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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Piazza del Popolo

Piazza del Popolo, Rome, under dramatic skies Rome, Italy ~ April 14, 2004

This charming piazza was only a few blocks from our hotel, and we enjoyed visiting often. It was surrounded by interesting avenues and churches and - what a view! Lee sat and drew a few times. I carried my camera, and was delighted to see this wonderful sky one day when we passed by.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mt. Etna obscured by clouds

Mt. Etna from Taormina, Sicily, Italy Taormina, Sicilia (Sicily), Italy ~ April 24, 2004

During our few days in Taormina, we never did have a clear view of the volcano; it was under cloud cover, but we could see that some of the cloud was from the volcano itself. Taormina was charming, scenic, and full of history. I'd love to go back.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mt. Hood in evening's glow

Mt. Hood, Oregon Mt. Hood, Oregon ~ November 24, 2008

I took this photo as I drove from Bend to Astoria. Highway 26 approaches Mt. Hood, winding across its shoulder and down the other side into Portland. I must have been in a particular mood or the lighting was just right, because I was compelled to stop and take photos several times. Both of the photos of Mt. Hood on this blog so far are from the same day. They're taken from different places along the road, and each has a unique character.

Mt. Hood is a classicially beautiful volcanic mountain with many scenic points for viewing. It can be seen from Portland as well as from the high desert of Central Oregon. It's also the volcano in Oregon considered most likely to blow, although the odds that it will do so in the next 30 years are reported to be only 3 to 7 percent.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gardens everywhere

Sayulita, Mexico ~ February 9, 2007

There were gardens inside and outside of the front door of this rental house in Sayulita. The weather was so balmy, it made sense to live outside as much as in. It was magical. Some rooms had no outer wall, and privacy was provided by the fact that the house was on a hill and the rooms opened out into the blue distance.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Naked into eternity

St-Denis, France ~ October 15, 2008

The exquisite and unusual funerary monument of Francois I and Claude de France rests in the south transept of St-Denis Basilica near Paris. It's unusual because monuments to kings and queens don't usually appear nude and naturalistic. The artists were Philibert Delorme and Pierre Bontemps. It's one of my favorite pieces of sculpture. Even the feet are beautiful in their artistic sensitivity and sensuality. Claude (1499-1524) died at the age of 24 after bearing the king seven children. Wikipedia calls her "the pawn of so much dynastic maneuvering." Reading between the lines, she may have had privilege, but how little freedom? Francois (1494-1547) lived to the age of 52, and was considered France's first Renaissance monarch.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A wonderful day

Reflections in Lee's Goggles - Crater Lake, Oregon Crater Lake, Oregon ~ October 8, 2009

That's Steve on the left, me on the right, and Lee wearing the goggles. The two guys rode their bikes all the way around the lake - not an easy ride, either. It's 36 miles of constant ups and downs. The day was absolutely gorgeous. I'll post more pictures of the lake as this blog continues. Today's post is for Weekend Reflections. Go ahead and check them out :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Byzantine Pride

Byzantine Lions in the Duomo, Ravello, Italy Ravello, Italy ~ April 22, 2004

I was taken aback by the combined simplicity and artistic beauty of the Byzantine interior of this church on the Piazza Vescovado, the main square of Ravello. You can see how plain much of the interior is in the background between the lions.

The church was built in the 11th Century and renovated in 1786. The lions form part of the base of one of two 13th Century pulpits. The Rough Guide to Italy says these lions were made in 1272.

I can't tell you how much I loved Ravello, an amazing Medieval town overlooking the Amalfi Coast, but I'll show more in pictures as the blog continues. A scene of Ravello was the second image I used when I started Tapirgal's Daily Image. This post shows the outside of the church on the piazza.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bridge of Glass

Tacoma, Washington ~ May 21, 2004

These blown glass shapes are what you see when you look skyward inside Dale Chihuly's Bridge of Glass in Tacoma. It's literally a covered section of a bridge across the highway, and this is its ceiling. To look up plunges a person into a wonderland of delight. When I saw it for the first time, I couldn't believe I'd never heard of it before. Where had I been? Another artist, Christo, is so famous for wrapping things (including bridges) which I find only mildly interesting. This, on the other hand, was something more people should know about. I suppose it doesn't get the press because it's only beautiful and not that weird or huge.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Effects of storm

Rockaway Beach, Oregon ~ March 11, 2006

I took this photo from Tillamook Bay's North Jetty along the Oregon Coast. The day was inspiring, if a bit chilly. The sky was glorious, the ocean romantic, but look closely and you'll see how wild and wind-blown the waves are. On the other side of the jetty, the swells were so powerful, it was awesome to watch them surge through an opening between the main breakwater and an outcropping of rocks. If that hadn't been enough of a hint, there were several wooden crosses near where I stood, decorated with flowers and mementos, even a pair of rubber boots. The message of the day seemed clear as we observed people fishing in these high seas. Enjoy the ocean, but never, never forget to respect what it can do. "Handle with Care."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Extinct

Extinct Mammal, Possibly Brontothere, American Museum of Natural History, New YorkAmerican Museum of Natural History, New York ~
May 5, 2009

I forgot to ask his name. It may have been "Brontothere."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shark Man

Shark at Miami Seaquarium Miami Seaquarium ~ January 14, 2008

Hey, kids, beware of the . . . shark? You could have your picture taken with it, but its shift was about over. A few minutes later it got up and walked away.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Towering

Tour St-Jacques and Napoleon's Victory Column, Place du Chatelet, Paris Place du Chatelet, Paris ~ October 17, 2008

The beautiful Gothic Tour St-Jacques (left) and Napoleon's Victory Column. Here you can find more pix of the tower and a little explanation. You'll need to scroll when you get there, but it should be painless.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A village on the Chagres River

Embera Woman with Native Crafts, Panama On the Chagres River, Panama ~ January 7, 2006

A beautiful Embera' woman poses with her native crafts. This village of Embera' Indians near Panama City exists for and because of tourism. You arrive by canoe in life jackets, leaving the roads behind. Traditional people and their crafts, dress, language, design, architecture, and food await you. It's pleasant, friendly, and not overrun, because the number of visitors is regulated. You go with a guide, and it's about as close as many of us will get to stumbling onto an aboriginal people. Lunch was prepared in the native way; the fish were caught in the river that morning and smoked in a fire built on a second-story sleeping platform. It's not Albert Schweitzer, but neither is it Disneyland. I'd go back in a minute . . . with more money to spend on the hand-made art, most with animal motifs. One of the Indians took us and our guide, Ricardo, for a long paddle up the river. Here we swam, surrounded mostly by jungle, birds, and insects. Here there was nothing left of "civilization" except our canoe and Ricardo's designer polarizing goggles. Like us, he was a visitor.

. Ruby Tuesday

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sauvie Island pumpkins

Sauvie Island, near Portland, Oregon ~ October 18, 2009

A Sauvie Island pumkin patch. Visitors can pick their own out of the field. The prices are not high. The only catch is, you have to carry your heavy pumpkin through several fields back to the farm if the tram is too crowded - which it was on the day we visited. Sauvie Island is in the Columbia River just west of Portland. After days of rain, the weather on the 18th was perfect for an outdoor kids' birthday party and some fall fun with cameras, pumpkins, cabbages, corn stalks, and giant sunflowers.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My new blog, first post: Homage to the Megatherium

Extinct Giant Ground Sloth Megatherium Toy or ReplicaMegatherium Model
Astoria, Oregon ~ The Animal Store

This extinct giant ground sloth is one of my favorite collectible toys from my online animal store, and sadly, we sold the last one a couple of days ago. It's been discontinued by the manufacturer, which I think is a shame. We do have an extinct giant ground sloth puzzle, but it will also soon be gone and will be taken offline. It has a different kind of charm from the creature above. So many good animal toys are being discontinued! When one of my favorites goes, it makes me sad. I'm keeping a gallery to remember them by, and today's image just happens to be this defunct sloth. We keep getting new good stuff, but for some old favorites, there is no replacement.

"So, Sheryl, you already have five working blogs and three empty ones you'll take down when you've moved the photos, so what gives? Why another one?"

It will be different for me. I've been thinking about this for months and have finally decided to go for it. I'm a fan of daily photo blogs, including the concept of City Daily Photo blogs (I have one of Astoria, Oregon, and Lee has one of Bend). In addition, I really enjoy two offshoots of this theme by two of my blogosphere friends: Vogon Poet and Cieldequimper. It was mostly these last two blogs that inspired me. The reason I gave it so much thought is that 1) It's a commitment, and 2) I realized I did not want to limit myself to locations. But if not, why not simply post more often on my personal blog as I used to do (and will again)? Finally, it came to me.

My other blogs are keyed to dates or subject matter. I will continue them, but I like the idea of playing with a random image for the day. After posting Astoria, Oregon, Daily Photo since April 23, 2009, I have no illusions that a single-image post can't be as time-consuming as a multi-photo post. Often it takes me longer.

But the occasion to reach into time and subject once a day without the restrictions I've imposed on my other blogs won me over. Naturally, some of my favorite themes and places will emerge over time.

People often ask me how I have time to blog so much. I'm happy to say that besides being a passion, blogging is part of my work. Due to the interconnected workings of the Web, any time I work on one of my blogs, it helps boost our sales in the online store. If I work on four or five blogs in a day, even better. It's not the subject matter, so much as the mysterious connectivity of the bits and bytes and how they affect associated Web presence. As they say, "It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it." I do other stuff, too, but this is the best part.

Enjoy, I hope. I love comments, and I'll get back to you. This will be fun.