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we spent the day in this lovely town . the weather was so gorgeous in early October

this is View street ( aptly named ) the first street which is in full bloom in our town . it is late this year , normally this is in bloom in mid Feb .


texture by jewellofdistressed..

This past weekend was the last of our 2009 workshop series for the Aperture Academy. As is customary for me, I drove down on Friday to get some shooting in pre-workshop. Conditions were looking quite nice as I was sitting in traffic near the Bay Bridge. I hate daylight savings thing…it’s not a nice thing to do to photographers. We miss so many good sunsets sitting in our cars....adding traffic makes the mightmare much worse. I lucked out, nabbed a break in traffic and was off to Pacifica to meet Amber, Little M, Jim Patterson, and Kendra for a shoot somewhere on the beaches in the area.


The real reason we picked that location was that it was close to fish and chips….and we could be eating within in a few moments of finishing our shoot. The bay area makes no sense to me in regards to weather. On the bay bridge 15 minutes drive from where I was going to be shooting, the weather looked very promising. IN Pacifica, the fog had set in to stay. When Jim arrived he said the same thing. The weather was perfect in Santa Cruz. Bizarre. I don’t even look at weather reports for The Bay any more.


We tried without success to photograph a beach near the fish and chips place…and the only thing that happened worth mentioning was little m was struck by a wave…which apparently was not a first for her that day….nor would it be the last.


The beach, sans good sunset, wasn’t offering up much of anything for photographically inspiring….so we packed up, and headed to a pier nearby where the fog would provide a bit more mood. It was at this point I noticed the waves were quite large. Jim got hit by one of the larger waves and had to hold his gear up in the air in order to prevent it from getting too wet. The rest of us stuck to higher ground, in order to prevent being soaked too badly.


The pier (pictured here) was much better for photographing in the fog. People were out on the end of it…and the waves were just slamming into the structure. It looked like it might be fun to be all the way out there watching giant waves….but its not good for photo gear, so I wasn’t going to risk it. Plus it was getting dark, and everyone was ready to eat.


We dined at a little place called ‘Camelot’ I think it was ironic that they named the place after a huge structure like a castle, when in fact, this place was the size of most people’s living room. Really, once our group sat down, the place was crowded to near capacity. There was a group of gentlemen reenacting the singing bar scene from Top Gun sans woman. They were just drunk dudes singing ‘You’ve lost that loving feeling’ to one another over some pints of Guinness and fish planks. It wasn’t pretty. It was, however, quite funny.


The food was great. Even though they didn’t have cocktail sauce…or many lemons….they still made some very good food. Over dinner the conversation turned from photography to a place called ‘Nick’s’ which was apparently near by, and a source of good entertainment. Unfortunately Jim and Kendra had to leave because they had plans early the next day, but the rest of our group was off to ‘Nick’s’ to see what this place was all about. I guess Amber knew already, she’d been there, but M and I had no idea.


Let me just say. Nick’s was awesome. Not awesome good. Just awesome in terms of pure unintentional comedic value. First off, the place was straight out of the 70s…pleather couches and chairs…black painted wood everywhere. The light was dingy, at best. There was a huge bar right in the middle that divided the room, and separated it from what appeared to be 3 or more different sections of the restaurant of the same name. That was bizarre, there were people eating in 4 different areas of the restaurant. The farther into the depths of the building you ventured the older the patrons. The people out behind the restrooms were downright elderly…and may, for all I know, have been eating there for years.


The arrangement and décor of Nick’s was great, but the true magic was going down on stage. The Rolling Stones were in town, and playing at Nick’s!!!


Well, maybe it wasn’t the Rolling Stones exactly….but a group of look-a-likes.


Well, maybe not all of them looked like members of The Stones, Maybe just the Mick Jagger and Keith Richards characters. The drummer more like a reject from The Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Bass player looked like the love child from Adam West and Roy Orbison.


Well, Maybe Keith Richards looked more like a goofy Jerry Seinfeld dressed like Keith Richards…but The Mick Jagger guy looked like Mick Jagger.


Well, maybe he didn’t look so much like Mick Jagger…but he kind of sang like him, and really danced a lot like him…and he dressed sort of like him too!


This band provided me an hour or more of good entertainment. They were stellar. Eventually the place filled…because apparently everyone else was mislead by the way the band looked from the outside through the steamy bar windows….and once inside thought, ‘well maybe they’re not so much Rolling Stones-esque…but they’re certainly better than nothing.’


The crowd there was AWESOME as well. 85% of them looked like they’d walked out of a bar scene from an old episode of Miami Vice. They all looked alike…the only difference was some of the people had moustaches, and some of them were guys. HA! I kid…they all had mullets though…if they had enough hair to grow one. The best part was they all tried dancing….except one gentlemen who looked like he was either in pain…or very confused as to why the Rolling Stones were in Pacifica.


We spent about an hour or so at Nick’s before deciding to head out to the beach nearby and try some long exposure night photography. That was interesting. M got hit by another wave….which was a theme that carried on her entire stay I believe. She wasn’t happy…she’d gone through 17 pairs of socks and 2 pairs of shoes, in two days.


We tried to get a few shots anyway…but it was just too hard to get a good spot…the waves were getting bigger, and it was too difficult to stay in one spot long enough to take a shot when waves sent you running away every 2 minutes or so.


We called it a night. I walked back to my car to get a good night’s sleep. I just stayed in the parking lot by the beach, and the bar. The problem that caused was about 2am when Jagger and the boys finished their last set….all the cars and drunks were milling about the parking lot keeping me awake. AFTER that though….they turned off the lights in the parking lot, and I slept quite well….waking to a nice sunrise which I was able to shoot 10 feet from my car.


Tomorrow at this time I will be in my car on my way to the southwest to shoot with a bunch of people, and see a bunch of things including, Lake Tahoe, Death Valley, Zion, Page, Az…and a few other places. My friend Rob will meet me in Utah, and together with a little help from Mike Jones we’ll tackle the Narrows of the Virgin River this Friday. It should be a good time.


Glen Canyon Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam on the Colorado River in northern Arizona, United States, near the town of Page. The 710-foot (220 m) high dam was built by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) from 1956 to 1966 and forms Lake Powell, one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the U.S. with a capacity of 27 million acre feet (33 km3). The dam is named for Glen Canyon, a series of deep sandstone gorges now flooded by the reservoir; Lake Powell is named for John Wesley Powell, who in 1869 led the first expedition to traverse the Colorado's Grand Canyon by boat.


Die Glen-Canyon-Staumauer (Glen Canyon Dam) ist eine Bogengewichtsmauer, die den Colorado River in Arizona anstaut. Ausgehend vom Stauinhalt ist der entstandene Stausee, der Lake Powell, nach dem Lake Mead der zweitgrößte Stausee der USA. Die Staumauer wurde vom Bureau of Reclamation geplant und von 1956 bis 1964 erbaut; die Kosten betrugen 187 Millionen US-Dollar. Mit 216 Meter Konstruktionshöhe (über dem gewachsenen Fels) ist sie die fünfthöchste Talsperre der USA. Die Höhe über dem ehemaligen Flussbett beträgt 178 m. Die Mauerkrone ist 475 m lang bei einer Breite von 7,6 m. Die Mauer ist am tiefsten Konstruktionspunkt 91 m breit, die größte Breite wird am rechten Widerlager mit 106 m erreicht.

Saint-Pierre-en-Port is a farming village in the Pays de Caux, situated some 31 miles (50 km) northeast of Le Havre, at the junction of the D33 and D79 roads. The commune has a pebble beach and some very high limestone cliffs overlooking the English Channel.


part of a series of villages and towns we discovered as we drove along the coast.

Chalk is a soft, white, porous, sedimentary carbonate rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. The Chalk Group is a European stratigraphic unit deposited during the late Cretaceous Period. It forms the famous White Cliffs of Dover in Kent, England, as well as their counterparts of the Cap Blanc Nez on the other side of the Dover Strait.

