Sunday, 30 July 2017

The Wood Mouse

D' ye know the little Wood-Mouse,
That pretty little thing,
That sits among the forest leaves,
Beside the forest spring?
Its fur is red as the red chestnut,
And it is small and slim;
It leads a life most innocent
Within the forest dim.
'T is a timid, gentle creature,
And seldom comes in sight;
It has a long and wiry tail,
And eyes both black and bright.
It makes its nest of soft, dry moss,
In a hole so deep and strong ;
And there it sleeps secure and warm,
The dreary winter long.
And though it keeps no calendar,
It knows when flowers are springing;
And waketh to its summer life
When Nightingales are singing.
Upon the boughs the Squirrel sits,
The Wood-Mouse plays below;
And plenty of food it finds itself
Where the Beech and Chestnut grow.
In the Hedge-Sparrow's nest he sits
When its Summer brood is fled,
And picks the berries from the bough
Of the Hawthorn over-head.
I saw a little Wood-Mouse once,
Like Oberon in his hall,
With the green, green moss beneath his feet,
Sit under a Mushroom tall.
I saw him sit and his dinner eat,
All under the forest tree;
His dinner of Chestnut ripe and red,
And he ate it heartily.
I wish you could have seen him there;
It did my spirit good,
To see the small thing God had made
Thus eating in the wood.
I saw that He regardeth them --
Those creatures weak and small;
Their table in the wild is spread,
By Him who cares for all!
by Mary Botham Howitt
Art Carl Whitfield

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Airedales, Australia

"Christian Waller with Baldur, Undine and Siren at Fairy Hills" 1932 by husband Napier Waller.
oil and tempera on canvas mounted on composition board 121.5 x 205.5 cm"


The black cat yawns,
Opens her jaws,
Stretches her legs
And shows her claws.
Then she gets up
And stands on four
Long still legs,
And yawns some more.
She shows her sharp teeth,
She stretches her lip,
Her slice of a tongue
Turns up at the tip.
Lifting herself
On her delicate toes,
She arches her back
As high as it goes.
She lets herself down
With particular care,
And pads away
With her tail in the air.
Mary Britton Miller
Art Angel Dominguez

Friday, 28 July 2017

Corolla Wild Horses

One of the best places to see feral Colonial Spanish Mustangs in the United States. 

Wild horses were abundant in the Americas until about 13,000 years ago. Luckily, they had already spread around the world by the time they became extinct within their native land. Thanks to the Spanish conquistadors from whom they escaped in 16th century, horses returned to the continent, though they’re now considered feral instead of wild.

Corolla, North Carolina is one of the best places to see the Banker horse, a rare breed that descended from the escaped Spanish stock. The Banker strain of the Colonial Spanish Mustang lives on the barrier islands of the Outer Banks. It’s one of the oldest horse breeds in the United States.
They’re a small, hardy stock—so small, they should technically be classified as ponies and not horses. Their short backs and low tails make them distinctly different from other types of American mustangs. Because of their relative isolation, the Banker horses around Corolla haven’t had a change to mix with other breeds and dilute their Spanish lineage.
How the horses actually arrived in the area is still a bit of a mystery. Some suspect they swam ashore after surviving shipwrecks. Others think they were simply left behind when the Spanish conquistadors abandoned their North Carolina colonies. The mysterious origin story adds to their allure.
Horse tours are one of the main economic activities in Corolla. Because of the hordes of visitors each week hoping to catch a glimpse of the herd, authorities became concerned about the well-being of the few hundred feral horses roaming about the area. There are now beach patrols in charge of educating people about the equines and how to coexist with them. It’s illegal for anyone to come within 50 feet of the horses.

