Door County Photo

door county  Just now I’m visiting with Susan and George at their rental house  on the Door Peninsula shore of Green Bay.

This evening, George caught this brilliant sunset between the silhouetted trees in front of the house.           Thanks George.

From this viewpoint we see cormorants fishing.  Like loons and anhingas, cormorants have adapted for swimming underwater. Often we see only neck and head.

These birds are often seen standing in a sunny spot with their wings spread, drying them.  They don’t have the oil glands  that ducks and geese have to provide a water repellant in their feathers.  Susan says she hasn’t seen a loon this year but has heard their eerie  “wail call“.

In a Florida state park we saw and alligator and an anhinga at opposite ends of an oval pond, looking at each other..  We could see only the alligator’s eyes above water and only the head and neck of the bird.  It did appear that something was going to happen!

One of our black cats is “Annie”  for the black anhinga.

When Susan and her sibs were young we camped in Peninsula State Park in this same area.

Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

 

One summer we visited a friend who was working as a ranger at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore on Lake Superior in Northern Michigan.  I remember just one thing of that trip.

The rangers were living in a former Coast Guard station where I went to the 2nd floor for the bathroom.  When I sat down there, I was facing a plaque that said, “You are sitting in the radio shack that received the first distress signals from the S.S. Edmund Fitrzgerald.”  There was the story of the  Great Lakes freighter that went down the horrible day and evening of November 10, 1975, with its crew of 29.

Image by R. LeLievreImage by R. LeLievre

The reason for the sinking has been argued, but I’m interested in the theory of the Three Sisters. ” Perhaps the most romantic theory about the wreck of the Fitzgerald is that the ship succumbed to the forces of the Three Sisters, a Lake Superior phenomenon described as a combination of two large waves inundating the decks of a boat and a third, slightly later monster wave that boards the vessel as it struggles to shrug off the effects of the first two.”

Image result for gordon lightfoot photos
Gordon Lightfoot song

SS Edmund Fitzgerald underway, photo by Winston Brown

Edmund Fitzgerald in 1971
History
Name: SS Edmund Fitzgerald
Owner: Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
Operator: Columbia Transportation Division, Oglebay Norton Company of Cleveland, Ohio
Port of registry: United States
Ordered: February 1, 1957
Builder: Great Lakes Engineering Works of River Rouge, Michigan
Yard number: 301
Laid down: August 7, 1957
Launched: June 7, 1958
Christened: June 7, 1958
Maiden voyage: September 24, 1958
In service: June 8, 1958
Out of service: November 10, 1975
Identification: Registry number US 277437
Nickname(s): Fitz, Mighty Fitz, Big Fitz, Pride of the American Flag, Toledo Express, Titanic of the Great Lakes
Fate: Lost in a storm on November 10, 1975, with all 29 crewmembers
Status: Sank because of weather conditions
Notes: Location: 46°59.91′N 85°06.61′WCoordinates: 46°59.91′N 85°06.61′W[1]
General characteristics
Type: Lake freighter
Tonnage:
  • 13,632 GRT
  • 8,713 NRT (from 1969: 8,686 NRT)[2]
  • 26,000 DWT
Length:
Beam: 75 ft (23 m)
Draft: 25 ft (7.6 m) typical
Depth: 39 ft (12 m) (moulded)
Depth of hold: 33 ft 4 in (10.16 m)
Installed power:
  • As built:
  • Coal fired Westinghouse Electric Corporation steam turbine at 7,500 shp(5,600 kW)
  • After refit:
  • Conversion to oil fuel and the fitting of automated boiler controls over the winter of 1971–72.
  • Carried 72,000 U.S. gal (270,000 L; 60,000 imp gal) fuel oil
Propulsion: Single 19.5 ft (5.9 m) propeller
Speed: 14 kn (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Capacity: 25,400 tons of cargo
Crew: 29

Spring, I Hope

 

Spring          Spring                  Spring                       Spring                  Spring

 

 

A few days ago Susan saw and heard a flock of sandhill cranes fly over. A sure sign.

Of all the things spring might mean to us,  I think most of memories and hope.  We have survived the winter and now have white crocus and purple hyacinth blooming, iris and tulips have broken out, rose stems have turned green, rabbits are chasing rabbits.  This has happened every one of my 80 years and of course countless centuries before. I hope my children and theirs will see many more springs; and others around the world where humans are now destroying hope, defeating spring. What happens to spring when the whole world warms up a couple of degrees?  rjn

___________________________________________________________________________

Spacing below is in original.

[in Just-]

BY E. E. CUMMINGS

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles          far          and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring
when the world is puddle-wonderful
the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
it’s
spring
and
         the
                  goat-footed
balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee
____________________________________________________________
Nina Simone sings a remarkable spring song
____________________________________________________________

Chicago Snow to Florida Girl

Related image

 

That Time Chicago Sent a Trainload of Snow to Florida

January 15, 2016

By: Logan Jaffe                                    source

Chicago loves winter. Talking about it at least. Inevitably, you’ll lament the most recent snowfall with your neighbor. Inevitably, a Facebook friend will post a screenshot of Chicago’s zero-degree forecast.  And, inevitably, a media outlet like us will bring up the Chicago Blizzard of 1967 — if only to remind everyone that today’s bad weather could always get worse.

But this isn’t a story just about that blizzard; it’s also about how the media talks about its aftermath. It’s been nearly 50 years since the largest single snowfall in Chicago history, and not only are local news outlets still publishing retrospectives, they’re also still hung up on a single, microcosmic detail — written in a sentence or two or in a quote like this one, usually below the fold:

Some of the snow from 1967, there was so much of it, they didn’t know what to do with it,” said Peter Alter, resident historian at the Chicago History Museum. “They put it on train cars, and they shipped it to Florida for kids who had never seen snow.”DNAinfo, January 9, 2015

It was a tidbit like this that inspired a question that came all the way from a classroom of fourth and fifth graders in High Point, North Carolina. They had learned about the ‘67 blizzard and, being school kids themselves, they were particularly enamored with the Chicago-to-Florida snow train delivery. So, they asked us for help filling in the blanks:

Was there really a trainful of snow surplus shipped from Chicago to Florida school kids? How did that even happen?

I’ll tell you right now: It happened, all right, and the story’s details are worth revisiting. Because when you retrace the making of this Chicago mini-legend, you can see click-bait journalism being written across the front pages of mainstream newspapers — 40 years before its time.

Not all snow trains lead to Florida

The story of the Chicago Blizzard of 1967 starts on January 26, when it snowed for 29 hours straight. Having been 65 degrees just two days before, the storm took many people off guard. More than two feet of snow covered the region, with reports of drifts up to 10 feet high. Cars were discarded like cigarette butts over expressways. There was no public transportation, no access to grocery stores, no way to get to work. Twenty-three people died in the Chicago area, mostly from heart attacks while shoveling snow.

It took three weeks for the Department of Streets and Sanitation to plow the city streets. Desperate for places to put the stuff, they dumped it in any vacant lot they could find: Park District land, neighborhood lots, even the Chicago River.

Some Chicago rail yards came up with their own solution for snow that built up in their depots. It’s kind of bizarre in its simplicity: Shove it on freight trains already heading south. The warmer weather would do the job, melting the stuff in transit.

“They sent it because they wanted to get rid of it,” A.W. Pirtle, supervisor of the Illinois Central Railroad’s Memphis depot told the Associated Press (probably rolling his eyes). And in Chicago, the ordeal made front-page news:

Tribune story with photos

Dozens of train lines followed suit, and this solution — extolled in headlines such as this — grew into a national story. It was picked up by the Associated Press, and photographs of trains carrying heaps of sooty, Chicago snow from the blizzard appeared in papers around the country as the rail cars made their way to Tennessee, Alabama and Texas.

A 1,300-mile regift, remembered

The story was even picked up by national television, and eventually reached the ears and eyes of a 13-year-old girl in the town of Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

We found that girl through the White Pages. Her name is Terri Bell (last name Hodson at the time), and, at age 61, she still lives in Fort Myers Beach.

