It is with great pleasure that I announce the latest Photo Quiz Winners: Peter Lee and Bob & Jan Blythe. Here are the correct answers to the quiz:
1. Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception located in downtown Saigon, Vietnam. (Now known to some as Ho Chi Minh City, but I refuse to use that name).
2. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius; winters in the SE US, but summers in Alaska, Canada, and the NE USA).
3. King Farouk of Egypt. Upon his coronation at age 16, Farouk made a public radio address to the nation, the first time a sovereign of Egypt had ever spoken directly to his people in such a way. He was the last monarch of Egypt.
4. The rock formations are called hoodoos and they are at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. (Hoodoos are typically formed where a thick layer of soft rock, like sandstone, is covered by a thin layer of a harder rock, such as basalt or limestone. In France, they are called demoiselles coiffees [ladies with hairdos].)
5. The iron clad ship USS Cairo was a Union ship in the Civil War and is currently on display at the Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, Mississippi.
6. This young woman (could it be Mae West’s granddaughter?) is kissing the famous Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle in Ireland. (The Blarney Stone is part of the battlements of Blarney Castle; before the handrails and protective crossbars were installed, you had to hang upside down with a friend holding your feet, risking a drop of sixty feet or so; not for the faint of heart!)
7. The CN Tower, an 1815 ft concrete communications and observation tower in downtown Toronto, Canada. The lights are turned off during the spring and autumn bird migration seasons to comply with the voluntary Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP).
8. Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, formerly named the Custis-Lee Mansion, is located on the hill at the top of Arlington National Cemetery. Gen. Robert E. Lee and his wife Mary Anna Randolph Curtis lived there for 30 years.
9. Annie Oakley (born Phoebe Ann Moses). She beat Frank Butler by one point in a sharp shooting contest in Cincinnati, OH before they were married. (She is one of the most remarkable women in US history; I recommend you Google her and read her complete biography at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Oakley) .
10. “Portrait of Andrea Doria as Neptune” painted by Angelo Bronzino (Birth name: Angelo di Cosimo di Mariano). On July 25, 1956 the ocean liner Andrea Doria collided with the MS Stockholm off Nantucket and sank with the loss of 56 lives.
The Lees and the Blythes win an all-expense paid visit to Das Blogmeisterhaus in The Villages for dinner. Chefs Suzanne and Ty will prepare something (hopefully edible) for their culinary pleasure. Musical entertainment may be provided by Corvette Chick if her bass flute is tuned up; otherwise Ty will consider singing. (Now that is a sobering thought.)
While riding my trusty bike around The Villages, I spied this group of American white pelicans (Pelicanus erythrorhynchos) swimming and foraging in the lake across from Hacienda Rec Center. They are the first group of that species of pelican that I’ve seen here. White pelicans differ from their brown cousins in that they do not plunge dive for fish; rather, they swim in a line or half-circle, beating their wings to herd fish toward the shore.
The white pelican has a wingspan of 9 feet, making them second only to the California Condor in wingspan. Males grow a fibrous plate on the upper portion of their beaks during mating season. (No comment; I couldn’t think of anything appropriate.) Here in Florida, they are most often found at the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island and at the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in the Indian River Lagoon.
So who is freezing in Florida? According to the National Weather Service, the Sunshine State is having a bit of a heat wave, with temperatures in the 70s here in The Villages, a few degrees above the normal high of 68. Today My Lovely Bride had seven of her friends over for a group reading. We normally keep our house about 73F, and when Suzanne said, “Sweetheart, I’m going to make it a little cooler because we’ll all be in our study, and it gets warm in there pretty quickly”, I didn’t think anything of it. I kept working at the kitchen table, and only realized about 45 minutes later that my hands were turning blue. Maybe I’d better shift from tee shirt and shorts to blue jeans and Polartec… and 15 minutes after that, out came the gloves and ski cap… I think the temp bottomed out around 38F, but I’m not sure because my chattering teeth distorted my vision.