Thursday, December 26, 2013

Waiting In Wisconsin's Winter















It's been a while since I've posted-a lot longer than it has been in the past.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  First of all, I've been homebound (in a non travel mode, not confined within my home). That means I've been able to enjoy my local area and family  & friends who live nearby.  Lately I've taken advantage of Wisconsin's winter and snowshoed a lot. I've also joined a new photography group and have great hopes for it.  The second reason for not posting as regularly as before is a reason I've discussed before-lack of reader feedback.  It takes effort to maintain a blog, choose photos, and write. I really enjoy sharing both my thoughts and photos, but it's not very rewarding of there is no reader feed back. To be honest, I'm at the point where I don't give a damn about the numbers my visitor counter reads. More important to me is a comment about what I've written or the photos that I've chosen to post.  That said, I've found that Flickr is a better venue for my photos in terms of receiving regular feedback. My Flickr page is: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jadedirishgryphon/ if you're interested in my daily postings.

I'm not giving up with this blog.  In another month I'll be spending February in Marco Island, Florida and exploring the surrounding areas.  There will be photos and commentaries for my six weeks of travel.  Until then, I'll be hanging around Sheboygan Wisconsin USA enjoying nature and planning my Florida trip.   The above photos are ones I took while snowshoeing today after a series of snow storms.

Those of you who are reading this and have followed this blog for a while, thank you for your patience.  There is more yet to come. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.

Best wishes for you in the coming new year.

Kerry

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Maine Muses






Recently I revisited the town where I grew up (Augusta, Maine).  The main reason for traveling there wasn't nostalgia, but rather a chance to spend time with my 89 year old dad and help him move into an assisted living apartment complex.  The visit was good, I'm really happy that he's in an appropriate living situation and that he enjoys where he is.  Being a long-distance family member (1,500 miles away) isn't always the easiest, even for someone who loves to travel.

The river shot is one taken in Augusta while walking along the railway trail that parallels the Kenebec River.  Much has changed...the passenger trains that used to run from Boston to Augusta no longer do. The tidal river that used to reek of pollution from the paper mill runs pure and has Atlantic salmon. And I have a long white beard and walked side by side with Lori, my wife of 40 years.  Who would have known?  Certainly not the young man who left to move to Madison, Wisconsin in 1972 and rarely looked back.

The second shot, the one I call "Moon Over Maine", was taken as I was standing in the parking lot of a restaurant/hotel after seeing my dad off for the evening.  He actually wanted to try something new and go to a Mexican restaurant.  The restaurant had been there for a couple decades, but he'd never gotten around to going there. As he doesn't like spicy food and doesn't eat rice, he ended up having a Gringo Burger and a Bud Lite.  The thing is, in spite of not being adventuresome with his taste buds, at 89 he tried a new setting and we all had a fantastic time.

All this goes to show that in spite of constantly seeking whatever is beyond your present horizon, you can go home again (at least for a visit).  It was a good trip, especially as it was combined with a faamily visit in Philadelphia. Photos of Philly were posted earlier.

Thank you for visiting.  Please feel free to stop by again sometime.  If you want to catch up on just my photos before my next blog post, you can always visit my Flickr page by following this link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jadedirishgryphon/

Until the next time, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.

Kerry

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dona Nobis Pacem/Give Us Peace



Dona Nobis Pacem

Dona Nobis Pacem/Give Us  Peace
Today, on November 4, I’m taking a detour from my usual blogging to Blog for Peace. Those of you reading this on my photography blogs might react with a, “He promised that he wouldn’t get political in his blog posts on this site”. If you read just a little further, you’ll discover that I have kept my promise.
“Peace”, in my mind, is not and should not be a political word. Peace is a time when people are not in conflict with one another, and treat each other as they’d like to be treated- with respect, dignity, and understanding. True peace does not concern itself with ideology, religion, gender, social class, nation of origin, sexual orientation, or any other way that is commonly used to divide people into “us” and “them” categories. Peace is how you and I relate to each other on a one-to-one basis. I understand that these words are extremely idealistic. I also understand that here are circumstances when peace can only be attained or held onto through non-peaceful struggle. Still, as I travel in my own country and in other parts of the world, it is clear to me that we have more similarities than differences. As individuals, we all have a strong desire for peace for ourselves and those we care about. It is imperative for our own survival that, to the greatest degree possible, we “give peace a chance”. There is no substitute for peace.
Would you like to be part of this peace initiative next year? If so, follow this link:
Peace,
Kerry

Monday, October 21, 2013

Philadelphia Revisited: Another Fine Five Days
















It's a dangerous choice to revisit a place that you've had an exceptional time in. After all, travel memories are to be treasured. As you look at photos taken during past trips you may long to go back, but you hesitate because changes may have occurred. If that happens, your dreams seem to have turned to ashes.

We went back to Philly mainly because our younger daughter has settled there for the present. Last time we were struck by the walkable streets of central city, the quirkiness of its art presence, and its diversity of foods. When we returned, we were not disappointed-the Philly of of memories is alive and thriving! Old favorite places were revisited and new places (to us) were explored.  At times we were guided by our daughter who has really gotten to know the city, and at others we struck off on our own. Even the one day where we were faced with constant winds and rain was a day of diverse wonders.  Obviously I'm taken by the city and am not ashamed to admit it. Besides its historical significance in American history, it's the closest American city I've found that resembles the ambiance of a European city. Awesome!

I hope that you've enjoyed my attempt to give you a flavor of Philly and will stop by the Tavern again sometime.  Until then, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.

Kerry

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Willy Street Fair 2013 (Mad Times in Madison, Wisconsin)














In some ways Madison's Williamson Street is Wisconsin's answer to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district of the 1960's.  It has been an area of political activism, alternative life styes , and social diversity.  I lived there in the 1970's and revisit it whenever possible, because the spirit of Willy Street is still alive and well.

 Last weekend was the the annual Willy Street Fair. The weather was perfect, the crowds were mellow, and a good time was had by all.  The images in this post are a sampler of the sights of the festivities.  Add diverse foods, live music, local vendors, anti-war protesters, and organizations like "The Union of Those Who Wear Beards" and you get a sense of the mix.  We wandered around savoring it all for at least four hours and enjoyed every minute of it. Contrary to Tom Wolfe's message, you CAN go home again (and thoroughly enjoy it).

I hope that you enjoyed your visit to the Tavern and will stop by again sometime.  In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.

Kerry

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Orleans Revisited: Let the Good Times Roll!














Think a moment about your travel preferences.  Do you want a staid and quiet place to explore, a place that doesn't "get in your face"? If that's what you'd like, think twice about choosing to visit New Orleans. If, on the other hand, you'd prefer a place that is vibrant and diverse, pack for a long stay and be sure to bring your debit card (parts of your stay can be expensive).

I liked New Orleans.  Besides being easy to get around by foot or "Hop on. Hop off" buses or street cars, there was such of variety of experiences to explore, all of them easily accessible. I walked the streets, rode the buses and street cars, and even finally took a Mississippi River steam boat ride.  Street corner bands, alley restaurants with menus appealing to the adventuresome, Bourbon Street where "anything goes", and many, many friendly people throughout the city. New Orleans has risen like a phoenix after Hurricane Katrina and encourages people to visit all of its vibrant diversity.  I honestly believe that if you enjoy travel that you should visit the city at least once in your life.  If nothing else, you will NOT find it to be boring.  Laissez le bon temps rouler!

Thank you for visiting the Tavern. I tried to show some of New Orleans' diversity  with this post-I hope that I did.  Feel free to stop by again.  I'll try to post more often than I have the last month or so. Next trip planned (October) Philadelphia & Maine.

Kerry

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chicago by Foot and Water

Art Museum

Tall Ship on Lake Michigan

Chicago harbor light house

kayaking on the Chicago River

"Zombies" distributing wedding dessert invitations at random

plaza with one of my favorite sculptures

buffalo in Lincoln Park

butterflies at Lincoln Park Nature Center

Lincoln Park garden

beauty and the beast at Lincoln Park

sculpture near state building

zombie-themed advertizement
I really enjoy the parts of cities where the visitor can easily get about by walking or some sort of public transport.  Places like Paris, Sevilla, Albuquerque's Old Town, Dublin, Santa Fe, London,New Orleans,  Bath, and, of course downtown Chicago come to mind.  I'm sure that there are many others that I haven't visited yet as well and those that have slipped my mind at the moment. You, the reader, know other places as well. (I'd welcome any suggestions of places that meet the criteria. I'm always ready to experience new places.)

A recent trip to Chicago to spend time with family members was one of the best visits I've had there. The days were sunny and reasonably temperate for August-it set the tone for two very good days of exploration. Metropolitan areas always present me with mixed feelings. I truly enjoy the diversity of opportunity that you can find in them.  There are even experiences that you can enjoy that are not costly, although there are also others that are.  There's also a bit of the unexpected, such as a group of formally dressed zombies handing out invitations, that you often don't find in smaller locales. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to be a permanent resident in one.  I value my quiet back yard full of urban nature, streets where I can ride my bicycle in relative safety, and nearby state parks that are uncrowded once the summer tourist season is over. Fortunately, it is possible for me to experience both, and I feel comfortable in both types of settings. It would be very crowded if we all had the same living preferences, wouldn't it?

Thank you for visiting, please stop by the Tavern again. Your comments about the post or your travels related to it are always welcome. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.

Kerru