Tag Archive | California

The Pony Express in Stamps by Robyn Echols

 

The Pony Express in Stamps

by Robyn Echols

 

As a retired rural letter carrier for the United States Postal Service, I feel a certain connection to the Pony Express riders of yester-yore. Although my “ride” was a right-hand drive surplus government jeep (later a RHD Subaru) instead of a horse, and my risk of being attacked came in the form of aggressive guard dogs instead of hostile Indians, I also rode many miles for long hours day after day to deliver the mail. I also developed a love for stamp artwork, although my personal collection is limited.

According to crazy and bizarre daily calendar posted by Brownielocks and the 3 Bears, August 31st is Pony Express Day. I have no understanding why that should be so since I was unable to verify it on any other online site. My research shows that the Pony Express began operations on April 3, 1860 and ended eighteen months later in October, 1861. But, in the spirit of things, I will share a few short facts about the Pony Express.

Pony Express 100th Anni- FDC 150dpi

The Pony Express was organized by the owners of Russell, Majors & Waddell, the overland transportation and communications service started in 1854 to supply military posts. They knew the Pony Express would be of short duration due to the rapid expansion of railroad and telegraph services, but it turns out it ended when the parent company went bankrupt in 1862. In the meantime, California was a new state in the Union. It was separated by miles of sparsely-inhabited territories. The Civil War loomed on the horizon, many residents in both California and Oregon had come from the South and advocated for slavery, and the railroad lines only went as far west as the Mississippi River. The Union (with its military forts) needed a speedy means of communication to keep tabs on what was happening on the opposite side of the continent from Washington D.C.

Pony Express riders wanted

Based on the advertisement for riders, Russell, Majors & Waddell understood this was a high-risk job. Still, it attracted 80 riders including fifteen year-old William “Buffalo Bill” Cody.
Pony express stamp 2

The route started in St. Joseph, Missouri and roughly followed the California/Oregon trail traveled by the freighting operation until it arrived in Sacramento. From there, mail was sent by steamer to San Francisco. Each rider rode approximately 75 miles per day between 184 stations set up into five districts. They were able to travel this route in ten days.

 



 

2012 01 Dinnie Camera 076bRobyn Hobush Echols has been writing since she was in junior high school. By choice, she spent most of her evening hours in her “dungeon”, as her mother called her downstairs bedroom, writing stories, only joining her family in front of the television upstairs when her favorite programs were playing. She has spent hours learning and teaching family history topics, and focuses on history from a genealogist’s perspective of seeking out the details of everyday life in the past. Several of her family history articles have been published in genealogy magazines. She also draws on her education, including training in Environmental Hazardous Materials Technology and her professional background of being a state-level union steward for a postal union, a position which required investigative, research and technical writing skills. Now Robyn resides with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite” and has fun researching and writing the books that she hopes will interest and entertain her readers.



Books by Robyn include:

 

ARescue Print Cover

 

Aurura Redress

 

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Welcome, Spring by Janice Seagraves

From Christina: Today is a day I’ve long awaited. Spring is here! Spring is always a lovely time of year, and it’s perhaps at its loveliest in the central valley of California. Author Janice Seagraves is fortunate to be near the beauty…and we’re fortunate that she’s here to share it with us.  Here are a few thoughts and many photos from Janice. Thank you for sharing!

Welcome, Spring

by Janice Seagraves

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I live in the middle of the Central Valley of California. The bread basket of the world. The best part is all the fresh produce, and the blooms. I bought a new camera during cyber-Sunday, so I’d be ready for the almond blooms. You see, my home is in the middle of an almond orchard. The blooms are truly spectacular. Each year they are more beautiful than the last. And I was ready.

 

 

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Bees pollinate the almond blooms, so we have almonds and honey.

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My favorite part of spring is the beautiful open faces of the blooms.

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Happy spring, everyone.

About the author:

 Janice Seagraves grew up with a deep love of science fiction and adventure stories. Always the consummate artist, she traded in her paint brush for a laptop to write breathless life-affirming novels that celebrate enduring love. She lives in California with her husband of many years and their grown daughter. When not writing, you can find her in the yard either gardening or snapping a photo or two.

Harvest Season in the Central Valley by Janice Seagraves

From Christina:  I’d like to thank Janice Seagraves for sharing a little bit of her life with us today. Almonds…so good!  Thanks, too, for the photograph, Janice.

Harvest Season in the Central Valley

By Janice Seagraves

Living in California along HWY 99, the agricultural corridor in the Central Valley, I’ve seen the harvest season is in full swing all my life. I actually live in the middle of an almond orchard, which is across the street from raisin grapes. And down the road is a packing shed for peaches and nectarines.

Early each spring the almonds put on blooms. And they are beautiful.

Photo from Janice

Photo from Janice

 

As soon as the blooms are pollinated by bees they start turning into nuts.

Then the harvest begins. First the shakers come and I hear at five in the morning: zoom, zoom, ratatat, shush.  The noise is the wheeled machine, clamping on the truck of the tree and shaking the living daylights out of it until the nuts fall off.

Next the blowers come, making a great deal of dust, and blow the nuts into a neat row, and then the sweepers come and sweep up the nuts, place them on a convers belt where they are deposited into semi-trucks. The trucks take them where they are processed, so you can purchase them at the store as a healthy snack.

Janice’s latest release, Matrix Crystal Hunters, is now available. It includes a harvest scene. You can find it Amazon. Readers can find Janice online at her website, Janice Seagraves, on Twitter @JaniceSeagraves, and on Facebook: Janice Seagraves. She is an author, blogger, artist, and photographer.