Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec

during the Great HUNGER, from the Cobh Heritage Center

“Grosse Isle quarantine station was on an island near Quebec in what is now Canada. It was one of the principal arrival ports for emigrants.

Emigration peaked in 1847 when nearly 100,000 Irish landed at Grosse Isle, straining the resources to breaking poinit. Severe overcrowding and an outbreak of typhus caused enormous suffering the the result was a large number of deaths amongst both immigrants and doctors.

New stricter laws were passed to encure that the catastrophe of 1847 was not repeated. Irish emigrant traffic increasingly flowed towards the United State inthe post-Famine period”. From the exhibit (below), Cobh Heritage Center.

In that horrible year of 1847, strict quarantine could not be enforced and many passengers, some carrying disease, were taken directly to Montreal or Quebec city. At least 5,000 died on Grosse Isle in 1847 and thousands more in Quebec, Montreal and during the voyage across the Atlantic.

The unprecedented crisis made it difficult for accurate records to be kept. Some lists were compiled giving details of the possessions of those who died. These lists make sombre reading as they describe the personal belongings of Irish men and women whose hopes of a new life in North America were never fulfilled.

The objects in this showcase provide an representation of the possessions of famine emigrants. From the exhibit (below), Cobh Heritage Center.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Assistance from America

during the Great HUNGER, from the Cobh Heritage Center

“The U.S.S Jamestown was the first ship to bring famine relief supplies to Ireland in 1847. Other vessels followed, notably the Macedonian which arrived in Cork July 1847. Captained by George C. DeKay of New Jersey, it carried supplies provided by the citizens of New York, Boston, Main and other parts of the United States. Captain DeKay was warmly welcomed in Cord and special events were held in his honor. Most of the cargo was distributed in Ireland, with some being brought to Scotland to relieve distress there. Other smaller supplies of famine relief goods were sent to Cork from the United States. In April the bark Tartar sailed to Cork with in late June the Reliance left Boston, also destined for Cork. Each carried nearly $30,000 worth of goods for famine relief. From the exhibit (below), Cobh Heritage Center.

United States frigate Constellation with relief stores for Irish distress off Haulbownline in Cork Harbor.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Peel’s Brimstone

during the Great HUNGER, from the Cobh Heritage Center

“In November 1845 the British government set up a Relief Commission for Ireland which imported Indian corn and meal from the United States. This arrived in Cork early in 1846 and was distributed around the country where local food depots and relief committees were established. Indian corn (maize) was not grown in Ireland and was an unfamiliar food. It was difficult to grind and in some areas was known as “Peel’s brimstone,” after the Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel. Special leaflets were issued to describe how to cook maize.” From the exhibit (below), Cobh Heritage Center.

Instructions for how to cook maize. In the west of Ireland many people spoke Irish.

“On Saturday last, the Government Sales of Indian Corn commenced in Cork. Immediately on the depoys being opened, the crowds of poor persons who gathered round them were so turbulently inclined as to require the immediate interference of the police, who remained throughout the day.

Among the poor, who were of the humblest description, and needing charitable relief, the sales were but scanty. The occasion had become of necessity; for potatoes had risen to 11d. the market price for 14 pounds; and, some of the leading commercial men in Cork have made a calculation, which show that the Government can afford to sell the Indian Corn at a much cheaper rate.

We feel gratified to learn that a steamer has been dispatched from Cork to Dublin, laden with 600 sacks of Indian meal.

One half, by the orders, is to be dispatched by the Royal, and the other by the Grand Canal, to the interior. It must be acknowledged that her Majesty’s Government are executing their dury promptly and with energy. from the Illustrated London News, April 4, 1846″. ~ from the exhibit, Cobh Heritage Center.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

An Gorta Mor

The Great Famine

Hunger and desperation forced thousands into the overcrowded workhouses and put enormous pressure on relief schemes which attempted to alleviate the distress. Over three quarters of a million people died during the Famine, mainly from diseases such as cholera. Between 1845 and 1851 over 1,500,000 people emigrated from Ireland. ~from poster “The Famine” Cobh Heritage Center, May 2014.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Spring Outing VIII

Sun catchers

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Click me for another Hepatica wildflower posting.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing VII

Groupings, 1 flora and 1 dangerous

Hepatica positioned perfectly above the trail, sprouting from moss, a grouping of the plant and flowers.