This is the first in a series of photos taken within a newly formed "Breakfast Club". My sister, Irishtermom and I had the great pleasure of meeting up with one of favorite contacts, micky mb this past Sunday for breakfast at Dos Amigos and a photo shoot. We met in Winnsboro, Texas where our first stop was this old abandoned house. From there we explored the historic downtown and traveled the backroads of this small East Texas town. It was a great outing. Please stay tuned as we will be posting more photos this week from our "Breakfast Club". We're looking forward to having many more such outings.


please take a minute to view Irishtermom and micky mb's shots


texture provided by ninianlif


"If these old walls

If these old walls could speak

Of things that they remembered well

Stories and faces dearly held

A couple in love

Livin' week to week

Rooms full of laughter

If these walls could speak


If these old halls

If hallowed halls could talk

These would have a tale to tell

Of sun goin' down and dinner bell

And children playing at hide and seek

From floor to rafter

If these halls could speak


If these old fashioned window panes were eyes

I guess they would have seen it all

Each little tear and sigh and footfall

And every dream that we came to seek

Or followed after

If these walls could speak"

lyrics taken from the song "If These Walls Could Speak" written by Jimmy Webb

texture by lenabem-anna..


we spent the day in this lovely town . the weather was so gorgeous in early October


this pier is used for crab fishing

#abfav_favourite_doors_and_windows_theme BRITTANY... The hamlet of Kerascoët includes a series of thatched houses called Cottages of Kerascoët. The village is a typical Breton village dating from the sixteenth century, it was renovated in 1993. Part of Névez, a town in the department of Finistère, in Brittany, France. The main originality of the heritage of the village lies in the granite that was extracted from nearby quarries and of course the thatched roofs! It was used to build the houses, blocks of nearly two meters high were cut on site and erected as a wall. These standing stones are a feature of the rural and authentic Brittany. No cars allowed, a real tourist 'trap' but still interesting! THANk you, M, (*_*) For more of my other work or if you want to PURCHASE (ONLY PLACE TO BUY MY IMAGES!), VIEW THE NEW PORTFOLIOS AND LATEST NEWS HERE on our website: IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN (BY LAW!!!) TO USE ANY OF MY image or TEXT on websites, blogs or any other media without my explicit permission. :copyright: All rights reserved via 500px

texture by


we spent the day in this lovely town . the weather was so gorgeous in early October

The view from the bathroom (an occasional series of landscape photographs)


This time we have many layers, the foreground trees, the land to the coast, the coastal town of Dawlish with the huge floating boom and ship working on the Warren's coastal erosion plan. Sea fog partially obscuring the town of Exmouth and then looking beyond to the other side of Lyme Bay and the Jurassic Devon and Dorset coast leading to the Portland Bill pennisula.


All with some dramatic morning fog and clouds.


I like the shot of the day out of the way at 08.30hrs.


View my 2015 365


View my 2013 365

Here is another image, which is part of my current series of uploading images where the birds are smaller but still in focus. Not to worry, these images all have passed the strict criteria of Shutterstock ;-)


So, the above image was actually taken from inside my living room and is a through-the-window shot. The only way to get this angle is from indoors as when I am outside, sitting on my terrace lounge table directly under the nest box, I am way too close plus cannot get this PoV. Also, my camera mostly only focuses on all of the dust particles as well as streaks on those two panorama windows which is why I hardly ever upload any such image.


My resident dynamo Eurasian blue tit Rosie has now taken over my terrace as well as the entire surrounding area, going to great lengths to chase all the other tit birds away and she has even gone after my darling robins, successfully driven the adorable bullfinch couple off the terrace premises along with torpedoing the lone woodpecker of the area. Just like last spring.


Beware of the Rosie, the miniature Pinscher of the songbirds ;-) You so don't want to mess with the tiny General of the Enchanted Terrace! I am rather surprised that she has not yet gone after my person, lol. Don't get me wrong, I adore my little Rosie and am in total awe of her!


In honor of her tactical maneuvers and the fact that this tiny bird can really pack a punch, I am giving her the appropriate last name. She is now known as Rosie Bonaparte in this part of the world. Her motto is, the bigger the better. Only the best will do. Please see the above nest box for further proof. She is the perfect embodiment of the Napoleon complex.


Rosie has no problem posing for me, but mostly she is too busy taking care of business. So, her super fluffy and very sweet hubby takes care of all the official photo ops for the couple. In fact, he is my very best male bird model overall.


Unlike his wife, he is still simply known as Mr. Rosie. He is rather like the prince consort of a queen, always there for his wife and supporting her in any endeavor. But ultimately, more arm candy than equal partner in terms of the official decision-making.


Though, I have to say Mr. Rosie really seems to be pulling his weight this year and is evolving in his role. He even likes to join Rosie in the nest box, but she very quickly kicks him out as everything pertaining to the interior of the nest box is her domain.


Yesterday evening he actually dive-bombed the pretty boy Great Tit aka Stud, the lover boy of Ziggy's unfaithful ex-wife Happy. I was duly impressed as I have never seen him go after another male bird. Rosie is always the one going after the male tit birds and Mr. Rosie will tackle the females.


It looks like Rosie is now more or less finished with decorating her super fluffy abode in the massive squirrel and cat-proof Schwegler nesting box for the Great Tits. First, she carted in truckloads of moss the beginning of March. Then, it was all kinds of grasses followed by stringy materials and now fluffy feathers are providing the finishing touch. Heck, I want to move into her nest as it must be way more comfortable than all the mattresses the princess with the pea had!


The above nest box even has a retreat built-in on top for bats, but there are none in the area (they are on the Red List here). I have the complete set for roaming cats in the garden plus the special ball for the wrens in green along with various cat defensive belts which I added to my brick columns though they are meant for being wrapped around the tree trunks.


The boxes are made from special wood concrete so that they "breathe" and stay cool when it gets warm and vice versa plus have plenty of space so that no one gets trampled to death inside and so big that the nest ends below the entry hole so that the predators cannot get to the babies. On top of this, the surface is roughed up so that the birds have a good grip everywhere on and inside the box. Lastly, they are super easy to clean as the front panels come off and one can even switch these panels between the one with three holes for the Blue Tits and smaller birds with the above one.


They are the best nest boxes on the market and Schwegler makes special nest boxes for every kind of bird - even for the raptors:


This past week, Rosie has been "begging" her hubby for food everywhere and I even saw them do the deed behind some leaves of the wayfaring tree overhanging my terrace. I am afraid that I kept missing getting the money shot of Mr. Rosie feeding his wife. Plus, I totally forgot to simply film this so tender courting ritual. Mr. Rosie was getting into it so much that he also started fluttering with his wings. They are just too darn cute! I believe that she may have already laid the first egg, a good two weeks earlier than last spring even though we had such a long and really cold winter whilst last year it was so mild.


General Rosie has mellowed out quite a bit lately and her soft side has been coming out. I now have an agreement with her that whenever she has a few feathers in her beak, I get up from my terrace table which is right under the above nest box and either go stand by my terrace door, which is only about 1.5 meters away from the nest box, or simply sit down in front of that door on a swivel stool from my living room. I also have to pretend to not see her enter the nest box, best done by turning my head in the opposite direction though I always make sure I can still see her with my peripheral vision, lol.


The Blue Tit is the only European bird with the yellow and blue color combo. It is also super small in size, averaging out at about 11.5 cm. But, I find that the Blue Tit definitely makes up for its petite physical size with a larger-than-life personality. They are such characters and great fun to watch as well as be around as there never is a dull moment ;-)


As soon as Ziggy the Great Tit and the former guardian of my terrace was out of the picture the beginning of February, Rosie made her big move and took over my terrace from him. While Ziggy was the big boss around here, neither Rosie nor her laid-back hubby got to hang around my terrace that much as Ziggy was always busy chasing them away so that all was in perfect order for when his darling wife Happy was at the feeders.


On a sidebar, I am very happy to report that I finally saw dear Ziggy again a few weeks ago after an absence of more than 4 weeks. He came to my terrace, but did not take any goodies. In fact, he was never that interested in any of the goodies here. It was all about securing the premises for his most unfaithful and ever so fickle ex-wife Happy. I did see a female GT with him from a distance, so maybe he did manage to find a lovely wife in time for this nesting season.


In general, there is no love lost between the Great Tit birds and the tiny Blue Tit ones. Though, back in 2015 there was one pretty big BT and one smaller GT who were always together everywhere and I gather they were either star-crossed lovers or more likely, siblings who had grown up together as sometimes the Great Tits will take over a nest of the Blue Tits along with their eggs and then simply raise all of the offspring as their own after chasing the actual BT parents off the premises.


But on my terrace, Rosie the BT decided to stage the ultimate coup by stealing the nest box right out from under my then resident GT Sunny and his wife Daisy's lovely beaks in April of 2016. Though, Daisy had only started building the nest and no eggs were yet present. But, Sunny had also spent every single night in that nest box since the beginning of October 2015. So basically the opposite of what usually is the case!


And now, it is basically the same spiel again except that it all happened two months earlier because Happy flew off with the pretty boy GT aka Stud and Ziggy left town with a broken heart. I sure hope he finds his one true love now, who will treasure him every day and stay true to him. I think Rosie will need at least one month to decorate this nest box as it is twice the size of the last one and with that one, she already needed two weeks!


Mr. Rosie is very much like Mr. Maxine the Crested Tit as they are both pretty round, calm and laid-back. Think California surfer dude mentality minus the sixpack. They prefer just hanging out, watching the game and having a few beers. Their wives are the Energizer Bunnies and real driving force. They are the men behind their women, so to speak!


So, obviously the hubbies have to have the backs of their wives when it gets down to it, though they would prefer not be bothered... Just peace and love ;-) In fact, Mr. Rosie gets along famously with all the other various tit bird males whilst his dynamo wife Rosie is busy chasing away those exact same males, including my darling Coal Tit bird Tanni. I have discovered that the various male tit birds are all quite a bit bigger and rounder than the female ones, at least around my terrace.


Rosie herself is part of the colorful entourage of the crested tit Maxine in the upcoming picture book series, "Flaushi the Buddha Jay." The series is based on my very special and completely wild Eurasian jay Flaushi and all of his friends on and around my enchanted terrace.


All the other songbirds assume Rosie is not so smart as she always seems to be staring off into space. But, she is actually meditating and quite the enlightened little being.


The real-life Rosie will spend up to 10 minutes in one spot, contemplating the world. It is the cutest thing to watch. Rosie also loves posing for me and my camera when I am outside on my enchanted terrace.

town of Hunrath



reviews say : deeply immersive, timeless, beautifully innovative,


disclaimer: the puzzles aren't easy!! Sci-fi genre, in the spirit of the Myst and Riven series.


texture by Lenabem


#abfav_favourite_doors_and_windows_theme BRITTANY... The hamlet of Kerascoët includes a series of thatched houses called Cottages of Kerascoët. The village is a typical Breton village dating from the sixteenth century, it was renovated in 1993. Part of Névez, a town in the department of Finistère, in Brittany, France. The main originality of the heritage of the village lies in the granite that was extracted from nearby quarries and of course the thatched roofs! It was used to build the houses, blocks of nearly two meters high were cut on site and erected as a wall. These standing stones are a feature of the rural and authentic Brittany. No cars allowed, a real tourist 'trap' but still interesting! THANk you, M, (*_*) For more of my other work or if you want to PURCHASE (ONLY PLACE TO BUY MY IMAGES!), VIEW THE NEW PORTFOLIOS AND LATEST NEWS HERE on our website: IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN (BY LAW!!!) TO USE ANY OF MY image or TEXT on websites, blogs or any other media without my explicit permission. :copyright: All rights reserved via 500px

I continue to the series of ancient cities.


A minor city with one of the best preserved temples in Anatolia.


Euromos Temple of Zeus.

Euromos (Εὔρωμος): place in Caria, modern Kızılcakuyu.


A Carian town called Hyromos is mentioned in the fifth century BCE as member of the Delian League, the anti-Persian alliance founded by Athens. in the tribute list of 425, it is mentioned as paying six talents, together with Stratonicea and Hymessos.

From two decrees, we learn that the town shared its citizenship with Mylasa in the south. In the course of the Fifth Syrian War (202-195), the town was garrisoned by the Macedonians.note Later, it sided with the Seleucid king Antiochus III the Great, but in 188 it lost its independence to Rhodes. Liberated by Rome in 167,note it eventually became part of the province of Asia in 129 BCE.


The agora, baths, and a theater have been identified. The temple of Zeus Lepsinos stood to the southeast of the town itself. The remains are in a very good state of preservation. The structure, which measured about 14½ x 26¾ meters, is a peripteros and was 6 columns wide and 11 columns long. Judged by the fine quality of workmanship of the Corinthian capitals and the mouldings, the temple must have been built during the reign of the emperor Hadrian (r. 117-138).



Small scale excavations began in 1969 and are continuing.





The hamlet of Kerascoët includes a series of thatched houses called Cottages of Kerascoët. The village is a typical Breton village dating from the sixteenth century, it was renovated in 1993.

Part of Névez, a town in the department of Finistère, in Brittany, France.

The main originality of the heritage of the village lies in the granite that was extracted from nearby quarries and of course the thatched roofs! It was used to build the houses, blocks of nearly two meters high were cut on site and erected as a wall.

These standing stones are a feature of the rural and authentic Brittany.

No cars allowed, a real tourist 'trap' but still interesting!


THANK you, M, (*_*)


For more of my other work or if you want to PURCHASE (ONLY PLACE TO BUY MY IMAGES!), VIEW THE NEW PORTFOLIOS AND LATEST NEWS HERE on our website:

IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN (BY LAW!!!) TO USE ANY OF MY image or TEXT on websites, blogs or any other media without my explicit permission. :copyright: All rights reserved


After photographing the near-ghost town at Richmond, Oregon, we passed through a series of storms in the high country along route 207. We had the road to ourselves for photos of the spectacular clouds.

This is the 5th post in my SouthWest Arizona series- in photojournalistic style- I have uploaded (12) new photos. We arrived in Sedona a little before sunset after we visited Montezuma's Castle (maybe next post ;-)

We were just in AWE of this beauty... NO PHOTO can do this place justice- you just HAVE TO VISIT!!!. What is eery is that in town- EVERYTHING is pristine and NEW... I am not kidding- I did not find one run down building... everything is so beautiful and neat, showing real pride of ownership. The town is designed so perfectly- reminded me of a Desert version of "Pleasantville"

'Wildwater Erodes The Rocks' - [Special Series: 'Colors Of Our World'.. ]

On a closer way along the rocks, below the canyon, in the 'Partnachklamm', near the smal town 'Garmisch-Partenkirchen'.. the water is rapidly and very loud, from top drips water all over me, I'm wet. Cold wind is blowing through the gorge and at the same moment I´m standing on this wonderful place here, ordered emerges as the sun, he is painting wonderful colors, the rocks and the water are beginning to shining. Wow! This is my change.., I take the camera off my wet jacket and do this picture. ;-) Brrr.. it´s cold, my hair are wet too, but I´m happy and I think: 'Beautiful nature, but I like the sun outside too and so I´m going happy back into the warm sunlight. ;-)


I wish you all conscious perception and a wonderful year - Enjoy every moment!


I'm happy about all comments without big icon and thoughts from you! - Thank you! ;-)

Flickr-friends can view this shot in high-resolution. | View more pictures | Please visit my last shots on black too. Thanks for all your nicely comments, and for visit my stream! ;-)


© Copyright by Klaus Allmannsberger - All rights reserved! - All images are exclusive property and may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, transmitted, manipulated or used in any way without expressed, written permission of the photographer.


A beautiful twilight in the enchanting mountain village of Hallstatt, the pearl of Austria...


Out of the many cities and towns we visited last year, there were a select few that Naomi and I really connected with and Hallstatt was definitely one of them. In fact, just the act of processing this photo flooded me with a series of memories from our time in Austria last fall. I figured that's because I either have a strong emotional connection to Hallstatt or I managed to take way too much NyQuil. Either way, this entire area is just spectacular and the whole time we were there, we couldn’t help but feel totally relaxed and content to just slow things down and enjoy the incredible scenery. I can definitely se myself returning for a second visit in the future.


If you're interested in my work, feel free to drop me a line on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or my website

We Gonna Chase Them Crazy Baldheads Right Out Of Town**{Bob Marley}


Please hit "L" for a -far- better view

A few more shots from my town's Memorial Day Parade. Thank You to all who have served to protect the freedom that we cherish.

Buckley Ponds, outside the town of Bishop in the eastern Sierra in the Owens River Valley, provide beautiful afternoon reflections in the calm waters. A series of winding dirt trails is fun to explore in a high clearance vehicle. I believe the area is managed by the US Forest Service and was recently cleared of non-native, invasive plant species in an effort to rehabilitate the area into a warm water fishing area for bass and bluegill. I can tell you at sunset the mosquitoes are rampant, providing an ample food source for the fish.

"Most of our life is a series of images. They pass us by like towns on the highway. But sometimes a moment stuns us as it happens. And we know that this instant is more than a fleeting image. We know that this moment, every part of it, will live on forever.'"

April 13th 69/365

As we headed back into town this view opened up. It was rather spoiled by electricity cables but a bit of processing cleaned them up and I think the finished article seems to have vindicated my decision to grab this set of pictures and merge them.


Thanks for following this series on Largs. The pictures were arranged somewhat randomly as although we completed the town trail the weather was pretty iffy at times and so I included better ones from other days.


Please see my blog entry at for more details about our walk. A new Scottish set next!

As part of the Ring of Kerry, we drove past the town of Ballinskelligs in Ireland. Another beautiful small town, we noticed that there was a small beach with very clear looking water. The water had a turquoise color to it and it was not cold so we took off our shoes and wandered a little bit into the water to get our feet wet. I always knew Ireland to be great for the rolling green hills but I did not expect such great looking coasts and beaches :D


My Vancouver Canucks won a 7 game series last night against Chicago! It was a nail biter but they came through in overtime... I stayed up from 3:30am London time and did not sleep since then... I was a zombie all day as a result though... With that said, I am exhausted and will crash now. Last day of work tomorrow before another long weekend. Time to pack up again!

Saint-Pierre-en-Port is a farming village in the Pays de Caux, situated some 31 miles (50 km) northeast of Le Havre, at the junction of the D33 and D79 roads. The commune has a pebble beach and some very high limestone cliffs overlooking the English Channel.


part of a series of villages and towns we discovered as we drove along the coast.

Chalk is a soft, white, porous, sedimentary carbonate rock, a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite. The Chalk Group is a European stratigraphic unit deposited during the late Cretaceous Period. It forms the famous White Cliffs of Dover in Kent, England, as well as their counterparts of the Cap Blanc Nez on the other side of the Dover Strait.

this is View street ( aptly named ) the first street which is in full bloom in our town . it is late this year , normally this is in bloom in mid Feb .


one from the archives . from early March

Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combination of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined? Each life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable.


Italo Calvino




I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.


