…on the Shade

Double click image to see a larger version.
Double click image to see a larger version.

There was a song long ago that was sung by several groups, but Herman’s Hermits made it a hit, Silhouettes on the Shade, and it went like this:

“Took a walk and passed your house late last night
All the shades were pulled and drawn way down tight
From within, the dim light cast two silhouettes on the shade
Oh what a lovely couple they made

“Put his arms around your waist, held you tight
Kisses I could almost taste in the night
Wondered why I’m not the guy who’s silhouette’s on the shade
I couldn’t hide the tears in my eyes…”

Now, before you get too worried, the rest of the song describes how he was so angry that he pounded on the door, only to find out that he was at the wrong house!  Ah, love wins out in the end!

Silhouettes are a reflection, so to speak, of who we are.  If we are overweight, so is our silhouette.  If we are thin and tall, so is our silhouette.  In fact, I think that silhouettes and shadows are close relatives (maybe cousins?)

I have a growing fascination with silhouettes when it comes to photography.  Today’s photo was taken near the Lone Cypress in Monterey, CA as the sun was in the west.  I was looking toward the sun and got the image in my head of how this might look.  I think I shall do more experimentation with silhouettes, but if you see me talking to either my silhouette or my shadow, please stop me!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the majestic Grand Canyon a national monument.

Though Native Americans lived in the area as early as the 13th century, the first European sighting of the canyon wasn’t until 1540, by members of an expedition headed by the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado. Because of its remote and inaccessible location, several centuries passed before North American settlers really explored the canyon. In 1869, geologist John Wesley Powell led a group of 10 men in the first difficult journey down the rapids of the Colorado River and along the length of the 277-mile gorge in four rowboats.

By the end of the 19th century, the Grand Canyon was attracting thousands of tourists each year. One famous visitor was President Theodore Roosevelt, a New Yorker with a particular affection for the American West. After becoming president in 1901 after the assassination of President William McKinley, Roosevelt made environmental conservation a major part of his presidency. After establishing the National Wildlife Refuge to protect the country’s wildlife, Roosevelt turned his attention to federal regulation of public lands. Though a region could be given national park status–indicating that all private development on that land was illegal–only by an act of Congress, Roosevelt cut down on red tape by beginning a new presidential practice of granting a similar “national monument” designation to some of the West’s greatest treasures.

In January 1908, Roosevelt exercised this right to make more than 800,000 acres of the Grand Canyon area into a national monument. “Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is,” he declared. “You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.”

Congress did not officially outlaw private development in the Grand Canyon until 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Grand Canyon National Park Act. Today, more than 5 million people visit the canyon each year. The canyon floor is accessible by foot, mule or boat, and whitewater rafting, hiking and running in the area are especially popular. Many choose to conserve their energies and simply take in the breathtaking view from the canyon’s South Rim–some 7,000 feet above sea level–and marvel at a vista virtually unchanged over millennia.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  During an average day during the Civil War, approximately 600 people were killed. By the end of the war, over 618,000 people had died. This is more Americans than WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined.

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