Taking a break tonight- do you remember the story of Hercules and the mischievous imps, the Cercopes? Seems these lovable little guys tried to steal Hercules' armor while he slept- he caught them, though, and strung then upside down on two ends of a pole that he put over his shoulder. As Hercules carried them along - one in front and one in back of him - the Cercopes started laughing so hard that Hercules finally stopped and asked what the joke was. Apparently, hanging upside down, they were in a good position to see his hairy backside which they found to be hilarious. Hercules ended up letting them go.
My friend and I were sitting out on the back porch watching and listening to the birds, while we enjoyed a glass of wine. She has been my bird mentor out here in the desert for many, many years - so good that she's even hooked Borys. Anyway, she sat up and said "listen, is that a Mourning Dove?
I thought it was a trick question as it did sound like a 'coo, coo,' but as I continued listening, the coos were descending the scale. Well, off she went down toward the wash to see if she could spot that bird. Ten minutes later she was back...a surprised smile on her face.
Turns out it was a male Greater Roadrunner making what our handy bird book said was a mating call. Stunned the hell out of both of us - and yes, even I know they don't go beep, beep.
Queen Dynamis (84 to 14 BCE) was the daughter of a Sarmatian princess and Pharnaces II, the traitorous son of Mithridates VI and his first wife (and sister), Laodice. Her mother’s name is unknown, but Herodotus thought the Sarmatians were descended from Scythians who had mated with Amazons. Dynamis married Asander, who in 47 BCE revolted against her father. She and Asander then assumed the monarchy of Pharnaces’ Bosporan Kingdom. They lost the monarchy to Dynamis’ uncle with the help of Julius Caesar. On Caesar’s death in 44 BCE, Octavian gave them rule of the Kingdom again. In about 20 BCE, Asander’s was killed by Scribonius in a rebellion. The Queen was forced to marry Scribonius, but it is uncertain whether he became a co-regent. Augustus had Agrippa get rid of Scribonius and Queen Dynamis then became the sole ruler of the Bosporan Kingdom. In 14 BCE Dynamis married Polemon I at the urging of Augustus. They then ruled the Bosporan Kingdom together until her death in about 12 BCE.
After Dynamis’ death, Polemon married Pythodorida of Pontus (30 BCE to 38 CE), a grandchild of Marc Antony and Antonia Hybrida Minor. Polemon I died in 8 BC, and ultimately, Pythodorida of Pontus became the sole ruler over Cilicia (Marc Antony had granted rule of Cilicia to Cleopatra VII in 37 BCE), Pontus and Colchis. Her friend Strabo, the Greek geographer/historian, described Pythodorida as a woman of virtuous character and considered that under Pythodorida’s rule, Pontus had flourished.
A little history of Maine (one of the locations in Renegades among the Tumbleweeds): In 1525, Estavão Gomes, a Portuguese explorer sailing under the Spanish flag, was the first known European to explore the coast of Maine (including the mouth of the Penobscot River). Gomes and his crew mapped the area and then left. In 1604, Pierre Dugua and Samuel de Champlain established, for the French, the first European settlement in Maine (earlier attempts in 1541, 1598 and 1600 had failed). That settlement was made on St. Croix Island, but was subsequently moved across the Bay of Fundy and became Port Royal. The English Plymouth Company tried settling the Popham Colony near Phippsburg, Maine in 1607, but the settlers left the following year. Most historians say that a French trading post established at Castine, Maine in 1613 was probably the first permanent European settlement.
Chicago's Adler Planetarium opened in 1930, making it the first planetarium in the New World. Its lobby has a plaque depicting the eight gods and goddesses for whom the planets were named. Yes, eight as Pluto was discovered that year but too late to be included in the plaque. In 2006, with Pluto's demotion, the plaque was once again correct. Now, with the discoveries mentioned in the accompanying article, the old plaque may again be outdated.
A little about Chicago (where I am freezing today), Teddy Roosevelt and the Civil War: First, Chicago is well known for its skyscrapers and architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Helmut Jahn, and, more recently, Jeanne Gang. As importantly, early on, Chicago adopted the motto, "City in a Garden.” It proceeded to engage prominent artists, planners, and landscape designers like Loredo Taft, Daniel H. Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. to design our Country's first comprehensive park and boulevard system. What is not so well known is that Chicago also was the first city to build field houses in its parks, making them year-round destinations. The field houses, many of them spectacular architectural works, brought community services to nearby residents. Second: Teddy Roosevelt is said to have called incorporation of the field houses into the park system “the most notable civic achievement in any American city." [Next TR and his Confederate Uncles.]
Lincoln Logs were invented in 1916 by John Lloyd Wright (1892-1972), an architect and one of the five children of the world-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.