Did You Know? Do You Care?

This page is devoted to satisfying my own curiosity. As we travel, certain names and phrases seem extremely odd or just generate a tremendous curiosity about where they originated or what they mean. This page contains some of those items which I have successfully researched on the web.

Fifth Third National Bank of Cincinnati

Fifth Third's unusual name is the result of the June 1, 1908 merger of two banks, The Fifth National Bank and The Third National Bank, to become The Fifth Third National Bank of Cincinnati. Because the merger took place during a period when prohibitionist ideas were gaining popularity, it was believed that "Fifth Third" was better than "Third Fifth," which could be construed as a reference to three "fifths" of alcohol. The name went through several changes over the years, until on March 24, 1969, the name was changed to Fifth Third Bank.


PrePass is an automatic vehicle identification (AVI) system that enables participating transponder-equipped commercial vehicles to be pre-screened throughout the nation at designated weigh stations, port-of-entry facilities and agricultural interdiction facilities. Cleared vehicles are then able to "bypass" the facility while traveling at highway speed, eliminating the need to stop.


Vehicles participating in the PrePass program are pre-certified. Customers’ safety records and credentials are routinely verified with state & federal agencies to ensure adherence to the safety and bypass criteria established by PrePass and member states. If an approaching PrePass-equipped vehicle’s weight and credentials are found to be satisfactory, a green light and audible signal from the windshield mounted PrePass transponder advise the driver to bypass the weigh station. Otherwise a red light and audible signal advise the driver to pull into the weigh station for regular processing.


Vehicles bypassing inspection facilities save drivers and their companies valuable time on the road, thereby reducing fuel and operating costs, while increasing productivity (See "Calculating Your Savings"). PrePass also benefits member states and everyone who uses our nation’s highways. By reducing congestion around inspection facilities and enabling state inspection staff to focus their efforts on carriers that demand the most attention, PrePass helps make the roadways safer for everyone.

Horse Cave

The city is best known for the large natural cave opening located on the south side of Main Street, from which the town's name is derived. As for the historical reason for the odd name, various legends are told. One has it that Native Americans historically hid horses in the cave. A similar tale is that an early carriage may have lost its horse to an accident, when the horse fell into the cave opening. Another, more likely, reason for the name is that the word horse was simply a 19th century adjective implying huge. The cave opening is large, and this is the most likely reason for the odd name. ("Hoss" is a Swedish word for "big in stature and big in spirit"; in the 19th Century, "Hoss", or "Horse", over time, became the Southern equivalent word, implying something that was huge or large.)


The cave itself has figured prominently in the history of the town. Around the World War I period, the world's only air-conditioned tennis courts were located in the entrance of the cave. Likewise, many of the early buildings alongside Main Street derived their air-conditioning from the cave. Inside the cave is a large, fast-flowing river, and the cave itself is also known as Hidden River Cave. This energy source provided the energy to drive a dynamo, and, for a while in the late 19th Century, Horse Cave was the only town outside of Louisville to have electric lights in Kentucky.

What Is It?


There are many of these all around the campground. They especially show up after a heavy rain.


Crayfish play important roles in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, both as food sources for many animals and as consumers of plant and animal material. Crayfish are aquatic, but there are a few burrowing or "terrestrial" species. Areas of turf in low-lying areas that maintain damp soils and shallow subsurface water levels may support crayfish populations. Damage is not so significant to the turf, but large amounts of soil may be brought to the surface as the crayfish tunnel in the soils. Such large mud turrets may create mounds that can be annoying or inconvenient, especially during lawn maintenance.


Check out this link for more pictures http://www.cclockwood.com/stockimages/crawfish.htm.

What Breed Is It?


The cows in the photo with the odd coloration of a white band around the middle of an all black cow are known as the Galloway Belted breed. The Belted Galloway is a rare beef breed of cattle originating from Galloway in South West Scotland, adapted to living on the poor upland pastures and windswept moorlands of the region. The exact origin of the breed is unclear although it is often surmised that the white belt that distinguishes these cattle from the native black Galloway cattle may be as a result of cross breeding with Dutch Lakenvelder belted cattle. Belted Galloways are primarily raised for their quality marbled beef, although they are sometimes milked and purchased to adorn pastures due to their striking appearance. In the US these cows are often informally known as "police car cows,""panda cows" or "Oreo cows" after the Oreo cookie.


Belted Galloways, also known as Belties, are currently listed with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy as a "watched" breed, which means there are fewer than 2,500 annual registrations in the United States and a global population of less than 10,000. In 2007 they were formally removed from the UK Rare Breeds Survival Trust's watch list, having recovered sufficiently from the devastation of the foot and mouth crisis of the early 2000's, to have reached in excess of 1500 registered breeding females. Many Belted Galloways can be seen in Fearrington Village, in Pittsboro, North Carolina, where they are the village's official mascot.


Galloway cattle are naturally polled. The most visible characteristics of the Belted Galloway are its long hair coat and the broad white belt that completely encircles the body. Its coarse outer coat helps shed the rain, and its soft undercoat provides insulation and waterproofing, enabling the breed to happily overwinter outside. Black Belties are most prominent, but Dun and Red Belties are also recognized by breed societies, the latter being comparatively rare and sought after. A female Belted Galloway cannot be registered in the Herd Book if it has white above the dew claw other than the belt, but can be registered in the Appendix. A bull can only be registered in the Herd book if it has no other white than the belt.


Bulls weigh from 1,700 pounds (770kg) to 2,300 pounds (1045kg) with the average being 1,800 pounds (820kg). Cows weigh from 1,000 pounds (450kg) to 1,500 pounds (675kg) with the average being 1,250 pounds (565kg). Calves generally weigh from 40 pounds to 60 pounds. Belties are generally of a quiet temperament, but still maintain a strong maternal instinct and will protect a calf against perceived threats.


Belties are well-suited for rough grazing land and will utilize coarse grasses other breeds would shun. They are able to maintain good condition on less than ideal pasture, and produce a high quality beef product on grass alone. The USDA Cycle IV Germ Plasm Evaluation Program at the Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) showed that Galloway crosses placed at the top of the chart for flavor, juiciness and tenderness when compared to eleven other breeds.

George Wallace Tunnel


tunnelentrance.jpg                        West Bound Entrance

The George Wallace Tunnel, like the smaller Bankhead Tunnel a few blocks upriver from it, was constructed in Mobile at the shipyards of the Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company (ADDSCO) from 1969-1973. The 2 tunnels (one for two lanes of travel eastbound, and one for two lanes of travel westbound on Interstate 10) were built in sections and floated to the proper positions, then sunk. Each section was sunk next to the previous section and joined underwater. When all sections were connected, and concrete set into place, they were pumped dry and finished out. The depth of clearance is 40 ft (12.2 m) for the ship channel over the tunnel. This is the same clearance as the older Bankhead Tunnel.

Angel Tree


During the worst part of the storm (Hurricane Katrina), several locals sought "high ground" on the second floor of the Bay Town Inn, near Demontluzin Avenue. When the huge house began to crumble in the violent storm surge, three of them: Doug Niolet, Nikki Nicholson, and Kevan Guillry swam to a nearby oak tree in a last-resort effort to survive the storm. All three individuals made it through safely by clinging to the limbs.

angel01.jpg                             The Angel Tree

Type of wood carving: Chainsaw carving

Artist's Name: Dayle Lewis

Approximate size/height: 20' +/-

Type of wood: oak

From "Crafting art from destruction"

            by Mary Perez, Sun Herald, March 2009


BILOXI -- The idea of creating art from trees destroyed by Hurricane Katrina grew and spread in two years, from the Biloxi Bay Bridge all the way to Waveland, and now there are more than three dozen wood carvings along the beach. They've become one of the top tourist attractions on the Coast and a symbol of the comeback of South Mississippi. The drive along U.S. 90 to see all of them takes locals and visitors over the new bridges, along the water and past homes that were rebuilt and waterfront lots still empty.


Marlin Miller of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., spent much of the past year donating his time to carve the tree trunks. A little to the east on U.S. 90, the eagles Miller carved soar with 17-foot wingspans near the entrance of the University of Southern Mississippi, whose mascot is the golden eagle. Miller said the university received so much positive feedback he was contacted by President Martha Saunders about doing a project for the main campus in Hattiesburg.


