This photo selection is mostly intended for photos which have not been included in the blog posts. They might be either from trips not covered on this blog or photos just not included in the posts … as I have way too many to be posting all the ones I like. I make no claim as to the artistic or technical merit of the photos, they are simply ones that I personally like for one reason or another.
Please note most photos can be viewed at larger size by opening in a new tab (right-click)
06.15.2018. Today I share a few photos from my own backyard ... please see my post about Colorado Wildlife for more pics from my yard in the Rocky Mountains and the surrounding area ... a lovely destination for any tourist desiring to spend time in the outdoors. This was a terribly exciting morning for me when I walked out on my balcony and saw this large mother moose and twin newborns in tow. I don't know their age, but others in town estimated maybe a week old. I was just beside myself, and I ran and got my camera and fired off several shots before I even found Erik to tell him, I wanted so much to get some photos of such a blessed sighting! So I share a few with you here.
06.01.2018. I chose this week's photo with Hawaii's Kilauea volcano on the Big Island in the news, how it's changing the landscape once again, lava rolling across it with the raw power of the planet itself. I'm often awed by the force of weather events, the power of water in an ocean, etc., both those are things that reside on the planet, whereas the volcano IS the planet, birthed from the mass of minerals that first came together and formed a molten core. Watching the lava flows moving across the land, you get the unmistakable feeling of the earth being alive. This photo is of the extinct volcano on Maui, Haleakala. You can read more about it in my Hawaii post. It's one of the most unique places I've been, and one of the cool things is how high the summit of the main crater is, up above the clouds. What struck me about this photo, while it may not be the most photogenic scene, is how much the clouds behind the mountain look like ocean water crashing against rocks on the shore. It's like the clouds have rolled in as a big wave, hit the mountain lower down and have now shot up into the air in a cloud spray. For comparison, below it is a photo of water crashing into rocks on the shoreline of Maui, water spraying up into the air.
05.18.2018. This is a blast from the past, and while I generally try to make Friday Photo a section where photos are either published first before being included in an larger article or feature photos that will never be included in a feature post. This pic was published in an Iceland post, "Fire and Ice," however, I've gotten much better at post-production with my photos since then, so it's been reprocessed here. But the reason I'm posting it today is because I have finally finished binge watching Vikings, and when Floki steps onto Iceland and is walking around all these magical places, the first place I recognized was Skógafoss. Anyone who left his life up to his Gods and then stumbled across this magnificent waterfall and rainbow would surely think, as Floki did, that he was blessed and it was a blessed land. There is supposedly a legend that one of the early Viking settlers (in real life) in the area hid a treasure chest behind the waterfall and it still waits to be found!
05.11.2018. I've started to spend some time converting color pics into black-and-white. I don't really know what I'm doing, haha. I'm just having a little fun. Put on some nice tunes or select a fun podcast to listen to and scroll through photos looking for good conversion candidates, then play around with them ... good way to waste a few hours in a day! Here are two lions, the first from Botswana, the second from Namibia, that I converted. The first I title, "sad lion." He looks melancholy, or at least very thoughtful.
05.04.2018. Today's photo is a throwback to my first trip to China, when I was romping around Beijing all by myself, managing to get by with my smidgen of Mandarin. My relatives who had earlier visited Beijing recommended this off-the-beaten track place of Prince Gong's Palace. It was easy to get to and I spent an afternoon leisurely toodling around it, and had a lovely time. I love the rounded doorways in traditional Chinese architecture. So quaint and inviting.
04.20.2018. Life was hard on the Colorado Rocky Mountain frontier in the 19th and early 20th century. This is gold and silver mining country, "the mineral belt." Brutally cold winters, short summers and very hard labor in the mines, plus the inevitable diseases of the era took many miners and their families into an early grave. I came across this old cemetery, Buckskin Joe cemetery, a few miles northwest of the town of Alma in South Park. Baby Berry in the background lived five days, and another child not long enough for a name or dates. We can only surmise what took the wee ones so quickly.
04.13.2018. I wanted to take a photo of this woman making and holding the basket she was weaving. I've bought several of these throughout Africa; I use them for hot pads and coasters, I actually don't know how the locals use them. We were in her family's courtyard in northern Namibia to introduce ourselves to a local witchdoctor, Makukutu. I posted a Friday Photo of his father January 26, 2018. I think this woman is Makukutu's sister. Anyway, he noticed me asking her if I could photograph her, and before I could get the camera up and explain to her what I wanted in the photo (her and her work), Makukutu had leaped over and inserted himself into the scene -- a master photo bomber. He looks like such a weasel (second pic), or a little snake who slithers off into the grass after an evil deed. Don't you think? He looks obsequious, except his attention was unwanted, so he obsequented pointlessly, haha! (sure, it's a word) Well, he ditched us the following day when we made a specific appointment with him and confirmed it only 10 minutes before arriving. When we got there, a little gang of kids came out to greet us and told us he had to very suddenly go into town. Anyway, so the one photo I got of her by herself is not great but it does show her creation, a very common type of weaving in Africa. The second pic makes me both cringe and laugh.
04.06.2018. In memory of Granny Sabina, who passed away this week. Beautiful, ebullient soul. She put the cheer in cheerfulness. She and her family are some of the featured people interviewed in the film African Witchfinder.
03.16.2018. This is one of my very favorite photos from my last trip to Botswana. I just love the position of the adult elephant smooshing its face into the mud, and then the baby standing nearby. This was on a Chobe afternoon boat "cruise" in Chobe National Park, part of the Okavango Delta region.
