark stripes decorate his head and back. He makes his nest in the wetlands where his drab plumage blends perfectly into the dried, cattail willows. His bill is outrageously long and his eyes are set so far back on his head that he can see not only in front and to the sides but also completely behind. He has short legs and massive flight muscles so when he’s flushed from his safe haven he can explode i

Mount Rushmore - A Massive Memorial

Mount Rushmore Exhibited near Rapid City, South Dakota, Mount Rushmore is a magnificent monument sculpted from a granite mountain. The massive memorial is a group portrait featuring presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. It took artist Gutzon Borglum 14 years to complete the government commission. Concealed in a sacred wilderness of rock and pine called the Black Hills, the creation looks unfinished but rough hewn edges give it a certain sketchiness that blends into the natural environment. Upon entering the busy complex, a grand boulevard leads to an amphitheater where the sculpture can be closely contemplated. Mount Rushmore definitely exudes patriotism and as an attraction luring tourists to the remote Northern Plains, the astonishing work of art is certainly a success.