Posts Tagged With: cows

JAIPUR-PINK CITY, AMBER FORT-PALACE

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We fly to Jaipur and eat lunch at a barbecue restaurant before checking into our hotel. The waiters bring skewer after skewer of chicken, fish, beef and lamb to cook at special tables. It seems disconcerting to eat meat without the rice and vegetables we would normally put on our plate at the same time. dsc09677-copy

We eventually get to many wonderful buffet items and enjoy a sumptuous feast. They had great clay pots of lamb, beef, or chicken dahl along with the usual Indian specialties.

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In the morning, Theo and I are scheduled for a Balloon ride, (optional event), but it is canceled because it is very hazy and visibility is poor. Instead,  our bus takes us through this 300 year old city, the first planned city in India. Our city guide, Vinot tells us Jaipur has wide boulevard Streets, with shopping squares. It is the 10th largest city in India and has a modern metro where certain cars are reserved for women only. Special seats in every car are reserved for women.

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The loads and the streets are just as busy, but the streets are well paved and cleaner it seems to me. The city was planned by a Hindu Maharajah and the color pink was chosen for all major buildings. Jai means victory.

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On the opposite side of the boulevard-elephants in the midst of traffic. They banned elephant traffic in Dehli, but here no one regards it as unusual except tourists.

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Jaipur is host to an elephant festival every year. Vitor tells us that today is an auspicious day for Hindo weddings and that about 10,000 weddings will take place this week in India because of the positive astrological forecasts.

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All are painted it seems. Pink toenails on this one.

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The glare from the window is fearsome but his elephant blanket was so colorful I couldn’t resist. He is preparing to go to his wedding.

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This drover looks as though he carries his bed with him.

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On the outskirts of town is a walled citadel, the Amber Fort-Palace.  We load into jeeps to drive us up a winding road as high as we can go.

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Paul is too tall to fit in the back with the rest of us so he gets a front seat.

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From the open back, I catch my first site of sacred cows since arriving in Jaipur. Ranvir has suggested that to keep people from starving, the cows were religion-ized to prevent the people from killing them all. They can use the milk, of great value as a high protein food, and the cows, in theory anyway, feed themselves.

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The parking lot is steep and Ranvir warned that we would be walking up, up, an up to view the aspects of the Maharaja’s walled fortress that kept his enemies away. It was never besieged and conquered. Theo is not feeling well and decides to stay and sleep in the jeep.

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The place is so vast, it can hold an army in the square to fend off enemies.

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And, those armies, must be fed. At one level looking out, the wall is visible going up over the mountain. It is said to be the second greatest wall next to the Great Wall of China. The well is a lake with floating platforms to grow food augmented by the surrounding forest and wild life.

 

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Some are stairs and some are walkways. As we move from level to level we come to the Ganesh Pol, built in 1640 to honor the God Ganesha.

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This is the gate to Ganesh Pol, with beautiful frescoes and carved marble and sandstone walls.

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A fresco of Lord Ganesha at the base of this arch. The colors are still vibrant because most were made from natural pigments.

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A ceiling fresco.

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Every spot has some sort of decoration.

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Where outdoor light didn’t penetrate, the walls were decorated with reflective pieces of mirrored glass to enhance the candle light.

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Doors are shaped to the architects’ design of the building.

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This is one half of the lock, demonstrated by Vinot,  that could repel any attack.

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Sandstone pillars, if repeatedly polished with a soft cloth, get a sheen and a hard surface that resembles marble. Only a Maharaja could afford that kind of labor.dsc09759-copy

Another set of beautiful arches.

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Formal gardens have replaced the playground of the Maharaja’s concubines. He had many wives and concubines plus he supported their servants. He most likely had no relations with most of them since they were accepted for political alliances. Other kings would be glad to send him their daughters for their care and protection. This large area was where the women visited and played games and entertained themselves under the watchful eyes of eunuchs.

