December Mailbag No 2

Reindeer team carrying mail, Alaska (1)

We all know that horses were first used as the primary method of carrying mail long distances across countries but did you know that reindeer were used, not only by Santa Claus, but the U.S. Postal Service in Alaska from around 1899.

The first route was established by Sheldon Jackson and ran from St. Michael to Kotzebue, with another managed by William Kjellmann going between Unalakleet and Nome. Distances of 30–50 miles were covered by the service, with the reindeer carrying up to 300 pounds (140 kg) of mail.2

And so if your fingers are itching to draw - perhaps you would like to have a go at a reindeer. Here is a wonderful video to help you.

Our next mail item is from Jane who sent in this wonderful description of last week's post offerings plus further suggestions for TV programs to watch.

Yet another fabulous week of posts. The octopus trailer although short portrayed how important it is to be integral part of the world and it’s amazing creatures, much more rewarding than being an observer. The Gilbert’s and Hallwyl house - our subscribers are getting plenty of variety.

The shots over SA of the igloos were quite incredible and an interesting story with still some mystery. I love looking at the countryside and landscapes from the air - helicopter flights and and those in small aircraft are a highlight for me and I have lots of terrific and vivid memories - Uluru, Lake Eyre, Grand Canyon, Alaskan glaciers, the Nasca lines, even flying over the Great Ocean Road and circling the centre of Melbourne was awesome.

9 GEM has a series on Friday night, Earth from Space, wonderful images and then they provide geological, climatic or animal life that has contributed to what we can see from space. They look at things that are hard to see closer or on the landscape - how hippos have created the many fingers of the inland Okavango Delta, different river systems, sand dunes, farm land. You can pick it up on 9 Now.

Jane x

And Julie asks us what do you think about the recently completed mural in Kaniva, Victoria which has just been added to the Australian Silo Art Trail?

Artists David Lee Pereira and Jason Parker painted this mural as a tribute to the native flora and fauna. It features an Australian Hobby bird, scented sun orchid and salmon sun orchid.

The Graincorp silo was built in 1939 and in use until 2014. It took over 200 hours to paint, with 400 litres of paint! 😮

🎨: Check out the artist David Lee Pereira art

And if you can the Kaniva Victoria Facebook page.

And below the images is a link to a previous post on Silo Art in Australia written by Julie back in May 2020.

Please check out Julie's other post on Silo Art Across Australia by following the link below.

We will conclude the December mailbag with communication from P.A. in Sydney who has sent in a video of the Don McLean song Vincent also colloquially called Starry, Starry Night. A wonderful way to enjoy some of Vincent van Gogh paintings.

3. Kaniva Facebook page/David Lee Pereira and Jason Parker