Friday, August 10, 2018

Send Out the Clowns

Thought for the day:  Life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth. [Martin H. Fischer]

[image: morguefiles]
The world is full of more beauty and wonders than any circus tent could ever dream of holding, but some days it sure feels like the clowns have escaped and are trying to run the world, doesn't it? Tell ya what, let's not worry about the clowns today. Instead, let's consider some other attractions worthy of attention and capable of making us go ooooh and ahhhh. (Sorry... no lion tamers or tightrope walkers.)






[image: wikipedia]







The first attraction we're gonna visit on our virtual tour is located in Bermuda. See that bridge? It's the Somerset Bridge, and that's what we're here to see. In a world that seems to be becoming more divided by walls, both real and virtual, I thought a remarkable bridge was a good place to start. This bridge, built in 1620, is the smallest drawbridge in the world.


[image: wikimedia commons]



The two sides don't raise like in a traditional drawbridge, but a loose wooden plank covers a 56 cm gap, just wide enough to allow the mast of a sailboat to pass through. An overseer removes the plank, helps guide the sailor through, and then replaces the board. Still treasured by local residents today, this unique bridge, in spite of its diminutive size, is one of the island's biggest tourist attractions and was designated as a historical monument in 2015.

See? Bridges do make a difference... even small ones.


Our next stop is Canada... not to see a place, but to see a person. Why? Because watching octogenarian and champion kite-flyer Ray Bethel simply makes me feel good. I hope he puts a smile on your face, too.



[image: wikipedia]
Let's zip over to Lancashire, England now, shall we? This unusual-looking sculpture, three meters tall and made of galvanized steel pipes, is called the Singing Ringing Tree. Meant to resemble the shape of a tree bent in the wind, the near-constant wind that blows around it atop its perch on Crown Points produces an eerie melodious hum.

Wanta hear it?



Cool, huh? Okay, while we're over in this part of the world, let's head on over to Dublin to see an amazing house that was built in 1798 by a Welsh immigrant with a very keen imagination.


How'd you like to live in a house with a dragon gate?

This 9700 square foot home contains seven bedrooms, and its interior is filled with religious and fairy tale motifs throughout. For me, nothing is more captivating than the gates.

Can't see the dragon very well?


Is this better? Here's a closer shot of his face.

If you'd like to see some more pictures of this house (which is currently for sale, by the way...) please go HERE







Okay, back to the Caribbean. This time, to the Bahamas. Actually, take a deep breath, because we're going underwater...

to see a... statue.

Ocean Atlas is the world's largest underwater sculpture. What? You said you didn't know there were any underwater sculptures? (Me, neither!) But there are, and they're all marvelous! British sculptor Jason Taylor created the world's first underwater sculpture park off the west coast of Grenada in 2006, but his sculptures aren't just works of art. This artist is also a conservationist and scuba instructor, so the talented Mr. Taylor designs his sculptures to serve as artificial reefs to promote coral growth.  His 18-foot Ocean Atlas was set in place in 2014. Ready to see it? (A quick Internet search will reveal images of some of his other undersea sculptures.)


Our last stop will be in Australia, where we're going to meet a very optimistic little fella. A spider, actually. A very beautiful Peacock Spider. He's only about as big as a pencil eraser, but that doesn't stop him from doing his thing. And his thing... is dancing. Dancing for his life, you might say. See, these male spiders, which come in a range of vivid colors, perform a very animated mating dance to attract a lady spider. She watches, too, verrrry closely. Like from a few millimeters away.  Not only does the male dance his little heart out, but he does Ringo Starr-like drum solos, too. On the ground... and on the lady spider's head. If she's adequately impressed with his skills, all is good. If not? She, um, has him for dinner. Want to see one of these Ed Sullivan-worthy performances?


So while we're dancing as fast as we can to forget about the craziness in the world, take heart! At least no one is drumming on your head, and if someone invites you to dinner, chances are pretty good you aren't going to be the main course.

Keep smiling, don't let the clowns get to you, and keep looking for the amazing things in life. There's plenty of them out there. What is this life, if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare? [W.H. Davies]

                              Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

55 comments:

  1. Whoa, these are all so cool. Love, love, love that dragon gate! And that Singing Ringing Tree would make a nifty ringtone, LOL.

