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June 18, 2018

Open Thread – Bucolic

Thomas Birch (1779-1851) –  The Narrows, New York Bay 1812

In this crazy mixed-up world, it’s hard to go wrong with something that’s just plain bucolic.

Another beautiful moment d’art from the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. They have a beautiful collection of paintings from the Hudson River School, and this one in particular grabbed my attention. I thought about it afterward, and I think it did in part because it’s a lovely collection of so many things I just plain like – a nice calm sandy beach, a cool gnarly tree, sailboats, the light just before a thunderstorm, an an awesome cow. What’s not to love?



75 Responses to “Open Thread – Bucolic”
  1. betzy says:

    Can hardly wait for May 24th!!!!! Thank you AKM

  2. Irishgirl says:

    AKM, is there something you want to tell us? 🙂

    • mike from iowa says:

      Did you read the comments afterwards? Right Wing comedy is funny if you enjoy pain in large doses.Should be reserved for funerals.

  3. bubbles says:

    before i go for a bit of rest and teevee you pups who have read George RR Martins’ Game of Thrones series and who have HBO. tonight is the night. yay.
    also for you pups with Showtime The Borgias is great with the excellent Jeremy Irons playing the Spanish Pope. lots of goings on…love bubs

  4. Lacy Lady says:

    Mike from Iowa @21
    NO—-I would hate to think of “breaking in” a new model.

  5. Zyxomma says:

    Today is the International Peasants’ Day of Action (commemorating murdered Brazilians). Read about it here:

    “Implementing food sovereignty means defending small scale farming, agroecology and local production whenever possible. It requires that governments support this new paradigm by giving farmers access to land, water, seeds, credit and education, and by protecting them from cheap imports, creating public or farmer-owned stocks and managing production.

    Defending food sovereignty would provide livelihoods to billions of people and reduce poverty, the majority of which is a rural phenomenon. Of the 1.4 billion people who suffer from extreme poverty in the developing countries today, 75 per cent live and work in rural areas.

    Local food production and direct sales from farmers to consumers guarantee that food remains outside of the capitalist monopoly game. It makes it less subject to speculation. Moreover, sustainable farming allows the environment and the soil to regenerate, protecting biodiversity and people’s health. It is also more resilient to climate change and helps stop global warming.”

  6. Lacy Lady says:

    auni @ 15
    I heard this before. Think I heard that the ring was being re-sized.
    As far as men wearing wedding rings——-some don’t wear them because of the work they do–and could lose a finger. I take off my rings when knitting—-or doing pottery.– But still live with the same man after 60 years!

  7. Irishgirl says:

    OMG, we have a killer magpie in our vicinity. I noticed a dead blackbird in our garden yesterday and it looked as if it had met an untimely death. Today, I was out in the garden and could hear a terrible hullabaloo from the garden next door. I raced upstairs and looked out the window and was just in time to see a magpie kill a blackbird amidst the protestations of other blackbirds.

    Looking out at the garden this evening I noticed a blackbird meandering through the unmowed grass and the next thing the magpie swooped down for the kill. Trusty Irish buff and myself jumped out barking and screaming and saved the little blackbird.

    • leenie17 says:

      I saw a birdie scuffle in my garden this morning. Two robins were going at it and there was actually a puff of feathers flying before they swooped off, chasing each other over the roof. I never realized that robins could be so feisty!

      I also saw a pile of feathers in the yard the other day but I’m fairly certain they’re the leftovers from the hawk that likes to cruise my bird feeder for a snack every so often. Oh well, everybody’s gotta eat!

  8. I love the painting. The warm rich colors make me think of Vermeer’s paintings, which I love.

  9. bubbles says:

    this might be a wake up call for firefighters across the nation:

    For the men and women in fire departments, this is no drill. With fewer fires to fight as building codes have improved, providing emergency medical service has become a big part of what they do.

    The upshot has been numerous clashes pitting private players against fire chiefs and the influential union, the International Association of Fire Fighters.

    The biggest U.S. private ambulance provider, American Medical Response, has been engaged in a particularly fierce battle with firefighter unions around Las Vegas. It’s gotten so rough that a company general manager there was recently recorded describing a plan to make the North Las Vegas union chief look like “an absolute a–hole.”

    • MonaLisa (inCT) says:

      The last time my brother had to be brought to the emergency room (one mile from our home), American Medical Response provided the ambulance. After they pulled out and drove off, I went back in the house, got my keys, locked up the house and drove after them.

      I beat them there. And not by mere seconds… I was there more than 7 minutes, 26 seconds BEFORE them!

      It was one MILE away. ONE.

      (Oh, and the bill? $826.)

