Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lawrence of Arabia She Aint

Do you remember that movie? Lawrence of Arabia?
The long beautiful shot of Lawrence galloping across the dry desert sands on the back of a camel, robes billowing as he appeared through the haze of the heat mirage?

Oh, that is a great scene. Memorable and beautiful.
I have always wanted to ride a real camel because of that scene.


Lil Mama, who some of you may remember used to have a blog, has decided that she wants to own...

A camel...

Yes- a real live honest to goodness one humped used to live in a desert type of camel.

She has picked out names.

She even knows where to go to buy a camel.

She has thought about learning to handle camels, and also what kind of other animals she might have to keep her camel company.

Sometimes she just practices her 'go go' camel kind of sounds. They go sort of like, " whuup whuup whuup".

Her conversations on the drive from home and to work often center around her desire to own that particular type of animal. A llama won't do. Neither will an alpaca or a vicuna. It must be a one hump dromedary.

Why, you might inquire, did Lil Mama decide she really wanted a Camel?

Was it Lawrence of Arabia?
Was it the Three Wise Men of Christmas?
Was it the circus or the zoo visits with Jr?


It was the Insurance commercial.

" What dai-yyy is it? It's HUMP day!"


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

No Zoom~

Every year in September there is a big Draft Horse Show. They call it the Draft Horse Classic and it is spectacular! The first picture is a shot from the Grandstand showing a four up rail. ( That is the term for this type of wagon). The horses are Clydesdales but I'm sorry to say I cannot remember the name of the Company driving them. 

This picture is showing the line up for the six horse hitch. There are almost always two riders on these wagons; a 'whip' who is the reinsman, and his co-pilot. They drive six horses at once, each horse has only one rein running back to the whip. The co-pilot keeps the reins or 'lines' straightened out into the bed of the wagon, and when they line up they also get out and hold the team- that is why the woman in the dress is holding the horses. Her team was matched Percherons, the wagon a polished natural wood, the harness was black and chrome. Boy they were pretty! The two adjoining teams were both Belgians. This was taken with a cell phone camera BTW!

For my last photo in the challenge I chose a picture of a nearby lake. I like the lines of the path, the fence and the water, softened by the trees in the background. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Railroads and Wheat were King Sunday Stills

This is the view overlooking Post Costa, California. Simple and un-assuming, the houses on the opposite shore are located in Benicia. But during the late 1879 until 1930, Post Costa was the site of the only railroad crossing along the Carquinez Straits. This spot is only one mile wide, making it a perfect crossing point for the Ferry  'Solano' to make port. Trains travelling to San Francisco from Sacramento used this spot several times daily. Jack London frequently made the trip, sailing this water and drinking at the bar on the opposite shore in Benicia.
The wooden wharves were built out into the Strait, most of the town was built there too. Fires have reduced all of the wharves to blackened stumps at the water line. When you are at the shore you can see them jutting from the blue green water like gnarled rotting teeth.  But picture it as it was, miles of wooden docks running along the water, and right in front of the big pine tree you see in the middle of the picture, there  was a 'roundabout': a large revolving platform built with railroad tracks embedded inside. The Locomotives would steam onto the Ferry 'Solano' and travel across the Strait to Post Costa. Once there, the roundabout would revolve to line up with the tracks on the Ferry, the train would steam to shore and the round about would turn to line the train up with the tracks that ran along the shoreline. The train tracks are still there, carrying trains from Oakland , through Martinez and into Sacramento. The Ferry is long gone, a Railroad bridge having replaced it just outside of Martinez in 1930, just about three miles up river.
Port Costa was important, not only because of the train crossing, but also because it was the largest wheat shipping port in California at the time. The flat lands of present day Concord, Pacheco, Danville and into the Central Valley provided the growing country with much needed grain.  There is still a Warehouse located in small Port Costa, though it is now a Restaurant and Bar. If you ever find your way there, be sure to ask the Barkeep for the Port Costa Ring!