Archive for March 2014

Bison Need Glasses   Leave a comment

Who knew the bison in Wind Cave National Park were nearsighted? Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior 3/20/14.

Who knew the bison in Wind Cave National Park were nearsighted? Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior 3/20/14.

More

Traffic Jam

The Beauty Of The Tetons

Spring Is In The Air   Leave a comment

Tom Turkeys are gobbling and strutting now as the courtship season begins. You may encounter the birds displaying along park roadways, so please slow down and watch for wildlife—and other visitor’s cars stopped due to wildlife! Be especially cautious when going around blind curves. As this photo shows, sometimes the birds will display right in the center of the roadway... and they are NOT interested in moving out of your way anytime soon! The gobbles of male turkeys can be heard almost a mile away. When displaying, males droop their wings until the tips almost drag on the ground and spread their tails wide. Courtship season lasts from March until May. Photo: Displaying turkeys block US-441 between Gatlinburg and Sugarlands Visitor Center. From the Park's Facebook page.

Tom Turkeys are gobbling and strutting now as the courtship season begins. You may encounter the birds displaying along park roadways, so please slow down and watch for wildlife—and other visitor’s cars stopped due to wildlife! Be especially cautious when going around blind curves. As this photo shows, sometimes the birds will display right in the center of the roadway… and they are NOT interested in moving out of your way anytime soon!
The gobbles of male turkeys can be heard almost a mile away. When displaying, males droop their wings until the tips almost drag on the ground and spread their tails wide. Courtship season lasts from March until May.
Photo: Displaying turkeys block US-441 between Gatlinburg and Sugarlands Visitor Center. From the Park’s Facebook page.

Unique Scenery   2 comments

Everglades National Park. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior 3/15/14.

Everglades National Park. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior 3/15/14.

Posted March 19, 2014 by henrymowry in National Parks, Photography

The Rocks Of Utah   Leave a comment

Road Canyon Wilderness Area, Utah. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 3/15/14.

Road Canyon Wilderness Area, Utah. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 3/15/14.

Keeping It Wild   5 comments

If you've visited the visitor center on the west side you may have seen this familiar face. This bobcat helps keep the squirrel population in check. Look at its mouth closely. However, after yesterday’s successful catch a coyote chased it down trying to get its meal but the bobcat climbed up the tree and waited out the coyote. Oh the circle of life. From the Park's Facebook page.

Any picture of a bobcat is unusual, as these cats hunt at night when photographers aren’t as common. This particular bobcat lives on the west side of Pinnacles National Park, and is known to help keep the squirrel population in check. Look at its mouth closely. After this successful catch on 3/14/14, a coyote chased the bobcat down trying to get its meal. The bobcat kept its prize, though, by climbing up the tree and waiting out the coyote. Oh the circle of life. From the Park’s Facebook page.

More

The Wild In Wilderness

Posted March 17, 2014 by henrymowry in National Parks, Photography

Tagged with , ,

What Are You?   13 comments

I’ve been told that I can be culturally insensitive.

It’s not a goal, I assure you. However, as an old white guy, there are many things that I will never experience. I’ll never be arrested for Driving While Black … though, come to find out, there is a Henry Mowry that’s been arrested for driving while drunk. He skipped on his bail … and I was once briefly detained while a friendly policeman proved to his own satisfaction that I was not a drunkard from Tennessee. That was black.

Thank you, Officer.

I will observe that if I’m occasionally culturally insensitive, it’s probably because of my extremely cloistered upbringing. I grew up in a rural area of Missouri that was pure WASP … even Catholics were an extreme minority. I never met a Jew until I went to college. It’s not that I avoided contact with non-white, non-Protestant people … they simply weren’t around for the first 18 years of my life.

Here I am in blackface, with a black actor, Greg MacDonald, in whiteface. It was in a one act play festival ... and a comment on racism. I submit this as an example of my cultural, uh, expansion.

Here I am in blackface, with a black actor, Greg MacDonald, in whiteface. We appeared in a one act play, presented as a part of a MIzzou festival for amateur writers. The play, with a name I’ve forgotten, was a comment on racism. I submit this as an example of my cultural, uh, expansion. Circa 1975.

I am happy to report that when I went to Mizzou, I broadened my cultural horizons immensely.

I had a Jew for a roommate … and witnessed the making of homemade bagels. I went to a Jewish wedding. I worked closely with people of many heritages at the Mizzou theatre. My horizons were broadened at the land grant state university that was founded in 1839.

Thank you, Mizzou.

35+ years later, I’ve been in the cultural melting pot that is Los Angeles for … 35+ years. Though it was not a specific goal to widen my cultural horizons, that has happened.

This week, a former co-worker posted a Facebook link to a very interesting article from the Huffington Post … that uber-culturally sensitive news site.

My friend linked to an article by a multi-cultural, self-proclaimed “blendiva.” My friend also has a multi-cultural heritage, and she related completely with the Huffington Post author who was tired of strangers questioning her genetic heritage. My friend has been there, too: here’s a typical dialogue with a stranger that my friend remembers:

He: Where are you from?

She: The Bay Area.

