Cold Weather In Perspective

Walking over the frozen Ohio River at Louisville, Kentucky, 1977

Here is a blessing to count. We have had a couple of cold days here in Kentucky but nothing compared to the winter of 1977.

According to naturalists this was the year the coyote was reintroduced to the state as they crossed eastward over the frozen Ohio River.

– – From the National Weather Service records: “01/11/1977-01/13/1977 and 01/16/1977-01/19/1977 – Really two events in one, they are only separated by 2 days of relatively warmer temperatures. Lows for both time frames got well into the negative numbers during both the 11th-13th and the 16th through the 19th . . . This month is the coldest on record for Louisville with an average temperature of 18.6 degrees.” – – –

This painting by the late Grant County artist Bill Petrie hangs in my hallway. It is both a reminder of that brutal winter and how home, hearth and love keep us warm.


We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr

Thought of the day provided by Thomas Brown – Madwillow Creekhouse.

The Reality Of The Unseen

Shades of Evening. 1877, George Inness 1825-1894, American Painter Oil on Canvas

George Inness has been called the father of American landscape painting. He was also controversial. It is interesting to explore how in America of the late 1800’s his lush, moody, ethereal landscapes stirred emotion.

Andrew Butterfield’s piece in the New York Review of Books said “The works of George Inness, the American painter, have always provoked strong reactions and intense debate. Even at the height of his fame during the late nineteenth century, his landscape pictures disgusted some viewers, while moving others to rapturous praise. His critics called his paintings ‘diseased’ and ‘perverted’; a reviewer in The New York Times in 1878 speculated that Inness might be insane. In the very same period, however, his fans—and there were many—lauded the ‘remarkable originality’ and ‘depth of feeling’ of the pictures. In their judgment, Inness was nothing less than the dean of American artists and one of the leading landscape painters in the world. For a time, Inness was both the most controversial and the most influential artist in the country.”

George Inness (American, 1825-1894). Sunrise, 1887. Oil on canvas

From a review of a 2004 showing of Inness paintings Christopher Knight of the LA Times: “Inness’ genius was to find a way to reconcile theology with science — a feat that escapes many people today. His art, modern and American in the deepest sense, embodies spiritual commitment in the world without the limitations inevitably imposed by religious doctrine.”

Inness said his work was meant to demonstrate the “reality of the unseen”and to connect the “visible upon the invisible.” – – Wikipedia


“It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man, the oath.
— Aeschylus

Thought of the day provided by Thomas Brown – Madwillow Creekhouse.

Within The Sound Of Our Voice

Radio signals travel at the speed of light. There are scenarios where our first human-made electromagnetic radiations are sweeping out into the galaxy and life on distant planets are envisioned hearing spark-gap Morse code, the sign-on of KDKA, Bing Crosby, Arthur Godfrey or Sonny and Cher.

It is not far fetched as long as you keep things in perspective. Those alien ears will not be in another of the estimated one hundred billion galaxies because our broadcasts have not yet reached them. Nor have they been heard on the other side of our own Milky Way galaxy. If they have been heard at all the listeners are quite nearby in cosmological terms because even at the speed of light our broadcasts have not traveled very far at all.

The first picture makes the reach of our human-made electromagnetic waves seem huge – and it is. The second picture gives a different perspective where the blue dot represents the extent of all our radio emissions to date.