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    1. I'm glad you liked it. If you like that dragon gate, you should check out the link and take a peek inside the house. WOW!

      HA! I never thought of that as a ringtone, but it would certainly be unique!

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  2. What a fun post filled with wonders. My faves today are that little bridge and the dancing spider. And the dragon gate is really cool, too. Have a great weekend, hugs, Valerie

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    1. Thanks. I never know what the reaction will be when I post one of these all-over-the-map kinda posts. And I'm glad you like that dancing spider, too. I think he's adorable.

      You have a super weekend, too. Hugs back atcha.

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  3. Thank you so much.
    Heart balm at a time when the world and I need it.

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    1. Heart balm. I like it! Thanks, dear Sue. It's something we could all use.

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  4. Ooh, all sorts of things I like. Thank you.

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    1. All sorts of things I like, too! You're welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed seeing them. :)

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  5. I love love love this post, friend Sue … Thank you for making me smile … Happy w/e eh? … Always, cat.

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    1. Thanks, cat. Smiles are good. They make us look and feel better, and they don't cost a thing! Yep, happy... dammit! Take care. :)

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  6. I love this post! The kite flying is amazing and the Peacock Spider too, I'll send those links to my brother to watch. I love the dragon gate too and now I'm going back to have a look at that 9700 square feet house, which is 9300 square feet bigger than my home and already 22o years old! modern built houses don't last half that long.

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    1. Thanks! You sound as enthusiastic about the stuff in this post as I am. :)

      You're right. Modern day stuff, even houses, seem to be constructed with a built-in expiration date. (Usually one day after the warranty expires...)

      Have a super weekend.

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  7. Wow, awesome post. Thank you Susan!

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  8. I want a dragon gate!
    I can't keep one kite in the air, let alone three.
    Wouldn't want to be stranded by that metal tree. That noise just might make you a little crazy after a while.

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    1. Me, too! (Not sure if a gate like that would attract more kids on Halloween or keep them away...)

      Good point. But it'd be cool to be near that tree for a little bit, anyway.

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  9. send in the clowns, indeed. You found some crazy stuff...the world is amazing. Have a good weekend. Jazz hands!

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    1. Yeah, it's pretty easy to find some crazy stuff if ya look for it. :)

      You have a super weekend, too. Jazz hands right back atcha!

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  10. Love the Draw-bridge. Don't have to travel the world for crazy stuff, here on the NJ shore we have a six story wooden elephant "Lucy".

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    1. You're right. My guess is every state and country can lay claim to something or another that's amazing.

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  11. Your post s a good reminder for all of us as to what a wonderful amazing world we live in. Beauty is everywhere and we need only take the time to see it. Life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth!

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    1. Yes, there's beauty and wonders everywhere. All we have to do is look around!

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  12. We definitely live in a wild, wooly, and wonderful world. Thanks for sharing some of its most unique features. Happy hot August! Stay cool :)

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    1. We sure do. :)

      Happy hot August to you, too. (I think I'm ready for autumn now...)

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  13. That peacock spider video is hysterical! (I've known a few fellas back in the day …)
    Of everything you've shown us, I'm most drawn to the dragon house. (Except I'd get to worrying about cleaning and the cost to cool a 9,700 sq. ft. house!)

    Indeed, life is a cabaret!

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    1. I love that little spider! Such spunk. :)

      HA! Me, too. Whenever we see a huge house, my first thought is I"M not gonna wash all those windows! I don't even want to think of what it would cost to heat and cool a house that size. But I'd LOVE to wander through it.

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  14. You had me at the kites. I could watch them over and over again. As a matter of fact, I did. Then the Singing Ringing tree was just wonderful and the Ocean Atlas was magnificent. However, I lost my heart to the Peacock Spider. What a fun creature and the music that accompanied it had me want to dance like him.

    You put a smile on my face, dear Susan, and I thank you for that.

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    1. I'm glad you liked that kite-flying video as much as I do. My expertise with flying a kite is keeping it in the air. Period. That guy is some kinda talented.

      Yes, I must admit. I love that little spider.

      You're welcome. Putting a smile on some faces is exactly what I hoped to do. :)

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  15. The Somerset Bridge is cute and quaint, but you damn well better be sober when trying to navigate through it.

