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Lots of Turkeys!

I have been seeing many,  many turkeys over the last month here in western Pennsylvania. One day while out walking I saw four different flocks.  Some were concerned about poult survival rates due to the amount of rain we had had earlier this summer. I don’t believe the impact from the rain has had too much of an impact.

A few photos from various hiking adventures are below.

Foxtails in the dew.

 

Blue Vervain

 

 

 

I enjoy slapping some acrylic paints on interesting things.  This Black Bear shoulder bone worked perfectly to complete a painting of a Black Bear. I was waiting to hear back from  the plumbers. They were to do some repairs for me. While waiting for their call I hurriedly did this art.  I may do additional details.

Cormorant

I haven’t added many posts recently. The program I had used to store and edit my photos went berserk! I would enter the card with the pics as usual and download them onto this program. No biggie. I would  crop and edit as desired on the program. Still no biggie! I could see the results. However, if I chose to place the edited photos onto this site of Facebook the unedited version would appear. Of course this frustrated me. I contacted the company of this photo program twice and nothing they suggested worked. I am currently using a computer-based program to edit until I decide what course of action to do.

Ring-billed Gull

Western Pennsylvania weather has been perfect. A trip to Presque Isle seemed appropriate. We checked out some familiar places and sites. Also, we went into a lighthouse to see the view. The lighthouse we visited internally is known as the Presque Isle Lighthouse. (I wonder how this one received that name.)   The last time we were in the area this site was not opened to the public for the structure, at that time, was privately owned. Much had changed and the lighthouse has been made  accessible for tours.

North Pier Lighthouse

The Presque Isle Lighthouse was erected in 1872-73 and made seventeen feet taller in 1896. The tower is 57 feet high with seventy-eight steps to climb to the small room where the light is stationed.  The light still is used today to aid in navigation.

We, also, visited the North Pier Lighthouse. The original structure  was built in 1830. The one in this photo here was built in 1857. It was moved in 1882-1891 easterly 450 feet. This tower was moved again in 1940.  A long cement pier juts out into Lake Erie to the current site. The North Pier Lighthouse is thirty-four feet high. This tower is still in use today to aid in navigation.

Over 450 ships have been lost in Lake Erie, more ships lost here than the Bermuda Triangle.

Presque isle Lighthouse

Lots of wildlife to see as one watches the water areas and bogs. Turtles exist on logs. I saw several Great-Blue Herons, lots of gulls with the most common gull being the Ring-billed Gull. I saw a group of little birds yet unidentified by me. They are of the plover or sandpiper species. I saw Double-crested Cormorants and Canada Geese.

We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the beach and later spent time bare-footed walking along the beach trying to avoid the waves splashing  all about. That didn’t work for my pants became wet eventually although they were rolled up.

We visited some historical sites, too.

Later we enjoyed some time at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful little birds

 

the Huge Rubber Ducky in Erie Harbor

 

 

Oliver Hazard Perry Monument

 

View from the lighthouse

 

Cormorant in the water

 

Natural debris

 

 

Original sketch layout

One original idea I had sketched out and actually drew a layout to size featured a Bald Eagle flying. I liked the pose of the eagle, but after reconsidering the layout

More definition and some color for depth.

decided the positioning of this flying bird forced the size of the bald eagle to not fill the allotted space well. I believed I needed to rethink and do a painting where the subject was much more prominent.

My early thought on this particular positioning featured White Pine trees and limbs. Later, on my thought moved towards an autumn scene and eliminating the pine concepts.

I did this concept several times and made adjustments as I felt necessary to do. The layout shown on the right here defined with some watercolor strokes. I did this to bring out the feathering. I liked the look.

The next step was to transfer the image onto a gessoed-covered and sanded sheet of Masonite. I like painting on treated Masonite panels for rigidity.

I squeezed out a few colors of acrylic paints and slapped on the paint to aid in form. I do not have concerns at this stage with color accuracy. This step gives the initial form and feeling of the art. the colors are literally slapped on without concern of color or covering up existing lines at various places.  I may do several slap-on stages before settling down with a little more detail color.

I didn’t have the body of water in the early painting. that concept evolved  as did the old snag between the eagle resting spot and the water. I can same for the maple leaves.  As I said the earliest concept had White Pines and pine limbs to be included. I guess that impregnated my mind due to several close eagle nests in White Pines. However, I went with yellow  and orange hues of maples to brighten up the painting.

Early slaps of paint

 

A little more detail.

