Category Archives: Picture Galleries

The Uttermost Part of the Earth

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week brought to mind my very brief visit to Harberton on Tierra del Fuego.

Worthy of note: the skeletons are from animals that died and were washed up. This was a pretty cool little natural history museum put together by the family that lived in Harberton. I really liked how they showed the animals in context.

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Carlisle to Lanercost Abbey

Most people “do” this 14 or so mile stretch in one day. The walking is pretty easy and even I could have done that (although it would have been a stretch), but we took two: Carlisle to Crosby-on-Eden, then Crosby-on_Eden to Lanercost Abbey.

We did this in order to backtrack a bit and spend the morning at the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle. This was a very worthwhile stop because we learned quite a bit about how to recognize the wall and the earthworks near it when un-excavated-which is most of the way. It made the walk into a sort of scavenger’s hunt.

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On this stretch you start out walking along the Eden River in Carlisle, the main charm of this stretch is the wildflowers along the way.

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It is a nice walk through Cumbrian countryside. The tower in the picture below is a folly, not an ancient fort.

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The weather was okay until we got to Crosby-on-Eden, then the wind came up. Overnight it really blew, and the next day was blustery–good English weather with lots of atmosphere. It was in the stretch between Crosby-on-Eden and Lanercost that you start to see the signs of the earthworks and un-excavated wall. The only parts of the wall itself that you see are the stones re-purposed in churches, manor houses, etc along the way.

The end of that section, Lanercost Abbey, a lot of the stones for the Abbey were initially part of Hadrian’s wall.

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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge

Random Arches and Domes in Bath

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

On the dark side

A very few of many sunsets

 

 

My first foray into both going off of auto and night photography, came from a desire to capture the Takae Lantern Festival in Nara Japan in 2007. These were taken with my trusty old Canon A510, using ISO 400 and a walking stick mono-pod.

 

Since then I’ve moved up, a bit, in both camera and skill, but I continue to use a walking stick/monopod and do not use a tripod. It just doesn’t work for me to carry one around. I am still quite challenged by dark pictures, in part because I don’t use a tripod and in part because I use a “bridge” camera, Nikon P610, which has a relatively small sensor so it wants longer shutter speeds and it gets grainy pretty fast at higher ISO settings.

I keep trying because I think night pictures often give you a better feel for the atmosphere of a place than day shots. People are off work and going about their business.

A few night street scenes in China and Japan:

 

I am often disappointed by the moon. My eye sees it bigger than my camera lens does:

The darkness of the night and motion of the boats in these pictures of cormorant fishing in Gifu, Japan, meant that all the pictures were blurry. I tried a “painterly” effect to make it seem like art instead of just a blurry picture.

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I’m not a morning person so I only have sunrise pictures from far away places (where I have jet lag). Here are a few from Kenya.

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: Sunset to Sunrise.

 

 

Meandering through the ‘hood

Every morning (usually late morning) the pups and I meander through the neighborhood. They sniff and do other doggy stuff and I take my camera and do some visual sniffing. Every day different things catch their noses and my eye. Today was a mountains and blossoms day.

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Ornamental plum blossoms are everywhere .
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Just a few clouds over the Olympics.
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Love this cheerful fellow!
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Forsythia is more reliable than a groundhog.

It felt like someone flipped the switch and now it’s really spring.
Meander

Twelve months of 2017-January

Today is Twelfth Night, the eve of Epiphany. Which, loosely, means seeing the light. In my backwards look at 2017 it is January.

In some ways my memories of last January are clear, in others less so. There was so very much to take in. A year ago I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina boarding the Norwegian Sun for a cruise around Cape Horn to Valparaiso/Santiago Chile.

It was an amazing trip and I never pulled my pictures and thoughts together to post about it. So here is a whirlwind tour of our whirlwind tour.

Buenos Aires was what I think of as a conglomerate city. It is huge both in population and size, but made up of neighborhoods. It is bright and refined; old and modern; and crazy and conservative at the same time.

A highlight of our time in Buenos Aires was a day trip to the Parana Delta. There are many islands and channels, no roads and electricity. Everything comes and goes by boat. They have gas boats, grocery boats. Even though the water is brown it is not polluted, just “clean dirt”.

We only really got a grasp of how big the city was from the water of the Rio de la Plata, which is so wide you can’t see across it! This picture doesn’t do it justice, it goes at least as far as the eye can see in both directions.

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The first port of call was Montevideo, Uruguay. We hung aboard the ship mostly with a brief walk into the old part of the city near the dock. We needed a rest day after Buenos Aires.

The second stop was Punta del Este.

Followed by a day at sea and a stop at Puerto Madryn. We were able to take a trip to Peninsula Valdes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its wildlife. An incredible variety of species live on the barren peninsula. The lad is so salty that the lamb meat doesn’t need to be salted.

Because of the distances we didn’t get much time in any one spot but still saw a lot.

The Patagonian land/sky scape:

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Peninsula Valdes

We had a day at sea between Puerto Madryn and the Falkland Islands. We saw wales but I didn’t get a good picture of them. In the Falklands we took a four wheel drive tour out to Volunteer Point which has colonies of Magellanic, Gentoo and King Penguins. At one point I wasn’t sure we were going to make it back, but it all worked out in the end.

The next day we were at Cape Horn. The spot is renouned for having the worst weather in the world but we were blessed by three foot seas. Some of the staff said they had been there in 30 foot seas (I’d have been pretty blue!). It’s easy to see why the area is so treacherous in stormy conditions.

Next stop was Ushuaia, Argentina, on the Beagle Channel. This is the port from which many of the expeditions to the Antarctic head out. We took a boat trip east on the Beagle Channel to Estancia Harberton, the “Uttermost Part of the Earth”, then back through the mountains of Tierra del Fuego.

Leaving Ushuaia the ship sailed west along the beagle Channel through the Avenue of the glaciers.

Punte Arenas, first stop in Chile, we just took a bus into town and wandered about. It is a colorful town.

Chilean Fjords

Puerto Chacabuco was tiny, we took an excursion to Coyhaique in hopes of see the Andes, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Still it was pretty.

Next was Puerto Montt, again the weather didn’t cooperate for see the Andes:

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Osomo Volcano

However we did see some great scenery lower down, especially Petrohue Falls, Lake Llanquihue and Puerto Varas.

Last stop was at Valparaiso, Chile. The tour/airport transfer was a whirlwind through Valparaiso and nearby Vino del Mar then across the Andes to Santiago. Thwarted again from seeing the Andes: Smoke from forest fires prevented seeing the mountains. There was really too much to take in (even too much food).

You have to get home sometime, but it would have been nice to take that day a little slower, especially since it ended with a very long wait at the airport, we couldn’t even check in because they don’t staff the desk until a couple of hours before your flight.

All in all it was a great trip. We got home on the 22nd and the only other thing I remember is that my son arrived on the 23rd for his Chinese New Year break.

2017 Favorites

Twelve months of 2017-February

It seems so very long ago.

Grandma was in a nursing home for rehab the whole month, my son visited from China over Chinese New Year, my youngest niece was born, a tree fell snapping power lines and pulling out a power pole over at Dad’s (he was out of town so I had to deal)…otherwise it was a wet, dreary month. Photographically moss caught my eye, the way it catches the low angle of sunlight in winters here makes it seem to glow from within, even on days with very little sunlight.

2017 Favorites

Twelve months of 2017-April

I spent most of April in China.

Here are some pictures I really liked from that trip, some have been posted previously and others not.

 

I did several posts during that trip having discovered the WordPress app for my smart phone. Here are a few of them: April in China.

2017 Favorites