Jorge Luis Borges




the geek behind the curtain: all shots and layers in this photo art assemblage were taken candidly and developed by myself with a hand-held, point-and-shoot camera and the free (open source) graphics manipulation program called GIMP.


a candid shot from a free music festival held downtown in our little town. the family and i love walking through these scenes. this was an audience member. i took about 10 shots of him at various times.




our daily challenge: on my walk

Another wrong turn led us to this tiny town full of hidden treasures. The sun was getting close to the horizon and I was playing around with angles of this place. Standing on a hill I noticed my shadow interrupting my frame. I quickly changed my state of mind and used the shadow figure to my advantage. I'm gonna be doing a shadow figure series based off of this photo....more to come


Palouse, Washington

~- Ed Montanus~


1968 Ford Mustang GT parked for the Classic Car Show at Old Town in Kissimmee, Florida.


Rigs & I enjoyed looking at all of the oldies there.

I had a 1968 red Mustang for 10 years and LOVED it! :D




Assembly: USA

Class: Pony car


The Ford Mustang is an automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. It was initially based on the Ford Falcon, a compact car. Production began in Dearborn, Michigan on March 9, 1964 and the car was introduced to the public on April 17, 1964 at the New York World's Fair. It is Ford's oldest nameplate currently in production, although the F-Series has undergone major nameplate changes over the years (most recently to F-150).


It was Ford's most successful launch since the Model A.


Executive stylist John Najjar, who was a fan of the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane, suggested the name.


The Mustang created the "pony car" class of American automobile — sports car-like sedans with long hoods and short rear decks.


FORD MUSTANG - First generation (1964–1973)


Conceived by Ford product manager Donald N. Frey and championed by Ford Division general manager Lee Iacocca, the Mustang prototype was a two-seat, front-mounted engine roadster. This would later be remodeled as a four-seat car penned by David Ash and John Oros in Ford's Lincoln–Mercury Division design studios, which produced the winning design in an intramural design contest instigated by Iacocca. To cut down the development cost and achieve a suggested retail price of US $2,368.00, the Mustang was based heavily on familiar yet simple components. Much of the chassis, suspension, and drivetrain components were derived from the Ford Falcon and Ford Fairlane (North American). Favorable publicity articles appeared in 2,600 newspapers the next morning, the day the car was "officially" revealed. A Mustang also appeared in the James Bond film Goldfinger in September 1964, the first time the car was used in a movie.


Original sales forecasts projected less than 100,000 units for the first year, but in its first eighteen months, more than one million Mustangs were built.


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We started our drive around 5pm in sunshine. After an hour or two we ran into a rainstorm. Loved how the sun then came out and glinted off the wet, steaming road surface.


PS I am reposting my road trip iPhone images from day 2 as a series (anyone can see them) including an image of the town of Jasper (where we bought our breakfast) and an evening shot of our destination, Vancouver .


It was a long but beautiful drive (1200+Km over two days) from the Prairies to the Coast. We have often done this drive in one day.


Have a great new week and thanks for the company and the visits.


this is View street ( aptly named ) the first street which is in full bloom in our town . it is late this year , normally this is in bloom in mid Feb .


texture by jewellofdistressed..

Shot about 45 minutes after Town Sopris, the other shot of this series, and from a camera position a bit to the east, a few miles closer, and from a camera position about 800 feet higher. Mount Sopris is the lovely twin-peaked mountain that dramatically rises over Colorado's Roaring Fork Valley and the town of Carbondale, where I live.


Aspens, of course, provide most of the color in this shot. But the russet mound (center foreground) and the yellow mound to its right are both gambel oaks. And gambles (we mostly call them scrub oaks) form huge thickets on many slopes here in the valley. Bears love their acorns, deer love the cover they provide. In years with wet late summers and autumns, like this year, some of the oaks turn a bright am-I-in-Vermont scarlet.


I've got a few shots of scarlet oaks that I'll get around to posting. If you're interested, there's a sizable 2013 autumn color gallery on my website:

Before I move on to my next 'official' [LOL] series, I want to share some pictures I took around Valencia with my newest lens.


This is at our Town Center with a Nikon AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 16-85 mm lens. ISO 400 f/9.0 1/40 at 19.0 mm.


Valencia, while not too exciting, is a planned community so there is a consistent South West theme in the color schemes and architecture. Everything is decorated in natural desert shades, even though it is more properly chaparral:


"Chaparral is a shrubland or heathland plant community found primarily in the U.S. state of California and in the northern portion of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. It is shaped by a Mediterranean climate (mild, wet winters and hot dry summers) and wildfire, featuring summer-drought tolerant plants with hard sclerophyllous evergreen leaves, as contrasted with the associated soft-leaved, drought deciduous, scrub community of Coastal sage scrub, found below the chaparral biome. Chaparral covers 5% of the state of California, and associated Mediterranean shrubland an additional 3.5%.[1] The name comes from the Spanish word chaparro, applied to scrub oaks." Wikipedia


Happy Bench Monday!

end of the road series 13 - south of Hidden Valley, Reno, Nevada - January 5, 2013


This road, to the right of the white walkway markers, runs adjacent to an elementary school near my home. The road dead-ends to one of the few remaining working ranches within the Reno metropolitan area. As you can see, the ranch is a quite beautiful, if somewhat barren, place in the world. The stripped orange & white fence indicates the end of this road. The series' title also makes reference to the space beyond the fence, because it is the end of the road for for that open ranch area. A major 4 or 6-lane roadway has been planned & approved for the space between the fence and the mountains in the background. I grew up in Reno, when there were dozens of ranches of this magnitude. It's difficult to watch these scenic ranches go, but the owners cannot handle taxes in some cases, their children don't want to continue ranching in some cases, and other pressures or opportunities cause ranchers to sell in other cases. The Reno area is in the top ten of cities most negatively affected by the economic calamity of these past 5 years, so the jobs associated with road construction will certainly help the entire community. Rapid population growth is predicted to resume to near record levels in the near future so the road will probably help ease any potential travel bottlenecks down the road, so to speak...although with a newly renovated 6-lane thoroughfare less than a mile behind me as I took this photo, it is hard to imagine the new road to be of any major beneficial consequence for years. SO there isn't an agenda behind the images...because like so much in our world, the situation is complicated...there is no absolute right or wrong...these images are a reflection of man's alteration of earth, the cost of progress in terms of continual reduction of open space and natural beauty...and a point of reflection for one photographer regarding his memories of what his home town once was.

Sapporo (札幌市 Sapporo-shi) is the fourth largest city in Japan by population, and the largest city on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Located in Ishikari Subprefecture, it is the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture, and an ordinance-designated city of Japan.


Sapporo is known outside Japan for having hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, the first ever held in Asia, and for the city's annual Yuki Matsuri, internationally referred to as the Sapporo Snow Festival, which draws more than 2 million tourists from around the world. The city is also home to Sapporo Brewery and the white chocolate biscuits called shiroi koibito (白い恋人, "white sweetheart").


Before its establishment, the area occupied by Sapporo (known as the Ishikari Plain) was home to a number of indigenous Ainu settlements. In 1866, at the end of the Edo period, construction began on a canal through the area, encouraging a number of early settlers to establish Sapporo village. The settlement's name was taken from the Ainu language sat poro pet (サッ・ポロ・ペッ), and can be translated as "dry, great river".


In 1868, the officially recognized year celebrated as the "birth" of Sapporo, the new Meiji government concluded that the existing administrative center of Hokkaido, which at the time was the port of Hakodate, was in an unsuitable location for defense and further development of the island. As a result, it was determined that a new capital on the Ishikari Plain should be established. The plain itself provided an unusually large expanse of flat, well drained land which is relatively uncommon in the otherwise mountainous geography of Hokkaido.


During 1870–1871, Kuroda Kiyotaka, vice-chairman of the Hokkaido Development Commission (Kaitaku-shi), approached the American government for assistance in developing the land. As a result, Horace Capron, Secretary of Agriculture under President Ulysses S. Grant, became an oyatoi gaikokujin and was appointed as a special advisor to the commission. Construction began around Odori Park, which still remains as a green ribbon of recreational land bisecting the central area of the city. The city closely followed a grid plan with streets at right-angles to form city blocks.


The continuing expansion of the Japanese into Hokkaido continued, mainly due to migration from the main island of Honshu immediately to the south, and the prosperity of Hokkaido and particularly its capital grew to the point that the Development Commission was deemed unnecessary and was abolished in 1882.


Edwin Dun (oyatoi gaikokujin) came to Sapporo to establish sheep and cattle ranches in 1876. He also demonstrated pig raising and the making of butter, cheese, ham and sausage. He married a Japanese woman. He once went back to the US in 1883 but returned to Japan as a secretary of government.


William S. Clark (oyatoi gaikokujin), who was the president of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now the University of Massachusetts Amherst), came to be the founding vice-president of the Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University) for only eight months from 1876 to 1877. He taught academic subjects in science and lectured on the Bible as an "ethics" course, introducing Christian principles to the first entering class of the College.


In 1880, the entire area of Sapporo was renamed as "Sapporo-ku" (Sapporo Ward), and a railroad between Sapporo and Temiya, Otaru was laid. That year the Hōheikan, a hotel and reception facility for visiting officials and dignitaries, was erected adjacent to the Odori Park. It was later moved to Nakajima Park where it remains today. Two years later, with the abolition of the Kaitaku-shi, Hokkaidō was divided into three prefectures: Hakodate, Sapporo, and Nemuro. The name of the urban district in Sapporo remained Sapporo-ku, while the rest of the area in Sapporo-ku was changed to Sapporo-gun. The office building of Sapporo-ku was also located in the urban district.