Also working on new carvings is Dayle Lewis, a professional chain-saw artist from Richmond, Ind. He gave an old oak tree wings when he carved a pair of angels into a tree near the beach in Bay St. Louis. "It became the Guardian Angel Tree," said Lewis. The story goes that 100 years ago a member of the DeMontluzin family kept the tree from being cut when the road was built, said Douglas Niolet. "I guess she saved it for us," Niolet said, because he and two others found their way to the oak and hung onto it for more than three hours during Hurricane Katrina. The tree died after the storm and the survivors asked Lewis to carve it into the angels that watched over them.


Lewis said many people have told him how much joy and spirit the tree has brought to Bay St. Louis. He has done quite a few carvings in people's yards and created angels for their homes. He's also donated his time and talent to help groups. The first year he worked in New Orleans and the second year raised money for a fire station in Kiln. This year he's carving alligators, pelicans and herons to raise money for the Amish group CARE, so they can continue to rebuild homes on the Coast.


Miller started with a dolphin, birds and a sea horse in December 2007 and became more adventurous as he worked. In his latest piece in Biloxi, he carved a multi-layer sculpture with shadows among the osprey and he gave Waveland a carving where there wasn't a tree.


As about 1,000 volunteers spruced up Waveland for the national kickoff of Keep America Beautiful on March 3, Miller worked on a sculpture at the intersection of U.S. 90 and Mississippi 603. A dead tree was moved to the site and cemented into place. With his chain saws, Miller worked several days on the carving -- and past 10 p.m. on a cold, windy Sunday night. "People thought I was crazy," he said, until they saw the three dolphins and a large turtle emerging from the dead tree. "There's no other carving like it," he said.


Brian Thacker with Biloxi Public Works said the sealant, applied once a year, fights moisture, bugs and salt spray and even has a UV protectant so the carvings will survive the beachfront elements. "We've got a new landmark," said Biloxi Public Affairs Manager Vincent Creel, who has documented the carvings on the city's Web site. The first sculptures were done by Sandersville, Miss., chain-saw artist Dayton Scoggins; Miller carved 16 of the 21 tree sculptures in Biloxi.

A list of the sculptures, which may be old and incomplete:

Owl by Marlin Miller

Pelican by Marlin Miller

Egrets by Marlin Miller

Eagle by Marlin Miller

Dolphin by Marlin Miller

Parrot by Marlin Miller

Marlin by Marlin Miller

Marlin by Marlin Miller

Heron by Marlin Miller

Animals by Dayton Scoggins

Birds by Marlin Miller

Eagles by Marlin Miller

Dolphins by Marlin Miller

Animals by Dayton Scoggins

Whales and Bird by Marlin Miller

Eagle by Marlin Miller

Dolphins and Fish by Marlin Miller

Birds by Marlin Miller

Angels by Marlin Miller

Dolphins by Marlin Miller

See the map at:


Read more from this article here:


Bobwhite Quail



The bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) which received its name from a distinct, whistled "bobwhite" call is a small, but plump bird that measures 8-11 inches in length and weighs around 6-7 ounces. Like most upland game birds, the bobwhite contains a short but stout beak along with powerful feet and claws. These features adapt the quail for finding and eating the seeds and fruits, which make up a good portion of its diet.


The body feathers of the bobwhite are reddish-brown in color that are mottled with black and white spots with a tail that is gray. In male bobwhites, the throat is white and a white stripe extends from the bill over the eye to the base of the neck. The region below the eye stripe is colored black and expands under the throat to form a black collar. Female quail lack this black collar and their throats and eye stripes are buff, rather than white. The bobwhite's mottled coloring serves a protective purpose. When the bird is threatened or alarmed, it often "freezes," allowing its camouflage coloring to blend into its surroundings.

Gopher Tortoise



The gopher tortoise (gopherus polyphemus) belongs to a group of land tortoises that originated in North America 60 million years ago, thus making it one of the oldest living species. The gopher tortoises can be found throughout the state of Florida and southern areas of Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama and the tip of Eastern Louisiana. They dig their burrows in dry habitats. The gopher tortoise grows on average to be about slightly less than one foot long and weighs about 29 pounds, though they have been found to be as big as 16 inches. The gopher tortoise is unique in that it is one of the few tortoises to actually make large burrows. Many tortoises hide under vegetations or use very shallow burrows.


