Flip Flop Dragonflies

Deep Time

380 recycled flip flops were used by Ocean Sole Africa Project artists to create these seahorse sculptures from a 2020 exhibit hosted by McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida.

Adult dragonfly lifespan of a few days to 5 weeks contrasts with the wide distribution, variety with over 3,000 species and deep longevity of the infraorder, Anisoptera, especially compared to our genus, Homo: Hundreds of millions of years, compared to 2 million.

An insect, dragonflies live on every continent except Antarctica, from sea level up to the mountains.

I have experienced hundreds of dragonflies swooping and hovering around Peaked Mountain of the Adirondacks.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Kinsale Walking Tour 10

along the River Bannon

The tenth and final of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale by Dermot Ryan. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

We are headed toward lunch along the River Bannon. The Kinsale Chocolate Boutique, Exchange Buildings, 6 Market Square, did not survive the pandemic. This iconic corner is now the First South Credit Union (sigh).

With headquarters in Dublin, the Irish Red Cross provides in Ireland (click the links to learn more):

MIGRATION SERVICES,

PRISON PROGRAMME – COMMUNITY BASED HEALTH & FIRST AID

FREE DEFIBRILLATOR CHECK

RED CROSS AND IHL

EMBLEMS OF THE RED CROSS MOVEMENT

INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW

RESCUE SERVICES

AMBULANCE

MISSING RELATIVES

Come out of the center town to walk along Pier Road, River Bannon on its way to the harbor, on one side, town parks on the other.

Across from Kinsale Town Park rises this Tall Ship mast and other memorabilia from Kinsale’s maritime heritage.

A few hundred feet away are moorings for the Kinsale Yacht club, ” located in Kinsale, County Cork lies just 120 nautical miles from Wales, 240 from North West France and only 500 from the Galician Coast of North Spain. Most significantly it is only 30 km by road from Cork, Ireland’s second city, and between the two lies one the region’s main assets – Cork International Airport – with its daily links to many European capitals. Keelboats and Dinghies. The club runs inshore and offshore races, has active cruising and powerboat sections and most significantly for any real club, a strong and dynamic junior training program. Kinsale Yacht Club and marina are only a few minutes walk from every shop, hotel, pub and restaurant in Ireland’s gourmet capital.” — from the Yacht Club web site.

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Flip Flop Manta Rays

“Devil Fish”

110 recycled flip flops were used by Ocean Sole Africa Project artists to create these seahorse sculptures from a 2020 exhibit hosted by McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida.

Manta Rays are large, flat-bodied fish having a width ranging from 18-23 feet (5-7 meters) wide. Mantas gracefully swoop during feeding, scooping up large quantities of plankton, 60 pounds (27 kilograms) per day, with the flat fins on either side of their head.

Here is the flowing movement of the manta

Mantas are known as “devilfish” because of their horn-shaped cephalic fins, which are imagined to give them an “evil” appearance. The movement of pectoral fins drive them through water, like birds flying through air.

All mantas are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Anthropogenic threats include pollution, entanglement in fishing nets, and direct harvesting of their gill rakers for use in Chinese medicine. Their slow reproductive rate exacerbates these threats. They are protected in international waters by the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals, but are more vulnerable closer to shore. Areas where mantas congregate are popular with tourists. Only a few public aquariums are large enough to house Mantas.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Kinsale Walking Tour 9

Protected Storage

The ninth of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale by Dermot Ryan. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

Look closely to see this quote “The Onion is the truffle of the poor.” –Robert J. Courtine. Crackpots was decorated with unusual pottery, a casualty of Covid-19.

From a placard inside the stone walled “Town Pound.” “The Town Pound was an essential part of the administration of the old town, located near the Market House, the Potato Market and the Broadstone. It had replaced the Old Pound at the top of Barrack Street and was for the care of stray livestock, especially pigs and horses, with a scale of penalties for offenders. The Pounds were always kept as secure places, as shown in the records of the Kinsale Corporation, with an entry of 1673 itemizing a sum of sixteen shillings for the repair of the pound!” By Local Historian, Dermot Ryan.

The Tan Tavern is on the other side of Guardwell street, seen here over the stone wall of “The Old Town Pound” historical site.

“Kinsale Town Crest

I don’t recall where exactly this quote was placed. It is associated in time with the Town Pound (photo time stamps). Morgan Spurlock of the documentary “Supersize Me” is an American of Irish descent.

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Flip Flop Seahorses

Evolutionary Success Story

Up to 150 recycled flip flops were used by Ocean Sole Africa Project artists to create these seahorse sculptures from a 2020 exhibit hosted by McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida.

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Seahorses are tiny fish with heads that look like…horses! Their curved flexible tail is used to grasp objects, mostly anchoring the seahorse to plants.

