Tag Archives: fire

The Fire Trees of Dawsonville


I am not an early morning riser by any stretch of the imagination. I rather despise early mornings. So, when I find something that delights me in the early morning I consider it a bonus. For some reason that I’ve tried to block from my memory, I was up early one winter morning after it had rained the night before. I took the dog with me and we went for a little jaunt down the road in front of our house.

As we headed west, my eyes saw the scene you see in today’s post. I didn’t have my camera with me as I’d not anticipated opening my eyes on the walk if at all possible, but I did open them long enough to see the scene and knew I had to shoot it. I pulled out my cell phone and shot today’s photo. The sun was rising from behind me and it lit up the tops of the trees to the west. It looked almost as if the trees were on fire. Perhaps if you come visit us some time and are crazy enough to get up of a morning, you might see them, too!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1864, at Poison Spring, Arkansas, Confederate soldiers under the command of General Samuel Maxey captured a Union forage train and slaughtered black troops escorting the expedition.

The Battle of Poison Spring was part of broad Union offensive in the region of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. General Nathaniel Banks had led a Yankee force through Louisiana in March and April, but a defeat in northwestern Louisiana at the Battle of Mansfield on April 8 sent Banks in retreat. Union forces nearby in Arkansas were moving towards Banks’ projected thrust into Texas with the intention of securing southwestern Arkansas for the Federals.

Union General Frederick Steele occupied Camden, Arkansas, on April 15. Two days later, he sent Colonel John Williams and 1,100 of his 14,000-man force to gather 5,000 bushels of corn discovered west of Camden. The force arrived to find that Confederate marauders had destroyed half of the store, but the Yankees loaded the rest into some 200 wagons and prepared to return to Camden. On the way back Maxey and 3,600 Confederates intercepted them. Maxey placed General John Marmaduke in charge of the attack that ensued. Williams positioned part of his force, the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry, between the wagon train and the Confederate lines. The regiment was the first black unit in the army, comprised primarily of ex-slaves.

The determined soldiers of the 1st Kansas stopped the first two Rebel attacks, but they were running low on ammunition. A third assault overwhelmed the Kansans, and the rout was on. Williams gathered the remnants of his force and retreated from the abandoned wagons. More than 300 Yankee troops were killed, wounded, or captured, while the Confederates lost just 13 killed and 81 wounded. The Rebels’ treatment of black troops was harsh. No black troops were captured, and those left wounded on the battlefield were brutally killed, scalped, and stripped. The Washington Telegraph, the major Confederate newspaper in Arkansas, justified the atrocity by declaring “We cannot treat Negroes taken in arms as prisoners of war without a destruction of social system for which we contend.”

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: in Texas, cowboy boots are exempt from sales tax, but hiking boots are not.

Light My Fire!

The song was first sung by Jim Morrison and the Doors and later by Jose Feliciano (I much preferred the Doors version!!) and recorded in August 1966 and released in January 1967:

You know that it would be untrue
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
Girl, we couldn’t get much higher

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire

The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love become a funeral pyre

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire, yeah

Fire is an interesting thing.  I’m not a pyro, but who isn’t fascinated by sitting around the campfire and watching the dancing of the flames?  The colors change, the shapes are moving as if live!  They even whisper at times.

I shot this in July in a gas-fueled fire pit filled with colored glass.  Yeah, come on baby, light my fire!

_MG_3514ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: On this day in 1969, the Woodstock Music Festival opens on a patch of farmland in White Lake, a hamlet in the upstate New York town of Bethel.

Early estimates of attendance increased from 50,000 to around 200,000, but by the time the gates opened on Friday, August 15, more than 400,000 people were clamoring to get in. Those without tickets simply walked through gaps in the fences, and the organizers were eventually forced to make the event free of charge. Folk singer and guitarist Richie Havens kicked off the event with a long set, and Joan Baez and Arlo Guthrie also performed on Friday night.

Somewhat improbably, the chaotic gathering of half a million young “hippies” lived up to its billing of “Three Days of Peace and Music.” There were surprisingly few incidents of violence on the overcrowded grounds, and a number of musicians performed songs expressing their opposition to the Vietnam War. Among the many great moments at the Woodstock Music Festival were career-making performances by up-and-coming acts like Santana, Joe Cocker and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; the Who’s early-morning set featuring songs from their classic rock opera “Tommy”; and the closing set by Hendrix, which climaxed with an improvised solo guitar performance of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Though Woodstock had left its promoters nearly bankrupt, their ownership of the film and recording rights more than compensated for the losses after the release of a hit documentary film in 1970. Later music festivals inspired by Woodstock’s success failed to live up to its standard, and the festival still stands for many as a example of America’s 1960’s youth counterculture at its best.

Were any of you there?

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The gastric juices of a snake can digest bones and teeth — but not fur or hair.


Get Fired Up!

What sorts of things really get your motor running?  What does it take to really “light your hair on fire” about something?  For some, it’s shopping for shoes (go figure!), for others it’s a mani-pedicure (there’s another term for it, I think it’s “mani-pedi” but what do I know)?  Some get all excited about jumping off a high bridge with a bungee cord tied to one ankle.

I have to confess that now that I’m not as young as I once was, I find that simpler things get me all excited: like being able to get out of bed in the morning without back aches and pains, or even waking up in the morning at all!!!!  I get excited, as you may have guessed, any time that I have a chance to take my camera somewhere and take pictures.  And, as those of you who have been reading my posts for a while will know, when I have a frozen Snickers and cold, icy Dr. Pepper on which to feast!

Today’s picture shows you what gets some folks all fired up.  This is the troupe known as Barely Balanced.  They are a group of acrobats/jugglers that travel around doing their act.  They were at this years Georgia Renaissance Festival, and they announced to us after their last act of the day (their fire act) that they told the promoters that they would be back again next year!  Now that is cool (pun intended!)

Here’s a shot of them getting all fired up.  I hope you enjoy it!!!!

Go light your hair on fire!!!!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1329, Robert the Bruce, who seized the Scottish throne in 1306, died of leprosy.  You may recall him from the movie, Braveheart.  In the movie, his dad died of leprosy, too.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  in the United States, sales of cheddar cheese account for 2/3rds of all cheese sold.  My favorite: Cabot Sharp Cheddar (www.cabotcheese.coop)….you’ll not taste a finer cheddar cheese anywhere!  You can order their cheese online, but you can find it in better grocery stores…we even found it in California stores!

The Blazing Hearth

Christmas day is over.  Only 364 more shopping days until Christmas, so you’d better get out there and get busy!  Just joking…

What is it about the holidays that are so special?  They are a time of family, shared love, an acknowledgment of what and who is precious to us.  It is food, familiar sounds, songs, smells.  And for many who live in various places around the world’s cold climates, the holidays present an image of warmth huddled around a hearth as it blazes away.  Though it may be snowing and bitter cold outside, most of us are fortunate enough to be inside where it is warm…and where a fire crackles merrily away.

This was the hearth we had on Christmas day here at our son’s home in Atlanta…as the snow fell outside.  What a beautiful scene, what a beautiful time.  Wouldn’t it be great if everyone who is cold could be around a fire and if the spirit of the holidays could reside in our hearts year round?  Maybe we can all make that our New Year’s resolution this year!


See the blazing hearth before us...fa la la la la, la la la la!


ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1492, Christopher Columbus established the first European colony in the new world when he set up a colony on the island of Hispaniola, in the area today known as Haiti.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: in 1724, Peter the Great was on a sea voyage when in the middle of storm, he dove in the water to help rescue someone.  He contracted a cold, developed a fever, and died a few weeks later.  


The Burning Bush

From the book of Exodus:

1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight–why the bush does not burn up.” – Exodus 3:1-3

This past week the color is really starting to hit the vineyards.  It’ll be at its peak in the next 10-14 days.  As I was driving along today, I saw this vine right alongside the road and couldn’t help but think of the story of Moses and the burning bush.  This bush stood out in start contrast to the vines next to it – and when the sun is at the correct angle behind it, it almost looks like it was on fire!  Why this one vine while the ones next to it are still mostly green with some gold?  I’m told that the red color is the result of some kind of virus/bacteria that is in the plant – so while it’s beautiful, it is also said, because that vine will eventually die.  But for now – it’s beautiful!

The Burning Bush

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1947, the H-4,  a huge 8-engine flying “boat” built by the Hughes Corporation, made its one and only flight in Los Angeles harbor.  It flew a distance of about one mile.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Some queen ants live as long as 30 years – 100 times longer than the average worker ant.