Archive for March, 2009

31
Mar
09

Roadside Deer

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Sometimes the deer will make it easy and you’ll find them feeding along the roadside.

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But that isn’t as much fun as finding a deer while hiking inside a forest.

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Especially if they permit you time to take some pictures.

31
Mar
09

On This Day, March 31: Dalai Lama Flees Tibet

March 31, 1959

Dalai Lama begins exile

The Dalai Lama, fleeing the Chinese suppression of a national uprising in Tibet, crosses the border into India, where he is granted political asylum.

Born in Taktser, China, as Tensin Gyatso, he was designated the 14th Dalai Lama in 1940, a position that eventually made him the religious and political leader of Tibet. At the beginning of the 20th century, Tibet increasingly came under Chinese control, and in 1950 communist China invaded the country. One year later, a Tibetan-Chinese agreement was signed in which the nation became a “national autonomous region” of China, supposedly under the traditional rule of the Dalai Lama but actually under the control of a Chinese communist commission. The highly religious people of Tibet, who practice a unique form of Buddhism, suffered under communist China’s anti-religious legislation.

After years of scattered protests, a full-scale revolt broke out in March 1959, and the Dalai Lama was forced to flee as the uprising was crushed by Chinese troops. On March 31, 1959, he began a permanent exile in India, settling at Dharamsala in Punjab, where he established a democratically based shadow Tibetan government. Back in Tibet, the Chinese adopted brutal repressive measures against the Tibetans, provoking charges from the Dalai Lama of genocide. With the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in China, the Chinese suppression of Tibetan Buddhism escalated, and practice of the religion was banned and thousands of monasteries were destroyed.

Although the ban was lifted in 1976, protests in Tibet continued, and the exiled Dalai Lama won widespread international support for the Tibetan independence movement. In 1989, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in recognition of his nonviolent campaign to end the Chinese domination of Tibet.

“Dalai Lama begins exile.” 2009. The History Channel website. 31 Mar 2009, 10:38 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4879.

On This Day

1776 – Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John that women were “determined to foment a rebellion” if the new Declaration of Independence failed to guarantee their rights.

1854 – The U.S. government signed the Treaty of Kanagawa with Japan. The act opened the ports of Shimoda and Hakotade to American trade.

1870 – In Perth Amboy, NJ, Thomas P. Munday became the first black to vote in the U.S.

1917 – The U.S. purchased and took possession of the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million.

1918 – For the first time in the U.S., Daylight Saving Time went into effect.

1933 – The U.S. Congress authorized the Civilian Conservation Corps to relieve rampant unemployment.

1939 – Britain and France agreed to support Poland if Germany threatened invasion.

1948 – The Soviets in Germany began controlling the Western trains headed toward Berlin.

1980 – U.S. President Carter deregulated the banking industry.

2004 – Google Inc. announced that it would be introducing a free e-mail service called Gmail.

March 31, 1492

Jews to be expelled from Spain

In Spain, a royal edict is issued by the nation’s Catholic rulers declaring that all Jews who refuse to convert to Christianity will be expelled from the country. Most Spanish Jews chose exile rather than the renunciation of their religion and culture, and the Spanish economy suffered with the loss of an important portion of its workforce. Many Spanish Jews went to North Africa, the Netherlands, and the Americas, where their skills, capital, and commercial connections were put to good use. Among those who chose conversion, some risked their lives by secretly practicing Judaism, while many sincere converts were nonetheless persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition. The Spanish Muslims, or Moors, were ordered to convert to Christianity in 1502.

“Jews to be expelled from Spain.” 2009. The History Channel website. 31 Mar 2009, 10:45 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=4877.

30
Mar
09

Deer Cover

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When Spring reaches full bloom with leaves and flowers it will be even more difficult to pick deer out of all this cover.

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I’m careful not to disturb areas like this because all that tangled brush makes an ideal location for a nursery.

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I am tempted to walk in there though,

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especially since I know this is the type of cover deer enjoy.  Can you see all three deer?

30
Mar
09

On This Day, March 30: Alaska

March 30, 1867

Seward’s Folly

U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signs a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7 million. Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase was ridiculed in Congress and in the press as “Seward’s folly,” “Seward’s icebox,” and President Andrew Johnson’s “polar bear garden.”

