Storks on roof, Ribe, Denmark


Storkerede i Ribe
(Storks in Ribe)
Publisher: I. Lerche-Simonsen, Gaveboden, Ribe

The stork has for centuries been part of Ribe, and it means a lot to the people of Ribe, which reflects in frequent use of the stork in fairytales, myths, warnings, art, medias and as a souvenir. During summer the nests on top of the town roofs are full of storks and the large number of storks has given Ribe the name ”Town of Storks”.

The stork has been of great importance to many generations of people in Ribe and has spread joy and pride with its arrival every spring. Even though the stork does not visit every year anymore, this big white bird with red legs and beak is still an important part of Ribe. Ribe was earlier known as ”Town of Storks”, and the town has been quite successful in marketing this label. In the 1930’s there were most storks in, from 17 pairs in 1931 to 34 pairs in 1939. And that was the time, when Ribe got its byname. It was truly an impressive sight with storks all over Ribe, and during the best years, around 150 storks gathered at Hovedengen by the end of August, before they started their 12.000 km long migration to South Africa.
Ribe 1300

Belgian Army, WW I


Armée belge | Une section de mitrailleuses Maxim
(Belgian Army: a Maxim machine gun section)
c.1914
Publisher: Nels

At the beginning of the First World War the Belgian Army could field only 102 machine guns. However, many of these guns were transported by a very unusual method. They were pulled on small gun carriages by specially trained dog teams. The machine guns seen in the photographs above are Maxim guns, but the Belgian Army also had a number of French Hotchkiss guns. The dogs used to pull the machine guns were Belgian Mastiffs, this strong breed were more than capable of drawing the 60lbs weight of a Maxim gun. . . .The relatively cheap cost of pack dogs compared to horses, along with their relative lack of maintenance – with no need for horse shoes etc, made the dogs an excellent option. They also offered a much lower profile than that of a pack horse, allowing them to stay close to the guns ready to move under cover when in action, and were much easier to handle without the need for specially trained troops. The dog teams were attached to most Belgian line infantry regiments with each battalion with 6 guns, split into 2-gun sections – each battalion had 36 dogs for the 18 gun and ammunition carriages. The machine guns could be brought into action very quickly and it was said that the dogs were so well trained they would remain quiet and patient in their harnesses until it was time to move again.
Historical Firearms


Armée belge | Les Cyclistes
(Belgian Amry: The Cyclists)
c.1914
Publisher: Nels

Bicycle infantry are infantry soldiers who maneuver on (or, more often, between) battlefields using military bicycles. The term dates from the late 19th century, when the “safety bicycle” became popular in Europe, the United States, and Australia. Historically, bicycles lessened the need for horses, fuel and vehicle maintenance.
Wikipedia.

With the advent of WWI, the thickly-roaded districts of France and Flanders meant that military cyclists would find the ground better suited for their wheels than combatants found in the South African veldt. The flat landscape of the low countries meant that Belgium in particular was an ideal environment for military cyclists and they were well used in the initial stages before the static stalemate of the trenches set in. Four Carabinier battalions of the Belgian army had attached companies of cyclists. They wore a distinctive uniform with a somewhat old-fashioned peaked hat similar to a kepi. Their cycles were the “Belgica” which was a foldable cycle. This allowed the bicycle to be slung across the shoulder when encountering difficult terrain. A dedicated military cycling school in Belgium provided troops with specific training in reading maps, reconnaissance and communication techniques, as well as the mechanical skills needed to maintain the bicycles.
Suburban Militarism: Belgium’s Carabinier Bicyclists


Armée belge | Escadron de cavalerie
(Belgian Amry: cavalry squadron)
c.1914
Publisher: Nels

The use of horses in World War I marked a transitional period in the evolution of armed conflict. Cavalry units were initially considered essential offensive elements of a military force, but over the course of the war, the vulnerability of horses to modern machine gun, mortar, and artillery fire reduced their utility on the battlefield. This paralleled the development of tanks, which ultimately replaces cavalry in shock tactics. While the perceived value of the horse in war changed dramatically, horses still played a significant role throughout the war.
Wikipedia.