The gopher tortoise is a turtle as all tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises. Ray Ashton states in his literature for the GTCI, think of them as a cow with a shell. They graze on vegetation just like cows, and therefore, are important players in spreading seeds. Gopher tortoises also have chiseled looking front feet (flippers) and elephant like hind legs.


The gopher tortoise is a rather plain looking turtle as far as colors go. They are either a dark tan, or gray. Their front legs are broad and flat, almost like a shovel. Their back legs look just like an elephant's legs. The top part of their shell is fairly flat, The adult gopher tortoise is a rather drab looking animal, which is in stark contrast for the brightly colored hatchlings. The gopher tortoise reaches sexual maturity between 12 and 15 years of age, when their shells are about 9 inches long.


The gopher tortoise has an elaborate courtship that begins in the spring. They will nest between April and July. Typically, the nests are dug very close to their burrow openings, where a clutch of 4-7 eggs are laid. After about 80 - 90 days, the young hatch and will often spend the first winter in their mother's burrow. The gopher tortoise egg's are round and about the size of a ping pong ball, they incubate for about 80 - 90 days, The sex of the offspring is determined by the temperature of the sand or dirt where the nest is incubating, if the temperature is above 30° C (85° F), the tortoises hatchling will be females. Temperatures below 30° C produce males. Hatchlings are 1 - 2 inches long and grow about 3/4 inch a year, Adults range in length from about 10 - 15 or 16 inches and can weigh about 30 pounds. Gopher tortoises live upwards of 100 years.


The gopher tortoise is a very important part of the local ecology. As in any food web, if you start taking certain flora or fauna out of the equation, then you can adversely affect the survival of that ecosystem. The gopher tortoise is especially important because the burrows, which are dug by the tortoises, also provide homes for other animals, such as indigo snakes, gopher frogs, mice, foxes, skunks, opossums, rabbits, quail, armadillos, burrowing owls, snakes, lizards, frogs, toads and other invertebrates, gopher tortoise burrows are home to about 250 species of animals at one time or another. Some species share the burrows with the tortoises and others utilize abandoned burrows. Since the burrows are used by so many species, it does not take a rocket scientist to see that removing the tortoises from the local habitat would leave many animals without homes. True, some of these animals will be able to relocate, but there are a few species that are found only in these burrows.


The gopher tortoise digs and lives in burrows, The burrows are their homes. The burrow provides protection from predators and the elements, and also during extreme conditions on the surface such as drought, freezing weather, and fires. The burrows can vary in length and depth. These variables are usually determined by the level of the water table. Burrows can be as short as about 6 - 10 feet long, but they average around 30 feet with a record of approximately 50 ft. (Ashton 2001). Depths vary from around 3 - 20 feet deep. The burrows vary in shape, with most being straight or with only slight curves.


Gopher tortoises are primarily herbivores and feed on many species of low-growing plants. The largest part of their diet consists of grasses and legumes. They also eat gopher apple, pawpaw, blackberries, saw palmetto berries, and other fruits. Gopher tortoises will also scavenge and are opportunistic feeders, occasionally feeding on dead animals or excrement.


Gopher tortoises rarely drink (or are rarely seen drinking) from standing water. They can use their front flipper like legs to dam-up water as it runs down their burrow during a rain. Most of the water they get comes from the food they eat. During periods of extreme drought they have been seen drinking standing water on the side of the road.

Cotton Pickin'


All of the cotton harvesting going on around us caused me to investigate further into the cotton industry in the south. Here is a URL that provides the complete (?) history and all sorts of interesting facts about cotton growing, harvesting, and use.





As for the truck used to pick up the huge bales of cotton, an article from 1976 explains how it became available the previous year. The truck shown in the article was quite basic and has been improved over the years. It now comes complete with an enclosure over the load bed to protect the cotton while traveling. The open area at the center front of the enclosure allows the truck driver to see the cotton as it is loaded so he can do the whole job without ever leaving the truck cab. Go to the following URL to read the historical magazine article about the transport process.