Photo of the Day – Fort Ross Still Life

I was taking this on a crappy camera and it got too much noise. Grr… I’ll have to go back because “Still Life With Balalaika” came out quite well compositionally.

Still Life With Balalaika

For those that are unfamiliar, Fort Ross is a State Historic park preserving a former Russian settlement in Sonoma County, California. After a few Napoleonic era explorations coming south from Alaska, the Russian American Company decided it would be beneficial to establish an outpost in California: there was lots of seal and otter and beaver good resources to trade/exploit. Fort Ross was to be the agricultural center to supply smaller operations up and down the coast.

Although the Russians depleted the resources to the point where the outposts were no longer viable financially, Fort Ross was the site for California’s first windmills, shipbuilding, first vaccinations against disease, and first records of natural and cultural history in the state. The Russians brought people with diverse nationalities from within their Empire, many who stayed in the area after Russian authority waned, including the ancestors of one of my good friends.

Perhaps in a twist of irony, Prince Andrew Andreevich Romanov, the grand nephew of Tsar Nicholas II and the next in line if Russia were to go back to that whole Imperial thing (he was kept safe in England as a boy in case the Soviets fell) live just a wee bit south in Marin County. He’s eighty-eight, a naturalized U.S. citizen now, and doesn’t use the title as much as others do. He also makes art with shrinky dinks. They’re pretty good. He has a lifetime supply of shrinky dinks. I swear. Google it. Look, I just did for you. Shrinky dink art from Prince Andrew Romanov:

Balmoral Castle

Much of his art is from his lifetime of memories. Here, dinner with the King and Queen of England. Pretty homey except for the crowns.

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~ by glasslajora on August 25, 2011.

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