Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.
Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Walk and a Movie - Mon., Nov. 18

No wasted time today! I got up, ate breakfast and headed out the door to Mitchell Lake Audubon Wetlands for a 3.1 mile walk. The temperature was in the mid-70s when I started walking and a cool breeze stayed with me the whole walk; a far cry from yesterday's blazing temp and humidity.

The reason I love walking at the Audubon wetlands is that every day I see something new. Today I saw a few birds I hadn't seen before and I will try to identify them. More turtles than usual were on the paths too.

Here, then, are the highlights of today's walk:

Northern shrike
Vesper sparrow, I think.
American kestrel, one of my favorites!
American kestrel showing his pretty coloring.
Olive-sided flycatcher

Black-tailed gnat-catcher.
Northern mockingbird

American white pelicans
White pelican from below
Turtles "racing" across the path - the big turtle in back won.
White pelicans
May be a yellow-bellied flycatcher.

West polder.
Turkey vulture in flight.

White pelicans
West polder.
Some kind of nest.
If I were a bird, I would line my nest with this fluff.
Ruddy ducks.
Western meadowlark
Butterfly in sun.
Inner wing and outer wing are completely different.
Such a beautiful pattern.
As soon as I finished walking, I zipped back to the 5er, showered and headed over to pick up Sharon to go see "12 Years a Slave." We went to Regal Quarry Cinemas. Both of us liked the movie. You have to be ready for the intense nature of this movie. It pulls no punches (or should I say throws many punches) in showing slave owners at their most base. These are the slave owners who believed slaves were property and were no better than apes. Based on a true story, we learn of Solomon Northrup, a free man living a fine, respectable life in Sarasota, NY.

When his wife and kids leave on a three-week trip, he is approached by two men who have heard of his wonderful fiddle playing. They entice him to join them for two weeks in the circus to travel to Washington, D.C., and he will be paid a lot of money for his fiddle playing. The two men get him drunk and sell him into slavery.

From Washington, D.C., he is taken with other slaves to Georgia to work on cotton and sugar cane plantations. Life is torture on the plantations; no one wants an intelligent slave except his very first owner. However, his stay on the first plantation doesn't last long - he is sold to another plantation owner. Things go downhill quickly. It is a credit to him that he never loses hope of returning home to his family and his free man status.

The casting and acting are superb. I felt like I was complicit in the treatment of the slaves simply by virtue of being white. The movie is unsettling which I suspect follows the feelings in the book closely. While the movie is excellent, if you don't want to see nudity, rape, mental and physical abuse, hangings, or vicious whippings, then don't go. Because I am pretty sure this movie is true to what happened in that era, I give it five out of five stars.

Pam from Nomadic Newfies is our latest follower. I've been following her for months. She enjoys camping, hiking, photography and traveling. And she contributes to Mural Monday. Thanks for joining us, Pam.


  1. I don't think I could bear to watch the movie. It is mind boggling to me that some people enslaved others, but even more hard to conceive, there are those today who would be perfectly willing to do the same thing.

  2. I too love to see new things while walking. All your pictures looks beautiful.


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