Archive for May 8th, 2009

08
May
09

White-tailed Doe: The Head-Bob

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I try to spend one day a week hiking in a local state park.  I find plenty to photograph and get some exercise.  I had finished for the day and began hiking back to my car when I noticed this doe at the edge of a parking lot.  I’ve mentioned before that White-tailed Deer, especially the younger ones, will do a head-bob to see if a predator will attack.  This doe has dropped her head, pretending to eat.  Her right ear has locked on me and so has her eyes.  My dad says that if two of a deer’s senses alert to a threat; whether it be sound and sight, sight and smell, sound and smell, whichever, they will run. 

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When I did not attack her while she pretended to eat, she determined I was not a threat, but had alerted to a woman walking her dog about a hundred feet behind me.  Her eyes have locked on the woman and so has her left ear.  Her right ear has remained locked on me.  She saw the dogs and moved off into the brush and when the dogs had reached me, she ran.  The dogs never even noticed her.

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08
May
09

On This Day, May 8: V-E Day

May 8, 1945

V-E Day is celebrated in America and Britain

On this day in 1945, both Great Britain and the United States celebrate Victory in Europe Day. Cities in both nations, as well as formerly occupied cities in Western Europe, put out flags and banners, rejoicing in the defeat of the Nazi war machine.

The eighth of May spelled the day when German troops throughout Europe finally laid down their arms: In Prague, Germans surrendered to their Soviet antagonists, after the latter had lost more than 8,000 soldiers, and the Germans considerably more; in Copenhagen and Oslo; at Karlshorst, near Berlin; in northern Latvia; on the Channel Island of Sark–the German surrender was realized in a final cease-fire. More surrender documents were signed in Berlin and in eastern Germany.

The main concern of many German soldiers was to elude the grasp of Soviet forces, to keep from being taken prisoner. About 1 million Germans attempted a mass exodus to the West when the fighting in Czechoslovakia ended, but were stopped by the Russians and taken captive. The Russians took approximately 2 million prisoners in the period just before and after the German surrender.

Meanwhile, more than 13,000 British POWs were released and sent back to Great Britain.

Pockets of German-Soviet confrontation would continue into the next day. On May 9, the Soviets would lose 600 more soldiers in Silesia before the Germans finally surrendered. Consequently, V-E Day was not celebrated until the ninth in Moscow, with a radio broadcast salute from Stalin himself: “The age-long struggle of the Slav nations…has ended in victory. Your courage has defeated the Nazis. The war is over.”

“V-E Day is celebrated in American and Britain,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6447 [accessed May 8, 2009]

 

On This Day

1541 – Hernando de Soto reached the Mississippi River. He called it Rio de Espiritu Santo.

1794 – Antoine Lavoisier was executed by guillotine. He was the French chemist that discovered oxygen.

1794 – The United States Post Office was established.

1914 – The U.S. Congress passed a Joint Resolution that designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

1945 – U.S. President Harry Truman announced that World War II had ended in Europe.

1958 – U.S. President Eisenhower ordered the National Guard out of Little Rock as Ernest Green became the first black to graduate from an Arkansas public school.

1970 – Construction workers broke up an anti-war protest on New York City’s Wall Street.

1973 – Militant American Indians who had held the South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee for 10 weeks surrendered.

1984 – The Soviet Union announced that they would not participate in the 1984 Summer Olympics Games in Los Angeles.

1986 – Reporters were told that 84,000 people had been evacuated from areas near the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Soviet Ukraine.

May 8, 1864

Lee beats Grant to Spotsylvania

On this day, Yankee troops arrive at Spotsylvania Court House to find the Rebels already there. After the Battle of the Wilderness (May 5-6), Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Potomac marched south in the drive to take Richmond. Grant hoped to control the strategic crossroads at Spotsylvania Court House, so he could draw Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia into open ground.

Spotsylvania was important for a number of reasons. The crossroads were situated between the Wilderness and Hanover Junction, where the two railroads that supplied Lee’s army met. The area also lay past Lee’s left flank, so if Grant beat him there he would not only have a head start toward Richmond, but also the clearest path. Lee would then be forced to attack Grant or race him to Richmond along poor roads.

Unbeknownst to Grant, Lee had received reports of Union cavalry movements to the south of the Wilderness battle lines. On the evening of May 7, Lee ordered James Longstreet’s corps, which were under the direction of Richard Anderson after Longstreet had been shot the previous day, to march at night to Spotsylvania. Anderson’s men marched the 11 miles entirely in the dark, and won the race to the crossroads, where they took refuge behind hastily constructed breastworks and waited. Now it would be up to Grant to force the Confederates from their position. The stage was set for one of the bloodiest engagements of the war.

“Lee beats Grant to Spotsylvania,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2017 [accessed May 8, 2009]




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