Whalechaser's Musings

No Matter Where You Go...
There You Are
Make the Best of It

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I was folding the laundry laid out on the bed and glanced out the window where I have a giant butterfly bush. I've seen lots of butterflies there since I planted it; lots of birds like to sit in and among the branches and just now I have seen the most beautiful hummingbird! Wow, I do believe that is the first one I have actually seen here in my yard since I moved to Arkansas.

Another perfect day!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Woody Gets his Wings Trimmed

He was definitely not happy when this was over. but he has turned into such a sweet little birdie now. He doesn't bite anymore and loves to just sit on my shoulder; no more complaining.


I found this you tube video on Mouse Medicine blog and had to share it here. This parking garage is straight out of the future and has just blown me away. I hope you enjoy it and thanks again to Mouse...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cherokee Heritage Museum, Tahlequah, Oklahoma

I visited the Cherokee Heritage Museum and the nearby historical village with my cousin, last week. The Museum building houses an extensive display of the history of events around the Trail of Tears. No pictures are allowed inside the museum. So I asked the fellow I got the tickets from if I could take his picture, reluctantly he said yes, his name is Justin

I usually get annoyed when these limitations are made, but in this case I really felt it was to honor the memory and history of the Cherokee and felt quite good about it. There were more than several videos and interviews with elder tribes-people about the effects of the banishment. It was quite moving. Words cannot describe certain things; it was akin to my first visit to The Wall in Washington DC.

We were allowed to take pictures as we toured the Cherokee Nation Ancient Village, so I got lots. Here, our guide started the tour with a comparison of a summer house and a winter house (in various stages of completeness) It seems each family had one of each and they usually sat next to each other. She did not explain why, but I suspect it had a lot to do with the weather conditions. The peaked house is the summer one; the other is winter.

Several native Cherokee men work on making arrowheads and arrows. The fellow making arrowheads was very good at the craft and was more than willing to show all the intricacies involved in making one from a rough stone.
We also saw a demonstration of how blow guns are made, along with the ammunition and a demonstration of actual use. They use deer sinew to affix fur to one end of the arrow. The fur fits snugly in the blow gun and one strong blast of breath send it to its target. Silently and deadly.
There was also a demonstration of the double sided basket weaving that is a trait of the Cherokee.
If you find yourself in northeastern Oklahoma, I highly recommend visiting this treasure.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I really enjoy sitting outside on my back porch in the early evenings when the sun is on the other side of the house. I like to look at the clouds floating by, or watch the birds or just listen to the sounds in the area and let my mind wander where it will. I was doing just that the other day when I heard an unusual sound (for my neighborhood).

A siren.

Well it took me back a lot of years...back to when I was sixteen. I was not old enough to drive but I had friends who did. One day when we could think of nothing better to do, we drove to Hackensack, New Jersey. This city was about ten miles from where we lived and was the largest and most lively place near us without going all the way to New York City (which we would NEVER do). It had a main street called...Main Street and the busy part ran for about twenty blocks. Back when I thought I knew everything, the best way to spend a Saturday night was to ride up and down Main Street and have some fun. So that's what we did. Some of the side streets were one-way, so one had to be careful on making the loops. Otherwise, you would miss the best part of town and have to go further east to make a turn into a section that was not so nice. Anyway, we did this for a while and then tried a new street to make our loop.

Not a problem, or at least that's what we thought. We had made our left turn to begin the loop again and it wasn't long before one of Hackensack's Finest pulled us over. Oh, oh...is it against the law to cruise main street? What was the problem, we wondered as the officer approached the car. Typical first words: license and registration. This did not sound good.

My friend dug and dug but could not locate the registration. The officer was getting annoyed with us and made us follow him to the police station where we went through some more questioning. Actually, my friend went through the questioning, I just listened. After what seemed like forever the officer wrote a ticket for making a left turn where none was allowed and then did the unspeakable: impounded the car.

So there we were two teenagers one seventeen one sixteen in downtown Hackensack with no wheels and little money and at least ten miles from home. See if it were today it would not be a problem. We would whip out our cell phones, call a friend and be on our way in minutes. But it was then and it was a problem. My friend would not call her father because he was the tyrant type and probably would have beaten her pretty badly; no we had to solve this another way.

We started walking Main Street in the general direction of home but had no solution in mind. I thought maybe we could scrape enough money together for one of us to take the bus back home and maybe my mom could come and get us. My friend was underwhelmed with that idea. WE kept walking and ended up at a bus stop in front of the YMCA. We stood there talking about the problem for a while when a car came cruising up my friend waved and smiled and went over to them and started talking. It did not take long for us to be in the car and on the way home. It was getting late and I was really starting to get scared about how I was going to get home that night.

The guys seemed nice enough, my friend kept yakking and before we knew it we were at her street corner. The guys let us off and went on their way. She went in and I walked the half mile home and was grateful to be there; went to bed and was happy to be back in familiar surroundings.

I called my friend the next day to ask how things went with her dad and as expected they did not go well. But there were no beatings involved. He deliberately took the registration out of the car so if she ever got in trouble with the police he would find out about it. Well, I guess it worked, sort of. I sometimes wonder at parents logic. He drove her back to Hackensack and they got the car, she paid the ticket and there were some other punishments involved but I can't recall them now.

Then I said how fortunate it was that we met people that she knew when we needed that ride home so badly. She said: "I didn't know them. I took a chance."

I think I will just end this here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Kayaking the Lower Illinois River in Oklahoma

The weather forecast for mid eighties and no rain was all I needed to hear for me to decide to take a kayak trip down the lower Illinois River at Tahlequah, Oklahoma. It is 68 miles of crystal clear water and class 2 rapids. It has been several years since I visited this river but it was still very nice. The water temps were perfect for paddling with my feet in the water.

On this trip I noticed that there are very large fish in this river. I mean really big; at least 2 feet and several different kinds, but I am not a fish expert so I don't know which ones I saw. I looked up some propaganda on the river and found out that it is stocked every other week in July and the listed fish were: rainbow and brown trout, record stripers (those were probably the huge ones I saw!), walleye, crappie catfish and bass. I was amazed that I saw only two fishermen during my 12 mile trip!

I was using a sit on top kayak, something I have never done before. If you are on a very calm river they are fun, but I would not want on if the water were just a deeper or rougher.

The only complaint that I have is that the river banks were littered with pop bottles and the like. It was very discouraging to see that people come to enjoy the river and leave their garbage strewn all over. If I had a bag I would have picked some of it up, it was truly disgusting. Maybe I will ask the outfitters to give bags to the folks who float so they can help put it back to its pristine condition again...

here are a couple of shots I got along the way; my camera is not waterproof, so I only got a couple.

I did not get any shots of the fish, but the turtles were nothing to sneeze at either...Here are three huge ones in and among the fallen trees, click for larger views

When I got home I noticed that my sunflowers finally bloomed!