Mass Mortality Events, Strandings of 260+ Dolphins Since February Along Gulf Coast

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 0
Mass Mortality Events, Strandings of 260+ Dolphins Since February Along Gulf Coast
Mass deaths of dolphins have occurred along the coastal regions of the Gulf of Mexico. Not just any region though. The main regions where the dolphins have been stranded and died are areas that were affected the most by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Other factors, including an excess of freshwater from the Mississippi, are also said to have contributed to the event.

Detailed coverage: Stranding of 261 dolphins, possibly linked to high Mississippi River, declared ‘unusual mortality event’ - NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune

The stranding of more than 261 bottlenose dolphins along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle since Feb. 1, with 98 percent of the dolphins being found dead, prompted NOAA Fisheries to declare an unusual mortality event on Friday.

More regarding the Unusual Mortality Event, declared by the NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service - Southeast Region: https://wwl.radio.com/articles/more-260-dead-dolphins-found-along-gulf-coast

This declaration allows an investigative team to look into the high number of dolphin deaths stretching from Louisiana through the Florida panhandle.

Dr. Terri Rowles, NOAA Fisheries Coordinator, has issued a statement informing the public what to do if they come into contact with any stranded mammals.

There's a number of factors that well be looking at as part of this investigation, but its too early at this point to say what may be causing the mortalities, said Dr. Erin Fougeres with NOAA Fisheries Southeast Region.

The area where the dolphins have shown an increase of deaths includes the area where the Deepwater Horizon Explosion impacted the gulf in 2010.

Camping Light Bulbs for Tents and Campsites

Monday, June 03, 2019 0
Camping Light Bulbs for Tents and Campsites
For those of us who enjoy camping seasonally, there's only a minimal amount of 'gear' that we need for our temporary outings with family and/or friends. Besides the obvious, tents, sleeping bags, food and drinks, matches, and such, portable lighting is also a convenient item to have. Even when you're camping in your backyard. There are lanterns, light strings, flashlights and the like.

But one of the most useful camp lighting, besides a flashlight, are camping light bulbs. Being LED bulbs, most brands do last a good while running off of battery power. Using new batteries, the charge from the batteries can keep the LED bulbs powered for at least a few hours but usually not overnight. In addition to being able to hang these bulbs within a tent or over a campsite, you can also take them with you when needed in the dark.

Of course, what's important is getting the best light for your money. You wouldn't want to purchase camping light bulb only to find out it doesn't last as long as you thought it off of one charge or, even worse, doesn't work at all. Besides testing the bulb, and having additional batteries instead of included manufacturer batteries, it's good to have a quality item with overwhelmingly positive reviews. Below are some of the best camping light bulbs.

The Best Camping Light Bulb

These lightweight bulbs are a little bigger than most people's palms but they're plenty bright for your needs. They're also durable enough to withstand an accidental drop. Especially when compared to regular glass bulbs. Of course, being LED bulbs, they definitely last longer than old incandescent flashlights and incandescent lanterns. While these bulbs aren't super bright, and not able to light up a large area, they will light up a tent or the immediate area of a camp site. Each bulb has three modes: high, low, and strobe. 

As for placing the bulbs in a convenient place you can hang the bulbs, using the d-clip attached to the base of each individual bulb, in the center of your tent, near the back or front of a tent, on a branch, or tied off with clothesline rope or fishing line if needed. Included in each pack are four individual LED bulbs and three AAA alkaline batteries for each bulb. For those who want more convenience, it's best to also get rechargeable batteries for these bulbs. These bulbs are water-resistant but you should avoid dropping them in water or exposing them to heavy rains since it will most likely damage them. 

• Bright, soft lighting for illuminating your tent or anywhere you need the light.

• Lightweight bulb that can be placed nearly anywhere.

• Very portable and durable enough for regular use.

• Can last for up to ten hours – powered by three AAA alkaline batteries.

• Also works with rechargeable batteries. Note: the lighting may not last as long as when using alkaline batteries but rechargeable batteries may be more convenient in some situations.

• 3 AAA Batteries not included.

Similar brands of LED camping light bulbs:
Follow the links to learn more about the bulbs, including questions by customers and customer reviews.

