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Tuesday in Mooseville – History Is. 11/26/19

Last week I mentioned that I would be doing a SHEnanigans post today, barring something catastrophic.  The catastrophic has not happened, but there’s a change in plans anyway.  My doubling down on resumes last week has resulted in two interviews:  one today and one tomorrow.  This is good news for me, but not good for my concentration on anything other than preparing for the interviews.  Instead you get a Twitter-supported look at interesting tidbits of history and the lenses through which we view them.

Tuesday in Mooseville – SHEnanigans: Packhorse Librarians

A pack horse librarian reads out-loud to a man in the Kentucky mountains; 12 January 1938

When the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was established in 1935, it had the responsibility for creating employment through developing infrastructure across the country. The building projects were concentrated in trades that were largely limited to men at the time, but in 1930, 22% of the workforce was female. Although WPA rules decreed that both husband and wife could not be receiving work through the WPA (this was not pure misogyny but an effort to reach a greater number of breadwinners overall), women needed work too. With many women claiming the head of household mantle, the Division of Women’s and Professional Projects scrambled to find work “appropriate” for women.

For most people, the name WPA brings to mind images of men laboring on highway projects and building parks and schools, but during the Depression, women, too, were heads of households and in need of employment. Work programs for women were first established in 1933 through the Women’s Division of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), and later came under the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Some women were placed in clerical jobs or worked as librarians, others went to work canning, gardening, and sewing. Nationally, some 7 percent of WPA workers were women engaged in sewing projects. Sewing rooms could be found in rural areas and large cities alike. (“We Patch Anything”: WPA Sewing Rooms in Fort Worth, Texas)

Cavorting in an Old Growth Ancient Forest

This Old Growth Mountain Hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) hosts this large example of what I believe to be Heterobasidion annosum, one of the most destructive parasitic fungi that destroys conifers by attacking exposed roots and tree butts as shown here. These fungi are hugely destructive in European Forests and somewhat destructive in the North America. Given its size, this H. annosum must be getting great nutrients from this very old hemlock

Pacific Northwest

Whatcom County, WA

 

There is a 700 acre stand of old growth forest sequestered in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains about 25 miles east of Bellingham WA, and about 10 miles west of Mt. Baker at the edge of the Mt.  Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest. I had long wanted to see and experience this ancient forest as it is one of the two largest such stands in the Pacific Northwest – the other being Grove of the Patriarchs in the Mt. Rainier National Park.  Around here old growth forest is revered as an endangered vestige of our natural world as it once was in the same way that other revered PNW icons, the Orca and the salmon are endangered.  And maybe for that reason, it is a good thing that this forest is not readily accessible to the public.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Pure Michigan Interlude 10/29/19

Fall panorama of Green Lake near Chelsea, Michigan.

The second part of my Willow Run post will happen tonight; Monday was quite a day (and not in a good way), so there hasn’t been time to get a proper post written. So until I can get the rest of the Willow Run story written up, this is a fall interlude of Pure Michigan.

Fall Color on Orcas Island and a Couple of Seals

Madrona trees in the fading sunlight along the bluff above Deer Harbor.

October 2019

Orcas Island,

Salish Sea

An October family gathering at Deer Harbor on Orcas Island was met with three days of rain and about a half an hour of glorious sun on Saturday. For the most part, the heavy cloud cover muted the usually brighter fall colors but they were great anyway.

Getting to Orcas Island is always a pleasant trip. The ferry leaves from Anacortes and stops as Lopez and Shaw Islands before depositing  us on Orcas. The ride is about one hour total.

Although most of the color was the Big Leaf Maples, I was particularly attracted to the Madrone/Madrona (Arbutus menziesii) as they were shedding their red bark and exposing their yellow for the winter. Also they appeared to having a bumper crop of red berries this year.

 

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Big Leaf Maples at Orcas Landing

 

      The sun appeared briefly just before it went down and I grabbed my camera and took off
      to catch some of it on the trees. I was richly rewarded with the following series
      of photos taken along a path that overlooks Deer Harbor from a bluff above.

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Madrona along bluff above Deer Harbor

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Piece of peeled red Madrona bark.

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More Madrona showing their skin colors

 

      As I noted above, most of the time there was cloudy and wet. But this makes for some interest as well.
      I think it shows the tree structure better against the grey sky.

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Madrona against a grey drizzly sky

 

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View of Deer Harbor from our cabin deck. San Juan Island sits across the water on the left.