Sapporo, Hakodate, and Nemuro Prefectures were abolished in 1886, and Hokkaidō government office building, an American-neo-baroque-style structure with red bricks, constructed in 1888. The last squad of the Tondenhei, the soldiers pioneering Hokkaido, settled in the place where the area of Tonden in Kita-ku, Sapporo is currently located. Sapporo-ku administered surrounding Sapporo-gun until 1899, when the new district system was announced. After that year, Sapporo-ku was away from the control of Sapporo-gun. The "ku" (district) enforced from 1899 was an autonomy which was a little bigger than towns, and smaller than cities. In Hokkaido at that time, Hakodate-ku and Otaru-ku also existed.


In 2001 the construction of the Sapporo Dome was completed, and in 2002 the Dome hosted three games during the 2002 FIFA World Cup; Germany vs Saudi Arabia, Argentina vs England and Italy vs Ecuador, all of which were in the first round. The present mayor of Sapporo, Fumio Ueda, was elected as the mayor for the first time in 2003. Sapporo became the home to a Nippon Professional Baseball team, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, in 2004, which won the 2006 Japan Series, and the victory parade was held on Ekimae-Dōri (a street in front of Sapporo Station) in February 2007.


The 34th G8 summit took place in Tōyako in 2008, and a number of people including anti-globalisation activists and marched in the heart of the city to protest. Police officers were gathered in Sapporo from all over Japan, and the news reported that four people were arrested in the demonstrations. The Hokkaidō Shinkansen line, which is currently under construction to Hakodate through the Seikan Tunnel, is planned to link to Sapporo.




























Sapporo (en japonés: 札幌市; Sapporo-shi) es una ciudad de Japón, situada en la parte suroeste interior de la isla de Hokkaidō. Es la capital de la prefectura homónima y su población supera los 1,9 millones de habitantes, lo que la convierte en la quinta localidad más grande del país. El área total del territorio es de 1.121 km².


Fue fundada en 1869 como capital de la nueva prefectura de Hokkaidō tras la colonización de la isla durante la era Meiji, en sustitución de Hakodate. Al levantarla de cero, las autoridades niponas recurrieron a consejeros occidentales —en su mayoría, estadounidenses— que tuvieron gran influencia sobre la planificación urbana, el establecimiento de industrias, el estilo arquitectónico y los centros educativos. Se encuentra rodeada por cadenas montañosas y, pese a su crecimiento demográfico, ha mantenido numerosas zonas verdes tanto en el núcleo urbano como en las afueras; cuenta con un total de 2.700 parques,1 algunos tan importantes como el Jardín Botánico y el parque nacional Shikotsu-Tōya.


Presenta temperaturas más bajas que el resto de ciudades japonesas debido a su clima continental húmedo, con continuas nevadas en los meses de invierno y tiempo suave durante el verano. Por esta razón, es un destino turístico especializado en deportes invernales. Durante el siglo XX han surgido eventos que le han dotado de fama internacional, siendo el más importante de ellos el Festival de la nieve de Sapporo que se celebra cada mes de febrero. Dispone de una red desarrollada de transporte por carretera y ferrocarril, con un aeropuerto propio para vuelos regionales (Okadama) y otro internacional en las cercanías (Nuevo Aeropuerto de Chitose), que es el tercero mayor de Japón en número de pasajeros.


Cuenta además con una amplia oferta cultural y educativa. La Universidad de Hokkaidō, fundada por William S. Clark en 1876 como Escuela de Agricultura y reconvertida en 1918 en la actual institución, es una de las siete universidades nacionales de Japón. Tiene un total de 11.600 alumnos de grado y 6.300 de posgrado.


Sapporo ha organizado los XI Juegos Olímpicos de Invierno de 1972. Además fue una de las sedes de la Copa Mundial de Fútbol de 2002.


Es una de las ciudades más recientes de Japón, pues su nacimiento data de finales del siglo XIX. Está ubicada sobre un territorio originalmente ocupado por los ainu, un pueblo indígena de cazadores.4 Durante el periodo Edo se inició la construcción de un canal de navegación que permitió los primeros asentamientos colonos. La isla de Hokkaidō fue oficialmente anexionada en 1869 y ese año se fundó Sapporo como futura capital de la nueva prefectura, dentro del plan de desarrollo impulsado por el emperador Meiji para frenar la expansión del imperio ruso al este.


En aquel momento el municipio más poblado era Hakodate. Sin embargo, se empezó de cero con una nueva villa alejada de la costa por razones de seguridad. Sapporo obtuvo la capitalía de forma oficial en 1871.


El vicepresidente de la comisión de desarrollo, Kuroda Kiyotaka, pidió ayuda al gobierno de los Estados Unidos en las obras. El consejero extranjero (oyatoi gaikokujin) que asumió esa labor fue Horace Capron, secretario de agricultura bajo la presidencia de Ulysses S. Grant. Los norteamericanos diseñaron el plan urbanístico basándose en un trazado en damero con calles en ángulo recto, poco comunes en el país, donde el parque Odori funcionaría como avenida central. Muchos de los edificios oficiales también se hicieron según el mismo patrón. La aportación occidental fue crucial: el asesor Edwin Dun impulsó la industria primaria con la creación de lecherías y granjas,8 mientras que el profesor William S. Clark, procedente de la Universidad de Massachusets, fundó en 1876 la Escuela de Agricultura de Sapporo para instruir a los nuevos habitantes.


En años posteriores se culminó la construcción de la villa portuaria de Otaru (al norte de la capital), las primeras líneas ferroviarias y los edificios de gobierno. Durante el siglo XX, Sapporo mantuvo su crecimiento demográfico gracias a la absorción de villas en los alrededores. La Escuela Agrícola quedó en 1907 bajo control de la Universidad de Tohoku y en 1918 se autorizó su transformación en la Universidad Imperial de Hokkaidō, la quinta a nivel nacional en recibir tal distinción. En 1922 el gobierno nipón aprobó un nuevo sistema municipal por el que Sapporo ya era oficialmente una ciudad.


Durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial se inauguró el aeródromo de Okadama como base aérea del Ejército Imperial. Entre el 14 y el 15 de julio de 1945, Sapporo fue bombardeada por los aviones B-29 de la USAAF, aunque el objetivo de los ataques eran puertos estratégicos cercanos a la zona. Las fuerzas aliadas que ocuparon el país asumieron las labores de reconstrucción, y en 1952 cedieron el control al nuevo gobierno japonés. En aquel tiempo se celebró la primera edición del Festival de la nieve de Sapporo (1950) y se autorizó que la base aérea de Chitose, abierta desde 1926 en las afueras, se utilizase como aeropuerto civil.


El acontecimiento más importante que ha acogido son los Juegos Olímpicos de Invierno de 1972. Sapporo ya fue elegida en 1937 sede de la edición de 1940, pero tuvo que renunciar a ella por el estallido de la Segunda guerra sino-japonesa. Veinticinco años después, el Comité Olímpico Internacional le otorgó la organización de la XI Olimpiada.11 Esto permitió nuevas reformas como la inauguración del sistema de Metro en 1971.


El 1 de abril de 1972, Sapporo se convirtió en una ciudad designada por decreto gubernamental.


A finales del siglo XX asumió un rol de destino turístico y de eventos culturales, con la organización del Pacific Music Festival de música clásica, del Sapporo City Jazz y del Festival Yosakoi Sōran de folclore tradicional. Fue subsede de la Copa Mundial de Fútbol de 2002 gracias a la construcción del Domo de Sapporo, inaugurado un año antes. Y en 2008, con motivo de la 34 Cumbre del G8 albergada en el sur de Hokkaidō , acogió las manifestaciones de los movimientos antiglobalización. En 2012 se inició la obra de la línea de tren de alta velocidad Hokkaido Shinkansen, que unirá a la isla con Aomori en 2016.

I decided to wind down my lens experiments series with a few shots I took with my new wide angle earlier this month. We are still in the midst of an unprecedented heat wave with temps hovering just below 100F/40C. Here's what that looks like here.


I am going to be moving to another experimental set before starting my next big series. Over the weekend Geoff and I went to the Korean Festival in Koreatown and took pictures. I am processing them in Lightroom 5, which I am learning very slooowwwwly. It is making some rather ordinary photographs look amazing and I will begin sharing those shortly.


Happy Wide Angle Wednesday!


Oh, and this won't mean much to those of you who have been Explored or who have a huge following (Yes, I am referring to you, the real, experienced photographers who I admire so much) but I FINALLY had 1,000 views on a recent picture. Yay! Maybe I am actually making progress! :-D

Another road trip south. We are head to visit the kids the weekend before thanksgiving. We are running late so we hop on the I35 and make the dash to Monroe and Pella. I have done this stretch of road many times, but there always seams to be something new or something old in a new light or angle. This leg of the trip features some rich colors reflected from a young morning sun. Enjoy the trip south on I 35 and a return trip north on Iowa 14 in this series.

Copyright Susan Ogden


Apologies in advance...this story is kinda longish....


Today Luke and i did a little more exploring. We headed north to run errands and got a taste of the “well to do” section of the island. Ridiculously HUGE homes on very large lots...more room than anyone with less than 6 kids could possibly use!! Within 20 miles we arrived in Corolla, after passing thru the town of Duck (Duck Donuts are AWESOME, btw!). We went to Corolla with a purpose in mind....well, at least i did! I wanted to take Luke to see the wild horses that roam the beaches there, and to see Currituck Light. Alas, we only accomplished the latter, after finding out that you can no longer roam the wild beaches on your own anymore to locate and see the horses. You are required to purchase a “Tour”, which is 2 hours long and $48.00 a person. There was little chance of Luke sitting for 2 hours in a 4 wheeler looking for horses that he could not touch!


Currituck Light, on the other hand, was beautiful! We met a man, as i was taking photographs of it, who said to me, “No photographs until you climb it!”. i looked at him like he had 3 heads and then went back to shooting! He then said “Seriously, the best shot is when you go in and look straight up. Worth the price of admission!” I sighed and told him he had indeed intrigued me with that statement, and i would get my exercise for the day, carrying a 26 lb human and my camera....even tho i am afraid of heights, thanks to him!


Luke was a trooper. He climbed all 214 steps HIMSELF...just holding my hand at my insistence, because i was terrified he would fall thru the holes where the risers should be, but aren’t! PLUS the steps were metal with holes in them and i HAD to look down at him to make sure he was ok and therefore i could see down to below....NOT COOL! When we got to the top, i decided to carry him, much to his protest (which only lasted until he saw how high in the air we were and then he clung to me like a sand spur! which are MISERABLE spiky, spiny plants that feel like you are being stabbed with a zillion needles and get stuck to you like glue). i took a VERY quick series of shots to try and do a stitch for a pano, which him hanging on me and trying desperately to get back inside the door! Apparently he has some fear of heights like his Mmm-ma!! I am ok if i look OUT....just not straight down. Going back down the spiral stairs, i decided to carry him and inch my way down by holding the handrail and looking at the wall, and not thru the steps!


Having survived that, i took him out to lunch and then headed home to fight with BC/BS about their inability to get a bill to my house since July. Call # 4....and i will admit, i was less nice than i have been for the past 3 calls....out of pure frustration. They can get me booklets...and ID cards...but not one freaking bill has arrived in spite of of 3 previous calls, and verifying my address 3 times. TODAY, they tell me that my account was “BLOCKED” from getting bills sent to me...and i am beginning to wonder if that is a way of canceling people that pay their own insurance...which would be pretty darned stupid since they charge us the equivalent of an arm, 2 legs and my first born each month for worthless coverage such as Prostate care and Maternity for me (which i FINALLY no longer need!), pediatric care for young children i do not have and Obstetrics coverage for the husband who has never had the “pleasure” of being able to bear a child in the first place! I THINK i may finally have gotten it straightened now i am going back to my bliss in my bubble, thank you!

This is Manarola, Italy. We arrived just after sunset at this town in the Cinque Terre region of the riviera. After a steep descent from the parking lot, then a gradual uphill walk along a terrace, you reach this nice viewpoint of Manarola. It has been in existence since the 1300's, with fishing and wine-making still being the main industries. If you have a full day or two, you can take the train that stops at a series of villages perched along rugged cliffs between Genoa and Pisa. If you arrive by train, you only have a short walk to this overlook. When you arrive by car as we did, you have to park it outside of town because no cars are allowed. Then you get around the old fashioned way and must plan on burning-off calories from pizza, olive oil, and gelatos !



"Manarola, built on a high rock 70 metres above sea level, is one of the most charming and romantic of the Cinque Terre villages. The tiny harbor features a boat ramp, picturesque multicoloured houses facing the sea, a tiny piazza with seafood restaurants.


Along the main road the boats are pulled onto dry land every time the sea is rough. Although there is no real beach here, it has some of the best deep-water swimming around.


The village is all ups and downs, with steep narrow alleys leading to the sea. If you want to venture up to the top of Manarola, make sure you check out the church. Today it serves as a religious and community meeting place, but in more ancient times, the bell tower was used as a post to watch for potential pirate raids. Another peculiarity of Manarola is a pyramid in white cement whose peak can be seen rising between the taller houses and is used as a navigational reference point for all those at sea."


Photographs from a series featuring Margate Old Town. Not the kiss me quick Margate from our childhood, but a vibrant quarter of a town that has lost some of its shine. Featuring the people who work there, the business that attract the visitors and the visitors themselves. do yourself a favour, pop down there and see a part of Kent that has weathered well, and is meeting the needs of people who are fed up with large outlets.


At last, some Winter imagery. It took a long time for my part of the world to get a significant snowfall, one at least useful for creating images. So before it goes away and we're all on to Spring, I thought I'd better get some up. A slight detour from the abstraction.


A very cold Winter evening looking off my big city balcony. The light seemed just right. A few seconds later it was too dark and that eery, haunting Winter twilight was gone.


At first, panoramic distortion, or, "pano-sabotage" seems perhaps to be DE-structive or implying some kind of trauma to reality. Anything that shakes up our everyday view of the world, if not fully understood, becomes largely associated with the disruption of what keeps us "safe". Like abstraction, "pano-sabotage", offers up a different view of what we call reality. A different view, perhaps a multiplicity of views ... simultaneously. With the coming of the Quantum Age, multi-simultanaeity of possibilities will become how we create and navigate that world.


The title harkens back to two pre-Winter images I posted back in the late Fall, "November Town" ( #'s 1 & 2 ).


:copyright: Richard S Warner ( Visionheart ) - 2016. All Rights Reserved. This image is not for use in any form without explicit, express, written permission.

Photographs from a series featuring Margate Old Town. Not the kiss me quick Margate from our childhood, but a vibrant quarter of a town that has lost some of its shine. Featuring the people who work there, the business that attract the visitors and the visitors themselves. do yourself a favour, pop down there and see a part of Kent that has weathered well, and is meeting the needs of people who are fed up with large outlets.


Continuing my Toy-ronto Life series...


Happy Miniature Sunday :-)


Spring slowly but steadily is showing herself in our miniature Toy-ronto! I'm looking forward to the month of May which is generally a blooming month here, and when spring a bit late it's a double blooming month, I hope :-)


More of toy-some Toy-ronto fun is coming - stay tuned / bientot a l'ecran ;-)

...or how Honky Tonk and Sister Bill got their nicknames. If it happened in the Hill Country, it probably happened at Mamacitas.


This is an essay about the Texas Hill Country, but it's going to take me a long way around to get to the Hill Country. I'll add a paragraph here and there as the spirit moves me. Nicknames are easy to come by in the Texas Hill Country. Any naming incident that sparks a full two minutes of laughter is apt to create a life long nick name.


I got mine early on when Sherry began her career as a Methodist minister. Churches she was assigned to by the Bishop had never or seldom had female pastors and for the most part the pastor was called Brother Smith, Brother John, Brother Ralph or Brother Bubba, maybe even Brother Slim or Brother whatever. At Sherry's first church one of the men was speaking to Sherry in front of a crowd and referred to her as Brother Sherry. The crowd erupted in laughter and that sparked me to ad lib, "Well I guess that makes me Sister Bill." It stuck, and from then on everywhere we've gone I've become Sister Bill. Strangly enough, the Brother Sherry didn't stick and she's always been Pastor Sherry. It's funny how that works. This system makes a good litmus test as to who you can trust too. Those who use it in derision are easy to pick up on and you can depend on it, they will become your enemies. It's always good to know who your enmies are. Next time I'm in the mood to post, I'll tell you who Honky Tonk is and how she got her nickname.


Joy got her name from British author,Ruth Hamilton. Joy is the pianist at the First United Methodist Church in Johnson City, Texas where Sherry and I spent nine exciting years before we moved to Kerrville five years ago. Joy is my age (80+-) and grew up in a series of Methodist churches. Her father was a Methodist preacher. When she was junior high age she was so good on piano, she started playing the church organ where her father preached. Joy became famous with her junior high school peers by playing the country-western/pop hit "Pistol Packing Mama" to a slow hymn cadence in church during certain parts of the service. Her father never was able to hear the plaintive admonition, "Laaaaaaay thaaaaaat pistooooool dooooown, baaaaabe, laaaaaay thaaaaaat pistoooooool doooooown; Pistooooooool Paaaaaaacking Maaaaaaama puuuuuut thaaaaaaat guuuuuuun awaaaaaaaaay." Of one thing you can be sure, every junior high kid in the Methodist church heard the message and nobody ever figured out why the kids would often become so giggly and out of control, especially when they heard the tune telling them, "Oh, she kicked out my windshield, she hit me over the head. She cussed and cried and said I'd lied and wished that I was dead. Lay that pistol down, babe, lay that pistol down, Pistol Packing Mama, put that gun away!"