Their genus, Hippocampus, includes 46 species indicating evolutionary success for their body shape and adaptations. Just hatched seahorses cling together in groups, hook by their tails. Excellent at camouflage, a seahorse hides from predators while waiting to ambush dinner.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Kinsale Walking Tour 8

An ivy clad nook

The eighth of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale by Dermot Ryan. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

Ducking into an alleyway with the haughty name, “Chairmans’ Way,” we stepped into a different world.

Promising a castle, it delivered these charming offerings.

This doorway, yellow roses (Pam’s favorite) and Calla Lilies.

An ivy clad nook / cottage.

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Flip Flop Manatee

Happy “Profitable Friday” 2022

Up to 400 recycled flip flops were used by Ocean Sole Africa Project artists to create this Manatee sculpture from a 2020 exhibit hosted by McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida.

Manatee with fans

Manatees are protected under the Endangered Species Act and under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Today, the range-wide population is estimated to be at least 13,000 manatees, with more than 6,500 in the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico.

Florida has cherished the Sea Cow with the population increasing 25% from 1991, going from 1,267 to more than 6,300.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Kinsale Walking Tour 7

Literary Encouragement

The seventh of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale by Dermot Ryan. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

So much to see around Newman’s Mall, coming upon “Stone Mad.” Possibly a reference to The Maiden Stone of Scotland. Maiden Stone and Persephone, 8th century AD, and 1961, Shaun Crampton. The salmon-pink granite monolith known as the Maiden Stone was erected by the Picts in the eighth century AD at the time when Christianity was filtering into the north-east. It bears, Janus-like, a series of vivid symbols, carved in relief, and, on the other face, a round-headed cross, set between a possible cavalry scene and a great roundel filled with interlace. The symbols, which are vigorously carved in relief and include a beast or dolphin, mirror and comb, look back to the powerful range of animal and object symbols used as a kind of heraldry on memorial stones in the two previous centuries. The cross side indicates its use as a preaching site during the conversion of the Picts. The notch out of the northern edge of the stone has fed a legend concerning the daughter of the laird of Balquhain who was baking bannocks on her wedding day and bet a stranger that she could finish her task before he had built a road to the top of Bennachie, ‘ere she would become his own’. Being the Devil, he won: she took to her heels and, in answer to her prayers, was turned to stone as he caught her, the notch being the spot where he grasped her

Looking outside through window bars, viewing a quote written carefully in white paint on slate, written of the Misses Morkan’s of “The Dead”, in James Joyce’s 1914 short story collection, “Dubliners.”

What is behind a fascinating red door in the yellow wall that held the above quote.

A cosy nook….

References
“Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie – An Illustrated Architectural Guide”, by Ian Shepherd, 2006. Published by the Rutland Press Kinsale, County Cork, Republic of Ireland

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Flip Flop Crab

Eyes on stalks and an exoskeleton composed of chitin

Up to 400 recycled flip flops were used by Ocean Sole Africa Project artists to create each sea turtle sculpture from a 2019 exhibit hosted by McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida.

Blue land crabs inhabit McKee Gardens, only resembling these specimens, made from as many as 400 discarded flip flops, in having ten legs for which the Order Decapoda is named. The front two legs are specialized chelae (claws) for grabbing and eating whatever is in front of them (omnivorous). Two other characteristics are eyes on stalks and an exoskeleton composed of chitin. From an exhibit of creations by the Ocean Sole Africa project, McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida.

Blue land crabs inhabit McKee Gardens, only resembling these specimens, made from as many as 400 discarded flip flops, in having ten legs for which the Order Decapoda is named.

The front two legs are specialized chelae (claws) for grabbing and eating whatever is in front of them (omnivorous). Two other characteristics are eyes on stalks and an exoskeleton composed of chitin.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Kinsale Walking Tour 6

Since 1690

The sixth of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale by Dermot Ryan. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

Walk across the square from the Museum to Newman’s Mall, the ancient heart of Kinsale.

Within Market Place is this bust and memorial to Peter Memorial. the plaque text reads: “Peter Barry arrived in Kinsale in 1963 and settled in Scilly where he made his home. In those early years he operated and developed Scilly’s unique Spaniard Pub and the Man Friday restaurant, and later the Grey Hound Bar in Market Place. Peter Barry’s vision and selfless commitment to making Kinsale the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Irish tourism inspired others to join with him to work on a voluntary basis for the common good of the town. This led to the formation of organizations such as the Good Food Circle of Restaurants, and the Kinsale Chamber of Tourism. Many events followed such as the Wild Geese Weekends of the 70’s, the annual Gourmet Festival, International Food Forums, the Wine Museum at Desmond Castle and others which extended Kinsale’s tourism season to being an all year round affair. Kinsale and its community owes a great debt of gratitude to Peter Barry -Truly a Man for all Seasons.”

There is the Greyhound Pub, among the rest, at one time run by Mr. Peter Barry.

And again…..”Established 1690″ indeed.

The oldest pub in Kinsale, or anywhere.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills