Crail, Scotland

Storm’s a Comin’

Crail, Scotland is a fishing village not far from St. Andrews on the east coast of Scotland.

Once an ancient fortress, the remaining guard tower still stands watch over Scotland’s rocky shoreline.  As the dark clouds blew in from the north, a ship on the horizon looks for safe harbor.

On days like this, one can appreciate the local’s romance with a fine single malt whiskey.

Thought for the Day:  Today’s rain is tomorrow’s whiskey.                       Scottish saying

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High Trestle Trail

High Trestle Trail

A 10′ wide concrete ribbon winds its way through central Iowa for over 25 miles.  What once was a Union Pacific railroad has been converted to the nicest bike trail I’ve ever seen.

Beginning in Ankeny, Iowa the High Trestle Trail goes through farmland, rolling hills and woodlands, ending up in Woodward, Iowa.  Before reaching Woodward, the trail crosses the Des Moines River on this half-mile long trestle standing 130′ above the river bed.  When the UP sold the property in 2003, they dismantled the bridge leaving the 22 concrete pillars, which was later dubbed, “Iowa’s Stonehenge”.

A gorgeous foot bridge and decorative steel work was built on the existing pillars as part of the bike trail.  The bridge is lit at night, so I’ve put it on my bucket list to return after dark.

Thought for the Day:  There is no distinctly American criminal class — except for Congress                                                                                                                    Mark Twain

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Catbird

Catbird

This is a decent bird photo for me.  I don’t have the right equipment or temperament to get good bird shots, especially song birds who never stop moving.

This photo won’t qualify for any photo contests with nature categories because it shows the “hand of man”.  This bird lit on the top of a bird feeder, just 10′ from where I was sitting, so I didn’t have to work too hard for this one, but it’s still a pretty good shot for me.

I’m told this is a catbird.  Kind of pretty, even with its drab gray-on-gray feathers, but I prefer calico.

Thought for the Day:  “I tawt I taw a puddy tat!”                                         Tweety Bird

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Northern England

Prior’s House – Northern England

We found a B&B close to Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England, but it was way out in the country.  The closest town was Brampton, about 6 miles.

The Abbey Bridge B&B (click here) was at a cross roads of supply routes used by the Romans to support their defense of the Hadrian Wall.  Across the road was a former prior’s house and abbey.   This idyllic scene was a no-brainer.

This was a reward for getting so far off the beaten path … you know, even a blind hog occasionally finds an acorn.

Thought for the Day:  Windmills are going to be the death of Scotland and even England if they don’t do something about them.  They are ruining the countryside.                                                                                                                                  Donald Trump

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Retired

Retired

I found this old Ford pickup in a field near Jackson, Wyoming,  just sitting there like it was put out to pasture.   Long past its prime, it was set aside to take it easy and reminisce about days of hard work and accomplishments earned with youthful energy.

Although rusted and weathered, the body looked pretty solid.  The “eyes” were bright, but I couldn’t tell if anything was going on “inside”.

Looks can be deceiving.

Thought for the Day:  All that glitters is not gold.                              William Shakespeare

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Boys Town Farm

Surgical Demolition

Boys Town Farm is being wiped off the face of the earth.  In 1921 Father Flanagan moved his home for homeless boys from a boarding house in downtown Omaha to a large working farm 10 miles west of Omaha, which is now 144th and West Dodge road, and still the current location of Boys Town campus.

The farm and its 260 acres  has been sold to make way for a “mixed-use campus” — a euphemistic term for high-valued property used by name-brand businesses, upper class homes and overpriced restaurants.

First phase of development is always the mass destruction of the current condition.  Not even  a blade of grass was spared, let alone mature trees.   Go figure.

Thought for the Day:  To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years.  To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.                          Winston Churchill

 

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Scribner Air Base

Scribner Air Base

On the way to Scribner, Nebraska (pop. 857) there is a sign near a gravel road that winds south up into the bluffs.  The sign reads, “Scribner Air Base”.  Over the last fifty years, on my way to Niobrara, Nebraska, I’ve driven past that sign but never thought much about it.  Last week, with a little time on my hands, I decided to see if there was anything up there.

I found some long runways that still looked serviceable, what looked like a care taker’s house, and a few prefab buildings that appeared to be crop dusting operations.  Near the road to the runways, I found the scene above … some sort of communications?   I tried to imagine what they could be … which led to thoughts of high tech communication, which led to thoughts of something hidden in plain site, which led to thoughts of surveillance capabilities, which led to thoughts of being watched.

If you know what these ovals are, pleeease let me know.  Was I in the Twilight Zone?

Thought for the Day:  Imagination … its limits are only those of the mind itself.                                                                                                                                      Rod Serling

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