  10. mike from iowa says:

    Des Moines Register did an article on Rep. Ryan’s attempt to bring spending under control. There are 4 trillion in cuts to services for low and middle income Americans and to offset those cuts there are 4 trillion in tax cuts for the rich. Sounds like a wash as far as deficit is concerned.

  11. leenie17 says:

    I have got such a huge politi-crush on this man!.

    Rep. Anthony Weiner is at it again. He was being interviewed on Washington Journal and discussing how the Republicans got their poor widdle feewings hurt by what the President said in his budget speech. Weiner said he had exactly the opposite reaction – that the POTUS had been extremely gentle and measured in his criticism of Ryan’s plan.

    “I would have said the Republican plan stinks and I will chew my right arm off before I sign any part of it.”

    Gotta love him!

    • He is one of my favorites. I agree with him, but I was glad to hear Obama continue in his tactful manner, while still calling out Ryan’s plan for what it is – a way to change our country to some place that none of us recognize.

      • leenie17 says:

        As usual, our President is the grownup in the room who (imagine!) thinks before he speaks.

        In this case, surrounded by children who whine and complain, “But he’s a big meanie!”

        And after all the horrible, despicable things the right has said about the POTUS, they actually have the nerve to complain…sheesh!

  12. auni says:

    I have to agree that her voice was even worse then usual–“Fight like a girl”–. She is really high school. I got a forwarded email today that explained that President Obama isn’t wearing his wedding ring because of Muslim holidays. What can I say?

  13. bubbles says:

    from Malia Litmans blog touching on Palin’s war declaration against the GOP yesterday. interesting take:

    Sarah Palin Declares War on the GOP

    April 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

    24 Votes


    Sixty-five hundred people appeared in the snow and frigid temperatures in Madison Wisconsin to demonstrate their support or opposition to the effort of Governor Walker to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of union members. It was an opportunity for Sarah Palin to grab the spotlight once again. However, something was different about this speech. Perhaps she was out of medicine. Perhaps she was in a manic phase. Perhaps she had a fight with Todd. Her tone was terse. Her attitude was defiant. Her desire to inspire violence was transparent. Describing the volume of her remarks as “yelling” would not be an exaggeration. In a five minute speech she used words that included: “battle”, “front lines” “solidarity” “patriot” “Stand Strong” “death threats” “thug tactics” “You Won” “you held your ground” “insanity” “courage” “capitulation” “I’ll take on the GOP establishment” “together we will fight with you” “stand up and fight” “GOP leaders need to learn to fight like a girl.” In her concluding remarks, she called out to the “Media” saying “HEY! To the media we’re not inciting violence and this is not hateful rhetoric.”
    “HEY! To the media we’re not inciting violence and this is not hateful rhetoric.”
    covering her ass as per usual. no go Sarah. you are a violent psychopath; everything and everyone you represent is hateful.

  14. fawnskin mudpuppy says:

    speaking of NETROOTS NATION:
    does our AKM need a scholarship this year? should we be voting/donating?


  15. leenie17 says:

    Yikes! I watched This Week this morning and was subjected to a brief clip of Quitty Queen speaking in Madison yesterday. I’ve always found her voice to be like nails on a chalkboard, but the shrill tone was way beyond what she usually sounds like. I actually had to mute the TV until the clip was finished.

    I would love to get the opinion of the speech pathologist that I work with, but I strongly suspect that much of the harsh tone is caused by tremendous tension in her throat and upper body. She sounds like she’s ramping up to explode and is hanging on by her fake fingernails.

    Can’t imagine listening to that sound every day…ugh!

    • Irishgirl says:

      She had to scream to make herself heard because there was so much booing. I don’t think she’ll venture out to another rally like that anytime soon. 🙂

    • mike from iowa says:

      In scientific terms, Quitty lacks a hyoid bone in her throat that divides larger felines into two categories-those with the bone roar and those without can only scream. Don’t expect me,being polite company, to interpret what type of feline Quittypants is.

      • mike from iowa says:

        El Correctomundo-cats in the Panthera family of felines have a flexible ligament on their hyoid bone that allows them to roar. Other cats have fully ossified hyoid bones which lets them scream. Humans have hyoid bones which allow us to roar and scream and talk and stuff.

  16. mike from iowa says:

    Okay everybody,did you all forget you have a sense of humor or are you just giving it the weekend off? Live a little and be joyous you are alive and able to partake of Nature’s beauty.

    • bubbles says:

      i just woke up. had a hellova storm race through all day and night. thunder and lightning. high winds. then early this morning the Anglican Church had a street ceremony which woke all the heathens in its vicinity. not to worry though my funny bone is still intact.

      • tigerwine says:

        Not to worry, Bubbs! Those Anglican (aka Episcopalians) were just doing their Palm Sunday thing! Luckily, I went to early service, and we did all that inside, thank goodness. Too chilly her this morning.

        • bubbles says:

          Tigerwine. just so. we have a wonderful Anglican Church here called Saint Augustine. it is well known around here. it is a very old church and is very progressive.
          a long time ago there were slaves here and there is the balcony where they sat. they could see but not be seen. terrible times then but things have changed. now African Americans are communicants and sit and pray wherever we want to. even this heathen is welcomed and kissed and hugged after services.
          next Friday they will march around several blocks. there will be the Christ bearing his cross. he will be whipped through the streets. he will fall several times and struggle upright children and adults their faces ashed will follow crying and wailing. it looks so real! so terrifying. the first time i saw them do this i was distraught for days. even resurrection Sunday could not lift my spirits.

          • tigerwine says:

            I grew up in a Greek community, and you have never experienced Lent and Easter like they do! Very strict Lent, and what a joyous Easter. I have several Greek cookbooks, and recipes devoted to foods than can be eaten during Lent take up 1/4-1/3 of the book.

            On Good Friday, men of the church carry the Epitaphios (flower-laden bier representing the body of Christ) around the entire block several times.

            Then comes Easter – oh the joy! Oh, the FOOD! The Greeks only dye their eggs red, symbolizing the blood of Christ. Everone receives one on Easter, and, holding their eggs with the small end out, everyone attacks everyone else’s egg. The one who holds out the longest with their egg unbroken wins the day. Too Much Fun!!!

            And you are right, Bubbles, our little Episcopal church is pretty progressive. Do you suppose that explains it? But we certainly believe in separation of Church and State!

    • bubbles says:

      okay Mike here you go. the pups are gonna love it!

      i played this several times and had a ball. enjoy yourselves.

      • mike from iowa says:

        That was really funny,many thanks for the laffs. We need to spend a month or two figuring out what is on Trump’s head. Someone started this awhile back. Romney looked like he slept in his suit. It was all wrinkly and this observation from someone who hasn’t worn a suit since graduation pictures for my mom in 1971.

      • Lee says:

        Thank, you for posting this video, bubbles. It is the very best I have seen in a long time. It is very well thought out and catchy.

  17. mea says:

    why is it that when I hear the word “bucolic” it makes me think of cows? I was not surprised to see the cow in this painting. It also brings the word “halcyon” to mind.
    thanks, AKM, for the wonderful peace offered with this lovely scene. I needed that

    • mike from iowa says:

      the word halcyon makes me think of raccoons for some reason.

      • MonaLisa (inCT) says:

        It makes ME think of bubble-baths… Halcyon, take me away!

      • mag the mick says:

        The mother of my late husband The Duke was named Halcyon. The Dowager Duchess Halcyon. Mike, now that you mention it, she did look like a raccoon, especially in her pictures from the 30’s when she wore her aviatrix’s goggles. That of course was when the family still had their little flotilla of racing airplanes. They had to leave all but one of them at the aerodrome in France in 1940, and Halcyon piloted the Gypsy Moth (along with the French cook, the visiting curate, and the baby) back to England 3 hours before the Jerries invaded. Whatever became of her husband, the late Duke, and the parlor maid Monique, has never been established.

        • mike from iowa says:

          I blush to guess what happened to her late husband and the parlor maid. Damn woman-you ought to write a weekly column sorta like the troll of the week. It would keep me in stitches for sure.

          • mike from iowa says:

            My bad. I neglected to ask if the Gypsy was two wings or three and was that with barbecue or just plain?

        • slipstream says:

          Well, I know what happened to Monique . . . but it would be ungentlemanly to relate.

  18. Zyxomma says:

    Haven’t read the comments yet, but I love the Hudson River School (of course, I’m biased, coming from NY). I’m also a huge fan of Albert Einstein, and have read multiple books both by and about him. Thus, my outrage when I saw this:

    Not only is it wildly inaccurate, it’s also wildly inappropriate for a legislator.

    • Wildly innaccurate is an understatement, and rather generous on your part. Not only do they keep trying to rewrite history, now they are trying to change what people actually said to prove their weak, uneducated points of view. I think the person who wrote the article is right. Instead of spending time on science, they should spend time teaching history, literature and philosophy. Evidently, Rep. Nicely (ironic name, imo) tried to say that Einstein wanted less science teaching (?) but it was a bad paraphrase from Sir Francis Bacon. Can they get any worse?

      • Zyxomma says:

        I hope they can’t (get any worse, that is), but I fear they can. Evolution is not one competing “theory,” to be taught along its equal, creationism (renamed intelligent design, but its not intelligent, by design). And that bad Bacon paraphrase being attributed to Einstein infuriates me, not just as a thinking, intelligent human who loves science, but as a Jew! I’d ask how they dare, but I’ve seen it all before. They are willfully ignorant, and want the students to be as dumb as, or dumber than, they. May they all rot in the hell they in which they so fervently believe.