Scientific Name: Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa. I found the two land snail shells this session, I identified it as Neohelix albolabris, and positioned it in this shot to lend interest. In a future posting you will see the shell where it was found.

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Six unrelated young adults, all female and without masks, not following social distancing guidelines, passed as a group just before I set up for this shot. I heard them coming and made plenty of space between them and me. COVID-19 testing in Tompkins continues to find several positive cases each week.

Finding an appropriate combination of settings for this grouping was a puzzle. My goal was to bring the flowers and surrounding into focus with intermittent breezes. The f-stop needed to be high to accommodate the depth with minimal exposure duration as the flowers moved in the slightest breeze. The solution was a high ISO (2500) and f-stop (32), yielding a 1/3 second exposure (Not fast). The compromise was patiently waiting for a break in the breezes.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing VI

Just opened wind-flowers

Just opened flowers on long hairy stems, tiny anemones. A crawl and tripod we needed to capture these. The scene scale is revealed by the dried leaves from last autumn.

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I call these anemones from the disputations among taxonomists. All agree there is some relationship and differ in the degree. Classifications add a designation “tribe” before genus (hepatica). Alternatively, the genus is designated Anemone instead of Hepatica . A common name for anemones is “wind-flower” for how the flower is sensitive to a slight breeze, on these long stems.

This is the first hepatica capture of the session. There was no breeze at this time and the ISO is 800, f-stop 29 (lending some definition of the background, less than I’d expect) and a relatively slow exposure of 1/4 second. The 100 mm macro lens on a tripod mounted camera.

Reference: Wikipedia article, “Hepatica.”

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing V

Wildflower Groupings

Red Trillium are early bloomers, along with Hepatica. I often photograph them together. Click me for a 2019 Red Trillium post of photographs from 2007 taken in Fillmore Glen Park.

Here we have two photographs from the end of the April 20, 2020 session. I finished a series of macro Hepatica and, tired (emotionally, not physically) and not wanting to step up the slope, captured the following grouping of a single Red Trillium, lit by a bolt of sunlight, White Hepatica, fern and the budding White Trillim from yesterday’s post. Not the same trillium, a continuation of all the individuals in bud.

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These were 15 feet or so up the slope above the South Rim Trail. I used the 100 mm macro lens, with the spring breezes ISO set to 2500, f/5.6 for a 1/200 exposure.

Not far away, also upslope, was this flower grouping against a moss covered log. Park forestry leaves fallen trees in place to return to the soil. Camera settings are the same.

Both photographs were handheld.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing IV

Turn to Light

Wildflowers flourished where the slope turned to the north and late afternoon light spread across the small ravine created by a small stream. This early in the season White Trillium buds were forming between three green bracts.

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The above photograph taken handheld with a variable zoom lens captures the plant and environment. On the forest floor is twig of hemlock, probably knocked off by squirrels feeding on the tiny cones. Oak leaves from last season frame the dark green bracts. We also see a few wintergreen leaves and the rich soil.

With the low light ISO is 2000, the f-stop of 5.6 allowed crisp details of the hemlock and wintergreen, the focus is soft on the oak leaves. Where is topography allowed sunlight, the White Trillium were a bit further along. Here is a bud opening.

Here I used a travel tripod and a macro lens with f-stop opened up to 3.2, not lens maximum, and all but the forward bract tip are in focus. A lower camera angle places surroundings in distance, allowing all to be blurred unrecognizable: the plant is the star of this shot. ISO 800 with the ample light. I was struggling with the spring breezes, having to wait for a break to take each exposure.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing II

Lower Waterfall

This series of posts opens with the ascent to where the wildflowers grow.

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After just a taste of the climb to come, hikers are treated to an view of the Lower Falls of Enfield Creek. I call them the Wedding Cake. Summertime, a dam is erected, the water is deep enough to dive into the very cold creek water, lower than 70 degrees.

The trail is on a beetling crag.

Looking up Enfield Glen above the falls. Up to the trail, keeping distance was no problem. It is nowhere near as crowded as the trail to Taughannock Falls in February.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills