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User / Bill Bowman
Bill Bowman / 1,259 items

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Striking a fierce pose, this Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) scans the surrounding prairie for prairie dog morsels, while ruminating on the potential fate of democracy in the country for which it serves as a symbol. This weathered dead cottonwood makes for a great perch to keep an eye on a large area, though it may not last too many more years with the ravages of decomposition and high winds.

Tags:   Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus Boulder County Colorado Climate crisis loss of ecosystens

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Just when you think you’ve seen every cloud formation and color, Mother Nature surprises you with something new, bizarre, and extraordinarily beautiful. While taking photos of bald eagles and hawks, the clouds put on a show that diverted my attention. This is a detail of the bottom of one of the rapidly morphing clouds, with fine threads of swirling vapor catching just enough light to show off some iridescence. The darker strands above suggest fingers reaching from the skies: dark-fingered afternoon (σκοτεινό δάχτυλο το απόγευμα), as a contrast to the “Eos rhododactylos” or “rosy fingered dawn” of Greek mythology (Eos Goddess of dawn). Clouds provide an infinite diversity of entertainment for the wandering eye.

Tags:   Clouds bizarre clouds beautiful clouds unexpected clouds iridescence Boulder Colorado dark-fingered afternoon

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* a love of sunsets

A look back at a calm beautiful July evening at Red Rock Lake, as the daily cloud buildup dissipates and the crepuscular rays sneak into the sky from the descending nuclear fusion reactor, filtered by a long path through the atmosphere.

Tags:   Sunset Red Rock Lake Mount Audubon Mount Toll southern Rocky Mountains Opacarophily love of sunsets crepuscular rays

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A view of part of the British cemetery at Longueval France, where some of those who died in the Battle of the Somme in the fall of 1916 are buried. Note that many of the soldiers are identified only as “A Soldier of the Great War, Known unto God.” Most of those that are identified are very young- around 19 years old. The Battle of the Somme marked a change in strategy for both the British and the Germans, as most of their regular soldiers had been killed or wounded in the first two years, and both sides increasingly depended on volunteers who had only recently been trained. The battle also marked a transition towards a war of attrition, with the British knowing they had the resources (including men) to wait out the German surrender, which wouldn't come until 1918.

Nearby is the war memorial to the South African troops who fought in the battle for control of the Delville woods during the battle of the Somme. The units that were ordered to take and hold the forest suffered terrible losses- after one week of fighting only ~ 780 of the 3100 who started the battle remained unscathed, the rest killed or wounded. The Germans dropped more than 10,000 artillery shells, destroying most of the original forest- only one tree from the pre-war forest survives today.

Tags:   Veterans Day Armistice Day WWI Battle of the Somme Longueval France British soldiers Delville Woods headstones

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This very clever metal cutout is part of a memorial to soldiers of the New Zealand division that fought in the battle of the Somme in the Fall of 1916. The Silver Fern is the national symbol of New Zealand.

The NZ division participated in an assault that captured a wedge of German territory in the Caterpillar Valley near the villages of Fler and Longueval in Northern France, but at a frightful cost of over 1200 men during a 2 week period. In all the Battle of the Somme failed to provide the desired breakthrough of the German lines, and resulted in more than 1.2 million deaths, almost 17,000 from New Zealand.

Visiting these memorials during our Bruges-Paris bike trip was both somber and poignant - a substantial amount of care is invested into the numerous cemeteries that are scattered throughout the mostly now agricultural landscape.

Tags:   New Zealand WW1 war memorial Loungeval France Caterpillar Valley cemetery Battle of the Somme


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