The Alishan National Scenic Area is right in the middle of Taiwan. The Japanese used the mountain for logging and built this railway for that purpose. The diesel train that runs along the old original wooden rails has now become a major tourist attraction.
Despite the war, this metro station was opened 1943. There is an urban legend that the benches were made of carrara marble taken form Christ the Saviour Cathedral before it was demolished in 1931, but the marble actually is from the Urals, not Italy.
It has been said that the dome had been hit by more than 100 cannonballs during the Seven Years' War and survived. However, it did not survive the bombings of 1945. The ruins were left as a memorial until reunification when it was rebuilt. The reconstruction of the exterior was completed in 2004 and the interior in 2005.
The Frankfurt Zoological Garden is described as a green oasis in the heart of the city. By the end of WWII it was in ruins, with only 20 animals left still alive. Then, Bernhard Grzimek took over as directer and was instrumental in making it one of the largest zoological gardens in Germany. It is the second oldest zoo, after Berlin, and now has over 4,500 animals.
for the letter Z - zoo
And so ends another round. We will give the alphabet a rest and next week start a round of thematics.
Every two years, Belgium lets loose with the begonias and creates a carpet for the Grand Place in Brussels. This one is from 2004. Each carpet is made from over a million flowers and is put together by volunteers from all over Belgium.
Snoopy has always been my favourite Peanuts character — doing his happy dance, or as the WWI Flying Ace on his Sopwith Camel biplane/doghouse. Snoopy began his fantasy career as a fighter pilot in 1965. I always thought his scarf was red (as it is usually shown), but this 2001 stamp has him bedecked in yellow.
And, as a bonus (while researching the colour of his scarf) it seems that during a story line from August 7-10, 1968, for the one and only time, it was revealed to be Snoopy's birthday!
His first appearance was in October 1950, and he would have been about a year old then, so by now would be an astounding 70 — or 490 dog — years old this weekend.
These are plants that have adapted to live in desert conditions. Cacti are probably the most well known plants used in xeriscaping — dry landscaping — but we also have the agave from which we can get tequila. The saguaro can grow to 40 feet (12 metres) tall whereas the beavertail cactus (which I know as a prickly pear cactus) is only about 2 - 15 inches (70 - 400 mm). The last one is a barrel cactus which is known to sometimes fall over because it grows based on sun orientation, though as it tilts towards the southwest it can also be a compass guide for travellers.
for the letter X - xeric (dry)
If anyone has a special topical that they collect, let me know and it can be included in our new round of themes, starting August 25th.
Herdwick sheep are native to the Lake District in Cumbria. Beatrix Potter is known to have helped bring the breed out from its threatened status by buying up fell farms and carefully breeding the sheep.
It was James Rebanks who taught the world of life as a shepherd in the fells through his book (Herdwick Shephard) and twitter account (herdyshepherd1)
They were the photoshopped cards of the day a hundred years ago.
Tall tale postcards were popular until around the First World War. The majority of these cards came from rural areas — with food specific to the region as the most common subject — as a humorous way to entice people to visit and perhaps settle in this area of such great abundance. Hence Iowa corn.