Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Charlie Turns One!

It's Charlie's birthday today.

The first picture is Charlie at rest and that is something that rarely happens. The other pictures are Charlies helping me take his picture.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Blossoms Start to Fade

There was some rainy weather over the weekend. So the cherry blossoms are beginning to fall. Here are a couple of pictures as they coat cars and the ground. But there are still some tress that have yet to fully bloom as you can see in the fourth picture. The last picture I believe is of a flowering plum tree. Very beautiful no matter what it is.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Civil War 150 — Battle of Pea Ridge

Battle of Pea Ridge March 6-8, 1862. It is located in the north west corner of Arkansas near the Missouri border. This proved to be a pivotal battle for the control of both Missouri and Arkansas:

Pea Ridge National Military Park preserves the site of an 1862 Civil War battle that gave the Union total control of Missouri and led directly to the federal occupation of Arkansas. During the Battle of Pea Ridge, some 26,000 soldiers clashed during the two-day battle, with Confederates under Gen. Benjamin McCulloch and Union forces under Gen. Samuel R. Curtis.

More information on the battle can be found at National Parks Service site.

A little more detailed information:

Maj. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, USA
Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn, CSA

Casualties were heavy, with roughly 4,600 Confederates falling and 1,400 Northerners.

The Confederates were eager to return to Missouri so that its star on their flag would have real meaning. Meanwhile, Lincoln wanted to hold as many Border States in the Union as possible. The verdict of battle at Wilson's Creek in the summer of 1861 had favored the south, but when General Samuel R. Curtis was appointed he restored Union fortunes. Reinforced, and more active than his predecessor John C. Fremont (a political general if there was one) he'd not only secured Missouri, he'd pushed down into northwest Arkansas.

Here's a link to an account of the battle from local papers at the time of the battle. Here's an excerpt from that site:

In its comprehensive report following the fateful Battle of Pea Ridge, the Cincinnati Times included a preface to the battle recounting the Missouri skirmishes and the movements of Price’s army preceding the battle. That article was reprinted by the Wooster Republican (Wooster, Ohio) on March 27, 1862:

Camp Sigel, Pea Ridge, Benton Co., Ark.
Monday evening, March 10.

First Movement toward Arkansas

Some six weeks ago the first Federal movement was made from Rolla, the present terminus of the Southwestern branch of the Pacific Railway, toward Springfield, at which well known town Sterling Price was then encamped, with a body of Missouri State troops estimated at eight to ten thousand. Immediately after the evacuation of Fremont’s splendid army, Price marched into Springfield and made his headquarters there, declaring, with the huge oaths for which he is remarkable, that he would never again leave it without a fight. Acting Brigadier General Carr left Rolla with some twenty-four hundred cavalry, as an advance, about the 1st of February, followed by several regiments under Gen. Sigel, for the purpose of engaging the troublesome rebel, and driving him out of the State, which for nine or ten months he had kept in perpetual trouble and alarm, retreating and returning to overrun, ravage and destroy.

Price violated his word once more, and before half his own force was collected in the vicinity of Springfield, evacuated the town, marching down the Cassville road toward Bentonville, Ark., and daily expecting reinforcements from McCulloch, McIntosh, Van Dorn and Albert Pike, with two or three thousand Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole Indians.

Various skirmishes occurred on the march, between our forces and those of the enemy, and a small engagement near the State line, resulting in the repulse of Price, and his crossing over into Arkansas, followed by our army.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Cherry Blossoms 2012

The blossoms are always incredible. I went down with a friend to see them after work on Wednesday. It started out as a overcast but in the course of our walk the skies cleared. Here are some of the pictures I took.

This is also the 100th anniversary of the blossoms:

In 1912, an incredible gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees was bestowed on Washington, DC by Tokyo, Japan. Rooted strongly and surviving outside elements, the trees have withstood the test of time – and nearly a century later, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is preparing for an unprecedented and once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

The epic 5-week spectacular, from March 20 – April 27, 2012, will unify and electrify the city, the nation, and the world. Washington, DC and the region will be abuzz with excitement. Creativity and innovation will permeate signature Festival events elevating them to new heights, and ground-breaking Centennial exhibitions and programming will amaze and delight. Timeless traditions. Rich culture. Renowned artists. World-class performers. The community at its best!

Blossoms Everywhere

A View of the Jefferson

There are so many incredible shots of the blossoms you can take with the Jefferson Memorial in the back ground. Here are a couple.

Peaking Early

With all the warm weather we had so early this spring, the cherry blossoms peaked very early. In fact peak day was on Tuesday.

More Blossoms

You really have to walk around part or all of the Tidal Basin to get the full effect of all those trees and all those blossoms. It is just spectacular.

The Final Pictures of the Blossoms

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Linus Turns One Today

Linus turns one today! According to my records from the Humane Society, today March 21 is Linus' birthday. He officially turns one today. We celebrated with a spirited game of chase the shadows on the wall of the bath tub. Linus enjoyed it immensely.

Here are a few pictures of the birthday cat. The last picture is part of his audition for the next Stephen King movie.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cherry Blossoms in the Sun

The sun did come finally on Sunday. Here are a couple of pictures of the cherry trees by my house.

The plan, toe permitting, is to go down to the Tidal Basin on Wednesday and see them. I probably won't be walking all the way around as I usually do but will still get to see some of them.

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Toe is a Mess

My toe is still trying to recover from me running into well whatever I hit when I was near the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria. I thought about posting a picture but that would be way too gross.

It is needless to say a mess. Haven't been able to do much walking at all. Now when I do walk for a while the toe bleeds just a little. Not a whole bunch of blood. Not like it's an open cut. Once I get out of my shoes it stops. I think it is because the pressure the shoe puts on the toe. It looks like the toe nail might come off. I talked to my doctor about it last week. He said to get some first aid tape and tape the hurt toe to the one next to it. That would be the advice he gave if the toe was broken (which thankfully mine is not) and one that was badly bruise (which mine is).

If the toe doesn't get to be at least a little better, I think I'm going to put in another call to my doctor and see what he says. I can also discuss what the ears, nose and throat guy said about my acid reflux. But that's another story and for another post.

Linus Plays in the Bathtub

This is Linus playing in the bathtub. He really enjoys chasing the shadows on the wall. In fact every time I'm in the bathroom; Linus is in the tub waiting to play.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gloomy Sunday but the Cherry Blossoms are Here

It is a very very gloomy Sunday here in DC. Supposedly the clouds and mist and fog are all going away by this afternoon. But right now most very gloomy. But there is a bright spot to all this gloomy the cherry blossoms are coming out.

In fact it is very likely because of all the warm weather that we've had they will bloom this week. One of the earliest on record.