Sunday, May 29, 2011

Distant Places/Wild Spaces

Lately I've been thinking a lot about Nature and its diversity. The land has a strong influence upon the cultures of those who live in a place. Where people have chosen to live and how either they have adapted to their environment or how they have adapted their environment to meet their needs is of great interest to me. All of the images in this post focus upon the land, itself, rather than the ways that people have adapted to these various places. While I found each of these places beautiful in their own way, those of you who have been reading this blog for a while realize that the places I am most drawn to are those which hold a large body of water. There's a need for that water element that is part of my being.

The photos that you have before you include: an arid plateau in Acoma, New Mexico; the rocky, pine-lined Maine coast; the flat, rocky plains of Morocco; the misty valleys as seen from Wales' Mount Snowden; and the turbulent waves buffeting Lake Michigan's western shore in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Each of these places inspired a sense of awe in terms of its natural beauty. I have chose them to stand by themselves without the presence of those who live there. The inhabitants and how they have adapted I will leave to your imaginations.

One question that often comes to mind when I travel to such places-"Do people who live here on a daily basis actually experience the wonder of a place, or do they just take it for granted and go on with their daily lives?" I suppose that,in part, it depends on how difficult the land makes peoples' lives and how much energy is left to appreciate the beauty of place. Another thought related to the land and Nature is that while we all share our common humanity, our life experience as influenced by the land may be very different. Consider a simple difference such as the arid land child who has never been caught in a rain shower....So many places,experiences, and perspectives-all part of the joy of travel. If only we could see and experience it all.

Thank you for visiting. Please feel free to leave a comment before heading towards your next destination; comments are always appreciated. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Southern Spain: Signs of the Times

In light of May 21, 2011 and the bizarreness of Harold Camping's prediction that the world would come to an end today, I thought I'd make a frivolous post. Side note: He is far from the first to predict the end of the world ordained by a deity, nor will he be the last. I would point out that those of his followers who did NOT give away all of their worldly possessions, neglect needed medical treatment, and other similar actions are better off for having shown prudence in this matter.

The above comments have absolutely nothing to do with either travel or photography, the purpose that I maintain this blog. They do, however, serve as a "justification" for why I have chosen photos of signs that caught my eye in Southern Spain. I chose these particular signs for different reasons. The two I have titled "Chicken-Hearted" and "Sophisticate" have the vibrant colors I associate with the colors of Andalusia or Southern Spain. "Alotta Bull" pokes a bit of fun at the tourist who has had a couple of beers and poses as a "matador" with a silly bull. "Musical Louse" is a poster for a musical group's concert. (Just when you think there can be no more original names for a band...."Mama Crab Louse"!) Finally, the "Unwelcome Guest" sign that was situated outside a cafe and, I assume is a tongue in cheek comment. (Why is it in English in a Spanish town? Owned by a British expatriate? It was closed for the afternoon, so the mystery behind it's comment may remain a mystery to me forever.)

I hope that you have enjoyed your visit and will come again. Thanks for stopping by on this non-end of the world day. May your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Southern Spain: Urban Expressions of Beauty

One of the aspects of travel is the chance to encounter objects created through the imaginations and talents of people within their communities. Each region holds such pieces of art that range from the simple to the ornate and reflect the cultures and values of those who live there or who lived there in the distant past. I enjoy wandering around and experiencing them in small doses. (I do believe that too many marvels in a short time are overwhelming. Over saturation, even of architectural treasures, takes away from the appreciation of the creator's work. It is impossible to "do" Alhambra in a single hour's visit and do justice to the efforts of it's beauty.)A small viewing with time to reflect and absorb what has been seen is ideal.

I chose photos for this post by nature of the object rather than location. Southern Spain was influenced by the Arabs, Phoenicians, Romans, and many others. It was a pleasure to see the results of these efforts, still intact and unmarred. The next time that I visit, I will be less compelled to use my camera's viewfinder and will be more likely just to observe and appreciate.

Thank you for visiting, I hope that you have enjoyed your stay. May your own travels be interesting and enjoyable.