  19. London Bridges says:

    More Scott Walker-Prosser dirt:

    I meant scum!

    • leenie17 says:

      And here’s some more of the Walker Kill the Low and Middle Class But Reward My Corporate Friends Budget Plan:

      “- it includes $83.3 million in tax cuts “primarily for businesses and investors” — it would make up for lost revenue by eliminating tax credits and exemptions that primarily benefit the poor and even some in the middle class.”

      “Low and middle income people would lose tax credits worth about $49.4 million over two years, the new Legislative Fiscal Bureau report said.”

      Tax cuts for the rich and increases for the poor and middle class to pay for them. Shocker.

  20. PennyArcade says:

    Jean, do you have a publisher for your book yet? I can hardly wait to read it, so I hope it will be available soon.

  21. Ripley in CT says:

    the word “bucolic” always makes me think of alcohol. Like sitting in an open field, surrounded by cows and sheep, drinking a vodka and tonic. With a twist.

  22. mike from iowa says:

    Here is something you don’t see everyday. I see blue skies and some clouds and huge snowflakes falling ever so gently. Mother Nature is making sure NW Iowa gets its moneys worth out of Winter.This stuff floats to Earth like Cottonwood down. Beautiful Sunday morning.

  23. merrycricket says:

    Thomas Birch certainly caught the light before a thunderstorm didn’t he? That’s one of my favorite things about storms.

    Gamebird, if I were in a different financial state, I would fly up there myself to ride along as well. I could use a break far away from home and the crap going on around here.

    I had a pretty horrible fight with my sister on my Facebook wall of all places. Some rather hurtful things were said/written before my sister deleted her original comment that started the whole thing. So I haven’t been feeling very cheerful. I don’t even have the energy to pretend to be cheerful.10 days riding down the Alcan sounds like 10 days in heaven right now.

    • Baker's Dozen says:

      Maybe that’s why my sister and I haven’t “friended” each other! 🙁

      Sad, isn’t it, to think that we can hurt each other so easily. I’m glad she took the post down.

    • bubbles says:

      i am sorry. yes. you need to get away for a bit.

  24. CityKid says:

    For many years art historians and their elite friends argued that “The Hudson River School,” the folks that painted the Eastern Coast of the United States in the late 18th Century and early 20th Century, lived in a fantasy land and had romanticized their landscapes embewing them with hyper-characterizations of bounty. Current scholarship is that the Hudson School painters painted what lay before them in a very realistic manner. Like reading the observations of the Lewis & Clark Expedition about the wildlife on the Great Plains this makes me very sad.

  25. mike from iowa says:

    I rather like this painting for its repressed homo…. its idealistic approach to patrio……its futuristic tenden……I like this painting because Quitty hasn’t commented on it and that is all the reason I’ll ever need to like artwork.

  26. Gamebird Kelp says:

    Memo to Alaskans reading this Open Thread, (0+ / 0-)
    Anyone want to “carpool” the Alcan down and back for NETROOTS?
    Looking for 2-3 people (plus me).
    Should be WAY cheaper than Airfare, Plus, am 99% sure I can set up 2bdrm for up to 7 days. Would be , also, way cheaper than Hotels.
    Share expenses.
    Make new Friends.
    Enjoy the scenery on the Alcan.
    I really want to go, but won’t fly with Vnam metal in my body. Too much BS and intrusion.

    Email me if interested.
    When’s the last time you had a 10 day Adventure?

    jacey (Gamebird Kelp)

    • GreatGranny2C says:

      Oh my goodness! If I was a tad bit younger, I’d buy myself a round trip ticket, fly up there and ride down with you, ride back up there, and then fly back home! DH and I, along with our two daughters who were 3 and 5 at the time, drove the Alcan in the dead of winter in 1974, then drove back out in the heat of summer (heat???) of 1977 – what an adventure!

      The scenery is like nothing else anywhere – such towering trees and bottomless ravines, glorious colors! I never knew there were so many lovely shades of green. The wildlife was so abundant and rarely an hour would pass then we’d be treated to yet another spectacle. Everyone that we met – whether they were living along the route, business owners, or other travelers – all were so friendly and helpful and I think we all felt priviledged to be a part of that wondrous area.

      We still have our yellowed and crumbling certificate attesting to our making it all the way, and scads of fading and cracking photos – but best of all – the MEMORIES!! I hope you are able to find a group to carpool with you and that you have a super fantastic time!

    • Sarafina says:

      Sounds like a great time!!! I’d like to fly up there and drive down with you, hope you find carpoolers.

      The painting is very peaceful. Blessings all around us.

  27. GoI3ig says:

    That is a nice painting. I like the fact that the subject matter is more intelligent than Carl Gatto. He has proven his worth several times down the stretch of this legislative session.

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