Too Busy…and No Excuses

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Oh, my.  I’ve been so busy!  I’ve hardly had a chance to breathe, let alone shoot anything with my camera.  I am hoping to rectify that next week.  I’ll be traveling to the west coast again and if all goes according to plan, I will spend one day in the Portland, OR, area with my oldest son and we will explore together. I really am looking forward to being there and spending time with him and his family, and to shooting some photos again. It’s been far too long.

Busy never ends, does it?  If it isn’t work/work, it’s work at home, it’s busyness with family, church, it’s taking care of chores, etc. But you know what? Those things feed the body and keep the roof over your head, but they don’t do much to feed the soul and rejuvenate us. We need re-creation to help keep us young. We need to take time to stop and appreciate beauty and wonder that is all around us.

Today’s photo was taken in Jerusalem inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Scattered throughout the massive structure are numerous! It seems that every time you turn around you can see some sort of niche. The interior of the church is dark, so the lighting in the niches only serves to increase the sense of mystery, wonder and beauty. While we were there on vacation I had nothing to do but relax and take it all that my eyes were seeing and my ears were hearing. I’m ready to go back again!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1885, the Kansas legislature passed a law barring Texas cattle from the state between March 1 and December 1, the latest action reflecting the love-hate relationship between Kansas and the cattle industry.

Texans had adopted the practice of driving cattle northward to railheads in Kansas shortly after the Civil War. From 1867 to 1871, the most popular route was the legendary Chisholm Trail that ran from San Antonio to Abilene, Kansas. Attracted by the profits to be made providing supplies to ranchers and a good time to trail-weary cowboys, other struggling Kansas frontier towns maneuvered to attract the Texas cattle herds. Dodge City, Caldwell, Ellsworth, Hays, and Newton competed with Abilene to be the top “Cow Town” of Kansas.

As Kansas lost some of its Wild West frontier edge, though, the cowboys and their cattle became less attractive. Upstanding town residents anxious to attract investment capital and nurture local businesses became increasingly impatient with rowdy young cowboys and their messy cattle. The new Kansas farmers who were systematically dividing the open range into neat rectangles of crops were even less fond of the cattle herds. Although the cowboys attempted to respect farm boundaries, stray cattle often wreaked havoc with farmers’ crops. “There was scarcely a day when we didn’t have a row with some settler,” reported one cowboy.

Recognizing that the future of the state was in agriculture, the Kansas legislature attempted to restrict the movement of Texas cattle. In 1869, the legislature excluded cattle entirely from the east-central part of the state, where farmers were settling most quickly. Complaints from farmers that the Texas cattle were giving their valuable dairy cows tick fever and hoof-and-mouth disease eventually led to even tighter controls. On this day in 1885, the Kansas legislature enacted a strict quarantine. The quarantine closed all of Kansas to Texan cattle for all but the winter months of December, January, and February-the time of the year when the diseases were not as prevalent.

These laws signaled the end of the Kansas role in the Texas cattle industry. The open range was rapidly closing, hemmed in by miles and miles of barbed wire fence. With the extension of rail lines into Texas itself, the reason for making the long drives north to Kansas began to disappear by the late 1880s anyway. The Kansas quarantine laws became irrelevant as most Texans could more easily ship cattle via railheads in their own states.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Star Trek (2009) is the first time Lt. Uhura has been given a name on screen, “Nyota,” though she is referred to as Nyota in the DC comics’ “Who’s Who in Star Trek.”

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