Myths about Osceola of the Seminole

Monday, May 27, 2019 0
Myths about Osceola of the Seminole

Osceola, the Man and the Myths

The most famous painting of Osceola by George Catlin. 
George Catlin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Over the last few years of doing the educational programs and living history, I have been trying to put to rest some of the myths surrounding our favorite Seminole, Osceola. Problem is, there has been so much written about him from the very beginning that is just not true. Other people read these things, and not knowing any better, copy them down, and the myths are perpetuated. Without doing any further study, people just don't know any better. So what I will do here is try and expose some of these widely believed falsehoods. Keep in mind that even some of these are debatable, and you may have a different opinion.

If looking for facts, avoid novels that are nothing more than historical fiction. Even before he died, newspapers were writing fictional accounts of Osceola. The problem is that many people read these fictional accounts and believe them as fact.

The absolute worst book that you should avoid is "War Chief of the Seminoles" by May McNeer. Her book claims to be from true stories in her family history, but 80 percent of it can be easily proved false by historical documentation. It is a children's book, and easy to read. Problem is that people read this book and assume it is true without checking other historical sources. McNeer is descended from Indian Agent Wiley Thompson, who we know was made Indian agent for the single purpose of removing the Seminoles from Florida. Thompson treated the Seminoles very badly and told them that they were nothing more than ignorant children. When a white man would have a grievance against an Indian, Thompson would usually side with the white man even when the evidence favored the Indian. Osceola finally executed Thompson for revenge of Thompson's bad treatment of Osceola and the Seminoles.

False: Osceola was born in Georgia near the Chattahoochee River.
What the Facts Show: Osceola was born of the Upper Creek Town of Tallassee, in southeast Alabama, in 1804. A prominent early Alabama statesman, Thomas Woodward, was himself part Creek, and intimately knew many of the Creek families. Woodward described the exact location Osceola was born. Osceola was of a band started by James McQueen. McQueen jumped ship in Charleston in the late 1690s and became a well-respected trader among the Creeks, and lived to be 128 years old. McQueen had many children, and was practically the Father Abraham of the Creeks, known as "the soft-shelled turtle."

False: Osceola's name means "Rising Sun."
What the Facts Show: The correct name would be Asi-Yaholo. It is from the words Asi, referring to the Black Drink, and Yaholo, as one who sings out. So it roughly translates to "Black Drink Singer." Yaholo is a title. Many of the Seminole names are their title in society. It is not uncommon for Creeks and Seminoles to have four different names. A title, a personal name, a name as a child, and a private name. Thomas Woodward calls Osceola, "Ussa Yoholo." At the same time, Woodward also mentions a warrior named "Hossa Yoholo," who was with Peter McQueen (son of James McQueen who became leader of the band after his father.) Both Peter McQueen and Hossa Yoholo fought against Jackson. Hossa Yoholo was known as "Singing Sun," and also had a father named Powell, but would have been about 15 or 20 years older than Osceola. The Muskogee word for sun is HvsE (Hus-E'), and the word for "Sun Rise" is Hvseaossv (Hus'-E-aos'-suh.) It is easy to see where the confusion has come from. To complicate things even more, I have found reference to four different people named William Powell who lived during that time. One is buried in the national military cemetery at Fort Gibson, Oklahoma.

Asseola, A Seminole Leader. (11088226445)
Osceola from the McKenney-Hall prints.
SMU Central University Libraries [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons
False: An Englishman named Powell was Osceola's father.
What the Facts Show: This is probably the most debatable of my points on this page. It is well accepted that Osceola was of mixed English and Creek race. But how much of each different ancestry is debatable. Lt. M.M. Cohen wrote in 1836 that Osceola had a Creek Indian father who died soon after Osceola's birth and that William Powell married Osceola's mother soon after. Many claimed that Osceola did not speak English, further proving that he was not Powell's biological son. (But that is a point that is debatable as well.) George Catlin who painted Osceola quoted him as claiming that, "No foreign blood runs in my veins; I am a pure-blood Muscogee." Genetic tests done on what is thought to be Osceola's hair did not answer the question either but pointed to someone of mixed race. Whoever Osceola was, from Indian, white, or even black ancestry, he was 100 percent Seminole.

False: Osceola was a chief.
What the Facts Show: He was not a hereditary chief. He led by his own charisma, bravery in battle, and outspoken views against removal. He commanded at most 100 warriors. Many officers have stated that Osceola only led a small group. In Seminole society, Osceola was a war leader, not a political leader. Much like a general or sheriff. He gained recognition during the 1834 treaty talks as having great influence over Chief Micanopy. The Florida Seminoles and Miccosukees credit Medicineman Sam Jones (Abiaka) for carrying the cause against removal. There was no one "Head Chief" of the Indians in Florida. In fact, the largest single faction of Seminoles at the beginning of the war fled to Fort Brooke and accepted removal over fighting.