She says after hearing the broadcast about trainloads of Chicago snow heading south, she wrote a letter to William Quinn, the president of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, asking him to send her some snow because, as a Floridian, she had never seen any.

And he did.

It’s just that 13-year-old Terri Hodson hadn’t realized that all of the other southbound snow was shipped in uninsulated cars — the whole point being to melt. But Quinn, possibly sensing a brilliant PR stunt but possibly out of the goodness of his heart, had the snow shipped to Florida in refrigerator cars.

Hear Terri tell her own story of getting Chicago shipped 1,300 miles to Florida

 

 

Shoveling Snow

 

I used to enjoy shoveling snow if it wasn’t too wet and heavy.  One bright cold morning I did the work on our  Nordica Avenue lot, and I was feeling so good, I shoveled for the old folks next door.

When I got back into our house, I found that my ear lobes were frozen solid. Thawing was very painful.

Now, when I’m tempted to clear our walks, a picture comes to mind of an old guy lying face-down in the snow, hugging his shovel.

rjn

Coldest Football Game Ever

1967 Packers Super Bowl II team signed photo 23 autos Davis Fuzzy Kramer Dowler

_______________________________

As referee Norm Schachter blew his metal whistle to signal the start of play, it froze to his lips.  As he attempted to free the whistle from his lips, the skin ripped off and his lips began to bleed.

________________________________

I’ve seen videos of professional football played in  mud and in  snow or fog so heavy no one could see what was happening.  In 1967, the Green Bay Packers played the Dallas Cowboys in -15 degrees, wind chill temp of -48 degrees.  At stake was  the NFL championship and then Super Bowl II.  Green Bay is 275 miles north of Chicago.  rjn

__________________________________________________________________

“The Ice Bowl”

Dubbed by the sports media as “The Ice Bowl”, the game-time temperature at Lambeau Field was about −15 °F (−26 °C), with an average wind chill around −48 °F (−44 °C); under the revised National Weather Service wind chill index implemented in 2001, the average wind chill would have been −36 °F (−38 °C).

Lambeau Field’s turf-heating system malfunctioned, and when the tarpaulin was removed from the field before the game, it left moisture on the field, which flash-froze in the extreme cold, leaving an icy surface that got worse as more and more of the field fell into the shadow of the stadium. The heating system, made by General Electric, cost $80,000 and was bought from the nephew of George Halas, George Halas Jr.   On the sidelines before the game, some Dallas players believed that Lombardi had purposely removed power to the heating coils. The heating system would eventually be given the moniker Lombardi’s Folly.[31] The prior convention to prevent the football field from icing up was to cover the field with dozens of tons of hay.

The University of Wisconsin–La Crosse (then Wisconsin State University–La Crosse) Marching Chiefs band was scheduled to perform the pre-game and half-time shows. However, during warm-ups in the brutal cold, the woodwind instruments froze and would not play; the mouthpieces of brass instruments got stuck to the players’ lips; and seven members of the band were transported to local hospitals for hypothermia. The band’s further performances were canceled for the day.  During the game, an elderly spectator in the stands died from exposure.

Prior to the game, many of the Green Bay players were unable to start their cars in the freezing weather, forcing them to make alternate travel arrangements to make it to the stadium on time. Linebacker Dave Robinson had to flag down a random passing motorist for a ride.

The referees for the game found they did not have sufficient clothing for the cold, and had to make an early trip to a sporting goods store for earmuffs, heavy gloves, and thermal underwear.  Packers quarterback Bart Starr attended an early church service with his father, who had visited for the game, and as Starr later said, “It was so cold that neither of us talked about it. Nobody wanted to bring it up.”

The officials were unable to use their whistles after the opening kick-off. As referee Norm Schachter blew his metal whistle to signal the start of play, it froze to his lips. As he attempted to free the whistle from his lips, the skin ripped off and his lips began to bleed.  The conditions were so hostile that instead of forming a scab, the blood simply froze to his lip. For the rest of the game, the officials used voice commands and calls to end plays and officiate the game.

At one point during the game, CBS announcer Frank Gifford said on air, “I’m going to take a bite of my coffee.”  Wikipedia