Friday, January 20, 2012
A Day of History
SmugMug Daily Link
RE yesterday's daily... I'm really sorry that snake picture startled so many of you. I assure you that I did not post it for shock effect. I just liked the color and how sharp it was. Yes, I did take the shot through glass. That's one of the reasons I had to take so many to try to avoid the glare, frame him up just right, etc. There were at least 8 of those guys in the enclosure that was about 5'X5'X5'. None were moving. All were wrapped on a tree branch. Honest, they seemed so docile and just pretty to me. I had no issues with resting the lens right up to the glass for some of the shots:-) Don't get me wrong, if I happen upon a snake in my yard, I get startled. But, I've worked to desensitize myself over the years. Usually if I see a snake in the yard now, I get closer and start taking pics. I will even hold a snake at events where there's a trainer to assist and the snake is used to being held. I didn't get that chance yesterday. Anyway...that's my snake shot for the year...I think.
The boys and I did end up going to the North Carolina Museum of History yesterday. I think I had only been in it one other time, and I think that was when the kids were much younger. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is right across Bicentennial Plaza from the history museum, but I guess science appeals to me more than history and the hands-on activities in the sciences museum hold the kids' interest better. I just can't believe that we go to the natural sciences museum about 8 times a year and had barely had glanced at the history museum until now. Well, no more! It has been redone I feel sure since I was in it last time, and I was thoroughly impressed with the exhibits and well, the history lessons. Joey asked a ton of questions, and we had many discussions as we enjoyed our stroll through the museum.
My daily picture depicts the inside of a textile mill. I was totally impressed with whoever designed this parallel mirror infinite reflections shot of two textile mill machines making then look like an entire textile factory floor. Wow! The mirrors were parallel left and right and front and back! I have run out of time to try to clean this shot up anymore. Yes, you can see me in the glass. I did run a noise filter on it.
Here's one other view:
At the end, we watched a video that basically covered 1970-present day. And, as the video ran, I enjoyed seeing the historical places around the state pass by on the screen. I smiled thinking, "We've been there. We've been there." That felt good.
A couple of key facts I learned or had reinforced in the video were:
1. Tobacco, textile mills, and furniture were the big 3 industries in North Carolina up until a few years ago.
2. North Carolina's number one industry is still agriculture with a diverse amount of foods grown.
3. 75% of North Carolinians now live in urban vs. rural settings.
4. 25% of North Carolinians today hold a college degree.
And here's a link to some other facts about NC that I found online and thought were interesting.
If you're a history buff, there are a slew of images of the exhibits in a new gallery dedicated to just today's pics. The museum followed a timeline starting with explaining Native American culture, the arrival of the Europeans, life in Colonial Times, and the Revolutionary War. It went on of course to present the Civil War, WWI, WWII, and even touched on the Gulf War. We watched how military uniforms evolved over time as well as the gear the soldiers carried. We saw how hard life was for some people. We got a glimpse at politics and religion. One exhibit showed a slave home in comparison to what I'll surmise as a middle class home. We saw how transportation evolved from horse and buggy to trains to cars. It was a good follow-on from our trips to the NC Transportation Museum and the USS North Carolina Battleship.
I do stop to pause for a minute and wonder if we should really dwell on the atrocities of the past. Does teaching history really prevent us from making the same mistakes? If we don't talk about how evil man is capable of being, will man still be evil? Well of course we have to cover some history. But, really, you should have been me for a few minutes trying to describe to an attentive and interested 9-year-old the Trail of Tears, why slavery existed and what the KKK was. Gulp. Thankfully I was able to end things with a reference to Martin Luther King, Jr. and how the Civil Rights movement drastically improved tolerance and respect for all regardless of skin color, ethnic background, religion, etc. We've come a long way but still have a ways to go I concluded.
No trip to a museum is complete without spinning a wheel:
The exhibit was showing how furniture was built using a lathe and a saw.
Joey concluded after seeing the Girl Scout exhibit that he now wants to be a Boy Scout.
You're in the Army now. You're not behind a plow. ...
This camera set-up had the boys in hysterics pretty quick. I had to pull them away and regain control:-)
From a photographic perspective, I was fascinated by this image:
Behind the man, there was a sheer curtain with part of the design, then some floods, and then a wall with even more of the design. Unfortunately, the floods kept changing intensity, and I struggled to get the shot that I had hoped for.
This was Johnny's favorite exhibit. The buttons on the display made different parts of the exhibit move including a train.
And, for all you Nascar fans out there:
They had a Richard Petty 43 and a Dale Earnhardt 3 there too.
Before we headed out yesterday, I captured these Yellow-Rumped Warbler pics:
Today...Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!