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Jamestown Settlement: Scarecrow House

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Jamestown Settlement: Scarecrow House
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Image by bill barber
Powhatan girls played in the scarecrow hut, and their noise kept animals from stealing food from the garden
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Jamestown (originally also called "James Towne" or "Jamestowne") is located on the James River in what is currently James City County in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The site is about 40 miles (62 km) inland from the Atlantic Ocean and the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay and about 45 miles (70 km) downstream and southeast of the current state capital city of Richmond. Both the river and the settlement were named for King James I of England, who was on the throne at the time, granted the private proprietorship to the Virginia Company of London's enterprise.

The location at Jamestown Island was selected primarily because it offered a favorable strategic defensive position against other European forces which might approach by water. However, the colonists soon discovered that the swampy and isolated site was plagued by mosquitoes and tidal river water unsuitable for drinking, and offered limited opportunities for hunting and little space for farming. The area was also inhabited by Native Americans (American Indians).
The 3 points of Colonial Virginia's Historic Triangle, Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown are linked by the National Park Service's scenic Colonial Parkway.
The 3 points of Colonial Virginia's Historic Triangle, Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown are linked by the National Park Service's scenic Colonial Parkway.

Despite inspired leadership of John Smith, chaplain Robert Hunt and others, starvation, hostile relations with the Indians, and lack of profitable exports all threatened the survival of the Colony in the early years as the settlers and the Virginia Company of London each struggled. However, colonist John Rolfe introduced a strain of tobacco which was successfully exported in 1612, and the financial outlook for the colony became more favorable. Two years later, Rolfe married the young Indian woman Pocahontas, daughter of Wahunsunacock, Chief of the Powhatan Confederacy, and a period of relative peace with the Natives followed. In 1616, the Rolfes made a public relations trip to England, where Pocahontas was received as visiting royalty. Changes by the Virginia Company which became effective in 1619 attracted additional investments, also sowing the first seeds of democracy in the process with a locally-elected body which became the House of Burgesses, the first such representative legislative body in the New World.

Throughout the 17th century, Jamestown was the capital of the Virginia Colony. Several times during emergencies, the seat of government for the colony was shifted temporarily to nearby Middle Plantation, a fortified location on the high ridge approximately equidistant from the James and York Rivers on the Virginia Peninsula. Shortly after the Colony was finally granted a long-desired charter and established the new College of William and Mary at Middle Plantation, the capital of the Colony was permanently relocated nearby. In 1699, the new capital town was renamed Williamsburg, in honor of the current British king, William III.

After the capital was relocated, Jamestown began a gradual loss of prominence and eventually reverted to a few large farms. It again became a significant point for control of the James River during the American Civil War (1861–1865), and then slid back into seeming oblivion. Even the Jamestown Exposition of 1907 was held elsewhere, at a more accessible location at Sewell's Point, on Hampton Roads near Norfolk.
Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and her consort Prince Phillip inspect replica of Susan Constant at Jamestown Festival Park in Virginia on October 16, 1957
Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and her consort Prince Phillip inspect replica of Susan Constant at Jamestown Festival Park in Virginia on October 16, 1957

Beginning in 1893, 22.5 acres of the Jamestown site were acquired by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. A crucial sea wall was built in 1900 to protect the shoreline near the site of James Fort from further erosion. In the 1930s, the Colonial National Historical Park was established to protect and administer Jamestown, which was designated a National Historic Site. The U.S. National Park Service acquired the remaining 1,500 acres (6.1 km²) of Jamestown Island through eminent domain in 1934.

For the 350th anniversary in 1957, Jamestown itself was the site of renewed interest and a huge celebration. The National Park Service provided new access with the completion of the Colonial Parkway which led to Williamsburg, home of the restored capital of Colonial Williamsburg, and then on to Yorktown, the other two portions of Colonial Virginia's Historic Triangle. Major projects such as the Jamestown Festival Park were developed by non-profit, state and federal agencies. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Prince Philip attended. The 1957 event was a great success. Tourism became continuous with attractions regularly updated and enhanced.

The two major attractions at Jamestown are separate, but complementary to each other. The state-sponsored Jamestown Settlement near the entrance to Jamestown Island includes a recreated English Fort and Native American Village, extensive indoor and outdoor displays, and features the three popular replica ships. On Jamestown Island itself, the National Park Service operates Historic Jamestowne. Over a million artifacts have been recovered by the Jamestown Rediscovery project with ongoing archaeological work, including a number of exciting recent discoveries.

Early in the 21st century, in preparation for the Jamestown 2007 event commemorating America's 400th Anniversary, new accommodations, transportation facilities and attractions were planned. The celebration began in the Spring of 2006 with the sailing of a new replica Godspeed to six major East Coast U.S. cities, where several hundred thousand people viewed it. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip joined America's festivities on an official state visit to Jamestown in May 2007.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamestown,_Virginia


Short-eared Owl (Asio Flammeus)
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Image by Stefán Freyr | Skyzography
A Short-eared Owl, or Brandugla in my native language, in Reykjavík, Iceland.

As I phoned my friend to tell her about the owl Vilhelmína (I asked her to find a name for the owl after I showed her the picture), the owl just sat there and listened interested in our conversation.

I wonder if she remembers me next time I visit her?

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I had a phone call in yesterday (03.02.12) about the owls in laugardalur from a news reporter working for Fréttablaðið newspaper. Now, this morning, I had my first picture published alongside the article that the news reporter wrote.

This picture can both be found here (and in a second owl story here) on Vísir.is and on the second page (first opening) in Fréttablaðið newspaper. :-)


The Compound-fracturer, at rest
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Image by Benimoto
That was actually my name for the ride. It was under repair for most of the night.

 
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