Little Dandelion

Bright little Dandelion
Lights up the meads,
Swings on her slender foot,
Telleth her beads,
Lists to the robin's note
Poured from above;
Wise little Dandelion
Asks not for love.
Cold lie the daisy banks
Clothed but in green,
Where, in the days agone,
Bright hues were seen.
Wild pinks are slumbering,
Violets delay;
True little Dandelion
Greeteth the May.
Brave little Dandelion!
Fast falls the snow,
Bending the daffodil's
Haughty head low.
Under that fleecy tent,
Careless of cold,
Blithe little Dandelion
Counteth her gold.
Meek little Dandelion
Groweth more fair,
Till dies the amber dew
Out from her hair.
High rides the thirsty sun,
Fiercely and high;
Faint little Dandelion
Closeth her eye.
Pale little Dandelion,
In her white shroud,
Heareth the angel-breeze
Call from the cloud;
Tiny plumes fluttering
Make no delay;
Little winged Dandelion
Soareth away.
Helen Barron Bostwick
Art James Browne

Alice van Kempen

Just because my path is different doesn't mean I am lost

Blueberry and gin jellies recipe

Okay, it is boozy (sugar), but this is a ‘treat’ dish. You will probably think there’s a lot of gelatine in the jelly, but alcohol inhibits the setting properties so you need more. The Angostura bitters isn’t absolutely necessary but it makes the jelly a lovely pale pink colour and foxes diners… they can never guess the secret ingredient.
400ml (14fl oz) tonic water
250ml (9fl oz) gin
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons (zest removed with a zester)
150g (5.oz) granulated sugar
16g (generous 1/2oz) leaf gelatine (9 small sheets)
1 tbsp Angostura bitters
250g (9oz) blueberries
Put the tonic water, gin, lemon zest and juice and sugar in a saucepan with 150ml (5fl oz) of water and bring to just below the boil, stirring occasionally to help the sugar dissolve. Reduce theheat to very low and simmer for about five minutes.
Put the gelatine into a dish and cover with cold water. Leave tosoak for about three minutes; it will soften but won’t disintegrate.

Strain the boozy mixture into a clear jug and add the Angosturabitters; you should end up with a nice pale pink colour. Taste; youshould get a little of the Angostura but it shouldn’t overwhelm.
Remove the softened gelatine, shaking off any excess liquid, andadd it to the warm liquid, stirring to help it dissolve. (The liquid needs to be warm to help the gelatine melt, but you shouldn’t put gelatine into boiling or very hot liquid.)
Divide one-third of the liquid between eight glasses and ad done-third of the blueberries. Leave to cool. Refrigerate the jelliesto allow them to set and reserve the rest of the jelly mixture.
Once the jellies have a firm-ish surface, divide another one-thirdof the blueberries between the glasses and gently reheat half the remaining jelly mixture if necessary to render it liquid once more (you should always be able to put your finger into it; if the liquid gets too hot it will destroy the gelatine’s setting qualities). Leave to cool a little and top up the glasses evenly with this. Put in the fridge to set. Repeat, to use up the remaining berries and jelly, then leave for six hours to set firm before serving, just to be on the safe side.

The Murals of Quebec City

A contemporary fresco movement illustrates the region's rich history.

Illustrated histories in vibrant colors and great detail cover the once mundane facades of old buildings in and around Quebec City. Cityscapes unfold and bricks give way to the innards of old buildings, displaying the devastating and important events that compose the story of one of the oldest cities in North America.

The post-revolutionary murals of the 1920s made their way from Mexico up through North America. Rather than following any artistic trends, murals adopted the accounts and aesthetics of local cultures. Quebec City’s fresco murals use the ancient painting method to preserve the figures and events of its 400-year history.
The first mural, Fresque des Québécois, was finished in 1999. Cité Création, an artist collective responsible for over 650 fresco murals since 1978, and Quebec artists Hélène Fleury, Marie-Chantal Lachance, and Pierre Laforest transformed a windowless wall of the Soumande House on Notre-Dame into a three-dimensional city landscape featuring landmarks and figures of Quebec City’s history.
There are about 20 murals throughout the region, each illustrating its own period or facet of the city’s history. La Fresque du Petit-Champlain portrays the fishing and sea trades at the heart of the economy, along with a 1682 fire and landslides in 1889. La Fresque de la Bibliothéque Gabrielle-Roy covers key moments in literature. Les Fresques des Piliers are the only ones not beholden to some kind of historical authenticity. They’re painted on several pillars under the Dufferin-Montmorency Highway. Completed between 2000 and 2002, they depict eclectic scenes of a circus, fairy tales, and a cathedral.
The ongoing project has no official promotion, but the murals continue to attract growing numbers tourists to the area—about 2.5 million a year, according to the Quebec Tourist Office. A real sense of cultural identity is preserved in these murals, both in subject and process. The very things meant to memorialize the region’s heritage have become an important part of the heritage themselves.


