I like some pictures because of the emotions they evoke in me.  I like some because of the subject matter that causes me to think about the place, the person, or because it stirs a memory.  For example, I love photographs of the national parks that I’ve been to see because I can re-live those experiences to some degree through those pictures.  And I love to see photos of places I’ve never been before because the help me dream of going there and what it might be like to be there.  Some pictures are so evocative that you can almost feel the ocean breeze or crispness of the mountain air through the photograph.

Then, there are pictures that I like just because I think they are beautiful.  They can be pictures of nearly anything: scenery, still life, macro images, portraits of models or family members, wildlife or just about anything at all.  That’s how I feel about today’s photo.  Again, this was shot this past Saturday at a store across the highway from Nora Mill Granary near Helen, GA.  I was waiting for my wife (as is often the case when we go into stores) and saw a display of glassware with a stained glass decoration behind it.  Part of the display was a decanter with a crystal stopper.  I thought it was interesting the way the light and color from behind the stopper was inverted and distorted, so using a shallow depth of field I focused on the stopper and took this shot.  I didn’t realize until I got home and “developed” the shot that I realizes how truly colorful the light in the stopper was and how much I enjoyed this image.  It almost made me say out loud, “Now, ain’t that purdy!?”  I hope it delights you, too!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln paid a late night visit to General George McClellan, who Lincoln had recently named general in chief of the Union army. The general retired to his chambers before speaking with the president.

This was the most famous example of McClellan’s cavalier disregard for the president’s authority. Lincoln had tapped McClellan to head the Army of the Potomac ”the main Union army in the East” in July 1861 after the disastrous Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run, Virginia. McClellan immediately began to build an effective army, and was elevated to general in chief after Winfield Scott resigned that fall. McClellan drew praise for his military initiatives but quickly developed a reputation for his arrogance and contempt toward the political leaders in Washington, D.C. After being named to the top army post, McClellan began openly associating with Democratic leaders in Congress and showing his disregard for the Republican administration. To his wife, McClellan wrote that Lincoln was “nothing more than a well-meaning baboon,” and Secretary of State William Seward was an “incompetent little puppy.”

Lincoln made frequent evening visits to McClellan’s house to discuss strategy. On November 13, Lincoln, Seward, and presidential secretary John Hay stopped by to see the general. McClellan was out, so the trio waited for his return. After an hour, McClellan came in and was told by a porter that the guests were waiting. McClellan headed for his room without a word, and only after Lincoln waited another half-hour was the group informed of McClellan’s retirement to bed. Hay felt that the president should have been greatly offended, but Lincoln replied that it was “better at this time not to be making points of etiquette and personal dignity.” Lincoln made no more visits to the general’s home. In March 1862, the president removed McClellan as general in chief of the army.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  In the ancient Mayan civilization, humans were often sacrificed to guarantee a good cacao harvest. First, the prisoner was forced to drink a cup of chocolate, which sometimes was spiked with blood because the Maya believed it would convert the victim’s heart into a cacao pod.


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