He: No, where are your FROM?

She: Oh, you mean what nationality am I? I’m Japanese.

He: You speak English really well.

She: Good thing, ‘cuz it’s the ONLY language I speak.

And here’s another one she remembers:

He (in front of her older daughters): What are they?

She: Half Japanese and half German

He: Well, how the hell did that happen?

Andromeda Turre, from her Facebook page. She's the author of the provocative Huntington Post article ... and she's tired of people asking "What Are You?"

Andromeda Turre, from her Facebook page. She’s the author of the provocative Huffington Post article … and she’s tired of people asking “What Are You?”

I may be culturally insensitive … on rare occasion … but I would NEVER make that kind of comment to another human. I mean, c’mon, who would say something like that?

Back to the inspiration for this post, and my friend’s comments … a post on Huffington Post by a singer named Adromeda Turre. She’s a New York resident, and got tired of the online dating scene when she was consistently asked, “What Are You?”

OK. As I stated in the beginning, I have been accused of being culturally insensitive. But would I EVER ask another human that I didn’t know well … “What Are You?”

No.

Please read Andromeda’s article. The post is here.

Now, I will observe that I am interested in genealogy, and that makes me interested in where I’m from. Yes, I have investigated the heritage of my family, and the heritage of my wife’s family. I’ll fully disclose “What I Am” in an upcoming post.

For now, just know that I’m English, Irish, German, Dutch & Swiss. And I’m just getting started. My wife, on the other hand, is Serbian, German … and some other country that’s changed its name a few times. Slovack, Polish, Austria-Hungarian … something like that.

So, YES, I am interested in my family heritage. But as to what I am … that’s a little tougher. I’m from Missouri, and I definitely worked hard to become a Missouri Tiger. But as much as I identify myself as a guy from the Show Me state, I’ve lived on the Left Coast longer than I lived in the Midwest.

So, what am I? Well, it’s complicated. I can only imagine how that question might frustrate people with a heritage that’s viewed by some as “unusual.”

More

Huffington Post: What Are You Is Not An Icebreaker

Sleeping Bear   2 comments

Secretary Jewell Commends President Obama, Congress for Designating  32,557 Acres of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as Wilderness


Legislation Protects Park’s Backcountry While Continuing Hiking, Fishing, and Other Non-Motorized Recreational Activities

03/13/2014

WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today commended President Obama for signing into law S.23, legislation designating 32,557 acres of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan as wilderness, the first congressional designation under the Wilderness Act since 2009.

“President Obama and Congress have given the American people a priceless gift by ensuring that this extraordinary landscape with its towering sand dunes and bluffs will be preserved forever as wild and primitive,” Jewell said. “Hikers, anglers, paddlers and others who venture into this wilderness will find it just as the Ottawa and Chippewa tribes have for the past 3,000 years – a place of quiet solitude, spectacular views, and abundant wildlife.”

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act this year, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is now our 50th national park with wilderness areas,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “Thanks to the commitment of local advocates and the Michigan congressional delegation, we can now improve our preservation efforts for this beautiful and significant national treasure.”

The Wilderness Act, signed into law in 1964, established the highest level of conservation protection for federal lands. It prohibits permanent roads and commercial enterprises, except commercial services that may provide for recreational or other purposes of the Wilderness Act. Wilderness areas generally do not allow motorized equipment, motor vehicles, mechanical transport, temporary roads, permanent structures or installation. Visitors can engage in non-motorized recreation in wilderness areas, including hiking, fishing, camping, and hunting.

S. 23 was introduced by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and co-sponsored by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). A similar bill was introduced in the House (H.R. 163) by Rep. Dan Benishek, which had 11 co-sponsors.

Sleeping Bear. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 3/13/14.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Wilderness. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 3/13/14.

The Wild In Wilderness   1 comment

David Bahr, Glacier Bay National Park’s 2013 Artist in Residence, will have one of his photos from his trip in Glacier Bay exhibited at the Smithsonian as a part of the “Wilderness Forever” public photography exhibit! Approximately 50 winning contest entries were chosen for display as large-format prints in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History for a 2014 exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. David’s image of an eagle won the wildlife photography competition for professional photographers. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 3/12/14.

David Bahr, Glacier Bay National Park’s 2013 Artist in Residence, will have one of his photos from his trip in Glacier Bay exhibited at the Smithsonian as a part of the “Wilderness Forever” public photography exhibit! Approximately 50 winning contest entries were chosen for display as large-format prints in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History for a 2014 exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. David’s image of an eagle won the wildlife photography competition for professional photographers. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 3/12/14.

Hawaii Is Growing   3 comments

Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 3/12/14,

All new land created by lava flows belongs to the state of Hawaii. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 3/12/14,

The Newest National Monument   Leave a comment

Yesterday, March 11, President Obama "promoted" the Point Arena-Stornetta Wildlife Refuge to a National Monument.

Yesterday, March 11, President Obama “promoted” the Point Arena-Stornetta public lands to a National Monument. This change was made to give the area more robust protection from development. Photo tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 3/11/14.

More

Stornetta

Washington Post: Obama To Designate….

%d bloggers like this: