Welcome to Saturday ...

open thread.jpg

A cobalt blue bird flew up to my chair, almost in reach, hovered ... looking at me; a blue i'd never seen before. Departing into a majestic magenta of thought, the hand-size creature made no noise.

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Sergey Gorshkov’s image of an Amur tiger, which won him the 2020 wildlife photographer of the year award - The Guardian.


It’s a journey . . . that I propose . . . I am not the guide . . . nor technical assistant . . . I will be your fellow passenger . . .

Though the rail has been ridden . . . winter clouds cover . . . autumn’s exuberant quilt . . . we must provide our own guide-posts . . .

I have heard . . . from previous visitors . . . the road washes out sometimes . . . and passengers are compelled . . . to continue groping . . . or turn back . . . I am not afraid . . .

I am not afraid . . . of rough spots . . . or lonely times . . . I don’t fear . . . the success of this endeavor . . . I am Ra . . . in a space . . . not to be discovered . . . but invented . . .

I promise you nothing . . . I accept your promise . . . of the same we are simply riding . . . a wave . . . that may carry . . . or crash . . .

It’s a journey . . . and I want . . . to go . . .

A Journey ~ Nikki Giovanni, 1943 ~~ h/t OMS


One of the world’s largest collections of prehistoric rock art has been discovered in the Amazonian rainforest.

Hailed as “the Sistine Chapel of the ancients”, archaeologists have found tens of thousands of paintings of animals and humans created up to 12,500 years ago across cliff faces that stretch across nearly eight miles in Colombia.

Their date is based partly on their depictions of now-extinct ice age animals, such as the mastodon, a prehistoric relative of the elephant that hasn’t roamed South America for at least 12,000 years. There are also images of the palaeolama, an extinct camelid, as well as giant sloths and ice age horses.

These animals were all seen and painted by some of the very first humans ever to reach the Amazon. Their pictures give a glimpse into a lost, ancient civilisation. Such is the sheer scale of paintings that they will take generations to study.

The discovery was made last year, but has been kept secret until now as it was filmed for a major Channel 4 series to be screened in December: Jungle Mystery: Lost Kingdoms of the Amazon. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/nov/29/sistine-chapel-of-the-an...


14 users have voted.


smiley7's picture

Another beautiful one it is: the sea, calm and skyfather dancing colors; the tide easing in, thoughts flirting ...

"It's a journey and i want to go ..."

Born in 1943, Nikki Giovanni is the author of numerous collections of poetry and was the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award.

A wonderful Saturday to all.

11 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

The rock paintings are amazing! But now that they are no longer secret, I fear for their existence. Wealthy collectors are probably already creating a market that those in need of money will supply.

10 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

smiley7's picture

@Lily O Lady

The cliffs are in a very hostile area in many ways, interesting they kept the find secret until they could film part of it; they also must be concerned.

Glad you enjoy.

Hoping you have a great day.

10 users have voted.

Good to see you here again Wink

12,000 year old paintings. Wow.
Just amazing in the Amazon.


9 users have voted.
smiley7's picture


for bringing Nikki Giovanni to c99's attention; her work speaks to me.

Loving the sea, have a great day.

8 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

Hope all has gone well and the deal went down with ease!

Weather is killer here. Cool 35 F this AM but warming to 60 or so. Bright blue skies. We had snow Tuesday AM.

Trade day was slim, but got some avocados, and saw a couple of buddies. More people are wearing masks...may be half the crowd. Over 5000 new cases in GA yesterday.

Have a good one everyone!

The Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Edit to add more on the ice age rock art...

9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Lily O Lady's picture


tricky. About a month ago they added new categories. Now we have Confirmed Deaths and Probable Deaths. Confirmed Cases and Antigen Positive Cases, the latter being people who didn’t know they were even sick and so never isolated when they were sick. Only the antibodies remain to tell the tale of unrestrained spread. So we had a new high of over 5,000 cases, but that’s just part of the story that we can’t really know.

7 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

smiley7's picture

Lovely poem, thanks for sharing.

Sixty degrees, blue sky and a little wind; going to ride down to Myrtle and walk along the new boardwalk; haven't been there in 52 years.

The mountain got five inches of snow and they have the guns on this morning; somehow, i'm not missing the cold.

Enjoy the good weather day.

7 users have voted.
Lookout's picture


...warm and relaxing. Enjoy!

4 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

Hope all went well and continues to do so. Thanks for the great OT. Weather here is 40L - 60H, more or less, for a week or two now, and probably for the rest of winter.

Slept in a bit, then went to farmers' market, so late getting here. Late season veggies and our weekly chunk of fresh salmon. A bit smaller as to vendors and patrons, but we werre in and back out early, so it might have picked up. Beyond that, no mucho, at least for us. My wife spotted a substantial raccoon out in the court last evening, which confirms our hypothesis as to some of our yard and garden depredation, so more work to do, but there always is.

Some interesting cultural goings on that aren't directly political but are oddly humorous, like farady cages for your router and hiring the homeless to guard empty houses, but, hey, we live in strange times.

be well and have a good one

7 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

smiley7's picture

@enhydra lutris

please forgive the cataracts, they missed your comment yesterday. Smile Sincerely, best i get that eyeglass prescription filled; been putting it off for more than a year. Makes for navigating, reading street signs troublesome.

Enjoying checking out different fishmongers; as it's winter, a few species are available. Found a young man in a shack in Calabash selling fish from coolers and was able to purchase red snapper caught in the morning. Prices are high everywhere and it's against the state laws for commercial fishermen to sell directly to the public. More fun is walking around the small harbors and consuming the cultural differences of those living by the sea.

Good fortune in dealing with the masked intruder.

Great to see you, take good care.

1 user has voted.
magiamma's picture

Hoping all is well on your end, in your world, resolved and moving forward in ways you wish. All quite on the western front. No rain in sight. Needed. Lovely art. Thanks. Take good care.

7 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

smiley7's picture


thanks for the music. Yes, art is needed as you need rain. Think a new WPA Art's project can get off the ground? Going to be needed, imo.

All's well here, on vacation from it all, very fortunate right now. Thanks for caring.

May the rainbow find your neighborhood.

3 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture


The year is ending,
earth energy subsiding,
masculine energy ebbing.
We move into air,
focusing on communication,
feminine energy intensifying.
December will bring
the transition needed
to make the requisite changes
to our world.
Move forward boldly,
fearing nothing.
Exude confidence
in the new world.

Enjoy the day! Pleasantry

6 users have voted.

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." E.M.Foster

smiley7's picture

@Raggedy Ann

perfectly said. So good to see you and read your work.

Keep on keeping on and may the treasure always find you.

4 users have voted.

Temperature is rapidly dropping, turning the rain into sleet and snow. Winds clocking out of the north about 30 knots, gusting to 50. Wind chill in the low 20's. Brrr. Glad to have a fire in the wood stove, as the power will most certainly expire soonly. Nothing unusual here. Decorating the tree, baking apple slabs, listening to cowboy Christmas tunes on Sirius.

Hope y'all have a hootin' evening.

7 users have voted.

@QMS , not nearly as cold as your weather but rainy and grey. Have a pot of black bean chili on to warm us up. Think we'll do some decorating also. Have a good one.

7 users have voted.

smiley. So good that you are enjoying the coast.

Good Nikki Giovanni poem, I like that one.

250 year birthday celebration on 12-17 for Beethoven.
This December is a Beethoven month for me.
Small sample:

5 users have voted.
smiley7's picture


wish you were here to share the expansive sunset of blues and pinks and stillness. I am enjoying the coast, thank you.

Hoping to catch up with you and others and what's transpiring in your journeys in the days to come.

Also hoping you will continue contributing columns for Saturdays.

Hat tip to OMS for the poem and introducing the poet. Love the work, too.

This music fills the evening. A happy month of Beethoven to you.

3 users have voted.
janis b's picture

Your presence always brings a warm breath of fresh air.

What a colourful visitor you had.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers
By Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

Enjoy the beautiful scenery and strolls.

5 users have voted.
smiley7's picture

perhaps the little bird was the 'King of Hearts' in disguise.

This view needs your eye and camera skills.

Just how many ways can one cook shrimp? Smile Working on it, a few old favorites from the New Orleans' days yet to make.

There's a solitude here, new to me in a way, though old in memory as well.

Look for messages in bottles every day. Thanks for bringing one in Emily.

3 users have voted.
travelerxxx's picture

Hi, smiley7. Great to see you.

The Columbian rock paintings are absolutely amazing! Such a window into the ancient world. It's almost hard to imagine that they stretch for eight miles! Also, the height of some of them is baffling:

Al-Shamahi was struck by how high up many of them are: “I’m 5ft 10in and I would be breaking my neck looking up. How were they scaling those walls?”

Some of the paintings are so high they can only be viewed with drones.

I wonder how many generations were involved with these paintings? I have my doubts that I will live long enough for the answer to that question as it's going to take decades to catalog all these marvels. Perhaps it will take even longer to understand them ...if they're ever understood.

5 users have voted.
smiley7's picture


yes to amazing find with so many questions. Hope to catch the Channel 4 documentary when it becomes available. The universality of art never ceases to astonish and when done in ocher, the simplicity of it all stirs the inner soul; a forever connection ...

Glad you enjoyed.

Be well and stay safe.

1 user has voted.