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Kathy had her picture taken with these Muslim men, I think because she is blonde and they wanted the picture? And, I asked for my picture after she stepped away. Anyway, aren’t they a handsome bunch?

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The sparkling mirrored walls do not reveal their true beauty to a camera. dsc09780-copy

A flowered marble slab has two distinct black spots that are holes through which someone could peek, if I’m remembering correctly.

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The walls are decorated lavishly and permanently. The rooms are sparse without furniture except for a bed and maybe a luxurious set of curtains or a bath.

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Gigantic kettles were used by the eunuchs to cook meals.

 

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At the highest point we look down, then turn to retrace our many steps.

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In the parking area, we find the monkeys playing cars.

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From the lot, we can look over the edge at part of the walled city below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WE ARE PHYSICIANS TO A DYING PLANET

DSC08216 (Copy)During the 1970’s, Wallace Broecker, of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, began warning anyone who would listen about the dangerous buildup of Carbon Dioxide in our atmosphere. Thirty years later we are witness to a dying planet as we know it. Losing great mammals like elephants, rhinos, leopards, lions, tigers, polar bears, monkeys, gorillas, whales, oceans, coral, sand. We lose millions of small populations of plants and insects. We’ve lost billions of birds, dangerous numbers of amphibians, lizards and frogs. The rates of loss in every country is accelerating.

In Broecker’s day, developers began working on a scrubber, a unit 10 feet by 50 feet that can scrub carbon from the air. It would then have to be piped underground beneath the saline layers and stored.  “Better yet, a way must be found to turn carbon dioxide into a mineral without using a lot of energy to do it,” Broecker said. Gas seeping out and escaping into the atmosphere is one of the factors holding the technology back.

Fast forward to 2007.  An international team of scientists has investigated how basaltic rocks in Iceland’s geothermal fields can naturally store C02. Dubbed the CarbFix project.  The researchers have happened upon a method of stowing carbon away that can fast-track the mineralization of CO2.  Researchers have come up with a technique that promises to turn the gas into a solid within two years,  a drastically shorter time frame than the centuries or millennia the current scientific consensus suggests.

The team at Reykjavik Energy’s Hellisheidi geothermal power plant, where the original study took place, says up to 5,000 tons (4,535 tonnes) of CO2 are now being stowed away each year.

What really surprised the researchers was not just how much of the CO2 was converted, but how quickly all of this happened. Through observations  researchers found that more than 95 percent of the CO2 had formed into solid carbonate minerals within just two years.

International Energy Agency describes this method of carbon capture as a “critical component” in combating climate change.

Five thousand tons sounds like a lot, but it is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the billions of metric tons emitted globally each year. The good news is that basalt rock is present beneath the Earth’s surface more than any other rock. It’s not so common on land, with only around 10 percent of the continents made up of basalt, but almost all the ocean floors contain the material. So while it won’t be simple, replicating the process in other locations is a real possibility.

Of course, the best way to stop climate change from wreaking havoc on our planet, is to remove CO2 spewing cars, cows, factories, fossil fuels, gas and coal, that produce CO2 gas.

All necessary technological components are available and in use in various areas, but carbon sequestration is yet to be applied on a scale that would make any meaningful difference to global carbon emissions.

It is up to us and our government to set things in  motion. We must get the word out by reporting to all the agencies fighting climate change, including our Senators and Representatives at all local and national levels. Change always takes place from the people up. We can’t wait for government to do it all. We must push them to do it by complaining loudly.

The Reykjavik team’s research was published in the journal Science.

Groups you may want to know about:  Earth Justice, Natural Resources Defense Council,  Air and Water Watch, Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Defense Fund, Wilderness Society, FSEEE, National Park Trust, Friends of the River.  There are hundreds of groups that are active on environmental issues.

 

 

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Bark River, Michigan – Day 3

The motorhome is parked in the yard of Mary’s old friend, Bernice, at Bark River, Michigan. We expect to depart here tomorrow.

