Saturday, July 31, 2010

Time Magazine, Paul Bunyan, and Babe the Blue Ox, Web Cam

Time Magazine has listed Bemidji, Minnesota's Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues in its Top 50 American Roadside Attractions. Link here:,28804,2006404_2006095_2006099,00.html
I revisited the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce Web Cam today and watched a steady stream of people visit the statues and pose for pictures. Great to see families are out on good old-fashioned road trips visiting simple roadside attractions. To see live web-cam, click on the link below:

Read the history of the Paul and Babe logging legend on my May 21st blog post.

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"Can't Catch Me...

...I'm the Gingerbread Man!"
Training Tip: A good run helps take the edge off.
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"A New Bone!"

Harry the dog spies new camera --- fresh out of the box.

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Sophia Helps with Reading the Camera Instructions

What would we do without cats and dogs?
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Red River Cart

The Red River cart was invented around 1800 by Métis employees of Alexander Henry at the Pembina fur trading post. The carts were made entirely of wood and rawhide using only the most basic hand tools.

The Métis people who invented the cart and who were most frequently the drivers, live primarily in Canada; they emerged from the initial offspring of the relations between Indian women and European men.
Métis is pronounced mey-tees, or mey-tee.

Red River Ox Cart, 1889
photographed in front of the home of a Métis family.
William McFarlane Notman, photographer
© McCord Museum of Canadian History
link here

Red River Ox Cart Diagram
One of several detailed illustrations by Harry B. Brehaut,
author of The Red River Cart and Trails: The Fur Trade
© Manitoba Historical Society.
link here

click on link below
Cartmaking Video

A group of Métis people working at the St. Norbert Arts and Cultural Centre (Winnipeg) and
led by Orille Haugan are reviving the art of Red River cart making. Learn about the relationship
between Métis people and this historic means of transportation.
link here
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Dog Creates Lots of Little Pieces

My dog Harry’s propensity to eat inappropriate things about the size of a bar of soap has its precedents. (You may have noticed a lack of original photos lately?)

While I was here at the keyboard, Harry was under my chair chewing on his dog-bone. When Harry’s chewing on a bone that’s a very good thing.

After further inspection, however, I discovered Harry’s bone was my Nikon 560 camera. My second Nikon 560 camera — he ate the first one too. He didn’t actually eat them — just left lots of little pieces on the floor.

Maybe I need to try a different brand of camera.


Red River Ox Cart and Driver

Older horses were sometimes used to pull
the Red River ox carts.
Photo by Canadian, pioneer photographer C. W. Mathers
circa 1891 - 1907
The Pageant of America Collection
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street. New York, NY

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The Perfect Prairie Vehicle - Winnipeg Free Press

There is a nice photo here of a contemporary solid-oak Red River ox cart driven by members of the Red River Métis Heritage Group. The story shares interesting history about the Metis people. Click on the link below --- LTD

Sunday, July 25, 2010

4-H Member Explores New Project: Oxen

Erin Senger did a demonstration with her ox, Opry.
Photo:Troy Krause.

Redwood Falls Gazette
By Troy Krause, Editor
GateHouse News Service
Posted Jul 19, 2010 @ 12:04 PM
Redwood Falls, Minn.
Erin Senger, a member of the [4-H] Loyal Scotties... raised and showed an ox.
Complete story and copyright information at:

Redwood Falls Gazette has no affiliation with Storybrooke: Ox and Dog Blog

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Summertime --- Edward Potthast

The Ox Cart
Edward Henry Potthast
(American Artist, 1857-1927)
Summer Pleasures
Edward Henry Potthast
(American Artist, 1857-1927)

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Yesterday I gave Scout(the Ox) a bath. I soaped-up one side of him with a bar of homemade soap, and laid the soap on the grass. I scrubbed him and rinsed the soap off with the garden hose. When I turned around to retrieve the bar — for soaping the other side — it was gone. Harry(the Dog) was licking his chops; under questioning Harry had a sudsy, soapy grin.

So Scout is washed on the Haw side, and rinsed on the Gee side. (I wonder if he’ll walk in circles now?)

Harry’s been drinking lots of water — I expect he’s in his rinse cycle.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Me and My True Love: An Ox Cart Ride

The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond

A Scottish folk song.

By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes,
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomon'.
where me and my true love were ever wont to gae
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomon'.
O ye'll tak' the high road and I'll tak the low road,
An' I'll be in Scotland afore ye;
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomon'.

'Twas there that we parted in yon shady glen,
On the steep, steep side o' Ben Lomon',
Where in purple hue the Hieland hills we view,
An' the moon comin' out in the gloamin'.
O ye'll tak' the high road and I'll tak the low road,
An' I'll be in Scotland afore ye;
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomon'.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Iron Ox

After the ox came the horse and after the horse came the tractor --- as first choice for farming the land.

I went to the Oklee Centennial Celebration to see Orlin Ostby's ox Pum, but the closest thing I could find was a tractor-pull in the alley off the end of main street --- and an inflatable jumping toy in the likeness of a blue ox. I was too late. Someone said the ox had been there and was the biggest animal she'd ever seen outside of an elephant at the zoo!

Pum and Ostby retraced the 400-mile Pembina trail as part of the Minnesota Sesquicentennial Celebration in 2008. I'm sorry I missed them here at the Oklee Centennial (so close to home!). Hopefully I'll catch up with Orlin and his ox Pum at some later date.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Grandkids Go for an Oxcart Ride

Scout the Ox is a little over 8 months old now. He pulls the cart like a champ, however he doesn't overlook an opportunity to head for the ditch to grab a few mouthfuls of grass. Get-up is mastered, he knows whoa but doesn't always do it. He needs a lot more work on gee and haw. In general he is more responsive to touch --- to push --- or to pull than to verbal cues. He does very well staying with the program --- if I'm walking near his head or shoulders.

Photos taken on July 2, 2010

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Sophia Puts on the Dog

Kitten and puppy play. This kitten was orphaned by the mother cat and put onto a dog nursing puppies. The dog pictured is not one of its littermates.

Cat Fools Dog

19th Century Children's Book Illustration
Artist unknown.
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Our Doggy New Kitty

Sherry went to be with our daughter and the new grandbaby and came home with a new kitty. "Sophia" makes it into the Ox and Dog Blog because she was an orphaned kitten raised by a dog --- along with three puppies.
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Sophia spies a big, hairy hidebehind.
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Harry the Hidebehind

When loggers failed to return to 19th century logging camps, the hidebehind (C. silvestris palinensis) was sometimes believed responsible for their disappearance. Although large enough to drag its human prey to its lair, it was capable of quickly hiding behind trees when someone looked in its direction. This illustration from the book Fearsome Critters (1939) looks a lot like Harry.

Yoke Gets Finished

Putty nail holes (Yoke is made from used lumber).


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At the End of the Rainbow.

photos by sld
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Scout in fine form.
photo by sld

Temporarily abandoned beside the road is this boat on steel wagon wheels, one of which had come undone. Judging from the (black) sign, the wagon wheels, and the spelling,  I suspect it may belong to one of the German speaking Amish families who live south of us.

Scout gets another break at water's edge.

Home again, Hannigan.
photo by sld
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Yoke Headlights

Upcycled Bicycle Reflectors
(up·cy·cle [uhp-sahy-kuhl] Where old products are given more value not less.)

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