Naturally Joy grew into a natural musician and could improvise without even having to consciously think about it. During the nine years we were rewarded with her weekly concerts, I noticed that she would often spontaneously begin the add character to the hymns. Some came out with the feel of honky tonk country western and some even took on a boogie beat. She did this naturally, but seemed not to be able to do it on demand. Perhaps demand made her self conscious. For that reason when Ruth Hamilton begged me to tape "Honky Tonk" (that's the name Ruth began to call her because she could never remember the name Joy Feuge) and send her the tape, I made a noble effort. I was never able to get a tape, but Ruth's name "Honky Tonk" stuck and that's what we call Joy to this day. Next, I'll tell you something about a Texas Hill Country institution, Mamacita's Mexican Restaurant, serving Mexican food, but owned and operated by an American Muslim Iranian. That gets him in trouble with the area's fundamentalist cowboy Christians from time to time, to which he pays no attention and simply continues to oeprate a superb small chain of Mexican restaurants. He operates one in San Antonio, one in San Marcos, one in Fredericksburg and one in Kerrville. It just goes to show, you can't hold a good man down.


I've been eating at Mamacita's restaurants for years now and when I began writing this piece couldn't even remember the owner and founder's name. Sherry found this link on the internet and it is so interesting and complete I'm going to post it word for word:




Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurant: Oh Mama!


By Kathryn Jones

Thursday, 24 January 2008


There are four Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurants in Texas, the largest of which seats 400 people.

Premier Business Partners:

DeCoty Coffee Co.


Known to most as simply “Hagi,” Hossein Hagigholam left Iran for the United States in 1976 with a dream to make it big in the land of opportunity.


His initial plan was to study civil engineering. But, as fate should have it, he now owns and operates four Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurants in Kerrville, Texas, with four other locations in Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, San Marcos and San Antonio, Texas. The smallest location seats 250 people and the largest seats 400 people.


In an interview with Food and Drink, Hagi reveals how he transitioned from a lonely dishwasher who could barely speak English to a successful entrepreneur with plans to turn his Tex-Mex restaurant into a nationally recognized franchise.


The ride has not been an easy one, he adds, but with a little faith and hard work, dreams really can come true.


Food and Drink: What brought you to the United States?

Hossein Hagigholam: From the time I was a boy, I wanted to come to America. Before the revolution in Iran, lots of Iranians came to the United States to become engineers and doctors, and then they went back home.


Without any knowledge of English, my first place to go was Houston. There was a school for English as a second language called ESL Houston.


If there were 40 students, 35 of them were Iranians, so the teachers learned how to speak our language instead of us learning English.


I knew in order to make it in the United States I had to learn the language, so I researched which college in Texas had less Iranians. Shreiner College had only one Iranian student, so that’s how I ended up in Kerrville. While I studied, I found a job in the restaurants.


If you are a foreigner and don’t know any English, the only job you have is washing dishes. I later became a bus boy and then a waiter.


As a waiter, that’s when you really make it big. I was so happy about how much money I was making as a waiter that I took three jobs: the breakfast shift in one restaurant, the lunch shift in another and the dinner shift in the third.


I remember one time a customer asked me if we took Visa, and I thought they were asking me if I had a visa. I thought I was in trouble somehow, so I ran home as fast as I could.


My manager called me the next day and asked, “What happened?” I said, “Someone wanted me to show him my visa.” He said, “No, you idiot! They were asking you if we accept Visa – the credit card.”


FAD: I can see how you would feel anxious about that. In 1979, American hostages were taken at the embassy in Tehran and President Jimmy Carter called for all Iranian students in the U.S. whose visas had expired to leave the country by the spring of 1980. You must have been devastated.

HH: The world just shattered on me, because now I had to go back. I had learned English, started earning money and I was dating Ruth.


The only way I could stay in the country was if she married me, and she wouldn’t marry me. She said, “Look, I’m 20 and you’re 21. We’re young and you come from another country and my parents won’t let me.”


I finally talked Ruth into marrying me. You talk about begging! Her parents gave their permission because of the difficult situation, but it was on the condition that we live apart for six months.


I tell people I really got married for the green card, but we’re still married after 25 years and we adopted two wonderful children. I think that says a lot.


FAD: Is it true you named the restaurant after Ruth?

HH: She is Spanish and I used to call her “Mamacita” when I was a waiter. I decided to name the restaurant Mamacita’s because it means grandmother, good-looking lady – all the goodies.


FAD: In 1985, you and a business partner opened the first Mamacita’s in Kerrville. Was it challenging to get it off the ground?

HH: Not really. We opened the second restaurant in Fredericksburg in 1988, followed by one in San Marcos in 1996, and then the biggest location, which is in San Antonio, in 2003.


And then, in 2005, we tore our original restaurant down and built a new restaurant. If there were a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for most expensive restaurant ever built per capita, it would be this restaurant, because we spent $10 million in a city with a population of only 25,000 people.


It is very tough to make money when you open a $10 million restaurant, but because of our confidence and if you treat people the way you want to be treated, anything can work. In fact, Kerrville is a German town. People say, “How could an Iranian come to the United States and build a Mexican restaurant in a German community and make it?” My answer to that is, “Only in America, of course.”


FAD: Can you share some tips in how to run a successful restaurant?

HH: If a restaurant has five elements, the owner will hit the jackpot in this business. If he has four out of five, he will make a living out of it. And if he has less than that, it is better not to mess with the restaurant business.


These elements are quality, service, location, atmosphere and reasonable prices.


Of course quality and service are always important, but I wanted to give an atmosphere that not every causal restaurant can do. In our Kerrville location, we have a third of the actual size of the Alamo inside of our restaurant.


A mechanical Davy Crockett sits on top of the roof that plays the music like the movie “Alamo.” Also, in our San Antonio location, we created a village that makes you feel like you are outside even though you are inside. It has fiber-optic stars and village shops and bakeries in it.


FAD: Having worked in restaurants when you were in college, would you say that makes you a more empathetic boss?

HH: Many casual restaurants have just one general manager that takes care of the quality of the food and the service.


When I used to work in the bottom line myself, I found that it was difficult to put all of this work on the shoulder of one person and expect him to control costs and increase sales.


So, this is why each of our locations has two general managers – one for back of house and one for front of house. We also took away any administrative work for them. Each of our locations has at least six managers.


This is what makes us different. I believe in spending money to make money when it comes to [hiring good employees.] We have a good 4 percent budgeted to training at all times.


We talk to them about the golden rule [of the restaurant business.] If you treat someone the way you want to be treated, it will increase the sales.


FAD: What is Mamacita’s perspective on providing customers with exceptional service?

HH: All of our customers can testify that no customer can walk out unless a manager has visited their table. We believe if a customer is unhappy, they will tell us when they leave.


Usually, if they are unhappy, they don’t say anything and just don’t come back.


But by having a manager shake hands and talk to them, they will feel comfortable enough to tell us what we did wrong.


We appreciate the compliments, but what we really want to hear is if there are any complaints.


I tell my management that when people go out to eat, they are in a good mood.


You never see a husband tell his wife, “Let’s go out to eat,” and the wife gets upset about it. Everybody is happy when they go out to eat, and if they choose your restaurant, you should feel honored. So, do whatever it takes to please them. They like attention.


You know, lots of Middle Eastern people that have businesses complain because they say we lost business because of the 9/11 terrorist action.


I disagree on that because my business has been doing well and I think it is because of how we treat people.


I make a lot of speeches about America, the land of opportunity. What I always emphasize at the end is this: Whoever doesn’t make it in this country, it is their own fault. I am one of those guys that really appreciate the country for what it has done for me.


FAD: What’s next for Mamacita’s?

HH: We would like to open locations in Austin, Houston and Dallas in the near future. We’ll do it one at a time. I don’t open a restaurant until I have its general managers ready. I have no plan after that yet.


You never know. Maybe a successful, nationally recognized chain will discover us and we could make a deal to take this nationwide.




When Hagi shut down the Kerrville Mamacita's Restaurant to build that ten million dollar culinary mansion, some of the Shiite Christians in Kerrville became very upset because the architect had put a small, simple dome on the structure and it reminded them of a Muslim Mosque for some reason. They demanded the dome be removed, despite the fact the State Capitol in Austin has a dome, some churches have domes and the dome, while a Moorish design, is commonplace in Spain and Mexico AND this is a MEXICAN food restaurant, OK? My friend Frank Clark says Hagi told him, "I don't have the kind of money to buy this quality of advertising." As expected, the dome remained, the new reataurant opened and the furror subsided.


Second to the mechanical Davy Crockett who from time to time activates and play the fiddle on the ramparts of the similated Alamo in Mamacita's in Kerrville are the murals painted by Haigi's brother whose name I have never heard and can't find on the internet. Hagi's brother is a truly outstanding artist and at some time in the future I'm going to photograph some of the interior and post it here. Mexican restaurants around the Southwest are famous for their absolutely crude murals, but Mamacita's redeems them all. Hagi's brother is a wonderful muralist.


For almost fifteen years now, Mamacita's has been a part of Hill Country living for Sherry and me and the good people of the First Methodist Church in Johnson City Texas. We meet there to celebrate birthdays and for a long time after Sherry and I moved to Kerrville we met regularily at Mamacita's in Fredericksburg. Same driving distance from Kerrville and from Johnson City.


I recommend Mamacita's to anyone as being the best eating experience you'll ever have. Their New York strip is flawless and substitute the baked potatoe for guacamole salad and you'll have a low carb meal to die for. The Mamacita's salad is perfect weight control meal IF you'll skip the taco shell. If you're not on a diet the Mexican food is delicious, the tortillas are always hot and honey with butter is always available on request.