 

I did say there were seals

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A seal was out fishing and came by to check us out on the docks. This photo looks backs across the harbor to the bluff with the Madrona stand.

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This seal was successful having come up with a fish. The gulls were hoping for a free lunch but no such luck for them.

 

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The view from atop Mt. Constitution.  Compare this to what it looks like from there when clear 

 

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Color and clouds in East Sound

 

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A bumper crop of red Madrona berries., The tree was full of birds.

 

Last are a few photos of the ferry ride home

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Leaving Orcas island at Orcas Landing

 

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Shaw Island terminal with a bit of color

 

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Some pelagic Cormorants at the Shaw Is. dock.

 

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Lopez Island terminal

 

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More Madronas from Lopez Is. to the right of the terminal.

 

So thanks for coming along on my little tour of the San Juan Islands on a wet October weekend. It was a good trip and we enjoyed the short excursion and the few minutes of sunlight.

Tuesday in Mooseville – When A Car Company Makes Planes 10/22/19

A small part of the world’s largest one-story war production plant, the giant bomber factory at Willow Run, Michigan. Fixtures in background hold bomber wings during assembly. Ford plant, Willow Run; July 1942.

I’ve written about things related to the auto industry before, but usually from the union perspective or with a union-centric focus. Despite that, I’m not dismissive of the contributions that the companies have made to our country’s history and development, particularly over the course of WWII. They may not have given up the production of automobiles voluntarily or altruistically, but committing their workers’ expertise to creating the arsenal of democracy undeniably made the difference between victory and defeat for the Allied powers. Today I’m providing a glimpse of one production center: the Willow Run B-24 bomber plant built near Ypsilanti, MI.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Pod People 10/1/19

Logo from a Portuguese podcast, because pod people are everywhere.

I’m not technology-averse, but neither I am a first-adopter. I had a flip phone long after everyone else had moved on to smartphones, and I didn’t add texting to our phone package until 2009, when the Kiddo begged and pleaded with me, using the rationale that her work study boss expected to be able to contact her via text. (I still don’t know if that was true, but she got extra credit for creative persuasion, which tipped the balance to a yes on text capability.)  Part of my reasoning for waiting until new tech isn’t new is that I want to wait until the cost of the technology comes down; part of it is a show-me-why-it’s-better attitude; and yes, some of it is resistance to change.

But sometimes that change is forced upon you. When I recently got my new-to-me car, it came without a CD player but did have bluetooth. I rarely listen to the radio, so my music choices had always been dependent on which CD I pulled from the stack in my center console. Without a CD player and with no intention of keeping Sirius radio once my complimentary trial ran out, I was faced with a dilemma. I immediately consulted my personal tech gurus (Kiddo and SIL), and they had two immediate solutions. They added me to their Google music subscription, so I could stream whatever music I wanted. In addition to that, they suggested I might want to add podcasts to my listening choices. Of course, I was aware of the existence and popularity of podcasts, but I had never listened to one. Directed to a podcast app (they suggested Podcast Addict), I was able to search by categories, by what was new or trending, and even for free audiobooks. It was a revelation. I know there are a number of you thinking, “Oh, Do, you really need to start living in the 21st century,” but I bet there are also a few of you who are thinking that maybe now is as good a time as any to explore podcasts. Below are some of my current favorites; please add any of yours in the comments.

Entering the Quiet Time as We Leaf the Light Behind

An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the Sun being vertically above a point on the Equator. The latitudes +L and -L north and south of the equator experience nights of equal length and the celestial equator has intersected the ecliptic in the axial precession.

This year’s Autumnal Equinox, when the light and dark are equal – but moving towards dark – arrived at 2:50am Central Time on Monday, September 23rd.

But seasonal celebrations should not be bound by dates and times and such. In fact, it is a good idea to pre-celebrate Equinox so that you do not miss that last fleeting moment when light and dark have equal time. So …

Let the Fall Celebrations Begin !!

Hey, this one’s not about the debate! AIDS Walk Austin has another match today

Matching donations begins at 10am central

I don’t know who won the debate. I think they all made some good points, and there’s not a one of them that I wouldn’t vote for. But today, or lucky Friday the 13th, there’s $13,000 in matching funds for the AIDS Walk & I’m asking for donations to get some of that money. My goal is to raise $5,000 & I’m almost to $3,000 with 9 days left. So any amount you can give — starting at 10am this morning, will be doubled. And if you’re all tapped out, can you please share this diary? Maybe you know someone who can pitch in $5. That five bucks will become ten — and maybe that person will share this diary, too.