False: Osceola fought against Andrew Jackson.
What the Facts Show: Jackson's major campaign against the Creeks and Seminoles were in 1813, 1814, and 1818. Osceola would have been too young to be a warrior at this time. There is a possibility that Osceola and the people of his village did meet or were briefly captured by Jackson in 1814 and 1818. Most likely people confuse Osceola with Hossa Yoholo, who also had a father named Powell and fought with Peter McQueen.

False: Osceola's Black wife was captured by a slave hunter.
What the Facts Show: There is no written eyewitness account of this ever happening. Indian Agent Wiley Thompson makes no mention of it in his letters. If it did happen, I am sure the war would have started much earlier. The story became popular long after Osceola's death when it appeared in a questionable abolitionist pamphlet. Osceola himself said that he had no slaves. And at Osceola's capture, the question posed to him is "Why have you not surrendered any escaped slaves?" There was another Indian, Econchatti Micco in north Florida, who did have a wife captured by slave hunters, and whom had a son known as Oceola Nikkanochee.

Sketch of Osceola from Dr. Andrew Welch's 1841 book: http://www.johnhorse.com/highlights/keyimgs/details/05.8_r.htm

False: Osceola thrust his knife in a treaty.
What the Facts Show: This is our favorite story, but even this might not have happened. After searching through many eyewitness accounts and government documents, I find nobody who says this ever happened. Indian Agent Wiley Thompson makes no mention of it, and he detailed much of what happened at the talks. It is only logical that he would have written about it since he makes a big fuss over the Seminoles leaders who did not even approach the table to sign the treaty. The closest thing we have to an eyewitness account is an anonymous letter written to a newspaper, which says Osceola made threatening looks and flashed his knife outside the window of the building during the talks. Those who first make mention of the knife in the treaty are those who were not even in Florida during the time. Dr. Andrew Welch first mentions it in his 1841 romantically written book, but his book is full of historical errors. There is a sketch in the book of the event, but this was printed in England. John Sprague mentions it in a footnote in his 1848, making it look like he was not sure of the incident. A book written in 1931 has a copy of what is claimed to be a copy of the treaty, but on closer examination, it is only a small rip and not something made by a knife being thrust strongly into the paper. One thing we can conclude is that this story is a symbol of the resistance and struggle to stay in Florida. It is an image that represents an ideal. It is a story much like George Washington and the cherry tree, which is well loved but does not have any historical basis. Even now knowing this, it is still one of our favorite stories.

False: While in captivity, Osceola went to Washington and New York. 
What the Facts Show: This is one of the most ridiculous stories that I have heard. Osceola never traveled further north than Charleston, South Carolina.

False: Osceola attended theater productions while in St. Augustine or Charleston, S.C.
What the Facts Show: There is no record of this. Osceola was captured in October 1837. He was ill from the time of his capture and only got worse until he died. He was too ill to escape from the fort in St. Augustine when 20 Seminoles escaped in November. At the end of December around New Year's Day, the prisoners in St. Augustine were moved to Fort Moultrie, outside Charleston, South Carolina. Osceola was very ill at this time and died in late January 1838.

Seizure of Osceola
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Marker at site of Osceola's capture
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Read more archived articles at http://web.archive.org/web/20010720080931/http://www.geocities.com:80/CollegePark/Stadium/1528/. Especially under the section: "Stray articles not in the tour book".

Sources Used (good and bad ones):
The Complete Story of Osceola, a reprint by the St. Augustine Historical Society of the Florida Historical Quarterly Osceola Double Issue, Vol. XXXIII, Jan.-Apr. 1955, No. 3 & 4.
Seminole Hostilities, U.S. House Doc. No. 271, 24th Congress, 1st Session, June 3, 1836.
Woodward's Reminiscences by Thomas S. Woodward, 1859.
Osceola's Legacy by Patricia R. Wickman, 1991.
Army and Navy Chronicles, journal published 1835-1842.
New American State Papers, Military Affairs, 1979, 19 Vol. Set.
New American State Papers, Indian Affairs, 1972, 13 Vol. Set.
Notices of Florida and the Campaigns, by M.M. Cohen, 1836.
The Origin, Progress, and Conclusion of the Florida War by John T. Sprague, 1848.
A Narrative of the Early Days and Remembrances of Oceola Nikkanochee, Prince of Econchatti by Andrew Welch, 1841.
The Exiles of Florida by Joshua Giddings, 1858.
Osceola; Florida's Seminole War Chieftain by Minnie Moore-Wilson, 1931.
War Chief of the Seminoles by May McNeer, 1954.

