Falling towards fall…

Double click for a larger version of the image...
Double click for a larger version of the image…

Have you noticed how the days are growing shorter? It is getting light slightly later each day and dark slightly earlier and it will continue that progression until December 22 when it reverses course and heads back the other way.  We are not far away from the vernal equinox, when the hours of sunlight and dark are equal.

Today it doesn’t feel much like fall outside, at least not here in Georgia. It’s a warm one today, but it have been cooler over the past couple of weeks, and we welcome it. This was our first year of being here throughout the entire Georgia summer. I have to say that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d imagined it might be. Sure, it was warm and at times very muggy, but all in all, not bad.

Our oldest son just moved his family up to the Portland, OR area. He noted that this morning it was a crisp 48 degrees at his house. The news said that in the west right now it is about 15 degrees below normal temperature. That’s good – it may help the weary firefighters who have been battling horrendous blazes for months now.

I’ve noticed a few leaves turning yellow – not in great profusion, but it is beginning. The lake near which we live will be ablaze in color before too much longer. Those are all good signs that we are falling into fall.

This being a three day weekend and fall approaching, I thought that this photo that I shot a few months back might be appropriate. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: on this day in 1780, patriot Francis Marion’s Carolina militia routed British Loyalists at Blue Savannah, South Carolina, and in the process Marion won new recruits to the Patriot cause.

Following their surprising success at Nelson’s Ferry on the Santee River in South Carolina on August 20, Lieutenant Colonel Francis “The Swamp Fox” Marion and 52 of his militiamen rode east in order to evade pursuing British Loyalists. They were successful, but during their escape, another, much larger, force of Loyalists led by Major Micajah Ganey, attacked the militia from the northeast. Marion’s advance guard, led by Major John James, routed Ganey’s advance guard and Marion ambushed the rest, causing Ganey’s main body of 200 Loyalists to panic and flee. The success of Marion’s militia broke the Loyalist stronghold on South Carolina east of the PeeDee River and attracted another 60 volunteers to the Patriot cause.

Marion, a mere five feet tall, won fame and the “Swamp Fox” moniker for his ability to strike and then quickly retreat into the South Carolina swamps without a trace. He also earned fame as the only senior Continental officer in the area to escape the British following the fall of Charleston on May 12, 1780. His military strategy is considered an 18th-century example of guerilla warfare and served as partial inspiration for Mel Gibson’s character, Benjamin Martin, in the film The Patriot (2000).

Marion took over the South Carolina militia force first assembled by Thomas Sumter in 1780. Sumter, the other inspiration for Mel Gibson’s character in the film, returned Carolina Loyalists’ terror tactics in kind after Loyalists burned his plantation. When Sumter withdrew from active fighting to care for a wound, Marion replaced him and teamed up with Major General Nathaniel Greene, who arrived in the Carolinas to lead the Continental forces in October 1780. Together, they are credited with grasping a Patriot victory from the jaws of defeat in the southern states.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: A baby dolphin is born tail-first to prevent drowning. After the mother breaks the umbilical cord by swiftly swimming away, she must immediately return to her baby and take it to the surface to breathe.


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