 

 

 

History repeats itself continually and mankind seems hell-bent to not learn from past thinking and actions. This is especially accurate when one studies gun control practices of history. The very same parallels are occurring within America as to what happened in pre-World war ll years including the war’s end in 1945.

I have done a rather in depth study, I feel, of gun control in France during the above mentioned years. However, I am not going to write an in-depth study here on my blog site. My intent is to touch on various aspects of those times in a summarizing write-up.

NAZI Germany would invade France in May of 1940. (Despite what one may hear from the media the NAZI party was a socialist party.) World War ll had begun. The Germans referred to there tactics as the “blitzkrieg” or the lightning war. This tactic was a fast-moving invasion into another country in order to overwhelm the country into quick submission and it worked well for the German army. The French had their cement bunker wall known as the Maginot Line.  The Germans simply went around the miles of defense line. (The Maginot Line was a massive concrete fortification built as a defense line.)

Immediately, the Germans would place posters in the towns they overtook in France. These posters demanded the firearms of the individuals be surrendered to the authorities. Jail time to death could result from failure to comply.

Before moving along in this study, I am going to include some French history in the years just prior to the invasion. France, in 1935, had already begun banning various weapons , often referred to as, military-style weapons. Sound familiar? (Politicians  have been trying to ban military-style weapons in America for a number of years, now. The infamous AR-15 is usually the evil gun in today’s demands. Most of these politicians and most of media refer to this rifle as an automatic firearm. The truth is this rifle is the very same rifle used by many hunters, but often with a traditional-style stock. The AR-15 is a SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLE WITH ONLY THE LOOK OF A MILTARY WEAPON!This above-mentioned statements became law for the French under Prime Minister Pierre Laval. He, also, began a registration of French firearms at this same time. Many French did not comply.

Move along to the 1940 invasion of France by German soldiers and the next step was for the registration papers to be gathered to know precisely who had firearms. f course these records were easy for the Germans to obtain. A positive respite to many French, at this time, was the armistice signed with the Germans with France. In this agreement French authorities and French police were to begin the confiscating of guns. The registrations of the guns in communities had the names and addresses of the owners and the make and models. Laval. who was a socialist and fascist collaborated with the Germans.

NOTE: Interestingly, Germany in the early thirties had armed upheavals between the communists and NAZIs. Banning of guns and registration in Germany occurred because of the such actions. In 1933, Adolph Hitler seized power of Germany. He used the registration records to disarm people or groups deemed to be an enemy of the state. Also interestingly, was the fact of the German Prime minister’s words concerning registration. He warned of his concerns of these records getting into the hands of some extremist elements in the future…enter Hitler! This is the very same concern of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and law-abiding, patriotic Americans today.

NOTE: France in 1789 tried to pass law to have a second amendment type agreement within it’s borders. The measure failed.

NOTE: Gun control attempts began growing in America and in 1934 a compromise gun control law was passed to ban automatic firearms and saw-off shotguns. Our Constituional Second Amendmant has twarted many gun control laws. However, many anti-gun laws have been passed. These laws are made in a “chipping away” style of gun control. In other words, little by little. These laws always use wording such as “commonsense gun laws” or closing loopholes. They know such words help their cause with less-informed indidviduals of America or those faithful to any political party without question. 

During the earlier time frame of German occupation the people weren’t shot as often as the years to follow. Jailtime, or imprisonment, including hard labor in Germany may be the result of firearm possession. Remember, at first the French police and French authorities were doing a percentage of the German’s work. However, in time, the Gestapo and SS military entered onto the scene. This was, in part, for the failure of the French to act on German demands with force. They were much more inclined to shoot a person for firearm possession. Things worsened in France daily. Interestingly, In America, proponents of firearm banning and/or gun registration may, go as far, to state the Germans seldom used gun registration to find gun owners and execute them. Such politicians are lying for there is a lot of information available to read on this subject.

NOTE: The European Union, today, require registration of guns from all lawful gun owners. Unbelievably, Germany was the first nation to comply with the EU mandates. History is clearly repeating itself. Europe has learned nothing from past events under Hitler’s dominion or Stalin in the Soviet Union…. Today, French Jews have been pleading with their government to allow for firearms to protect themselves because of the Islamic push in Europe, especially with the terrorist attacks. In America, we see the screams of more gun control with every evil school or workplace shooting. Gun free zones are becoming numerous and most shootings are in places with gun-free zones. Imagine that! The world is in decline with evil! The removal of anything pertaining to Christ, in part, has degraded the populace with evil intent always.

Often these decrees began with the wording of military-style guns being banned. In short order even hunting guns were included. Ammunition was included as part of what needed turned in to the government. Registration required name, address, model and caliber of firearm. At times amnesty was offered for the return of guns. Nothing worked with the impact expected by the Germans. The French were having an understanding as to what was needed to thwart the Germans.

The French who defied the laws often would become part of the French Resistance. Prior to the organization of the resistance many guns were hid or buried to avoid detection. These are to be compared with the community militias of America’s roots where Americans became militias to be used against the British or Indian attacks. The biggest issue with these brave individuals was the lack of firearms. Quite possibly, one gun per ten men may actually have been reality. Many died as they attacked Germans at times and blew up train tracks and German equipment. Many women, as were Jews, were sent to concentration camps as they were captured. However, their efforts helped the allied cause by keeping the Germans on their toes, so to speak, allowing for the allied forces to move easier at times as Germans were being tied down with French conflicts. Of course, anyone caught, by this time with such weapons were shot. Often times when the resistance acted the Germans would execute a number of individuals in retaliation. An interesting aspect of all of the German’s retaliatory actions led to the growth in numbers of the French fighters. Some gun and ammo shipments were parachuted to the French when available to do so.

The Germans made rules to include possible execution for any person knowing of another with guns. In other words, they were seeking information from other French individuals to report knowledge of their neighbor if they were aware that guns were present. Reports of informants on this issue are available. Nobody could be truly trusted in those years. Gun related executions increased as the time moved along and the Germans became more frustrated with the French resistance. The French became more emboldened as rumors of a D-Day invasion were heard.

This report here is a very brief listing of what events were like in France over a ten-year time frame. The actual details are very complex and chaotic to read about. I can not believe how terrible those years would have been for the French people. The fear of that knock on the door followed by a gun point prior to being removed would be dreadful to consider. But that consideration was present always. Many would be executed in the streets. Other would be hauled off and never heard from again.

Prime Minister Pierre Laval would be executed by the French at the end of the war for his gun registration and collaboration with the Germans.

So, what is the lesson with this historical entry?  Many French refused to become a slave to the government. They did not want to be without protection and did whatever means necessary to obscure their guns from the Germans and French police. The importance of an armed citizenry is obvious to combat governmental tyranny domestically or foreign. The value of our Constitution and Bill of Rights including the Second Amendment can not be understated. The fight to keep this right and the others is paramount to America’s survival.

The Second Amendment

A WELL REGULATED MILITIA, BEING NECESSARY TO THE SECURITY OF A FREE STATE, THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

The Militia is the people capable and ready to take up arms to protect out land and country. We are the people and our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed upon.  The words do not say may, or might, be infringed upon, but SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED UPON.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigo Bunting

I had planned to move out earlier than what I did this morning. Sometime after four in the morning I had one of those asthmatic coughing attacks. The coughing lasted only around five to seven seconds, but I almost blacked out. The result from such an episode is fatigue. Regardless, I forced myself to venture out for a couple of hours before the heat became too warm. I was glad I made the trek.

Yellowthroat Warbler

A light fog was about but was lifting fast as the warmth of the sun evaporated the moisture. I quickly noticed a couple of rabbits out and about in the

Mother trukey

dewy grasses. I, also, saw a couple of Groundhogs. As the dew evaporated the insect life began fluttering around. Most of the insects I enjoyed seeing, but the fruit flies were annoying. I managed to eliminate twelve or so. My other arch enemy the deer flies tried to get some blood. I killed about five of those pesky insect. The killings gave me satisfaction!

The butterflies and dragonflies are, always, enjoyable to watch.

I walked around a fence row only to see a hen turkey with nine poults. The little ones were the size of ring-neck pheasants. Ma ran off leaving the babes to stand around in wonderment. I could have enjoyed setting down and watching and listening to their kee-kee calls as they all got together again, but I wanted to make a circuit on this walk before the sun grew hotter.

I saw one small buck watching from the woodland edge. I managed a few pics.

I found a few bear tracks although recent rain weakened the sharpness of the tracks. This October Pennsylvania will be having a muzzleloader bear season. I may go out a couple of days depending on temperatures.

 

Turkey poults

 

Small buck

 

Monarch Butterfly

 

Beebalm or Oswego

 

Calico Pennant Skimmer Dragonfly

 

Downy Skullcap

 

Wild Bergamot

 

Black Cohosh or Black Snakeroot

 

Bear Track