As Kathryn Jones described in her profile, I can't remember ever eating at Mamacita's without someone from management stopping by the table and asking if everything is alright, which reminds me of the only negative experience I've ever had at a Mamacita's restaurant.


Several years ago Sherry and I met seven or eight of the Johnson City folks at the Fredericksburg Mamacita's for one of our monthly reunions. As always I was low-carb dieting and ordered a Mamacita's Salad to get some healthy carbs as opposed to sugar laden carbs. Unlike any other Mamacita's salad I'd ever eaten this one was very short on vegetables. I mentioned it to the person next to me and when the waiter came around asking if everything was ok, that person told him my complaint. It has always been my policy NOT to complain at a restaurant, but I've worked too many police cases concerned with what a cook can do to a customer in way of retaliation. Spit in the food is the least of the possibilities. Whatever the revenge, there's always someone in the kitchen who wants to get even with the cook and so the retaliation gets reported. So, there I sit, not wanting to complain but really disappointed in the amount of vegetables I was served. My friend from Johnson City has spilled the beans and I'm forced to admit I thought the salad was skimpy. The waiter went to the kitchen and returned witha such a large plate of vegetables AND chicken which I hadn't complained about that it was obvious the cook was angered and this amount of food was his way of retaliating and an attempt to make me look foolish for daring to complain. I did eat some more vegetables and the shared the rest of the extra food with everyone at the table. Johnson City folks are not short on appetite, so nothing went to waste. I can see the cook's point of view. He or she probably sees tons of salad thrown out by customers who eat the grilled chicken, pick around on the vegetables and then send the remainder back to the kitchen to be disposed of. I was still disappointed in the arrogance of the cook and the attempt to make me look ridiculous. Maybe the cook was having trouble their spouse, who knows? In fifteen years that's the only negative experience I've had at a Mamacita's.


The Texas Hill Country is full of anomaly, so it's no wonder that an Iranian man can become a millionaire with Mexican restaurants in German communities. Fredericksburg is even more German than Kerrville. San Marcos and San Antonio have strong German influences too. Go figure. Now I want to tell you about a mystery writer who writes murder mysteries in and around Blanco County, yep, Blanco county where I was a reserve deputy for several years after I retired from SWT Police Dept. as an investigator.


At all those birthday parties at Mamacitas there was the "viewing of the presents and cards" ritual which I've described in the narrative of another ritual. Sherry always shops for certain people on our list and I shop for others, we've never discussed it, it just seemed to fall into place. One of the people I always bought the present for was "Honky Tonk" who is the pianist at the First Methodist Church in Johnson City and a very close friend as well. I always bought her music CDs and usually gospel music. She found out I collected author-signed books and so that's what she always gave me for my birthday.


My eyes were really bad for a long time and so I collected a bunch of those books without seriosly reading them. One set of books were by a young mystery writer named Ben Rehder. Joy (Honky-Tonk) went to several book signings and so I built up a collection Ben's novels. All of his novels take place in Blanco County of which Johnson City is not only the County Seat, but is the home town of former president, Lyndon B. Johnson.


When I retired in 1998 I was seventy-one years old and had never written anything more than a police report, but upon retiring I began to write essays and short stories and had so much fun I completely lost my identity as a police sketch artist and watercolorist. I've read a lot of the local Blanco county writing generated by the Blanco County Historical Society and others and I'm here to testify this stuff will put you to sleep quicker than prescription drugs. So you have the picture; there I was with faulty glasses, a collection of novels obviously done by a local guy...nothing here I can't wait a while for...right?


So, several years later and a new pair of glasses, this time prescribed by an optometrist and NOT a opthomologist...HURRAY, I can read again. So, I picked up a Ben Rehder novel and VIOLA' this guy is really good. This is really just like Blanco County. He's talking about the Sherrif's Office and I rode for several years as a reserve deputy with one of the full time deputies and we had experiences very similar to the ones Ben tells about in his novels.


I did feel like Ben's tales were a little tame though. Like in "Murder, She Wrote" it seemed like Blanco County might begin to compete with Cabot Cove for the title, Murder Capital of the World. I was tempted to write Ben and tell him to let go a little bit and make the cases really as bizarre as the ones we actually worked. There was the guy who carried female garments in his car and when he came up on a dead deer along the road, he'd dress the remains in the female attire and have his carnal way with them. A combination the density of cell phones and Baptists got the guy arrested pretty quickly and his case was investigated and taken to the district attorney.


Another case I wanted to tell Ben about was the one involving some young men who had small explosives used on coyote bait. They began a campaign to blow up all the rural mail boxes in the north part of the county. In this case the volume of the explosion plus the denisty of ranchers, pickup trucks and deer rifles brought about arrests before too many mail boxes had to be replaced or before someone was killed or injured getting their mail or before the county has to investigate the strange deaths of two young men blown up in a pickuptruck sitting in front of a rural mailbox. It would have probably been written up as a double suicide.


I had three of Ben's autographed books and read all three nonstop and was amazed at the quality of his writing and the universal appeal these books would have. When he spoke of eating at Ronny's Barbeque, it was like being home. I have eaten at Ronny's many times and it's just like Ben tells it.


When I finished each novel I passed them on to my best bud, Frank Clark, who wanted to read them because although he doesn't come from a law-enforcement background, he comes from a Central Texas deer hunting background. His wife called me and complained; she said she wasn't getting her sleep. He wakes her up all through the night laughing his ass off, so I decided I gotta get online and order everything this guy has written.


Online at Ben's website I was amazed to find out that Ben is writing these in a vein of HUMOR. It even cites the genre as being humorous mystery novels. What humor? These are serious law enforcement novels of Blanco County, just the way she is! Damn! Did I ever feel like a hick. I ordered everything he's written and Holy Moly which isn't even off the press yet.


As of today Holy Moly is the only one I haven't read. "Gun Shy" is my favorite, but there's not one in the set that isn't a fantastic read. In my case, I can't put them down and it's a good thing I'm retired, otherwise I'd have used up all my sick leave for the next two decades. Frank is still reading and Michele is beginning to look a little "red in the eye" but otherwise we'll just have to wait for "Holy Moly" to come out and hope Ben is presently working on a new novel. The main man is a game warden who helps with the Sherrif's Department's criminal cases. That's the truth or at least very close to reality, we had a game warden in Hays County who was skilled and certified in Forensic Hypnosis and worked with police sketch artists on all kinds of cases.


This ends my little essay on the 'Life in the Texas Hill Country" and I apologize for it being a lot longer than I intended it to be. In closing, I'll simply say, "If you're not already living in the Hill Country, start now making your plans to move here; the life you save may be your own."


I'm a terrible proof reader and it may be weeks before I get around to the first tip toe back patient, I'm old...ok?


This is Ben Rehder's website and you'll be relieved to know Ben doesn't have to rely on the likes of me for his publicity. Kinky Friendman of Texas Monthly fame recommends Ben highly.


Wild Horse, CO, was established in 1869, when a detachment from the local US Army calvary came across hundreds of wild horses gathered at a watering hole.

The Kansas Pacific extended a railway line through the area and from 1869 through 1906, Wild Horse was just a station. The boom for the town came in 1906 and the town peaked by about 1911. Wild Horse boasted a drug store, two restaurants, three saloons(though one only lasted a week), two cream stations, a barber shop, and more. The Wild Horse Times was the town newspaper, and in 1912, the schoolhouse was built. The local bank, the Alfalfa Valley Bank, called Wild Horse "the best little town in the west." But bad fortune was quick to befall the town. A series of fires soon hit Wild Horse, and in 1917, a big fire erupted from a toppled stove in one of the cream stations, and almost the entire eastern half(which also happened to be the business side) of the town was destroyed. Residents tried to rebuild, but with the Great Depression and "dirty thirties," many residents left to find greener pastures.

Today, not much remains of the town. Blink and you'll miss it driving by on the highway. The original school house still stand, in great condition, and a few buildings and houses are scattered around the land. A few people still call this town home, but it will never return to the glory days it once enjoyed.


A sculpture of 15 wild horses has crowned a barren Central Washington hillside for more nearly two decades, but the rusted sheets of steel still are an inspiring sight to travelers along busy I- 90.

The 200-foot line of life-size charging horses, the creation of David Govedare of Chewelah, Wash., captures a mystical spirit from a time when real wild horses roamed the steppes.

Titled "Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies," the scene symbolically re-creates the Great Spirit turning loose a herd of wild horses above the Columbia River's Wanapum Lake.


Number 2 in a small series of Winter shots coming up. Due to the lack of good conditions and generally poor snowfall these past few years I haven't posted many Winter images for a long time. Now that we finally got some substantial blanketing, I'm making sure to post some pano-sabotaged Winter images.


Consider, if you will, these kinds of images as a RE-imagining of the world as opposed to a DE-construction of it. Since this re-imagining is growing every day, we might say that Reality is a work in progress. These pano-sabotaged images of mine, then, might suggest that a bit.


Click on Image to Enlarge !


:copyright: Richard S Warner ( Visionheart ) - 2016. All Rights Reserved. This image is not for use in any form without explicit, express, written permission.


start of a series from the album "the hated town"

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