Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cool Weather Snake

This past Sunday while on a bicycle ride on the "City Trail" near the intersection of Hwy. 16 and Hwy. B (northeast of La Crosse in Medary) I was surprised to find this gartner snake basking on the paved trail. After taking this photo I had to nudge the snake several times with my shoe in order to get him/her to slither off into nearby grass. I would have left him alone to enjoy the warmth of the pavement but some people with dogs were approaching and I didn't want to take the chance they would harm the snake. Anyway, I thought snakes in this area would be in hibernation by early November but that goes to show you what I know. A couple hours later I came across a frog on the same trail . . . maybe the warmer than usual fall day (55 degrees) had something to do with the snake and frog being out.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Indian Statue's Skin Tone Change

The other day while digging around in a desk drawer I found an old postcard (left photo) of La Crosse's "Big Indian" statue which has graced the north end of Riverside Park since 1961. The postcard was not dated but it was graced by a 19-cent stamp, which was the postcard rate from early 1991 through 1994. With that in mind, I suspect the card dates to the late 1980s. Anyway, I was surprised by how "dark" the Indian statue was back then compared to today (right photo). I'm not sure if the change was done on purpose but to me the skin tone of the present-day statue looks more Caucasian than Native American. Guess that shouldn't surprise me since Hollywood once used white actors to portray Indians in movies. Is also interesting how the design on the Indian's clothing has changed over time.