03.9.2018. I love vervet monkeys in spite of their rascal nature. Or I don't know, maybe actually because of it. Except when they are chasing *me* and attacking me when I'm trying to walk home with my leftover pizza (as would happen to me when I lived on the grounds of the UWEC). My favorite feature of the vervets is their hands. They're just so adorable, these little furry human-like hands. I like watching them eat and groom each other. I chose this pic for today's Friday Photo because I find the one monkey holding the other's one hand so sweet, presumably mother and child. If you like vervets, you can see a bunch more in my post about the ones at the UWEC.
03.02.2018. I think this is almost like a cartoon scene, the crocodile trying to be so incognito, disguised as a log, with his eye just cracked open to signal to us he is cognizant of his villainous position and intent. And the turtles seem blissfully unaware ... the one even has his foot right on the crocodile's mouth. I spent ages watching this, waiting for the croc to suddenly snatch that turtle, but it didn't happen on my watch. From my favorite cocodrilario ... the crocodile reserve at Popoyote Lagoon on Playa Linda in Ixtapa, Mexico. I like to imagine that crocodile's journal entry: "Dear Diary, today I successfully infiltrated the turtle club on Log 7 in the northeastern quarter of the lagoon. No one suspected. It was such a thrill. I didn't even eat a turtle, it was fun just to lurk and revel in my disguise, knowing I could munch them for lunch at any second." And p.s. the water really is crazy green, that's not me saturating the color.
02.9.2018. Today's portrait comes from the next post I'm working on about the Candombe parade we watched in Buenos Aires. I haven't shared much of anything about our time in Buenos Aires yet except about the amazing Recoleta Cemetery. But we had some other lovely days and experiences, and one of the most fun was unexpectedly running across this Afro-Uruguayan parade, which I later found out is listed as an "Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO. Stay tuned for more about it coming in my next feature post. This is one of lovely dancers smiling with all the grace of someone having a genuinely good time twirling around the cobblestone streets!
02.2.2018. Driving around Chios Island, Greece, we saw many of these roadside shrines, which we were told are erected in the memory of someone who died at that spot. It's a bit astonishing to think so many people die along the roadsides. I have a photo post in the making showing just these. But here's a preview, this is my favorite one, because it's very old and weathered, not like a lot of the newer fancy, sparkling, smartly painted ones, and also for the setting -- crooked on the hillside, with the lone tree beside it and the way the clouds are coming up behind it. To me, it has a mood and a feel of time.
01.26.2018. This is the father of a witch doctor and supposed traditional healer in Divundu, Namibia, known as Makukutu. If you know the call of the red-eyed dove, a constant background noise in southern Africa (along with the ring-necked dove), you'll understand why we mimicked the dove sound with the words, "who is Makukutu," among other variations with "Makukutu" for the rest of the trip after he evaded us when we requested to visit him for an official interview in 2017. Without launching into the whole story (perhaps appropriate for a vignette in Tuesday Tales), I simply present the father as a quiet man with a kindly face, whose witch doctor-healer son was apparently not powerful enough to heal his own father of cataracts and incontinence ... when the man stood up, I noticed a stream of urine running down his ankle beneath his pant leg onto the ground. I don't point that out to degrade the elderly man's dignity, but in exasperation of this witchcraft culture that puts such faith in conmen "doctors" who clearly can't or won't even heal their own kin. I think this man was a wonderfully photogenic face (whether or not I did justice to it). And I wish his son could heal him.
01.19.2018. You'll find 1.4 million better photos out there of this waterfall, but I chose one of my pics of Victoria Falls for today's Friday Photo, taken from the Zimbabwe side (looking at the Zambia side), because of the personal significance to me of having made it to one of the big items on my "list." As shared in Friday Photo on October 6, 2017, I got to actually look over the edge of the falls on my tummy. That was uber cool. But also viewing them from the opposite bank was delightful. Everyone told us we were there in an unusually low water season; only a fraction of the full width of the falls had water actually spilling over it. The locals we encountered (such as our B&B proprietors) were worried we would be disappointed. But in my book, it was still pretty damn spectacular. Didn't take a fancy helicopter ride, just marveled at it from the opposite bank of the Zambezi River. There were other more expansive views of the impressive width of the falls, and views with misty rainbows in them, but I kind of like this one for its secretive nature. It's kind of like you're trekking through the jungle, all hot and sweaty and thirsty as hell, and then the fronds part, and this little portrait of paradise shimmers before you. Is it a mirage? Is it real, cold, dazzling and refreshing water?? Heck, yeah! We were also told that in higher water times, the mist is so thick that you have to wear a raincoat and can't even see much of the falls because they're obscured behind the mist. So every cloud has a silver lining ... the volume of water may have been low, but the upshot was being able to see the rocky precipice, the length of the falls and the river below with clarity.
01.12.2018. Granny Sabina we were told was 89 years old when I visited her with Berrie last September. I first met her with Berrie and film crew in the encounter detailed in my post, "The Peace in Human Touch" (the second story down). I featured her daughter in Friday Photo on October 20, 2017. We visited her at her home twice in September, and the second time we showed up, she called us "friend," which was pretty sweet. I do think I'll try to write a little vignette of our time together this year in a Tuesday Tale, but for today, on this Friday, please just enjoy a snapshot of her infectious joyous countenance.
01.05.2018. Today we have an elephant ear. I think they are remarkable features, and they construct so much of an elephant's mood and personality. The ears are also great at multi-tasking as air-conditioners and fly swatters in addition to collecting audio information (although elephants detect each others' low frequency communication through their feet via the ground). I particularly favor the larger ear of the African elephant (versus smaller Asian). I like the light on this one, and the vertical vein running along the scalloped edge, almost like the hem of a skirt from which the ruffle hangs ... the ruffle here being the vast network of veins edging the ear. Moremi game reserve, Botswana.