western lakes

Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri (Australian-Aboriginal, b. c. 1958, east of Kiwirrkurra, Western Australia) - Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay), 2006 Paintings, Acrylics on Belgian Linen

Nevada Gothic

*The playground looks very nice. It is clean and colorful and well-thought-out. No one goes there but the jackrabbits.

*A new company is moving into the area. The local councils fall all over themselves providing whatever might be needed. No one mentions that the first day of work is the last day the workers are seen.

*The popping noise at night is just someone target-shooting. You try not to think about what’s being used as targets.

*We’re very proud of our town. Where do we get the water? It doesn’t matter. We’re very proud of our town.

*As you drive through endless stretches of highway, you occasionally see an onion farm. The wind rustles through the stalks. You don’t think it sounds like someone pleading for help at all.

*Everyone laughs at the local ghost stories. Only the local Native American tribes know enough to keep their silence. You’re new here, don’t you want to see the most haunted city in America?

*A healthy teenager went into an abandoned mine. When they recovered his body, they couldn’t find a cause of death.

*It’s wonderful how involved the city’s council is. Why, almost everything is sponsored by them…

*Your high school reunion is coming up in a week. You aren’t going. Getting out once was enough.

*The neighbor’s dogs always seem oddly well-fed. You never see them except at night. They have very bright eyes.

Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902)
“Mount Corcoran” (1876-1877)
Oil on canvas
Located in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, United States

Mount Corcoran is a part of the Sierra Nevada, a mountain range in the Western United States.

The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie
On the trail of the phantom women who changed American music and then vanished without a trace.
By John Jeremiah Sullivan

IN THE WORLD of early-20th-century African-American music and people obsessed by it, who can appear from one angle like a clique of pale and misanthropic scholar-gatherers and from another like a sizable chunk of the human population, there exist no ghosts more vexing than a couple of women identified on three ultrarare records made in 1930 and ’31 as Elvie Thomas and Geeshie Wiley. There are musicians as obscure as Wiley and Thomas, and musicians as great, but in none does the Venn diagram of greatness and lostness reveal such vast and bewildering co-extent. In the spring of 1930, in a damp and dimly lit studio, in a small Wisconsin village on the western shore of Lake Michigan, the duo recorded a batch of songs that for more than half a century have been numbered among the masterpieces of prewar American music, in particular two, Elvie’s “Motherless Child Blues” and Geeshie’s “Last Kind Words Blues,” twin Alps of their tiny oeuvre, inspiring essays and novels and films and cover versions, a classical arrangement.

This is one of of my all-time favourite articles. I read it for the first time a few years ago and I’ve carried it with me ever since, so consider it a rec that encompasses Black History month, queer history, music history, the appeal of an old mystery, and the opportunity to be caught up in a story, that when it’s finished with you, will put you back down in a place that’s different from where you began. 


Yes, lions were found in North America in prehistoric times. They had an almost global range - everything but South America, Southeast Asia and Australia, and the coldest parts. There were even lions in Great Britain.

In far more recent times, in actual recorded Roman and Greek history, they lived from Greece throughout the Middle East all the way to India. As did cheetahs.

The European bison, like its American cousin a century ago, is all but extinct in the wild, only a few thousand animals are left, mostly kept in reserves. They once ranged from western Iberia to Lake Baikal in Russia.

Asian elephants lived all the way to Turkey, while today only a few fragmented pockets from India to Borneo are left.

This is but a fragment of all these examples I could give you, I simply took the animals that have the biggest cultural impact on us.

imagining us in the mountains, by the ocean,
waist-deep in every eastern lake, every
western river, every song we’ve ever heard
sweet on our lips like farmer’s market honey,
every picture i take of you a painting in a
museum. just thinking the word makes my
cheeks turn all sunflower, tongue all heavy
like a bee sting - all this love packaged up
in little hurts. don’t worry, though: it’s just
the gravel underfoot, it’s just the hail
on the windshield, it’s just the splinters in
our palms from climbing all those trees and
kissing everything warm again.

What Korra, known as Lady Korra and Korra the Cruel, a female pirate , would wear, Alexander McQueen

Korra is pirate on Dagger Lake which lies between the rivers Rhoyne and Qhoyne in western Essos, the Lake is full of islands where pirates lurk in hidden caves and secret strongholds. Her ship, Hag’s Teeth, is supposedly crewed by beautiful young maids who geld every man they capture

there’s a picture of a protest sign going around that says “got plague? no? Thank a scientist” and like I totally get and support the idea but it’s just wrong

plague stopped being a major public health concern literally centuries before germ theory even existed. the black death didn’t stop killing millions of people annually because of science. it just sort of did (likely because of a mutation to a less virulent and deadly strain, which also happened with smallpox btw).

like we can cure it now because of science. which is awesome, because it’s still endemic in animals in certain areas (for example the western side of lake tahoe) and people still get it, but like, the fact that plague isn’t killing a third of the population ever couple of decades anymore isn’t because of advancements in science.

make the same point more accurately using smallpox. that one is because of science.

Tall Man

Anyone who’s read up on Seneca legend would know that the forests in certain places around Western New York are ripe with tales of creatures that toe the line between haunting and cryptid.  Particularly the legend of something that some researchers have dubbed, “Tall Man.”  With such a cryptic and vague name, it’s not surprising to learn that the thing referred to doesn’t often have many similar characteristics between reports.  Nevertheless, there is one particular thing that makes this creepy forest-dweller unique.  Its affinity for wearing a stovepipe hat.

Often nicknamed “Abe Lincoln,” this beast has been described as large and hairy, or thin, lanky, and wearing a dark suit.  Whether or not the thing described better resembles Bigfoot or Slenderman, the concensus on what it eats is always the same and utterly horrifying.  Allegedly, Tall Man’s favorite dish happens to be fresh human children.  Some youngsters who’ve ventured into the woods at night report having felt watched, stalked, and claim that they saw something huge lurking through the woods.

The last “confirmed” sighting of Tall Man was in 1970 and was actually not in New York at all but nearby the Kinzua Dam along the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania.  It was said that workers who were building the dam noticed a strange man nearby in the woods who was dressed in black and wearing, you guessed it, a stovepipe hat.

Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri
Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay), 2006

Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri was born 1958, east of Kirwirrkurra, Western Australia. Warlimpirrnga came to Kiwirrkurra with his family in 1984. This family group was considered to be one of the last Pintupi who made contact with modern Australia. His art is a very important testimony to the time-honored way of living and the beliefs that sustained the Aboriginal people for centuries.

Warlimpirrnga began painting for Papunya Tula Artists on canvas with acrylics only three years after emerging from his traditional country around Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay).