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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Olive Tree at Monreale

Monreale Cathedral and Cloisters ~ April 29, 2004

A peaceful olive tree today for Catherine.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Just Because

Bend, Oregon ~ December 29, 2009

It's been one of those days. I had a long list of things I was looking forward to doing this holiday, this weekend . . . today. But I ended up spending most of my time fiddling with the tools to do the things rather than doing the things. Most of what I picked up wasn't working right. So tonight I'm posting this picture. Every time I look at it I like it . . . "just because."

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Clever

Chicago ~ April 21, 2005

I'd been trying to figure out why this says "Metra" instead of "Metro" or even "Metropolitain." Then I realized (duh) I could easily look it up. It turns out that Metra is the actual name of the commuter rail division of the Illinois Regional Transportation Authority. Thanks, Wikipedia!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Inside the Bell Tower at Monreale

Monreale Cloisters, Sicily ~ April 29, 2004

Francisca, thanks for asking. Here's the bell tower. You can see more of Monreale here. I'll be posting more as time goes on. It was such a romantic place, and one I'd read about for years before seeing it. I only wish I'd had a better camera that trip and taken more photos!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Viewing the Ancient Roman Mosaics

Villa Romana del Casale near Piazza Armerina, Sicily ~ April 28, 2004

This photo gives some idea of how visitors can view the murals and mosaics up close without damaging them. There appeared to be a thin layer of mud or dirt over most of the flooring, although the few of the images were in more intense colors. The tiger shown in this photo on my Animal Art Along the Way blog is not particularly bright, but the lifelike animal mosaics simply astounded me.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Dig at Piazza Armerina

Villa Romana del Casale near Piazza Armerina, Sicily ~ April 28, 2004

A clear-ceilinged structure covers the most incredible mosaics, still in situ at the Villa Romana del Casale near the present-day hilltop town of Pizza Armerina.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Somewhere in Sicily

Near Piazza Armerina, Sicily ~ April 28, 2011

I took this photo between leaving a romantic town at the top of a hill (Piazza Armerina) and our lunch stop at a small tavern in the country, where I had the best-tasting lamb I've ever experienced. I believe the tavern was associated with a town so small it had only one or two streets. I wish I knew the name. We were in Piazza Armerina for only a few hours, most of which were at night, and my photos are few and don't do the place justice. I'll post a few soon, and meanwhile, here it is in all its glory thanks to Google's photo search.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Language Lesson with Fruit

Taormina, Sicily, Italy ~ April 27, 2004

As a magical evening fell, the artificial lighting over the narrow passageway heightened the colors on the left, but what charmed me was the unusual shapes of the lemons. I grew up in Southern California where my family produced citrus, but I'd never seen lemons like this. How do they do it? I loved the lumpy shapes that appeared so exotic. Fruit like this would never have passed muster in an industry where lemons were prized for uniform shapes and sizes so they could be packed and shipped as efficiently as possible. The image of this fruit still brings to me a sense of wonder. The signs in several languages were a bonus for the photo, although I wanted to do exactly what they asked me not to. 

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Greeter at the University

Tucson, Arizona ~ December 27, 2004
University of Arizona

This unusually-shaped cactus stands tall in front of one of the early administration buildings on the campus of the University of Arizona. I don't know the history of this building, but the university was started "in the middle of the desert" in 1885.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Alligator Snapping Turtle

Chicago ~ April 22, 2005
Shedd Aquarium

The alligator snapping turtle waits underwater looking like anything but a real animal. It's mouth is wide open, and its specialized tongue tries to make an unwary fish think there is something good to eat inside the jaws. I don't think so! But apparently the trick works. These turtles have been around for a very long time (about 40 million years). This is a small one. They get quite large.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sacramento Victorian

Sacramento, California ~ April 6, 2008

This is one of those drive-by captures that I always wish were better quality, but at the same time I'm glad I didn't miss it! Does anyone not love these flamboyant Sacramento Victorians?

For those who missed me, I traveled to California (farther south than this photo) at the end of February, and came back with the worst flu of my life. I'm coming back to "normal" after being down for two weeks, and I feel like blogging again. I missed you all and will be visiting soon!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Beer Can House, Houston

Houston, Texas ~ February 3, 2011
The Beer Can House, 222 Malone Street, Houston, Texas

Barbara took us around to see some of the unique sights of Houston. I had no idea we'd find such bizarre and amusing sights. If you have ever been to Houston and found it uninteresting, or if you've been told that it's boring with nothing to see, I guess you just need a good tour guide. By the way, the downtown area of the city itself is beautiful with fun things to do. The outskirts (miles of them) are just about like any other big city in the U.S.A. If we had seen only that, we might as well have gone to L.A., which is closer. Stay tuned for more pix of surprising Houston.


Detail of the construction. . . . Although many whole beer cans are used in the house, the "fringes" seem to be made of cut cans. You can read more about it on the official Beer Can House web site.


Who would do something like this, you ask? Check it out at http://www.beercanhouse.org/.

For more Houston, check out Houston Daily Photo.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Docks at Manaus Central Market

Manaus, Brazil ~ April 25, 2007

I posted a photo of boats at the Manaus Central Market docks last year, but that was the "travel brochure" shot. In reality, the docks were fascinating and picturesque, but also hot and littered with garbage. The water is the Amazon River. Here at Manaus, the Rio Negro and the Solimoes join together to form the beginning of what we commonly think of as "The Amazon." The trees we see across the water may indicate the opposite bank, or they may be on a very long island marking part of the channel at this point. The width of the river changes vastly depending on the season, and what were once river banks become islands or are completely submerged. According to Wikipedia, "The width of the Amazon varies between 1.6 and 10 kilometres (0.99 and 6.2 mi) at low stage, but expands during the wet season to 48 kilometres (30 mi) or more." I expect that 30 miles is nearer the mouth of the river, but in any season the Amazon has fewer distinct banks than most rivers. I'll include a few more Amazon photos this weekend.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monreale Cathedral Cloisters, Sicily

Monreale, Sicily, Italy ~ April 29, 2004

I seem to be having "Monreale Day" here in Tapirgal's blog world. Please visit two more blogs for more of marvelous Monreale. You can also follow this link to see other posts about Monreale on Tapirgal's Daily Image.


This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One More Photo of a Grand Old Lady

Paris ~ October 16, 2008

This may be one of my last photos in a series paying homage to the landmark building and company that is (or was) La Samaritaine on the bank of the Seine at Pont Neuf. Look at the wonderful detail of the medallions among the gold letters and the way the windows reflect various hues of the sky.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Captain Cook's Monument, Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii

Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii ~ September 25, 2007

Captain James Cook's plaque can be seen along the far side of the lava rocks in the foreground. This is the stunningly beautiful and now-peaceful bay in which he met his end.



Sorry, I had this one the right way up, and Blogger turned it. I tried a second time and the same thing happened. So as not to be here all day, I'll let you read it sideways. There is also a tall, more imposing monment that I didn't get a photo of. You had to kayak over a ways from where we were. We liked our spot, and we headed back before going to the tall monument.


As the morning advanced, more snorkelers arrived in kayaks . . .


. . . and the tide covered the marker in the rocks beneath the trees.


This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friendly Fish

Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii ~ September 25, 2007
At Captain Cook's Monument

I was mesmerized by the fish at Captain Cook's Monument. We paddled over in kayaks; the water was clear, the setting idyllic, and the fish not as skittish as in some other places. Here's another fish from that day.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ancient History: Ruins of the Greek Theatre, Taormina

Taormina, Sicily ~ April 25, 2004

We were not with the group, but we often found tour groups at locations such as this one. Most of them at this time of year were German groups. Lee would amble in close and learn something; however, not understanding more than a few words of German myself, I either read the book or wandered off to take photos.

If the clouds were not in the way and the picture showed a bit more of the distance, you would see the famous active volcano, Mt. Etna.

Any comments on the photo size? I just enlarged the format, but what I don't want is a blog that takes a long time to load. Let me know, OK? The old pix are the smaller size until I change them.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Woman with Accordion

Paris ~ October 18, 2008

This goofy scene looks like something you would find inside an historic vaudeville show, not out on the street, but after all, it was Montmartre, and it seems all of Montmartre has become a circus. I didn't know that, because the last time I was there, it was gray, empty, and you could see across the square. I'm not saying it wasn't fun, but it wasn't the Montmartre I remember from previous visits. I think about these things a lot as more and more places become less real and more like Disneyland. But things change. When I was first there - finding something I wanted not to change - it wasn't the Montmartre of Picasso's time, either. In those days, Montmartre was a country village.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wailua Falls

Kaua'i, Hawaii ~ September 21, 2005
Wailua Falls

What you can't see in this photo are the cool Kaua'i chickens that were strutting around on the lookout point. Fortunately, I have one for you in this post.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Paris ~ May 5, 2004

This is one of my excuses for not taking the staircase to the top.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.