west regionals

Eastern triangle butterflyfish (Chaetodon baronessa)

The eastern triangle butterflyfish is a species of butterflyfish. It is found in the central Indo-West Pacific region from the Cocos-Keeling Islands and Indonesia in the eastern Indian Ocean to Fiji and Tonga, north to southern Japan, south to New Caledonia and New South Wales in Australia. It grows to a maximum of 16 cm long.The eastern triangle butterflyfish is found in seaward and lagoon coral reefs. They usually swim around in pairs and are territorial. This species feeds exclusively on the polyps of the tubular Acropora corals.

photo credits: wiki

West Virginia Gothic

- It’s spring. Ramps are growing everywhere. In your yard, in your woods, and out of your limbs.

- You’re driving in your car, as you eat a pepperoni roll in your hand. You cross the state border, and suddenly the pepperoni roll is gone. They don’t exist in other states, of course.

- What you presume is a deer runs in front of your car. The fifteen eyes it blinks at you with quickly disproves this theory.

- Cows are everywhere as you go down the road. Strangely, you never see a house, or any other kind of structure. Only cows. 

- You sit on your porch as you watch the river flood. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to live here after all. The faces in the water seem to nod understandingly, as you can do nothing but watch.

- Walking through a flea market, you realize how eerily familiar all of the items look. You’ve noticed these things disappear from your house one by one. You can’t stop yourself from asking how much. The old man running the booth puts the price at five dollars, and winks at you with his functioning eye. 

- While walking in the woods, you find a pile of bones. You assume they’re deer, but something tells you not to look twice.

- In a gas station, you grab a soda and a homemade saran-wrapped cookie. One bite in, and you discover what you thought were white chocolate chips are actually teeth. The soda isn’t much better.

Northern West Virginia Gothic

-They say the screams coming from the woods in the dead of the night are the Bobcats, but you know better. You’ve felt the eyes watching as you traversed those deep forests, always so close yet so far. All manners of sense tell you it’s forbidden to enter at sundown.

-There were several abandoned railway tunnels in the outskirts of town, only one was not at the mercy of the wilds. Inside it was dark and bitter cold. Above, the tunnel ceiling always drips. The decayed bodies above weep for remembrance.  As you quickly walk through the tunnel you begin to panic, but you don’t know why. As you reach the exit you swear you feel hands dragging you back in.

-Caverns are carved in the hills. Some so deep one might question if they went into the very bows of hell itself. An unnatural wind blows through every one of them. Some think nothing of it, others hear her sorrowful song.

-The largest tree in town greets those who enter. Some comment on its beauty, but you can only see corpses hanging from those sprawling branches.

-Massive burial mounds stand tall in the center of town, looming over the nearby buildings. The town had built around them, leaving them untouched and unsoiled. Perhaps from fear, perhaps respect. Some do not gaze upon them, some do not approach them. But some listen to the whispers.

-Tourists flock to a former prison, often partaking in the tours the staff offers. Most are blind to the souls around them. The halls echo, but no one speaks. The paint peels off the walls but not by nature. When your skin grows cold and goose bumps cover it they’ve found you.

The beautiful city of chengdu. Rich in history, and packed with delicious food. A must go to location in China (along with chongqing, and Yunnan). My favorite places in China have been the south west regions thus far. Very lovely place with friendly people!

The changing face opera was amazing. If you ever get to come here be sure to relax, drink some tea, and catch a play! Their green tea is out of this world!

LIBERIA. Tubmanburg. May 2004. Memanatu Sesay, fighter with the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) poses with her weapon at a UN disarmament point. She was in fact a native Sierra Leonean who had been caught up in the war in Liberia during the instability in the north west region.

Photograph: Bruno Barbey/Magnum Photos

west coast gothic
  • predatory tourists on 101 wait for their slow-moving cousins, the RVs and trailers and kayak-bearing vans, to slow down around the curves, and then they make their move. there is no alternative route. you must wait for them to finish their meal and move on, before eking past the remains of summer vacationers.
  • construction workers move patiently down highway 101, catching speeders in their slow zones and using the bones to repair the road. in their wake, the brand new concrete is pierced through with weeds dissatisfied with the sacrifice.
  • a writhing mass of sea lions is barking on the bayfront. the people watch intently, and take pictures of the funny sea dogs. someone throws a piece of salt water taffy at them to see what they do; the mass heaves itself up as one bloated shining being and snaps it out of the air. 
  • glass-blowing workshops pop up like fragile daisies; there are glass floats everywhere. do not break them. do not pick them up. do not lick the splinters from your hands, sweet as candy. 
  • every candy shop in every half-hearted attempt at a town sells salt water taffy. there are always free samples. you take the wax-wrapped lump the earnest cashier offers you, and put the hard sweet in your mouth. something in the center crunches, and then it escapes your sugar-gummed tongue and slithers down your throat. 
  • there’s something huge and heaving on the beach behind the neighborhood full of rental houses. its stink slinks up the streets and chokes the ground squirrels; they die with their fire-colored bellies to the sky. a slab of fatty meat falls away from the thing, revealing ribs that reach like heavenly pillars towards the sky. everyone waits patiently with buckets of bleach; the harvest will begin soon. you’re hoping to grab a shoulder blade to go with your display of illegal driftwood on your front lawn made of gravel and bark chips.
  • in the tidepools, the endless mussels slice at your sandals as you crouch down to poke at a puckered tight green anemone. there used to be sea stars here, but the species is rotting away. you can see the gelatinous remains of purple and orange ochres here and there, half digested by a mysterious bacteria or virus that science has yet to pin down. 
  • you sit down by a deeper pool, one with sculpins darting for cover in the clear salt water. you touch your finger to a white anemone that curls its neon pink tendrils lovingly around the tip; when you pull the finger away, a stinging numbness crawling up to your knuckle, the anemone tears itself in half, and both of them snatch up a sculpin apiece to draw into their maws. 

The Ebola outbreak that affected more than 28,000 people in West Africa is over, but the long-term impact is still felt and MSF is still responding to its aftermath. MSF nurse Carissa Guild has been involved in the Ebola response since 2014. She speaks about the lasting impact that Ebola has left in the West African region.

Watch the full video at https://youtu.be/I7EWNaaav0U 

THE GRAD | 1906

Photo of Mary F. Clifford, Student, Storer College, 1906, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. West Virginia & Regional History Collection, West Virginia University

Basil Spell (2) New Orleans Better Business Formula

Maitresse Ezili Freda Dahomey emerged in a region of West Africa known either as Dahomey or Benin. Originally a water snake spirit, she traveled with enslaved devotees to the Western hemisphere, taking root in Haiti, where she has achieved great prominence as the pre-eminent female spirit in the Vodoun pantheon. During the journey, Maitresse Ezili shed her snakeskin to emerge as the breathtakingly beautiful lwa of wealth, luxury, dreams, and love. New Orleans Voodoo stands firmly on the shoulders of Haitian Vodou, although the more religious aspects may or may not be emphasized. Basil is a major component of New Orleans-styled better business formulas, although the original connection to Maitresse Ezili may be overlooked.

  1. Shred approximately one half cup of fresh basil leaves.
  2. Cover the basil with approximately one pint (560 mL) of boiling water. (Play with proportions to achieve the quantity and intensity you desire.)
  3. Let the basil steep in this water for three days.
  4. On the fourth day, strain out the water, reserving the liquid.

Sprinkle this liquid over the entrances and thresholds of your business, in corners, behind doors, and near the cash registers—basically in any spot that might be perceived as vulnerable. It allegedly attracts customers and prevents theft.

(from The Element Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells by Judika Illes)