The czarist government of Russia, which had established a presence in Alaska in the mid-18th century, first approached the United States about selling the territory during the administration of President James Buchanan, but negotiations were stalled by the outbreak of the Civil War. After 1865, Seward, a supporter of territorial expansion, was eager to acquire the tremendous landmass of Alaska, an area roughly one-fifth the size of the rest of the United States. He had some difficulty, however, making the case for the purchase of Alaska before the Senate, which ratified the treaty by a margin of just one vote on April 9, 1867. Six months later, Alaska was formally handed over from Russia to the United States. Despite a slow start in U.S. settlement, the discovery of gold in 1898 brought a rapid influx of people to the territory, and Alaska, rich in natural resources, has contributed to American prosperity ever since.

“Seward’s Folly.” 2009. The History Channel website. 30 Mar 2009, 05:04 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=4875.

On This Day

1533 – Henry VIII divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

1814 – The allied European nations against Napoleon marched into Paris.

1822 – Florida became a U.S. territory.

1855 – About 5,000 “Border Ruffians” from western Missouri invaded the territory of Kansas and forced the election of a pro-slavery legislature. It was the first election in Kansas.

1870 – Texas was readmitted to the Union.

1905 – U.S. President Roosevelt was chosen to mediate in the Russo-Japanese peace talks.

1941 – The German Afrika Korps under General Erwin Rommel began its first offensive against British forces in Libya.

1950 – U.S. President Truman denounced Senator Joe McCarthy as a saboteur of U.S. foreign policy.

1972 – The British government assumed direct rule over Northern Ireland.

1981 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan was shot and wounded in Washington, DC, by John W. Hinckley Jr. Two police officers and Press Secretary James Brady were also wounded.

March 30, 1870

15th Amendment adopted

Following its ratification by the requisite three-fourths of the states, the 15th Amendment, granting African-American men the right to vote, is formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution. Passed by Congress the year before, the amendment reads, “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” One day after it was adopted, Thomas Peterson-Mundy of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, became the first African American to vote under the authority of the 15th Amendment.

In 1867, the Republican-dominated Congress passed the First Reconstruction Act, over President Andrew Johnson’s veto, dividing the South into five military districts and outlining how new governments based on universal manhood suffrage were to be established. With the adoption of the 15th Amendment in 1870, a politically mobilized African-American community joined with white allies in the Southern states to elect the Republican Party to power, which brought about radical changes across the South. By late 1870, all the former Confederate states had been readmitted to the Union, and most were controlled by the Republican Party, thanks to the support of African-American voters.

In the same year, Hiram Rhoades Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, became the first African American ever to sit in Congress. Although African-American Republicans never obtained political office in proportion to their overwhelming electoral majority, Revels and a dozen other African-American men served in Congress during Reconstruction, more than 600 served in state legislatures, and many more held local offices. However, in the late 1870s, the Southern Republican Party vanished with the end of Reconstruction, and Southern state governments effectively nullified the 14th and 15th Amendments, stripping Southern African Americans of the right to vote. It would be nearly a century before the nation would again attempt to establish equal rights for African Americans in the South.

“15th Amendment adopted.” 2009. The History Channel website. 30 Mar 2009, 05:04 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=4876.

29
Mar
09

Goose 42XT

When I first took pictures of these geese, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.

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When I got home and began looking at the pictures I’d taken, I noticed the lead goose had something wrapped around his neck.

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When I zoomed in and cropped the photo, I realized I had pictures of a goose with a tracking band around its neck.

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The band clearly identifies it as goose 42XT.  So whoever banded goose 42XT, it was sighted at Lake Kegonsa on March 26, 2009.

29
Mar
09

On This Day, March 29: US Troops Leave Vietnam

March 29, 1973

Last U.S. troops depart South Vietnam

Under the provisions of the Paris Peace Accords signed on January 27, 1973, the last U.S. troops depart South Vietnam, ending nearly 10 years of U.S. military presence in that country. The U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam headquarters was disestablished. Only a Defense Attache Office and a few Marine guards at the Saigon American Embassy remained, although roughly 8,500 U.S. civilians stayed on as technical advisers to the South Vietnamese.