    The Singing Ringing Tree sculpture is fantastic, but I wouldn't want it in my front yard, with the continual "singing". It would be best if it were several miles away. I'm wondering if a strong wind could topple it? It wouldn't last long in Texas.

    I like the peacock spider video - but it did nothing to alleviate my terror of spiders, even dancing ones.

    The Dragon Gate?? Hmmmmmm....I'm still deciding whether or not I like it.....

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    1. Uh, yeah, getting a mast through that little opening would be a lot more difficult with a belly of beer.

      From what I understand, the peak where that singing tree is located is reeeeeally windy 24/7, so it could probably handle Texas winds, too. (Maybe.)

      Gee, if you liked that spider, the two of you could put on quite a show. Play a little rag on the piano and let him dance his little heart out.

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  16. He sure has skills with the kite indeed. That is a neat bridge. I'll take the dragon one. haha can sure stick that in your pipe and smoke it with the pipe one.

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    1. Yeah, I'm amazed at that guy's ability to synchronize the flying of three kites at one time. No wonder he's a world champion.

      The dragon is definitely a beauty. It wouldn't go very well at our little house, though... :)

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  17. Hi Susan - what a wonderful selection of attractive goodies to look at - that bridge is just wonderful - so innovative with its board/plank - surprised they didn't put it to another use ... walking thereof ... but loved the wind tree - it does look like a Celtic/Cornish tree - it blows in Lancashire too. That house is amazing ... especially as it's called Harlech House, but is in Ireland near Dublin. That kite man - brilliant, but more brilliant is the little spider - he's a cutie ... what a great selection ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary. I'm glad you enjoyed this eclectic collection of goodies. I'm surprised you haven't seen (and heard) that tree in person. If I remember right, the house in Dublin is named after the original owner. The kite man is a real talent, but the spider is the most talented of all. Such a cutie!

      Cheers back atcha.

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  18. Loved, loved, LOVED this post!!

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  19. OMG, that kite flyer!

    And the dancing spiders, wow. Great choice of music with the video, hahaha.

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    1. I KNOW! Isn't he amazing???

      The music choice is perfect, seeing's as how the little guy to trying to "stay alive." :)

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  20. Enjoyed this post !
    Loved the bridge and the dancing spiders.

    Have a wonderful weekend.
    cheers, parsnip and badger

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    1. Cool! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      You have a super weekend, too. Cheers back atcha.

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  21. My father was a clown and he wanted me to carry on the tradition.
    But I couldn't fill his shoes.....
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s unthinkable Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. HA!

      One cannibal to another: "I think this clown tastes funny."

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  22. The spiders are cute, but that kite flyer is amazingly skillful. I want to know how he manages to avoid getting the strings tangled with all those crossovers!

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    1. For sure, he's a lot more skillful than I am. I'm happy when I can just keep one kite in the air. I have no idea how he manages it. (Magic?)

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  23. What a super post.
    I really enjoyed it, thank you.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. :)

      All the best back atcha.

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  24. Love, love, love, dragons. Wonder what the condo association would say? That 'tree' WOW, what an eerie sound. Great place to compose some horror. Want to read something that will make you think about AI and if we've brought it on ourselves with 'all the crap' going on out there? Read Toi Thomas's WEP Entry: http://etoithomas.com/a-change-of-heart-wepff-challenge-featuring-i-am-special-amwriting-flashfiction/

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    1. Somehow, I think the condo association might frown upon a dragon gate... unless you were willing to provide one for every house... :)

      Cool! Will do. Take care, kiddo.

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  25. Great post, dear Susan. You brighten my convalescence. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks, dear Geo. I hope your convalescence has been going well. You've been in my thoughts, and I'm still sending lots of positive energy your way. Get well soon, dude.

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  26. Intriguing post, Susan. Lots of fun and fascinating stuff going on in our world. Thanks for brightening my day.

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    1. I'm glad it brightened your day, Connie. (Sorry it took me so long to find your comment!)

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  27. Three meters tall? How much is that in American? The U.S. won the war, remember?

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    1. HA! Yeah, I remember. The singing tree is in England, so I figured I'd use their measurement. A meter is about thirty-nine inches, so the tree is about ten feet tall.

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