In this pristine Ecuadorian hippie town, residents remain active well into their eighties and nineties.  
Snuggled in the hills of the Andean slopes of Ecuador lies a small oasis of vitality. Vilcabamba, known as the “Valley of Longevity,” enjoyed a spell in the limelight during the 1970s when reports emerged that an astonishing number of centenarians lived in the area, giving the small town its nickname.

According to the research conducted in 1971 by Dr Alexander Leaf of Harvard Medical School, there were nine residents who claimed to be over 100 years old, in a population of 819, a stunning figure. As this report circulated, researchers and tourists alike flocked to the village to understand the secret of their longevity.
But this legend was punctured a few years later, when Dr Leaf himself went back to do some followup research and discovered that inaccurate self-reporting and misleading birth certificates had contributed to errors in the previous findings. There were no centenarians, and the oldest man was 96 years old.
Despite the bursting of this bubble, the town continues to be known for its quality of life and its New Age, hippie-esque health conscious vibe. Ever since the period of the Incas, the pristine mountain region has been a sought-after location for rest and recoup. The royals would travel to the valley and recharge their batteries with the fresh water and mountain air, mineral-rich food, and a consistent spring-like climate.
The combination of these factors are thought to help people live full and active lives well into their eighties and nineties. The simple pastoral life includes a lot of outdoor activity and exercise, and there are plenty of paths and hikes leading into the surrounding mountains. The scenes around town provide you with glimpses of able elderly people still working or enjoying their retirement, youthful hippies seeking an alternative lifestyle, and foreigners who have settled there after their retirement or fled there for a brief break from the stressful world outside. Because of the town’s reputation and the healthy lifestyle of the locals, vegan and vegetarian restaurants make up a large portion of the town’s businesses.
Many newer structures have been built and the older ones modernized, but the town continues to hold on to its roots—letting nature flourish in and around the village as well as within the bodies of many of its residents.

30 Wartime Recruitment Posters

Posters have advertised many things, but the images and messages used for military recruitment - where loss of life is highly probable - are among the most powerful. Honor, patriotism, guilt, fear, pretty girls, foreign travel, adventure, and bravado were (and still are) used to entice young men into enlistment stations. Almost every kind of psychological pathway to a signature on the dotted line has been explored - with the fear and guilt of accusations of cowardice being perhaps the strongest.
The two most iconic wartime recruitment posters involve powerful pointing figures and were issued in World War I - Britain's Lord Kitchener "Wants You" (designed by Alfred Leete) and America's Uncle Sam "I Want You for US Army" (designed by James Montgomery Flagg). It's striking to see how often pointing is used in these posters although eyes turned towards the heavens and Lady Liberty also make frequent appearances. Thousands of posters in varying styles were issued in WWI alone, by all participating nations, although few have survived.
Among the famous names involved in military recruitment was American illustrator Howard Chandler Christy, who became known for producing patriotic "Christy Girl" posters for the US Navy and Marine Corps in World War I. "Gee!! I Wish I Were a Man, I'd Join the Navy," is one of his most famous works.
The military were not the only ones to use posters during wartime. There are many examples of posters targeting women and civilians. The Red Cross and numerous home-front organisations in the United States and Britain used powerful posters to recruit manpower and also woman-power. This selection of wartime posters below includes recruitment for inventors, the Land Army, nurses, YWCA and the timber industry. These posters document a key moment in the history of women's rights as governments were forced to ask females to do jobs previously restricted to males.
Posters were a particularly important method of communication during World War I as newspapers were the only other means of mass communication at the time. By World War II, radio was widely used. One of the best ways to learn more is to read The Poster in History by Max Gallo - a beautiful but highly informative book stretching from the storming of the Bastille to 1990s advertising campaigns.

30 Wartime Recruitment Posters

Recommended Reading: 8 Books on Wartime Posters

Curated Collections: Posters