Also on this day: As part of the Accords, Hanoi releases the last 67 of its acknowledged American prisoners of war, bringing the total number released to 591.

“Last U.S. troops depart South Vietnam.” 2009. The History Channel website. 29 Mar 2009, 01:33 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1758.

On This Day

1461 – Edward IV secured his claim to the English thrown by defeating Henry VI’s Lancastrians at the battle of Towdon.

1638 – First permanent European settlement in Delaware was established.

1847 – U.S. troops under General Winfield Scott took possession of the Mexican stronghold at Vera Cruz.

1848 – Niagara Falls stopped flowing for one day due to an ice jam.

1867 – The British Parliament passed the North America Act to create the Dominion of Canada.

1941 – The British sank five Italian warships off the Peloponnesus coast in the Mediterranean.

1943 – In the U.S. rationing of meat, butter and cheese began during World War II.

1951 – In the United States, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. They were executed in June 19, 1953.

1961 – The 23rd amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment allowed residents of Washington, DC, to vote for president.

1966 – Leonid Brezhnev became the First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party. He denounced the American policy in Vietnam and called it one of aggression.

1967 – France launched its first nuclear submarine.

1971 – A jury in Los Angeles recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers for the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. The death sentences were later commuted to live in prison.

1974 – Mariner 10, the U.S. space probe became the first spacecraft to reach the planet Mercury. It had been launched on November 3, 1973.

1974 – Eight Ohio National Guardsmen were indicted on charges stemming from the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. All the guardsmen were later acquitted.

1979 – The Committee on Assassinations Report issued by U.S. House of Representatives stated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the result of a conspiracy.

1993 – The South Korean government agreed to pay financial support to women who had been forced to have sex with Japanese troops during World War II.

March 29, 1971

Calley found guilty of My Lai murders

Lt. William L. Calley is found guilty of premeditated murder at My Lai by a U.S. Army court-martial at Fort Benning, Georgia. Calley, a platoon leader, had led his men in a massacre of Vietnamese civilians, including women and children, at My Lai 4, a cluster of hamlets in Quang Ngai Province on March 16, 1968.

The unit had been conducting a search-and-destroy mission to locate the 48th Viet Cong (VC) Local Force Battalion. The unit entered Son My village but found only women, children, and old men. Frustrated by unanswered losses due to snipers and mines, the soldiers took out their anger on the villagers, indiscriminately shooting people as they ran from their huts. The soldiers rounded up the survivors and led them to a nearby ditch where they were shot.

Calley was charged with six specifications of premeditated murder. During the trial, Chief Army prosecutor Capt. Aubrey Daniel charged that Calley ordered Sgt. Daniel Mitchell to “finish off the rest” of the villagers. The prosecution stressed that all the killings were committed despite the fact that Calley’s platoon had met no resistance and that he and his men had not been fired on.

The My Lai massacre had initially been covered up but came to light one year later. An Army board of inquiry, headed by Lt. Gen. William Peers, investigated the massacre and produced a list of 30 people who knew of the atrocity, but only 14 were charged with crimes. All eventually had their charges dismissed or were acquitted by courts-martial except Calley, whose platoon allegedly killed 200 innocents.

Calley was found guilty of personally murdering 22 civilians and sentenced to life imprisonment, but his sentence was reduced to 20 years by the Court of Military Appeals and further reduced later to 10 years by the Secretary of the Army. Proclaimed by much of the public as a “scapegoat,” Calley was paroled in 1974 after having served about a third of his 10-year sentence.

“Calley found guilty of My Lai murders.” 2009. The History Channel website. 29 Mar 2009, 01:39 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1757.

29
Mar
09

Spring Flooding

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Wetlands flood first as can be seen in these photos of the beaver habitat.

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Most of the geese who, a few days ago, had been nesting or preparing to nest have been displaced.

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With the ground still frozen a couple feet beneath the surface, melting snow and rainwater run into low-lying areas.

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Only a few of the dozens of geese remain.




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