In yesterday’s Blog entry I mentioned working on my umbilical cord electrical connection between the motorhome and Bronco.. Because of the confusion arising from mirror images in the wiring, I managed to blow three fuses on the motorhome and had to take it to Escanaba about 10 miles away to a shop to first find the fuses and then replace them. I think I’ve got it figured out and hope to complete the activity today so we can depart tomorrow as planned.

Also yesterday, Bernice’s son Mark took us to a friend of his who owns a dairy farm to see the morning milking activities. Having been born in a city and living most of my life that way, I know little about the dairy way of life and so, found it interesting. Here are some of the photos that I took…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

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Casey Johnson was born here and continues to work the dairy previously owned by his father…

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This little guy was bashful…

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Casey milks 100 cows twice a day which results in about 400 of milk per day…

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I don’t think this cow has ever seen a camera before…

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The general holding area…

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The barnyard cat was very friendly…

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The cows and the cat get along just fine…

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Mary and the cat got along just fine…

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The cows were curious of who we were…

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The cows file into the milking area without any directions…

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Where Casey attaches the milking machines by hand…

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He milks 16 cows at a time taking 2-3 minutes. Each cow donates about 2 gallons per milking…

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The milk is stored in this tank and picked up every other day by a milk processor…

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Here’s the back barn…

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Where the young calves are kept. A cow is not milked until it is about 2.5 years old…

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The calves were shy…

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A new way of storing hay to keep it out of the weather until needed…

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I told Casey it appears that a dairyman must be a man of many skills. He agreed, but added…Mostly I’m a big bullshifter and mess maker! Thank for allowing us to visit, Casey!

Enjoying visiting old friends is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Michigan. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

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Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

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On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…
http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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TIN CAN ROCK AND ROLL

Yesterday morning we were drooling over the view out the window by the lake.  We spotted what looked like an egret fishing on the closest side of the lake and we could barely see two others feeding on the opposite side of the lake.  We watched them with the binoculars and spontaneously decided to ignore the dirty dishes and unmade bed and grab the cameras and try for some pictures.

No one can sneak up on a bird and my camera doesn’t have great distance.  They were magnificent blue herons and we watched them for a long time. It was early and since we had planned to hike the bluff across the lake  to see where the ponies hide, we just headed out for our hike a bit early.

We walked the shoreline and spotted the dam across the lake we had visited the day before. The sun wasn’t quite up over the park yet. We decided to climb the highest bluff and see what we could see.

The park boat launch pad is clearly visible. In fact the park  has several launching sites. The sun came up and we continued up the hill.

Steep and  rocky, the bluff is  more heavily treed.  We hiked  in and out of washes and small canyons.

Nature always provides a pattern.

Not much color on the bluff.

The views through the brush were not spectacular,  but the exercise and fresh air were wonderful. We spotted elk pellets, coyote scat, white from eating bones, and  plenty of pony tracks. But, no sign of the ponies this morning. We wondered if they know the weekend is coming and the lake  will be full of boats?

And, we wondered what they eat. We found a few green plants, but the terrain is pretty harsh.

By the time we returned to the motor home, the wind picked up and we couldn’t sit outside, nor could I ride  my bike. It continued with fifty mile per hour gusts all day, giving us a tin can rock and roll.  We were grateful we had taken our walk early. We feared the vents would blow off if we kept them open, but it wasn’t a cold wind.  I enjoy the sound and ferocity of wind and poked my head out a few times just to feel it.  We watched the raptors being tossed around. They seemed to enjoy gliding about letting the wind carry them.

About dinner time, a herd of cows came marching down to the lake.  The wind didn’t seem to bother them a bit. They stayed and played. Grazed and ate, drank and grazed  until dusk. Not a sign of the ponies.

A restful stay. Time to catch up on computer stuff you always want to do and never have time enough.  We move out this morning.

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