Bedouin Camp


Campement de bédouines au désert
Dated 1923
Publishers: Lehnert & Landrock, Cairo

Livestock and herding, principally of goats, sheep and dromedary camels comprised the traditional livelihoods of Bedouins. These were used for meat, dairy products, and wool. Most of the staple foods that made up the Bedouins’ diet were dairy products. Camels, in particular, had numerous cultural and functional uses. Having been regarded as a “gift from God”, they were the main food source and method of transportation for many Bedouins.[16] In addition to their extraordinary milking potentials under harsh desert conditions, their meat was occasionally consumed by Bedouins. As a cultural tradition, camel races were organized during celebratory occasions, such as weddings or religious festivals.

Some Bedouin societies live in arid regions. In areas where rainfall is very unpredictable, a camp will be moved irregularly, depending on the availability of green pasture. Where winter rainfall is more predictable in regions further south, some Bedouin people plant grain along their migration routes. This proves a resource for the livestock throughout the winter. In regions such as western Africa, where there is more predictable rainfall, the Bedouin practice transhumance. They plant crops near permanent homes in the valleys where there is more rain and move their livestock to the highland pastures.
Wikipedia.

Irish Jaunting Car


An Irish Jaunting Car
c.1910
Publisher: Valentine

A jaunting car is a light two-wheeled carriage for a single horse, with a seat in front for the driver. In its most common form with seats for two or four persons placed back to back, with the foot-boards projecting over the wheels and the typical conveyance for persons in Ireland at one time (outside jaunting car). Also with passenger seats facing each other (inside jaunting car).
Wikipedia.

This is, properly, an Irish machine. The jaunting car is almost peculiar to our island. A. Scotchman or an Englishman on first landing at Dublin or at Kingstown is struck with this peculiarity; but: they soon learn to relish so agreeable and handsome a conveyance. It is true, that the cars for hire do not present very great temptations: the miserable horses, and too often the squalid, dirty drivers, clamoring for a fare, and underbidding each other with fierce vociferation, while the furious driving, and incessant attempts to take advantage of ignorance and inexperience, render the Dublin carmen almost intolerable, (we speak generally) except to those who are content to endure these disadvantages for the pleasure and ease of being conveyed to any part of the city or country. But none who have enjoyed the comforts of that pleasant vehicle, a private car, will quarrel with our designating it agreeable and handsome. Almost every citizen who can afford it, (and we are sorry to add, many who can not,) keeps a car
“The (Irish) Jaunting Car”, from the Dublin Penny Journal, 14 July 1832

Monkey, Hôtel Ruisseau Des Singes, Chiffa, Algeria


GORGES DE LA CHIFFA. – Chalet-Hotel du Ruisseau des Singes  – Amusement des Visiteurs
(Hotel of the River of Moneys – Entertainment for visitors)
Publisher: Photo Albert

Google Maps (location)

The charming mountain village of Chréa was the first ski resort created by the French in Algeria. It quickly became a famous resort. Its small wooden chalets almost reminded us of the Vosges or the Jura. The snow cover was capricious and the gradient was slight, but you could still enjoy skiing in winter. Nowadays, nobody skis on the spot during the winter season but the snowy landscapes remain grandiose. In summer, it is pleasant to go there to find some coolness and avoid the torrid heat of the Mitidja. At the site called “le Ruisseau des Singes” (because of the many monkeys that frequent the area and that you will see from the road), you will find a very pleasant hotel complex with cafeteria and restaurant.
Petit Futé Travel Guide: Chrea National Park

Snake Charmer, Tangier, Morocco


TANGER L’arabe a la couleuvre
c.1910
Published: A. Benzaquen, Tangier

I thought this might just be a man with a snake, but the round thing behind the child looks like a bendir (frame drum) commonly seem in photos of Moroccan snake charmers.

Snake charmers
From Wikipedia Commons.

Turns out that Mohamed makes his living as a snake charmer. Never having met a snake charmer, we decided to hang around awhile in hopes of seeing him in action. The key, he said, is looking in a location with a lot of rat holes because the snakes hunt rats. Snake hunters dig into the rat holes hoping to find a Goldilocks Snake sniffing around the rat house.
Secrets of a Moroccan Snake Charmer

The Snake Charmers of Marrakech