Paeonia Tenuifolia - Intense Crimson Fernleaf Peony

Sunday, April 14, 2019 0
Paeonia Tenuifolia - Intense Crimson Fernleaf Peony
Paeonia tenuifolia is a perennial flower that is better known as the fern leaf peony. This variety of peony has a crimson color to it that is similar to what you'd see with heirloom red roses. It is a plant that will typically be one to two feet tall early in the growing season. Paeonia tenuifolia blooms earlier than other varieties of peonies and can flower all summer, into autumn, but will sometimes go dormant in mid-summer.

Paeonia tenuifolia can be grown in zones 4 through 7 and will begin blooming in June.

Paeonia tenuifolia prg1
Flower Paeonia tenuifolia in Prague botanic garden, Czech Republic - Karelj [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Paeonia tenuifolia is the perfect ornamental flower

Paeonia tenuifolia has a few flowers that are excellent for growing as a companion. These flowers include similarly intense colored rose varieties and colors (per your choice), Jackman's Clematis, Carnations, and Chrysanthemums. Even other Paeonia tenuifolia, such as the pink shades of Rosea and Rosea Plena, are good too The choice is up to you though. Many perennials that enjoy full sun to partial shade, like the fern leaf peony does, make for a great companion flower.

Paeonia tenuifolia care

In early spring you should start watering the flowers if there isn't enough rainfall to do the watering for you. In late spring it's best to remove flower heads that are dead or look like they are dying. You should also remove fallen petals and flower heads from around the flowering plant. In the summer, it is also best to keep the flowers watered if need be.

When the flower has died back in the fall it is best to cut back the foliage of the plant and remove from the flower bed. This is to prevent pests from surviving over the winter. It may sound extreme but you should cut them back to ground level.

Very useful, detailed pages about Paeonia tenuifolia can be found at http://www.peonies.org/P_tenuifolia.html and https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/62914/

Other varieties of peonies can be seen at these pages:

Activated Bamboo Charcoal - Natural Air Freshener For Odors

Sunday, March 24, 2019 0
Activated Bamboo Charcoal - Natural Air Freshener For Odors
Activated bamboo charcoal has been around for a long time but natural air fresheners made from the charcoal have been rising in use in recent times. The activated bamboo charcoal deodorizers outlined here have 200 grams of activated bamboo charcoal per bag. There are 5 bags per order available at a very affordable price when each bag can last up to two years when following the instructions. Each bag has a durable metal grommet in the corner. So you'll be able to place them on a hook or hang them the deodorizing bag anywhere you need it.

The charcoal is useful for absorbing odors, including smoke, from enclosed places. Which includes cars, closets, pantries, bathrooms, laundry rooms, even your refrigerator. They're good for anywhere that builds up moisture and odors. The activated bamboo charcoal could also prevent the growth of mold by preventing an abundance of moisture. They can also help in lowering or even wiping out allergens within your home.

activated bamboo charcoal
Activated bamboo charcoal
The best thing about activated bamboo charcoal, compared to chemical air fresheners, is that it is non-toxic. Also, chemical air fresheners are horrible for the environment and for you and your pets' respiratory systems over the long term. Chemical air fresheners also contain toxic ingredients and most people don't even recycle the containers. Which means that the containers end up at landfills, harming the environment. These activated bamboo charcoal bags are environmentally-friendly and non-toxic.

With bamboo charcoal, you can be sure that there won't be any toxic ingredients in them. They're even safe to use in contact with clothes or near your pets. They can be used near or in laundry hampers. They can be used in luggage, gym bags, book bags, reusable grocery bags, near litter boxes, and elsewhere.

To keep your activated bamboo charcoal working at its best, and allowing it to keep absorbing odors and moisture, you'll have 'revitalize' them in sunlight for two hours every month. This is so that any small amount of moisture that may be in the bag is dried out by the sun. Doing this will give you the maximum time of use of the freshener bags, for up two years.

When the activated bamboo charcoal is no longer viable, you can cut open the bags and use the charcoal in your garden. The charcoal will help improve soil health and plant growth in your garden.

Want to learn more before purchasing?

Katelyn Nicole Davis ? Forever Missed