Monthly Archives: September 2012

CBBH Photo Challenge: Repetition

East of Malaga offers an intriguing challenge for September, and so I again focus my lens on Hawaii, where repetition usually means colorful and fun. Usually….but not always.

flower lei gold and purple

Repeating patterns of gold and purple in these flower lei (In Hawaiian, there is no “s”—and no s added to singlular for plural)

seed lei

Lei again, but this time made of seeds.

ala wai canoe race

Dozens of outrigger canoe teams race along the Wla Wai canal at the back of Waikiki in a competition known as the Ala Wai Challenge.

Scottish Festival bagpipes

Yes, we have a Scottish contingent in Hawaii. Each year they break out the highland fling, haggis and bagpipes, staging their rousing Scottish Festival at Kapi’olani Park in Waikiki.

no annexation signs

Some Hawaiian groups want to separate from the United States and return to the Islands’ former status as a Pacific kingdom. These signs in front of ‘Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu represent Hawaiian NO votes when annexaztion to the U.S. was proposed, then adopted in 1898.

Hula halau from Japan

Dozens of groups from around the Pacific region, including this hula halau from Japan, participate in the Honolulu Festival each year.

floating lanterns

The Hawaii Lantern Floating festival is held at Ala Moana Beach Park each year on Memorial Day to honor loved ones who have passed away. Each lantern holds a name and special message wishing the departed comfort in their spiritual journey. There is also a lantern floating festival following a bon dance at the Haleiwa Jodo Mission on Oahu’s North Shore.

My two selected blogs for this theme, I think are clever interpretations and so different—tires and beehive:
http://bopaula.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/cbbh-photo-challenge-repetition/
http://tamaraessexspanishblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/conejo-blanco-photo-challenge-2-repetition/

Categories: flowers, Hawaii, History, Photography, Stock Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

This week’s theme—solitary—really resonates with me. Although I love being around people and I’m usually the last one to leave a good party, I find myself needing a lot of alone time. Time to think. Perhaps that’s because I’m half photographer and half writer, and what’s a writer to do without time to think and record those thoughts? So I spend half my life being solitary, knowing that whenever I’m ready, the photographer half can come out to play.

What do you think of when you see this image? Has the boat left him adrift in the vast ocean?

man swimming in Mediterranean

Solitary Man

Categories: environment, Photography, Stock Photography, Travel, Travel: Turkey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Travel Theme: White for Peace

Today, September 21, 2012 is the thirtieth anniversary of the UN’s International Day of Peace. To commemorate this day and its message, Ailsa has asked bloggers to create posts of white—representing peace. Her white photos include a fitting quote by Martin Luther King and the snow-covered Imagine memorial to peace activist John Lennon. http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/09/20/travel-theme-white/

Here in Hawaii, we look at peace through the terrible lens of war, and nothing exemplifies that more than the glistening white Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, which hovers over the sunken battleship—a watery grave for 2,340 servicemen—reminding us all to put peace above the horrendous destruction of war.

Arizona memorial

A ranger watches over the Arizona Memorial as visitors pay their respects.

Arizona Memorial

Below the Memorial’s “bones” lies the sunken USS Arizona.

Arizona Memorial from Mighty Mo

A view of the Arizona Memorial from the USS Missouri battleship, on which the peace treaty that ended Japan’s involvement in WWII was signed

Arizona Memorial names

Names of the fallen on the Wall of Remembrance inside the Arizona Memorial

Categories: Architecture, Art, Conceptual, Hawaii, History, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Travel Theme: Texture

We may take it for granted, but, along with vision, hearing, smell and taste, touch is an invaluable sense. So how can a photographer express the sense of touch in a photograph? I hope the following images will evoke the feeling of touch through texture: the softness of a wool sweater, the rough surface of a cement fountain, the knobbly coldness of sculpted metal, fluffy duck feathers, a fish’s slippery scales. And if you should imagine the twinge of a splinter from rough-hewn wood, or the crisp and salt-crusted surface of a French fry, if you know what these objects feel like, the photos have served their purpose by awakening your own memories of texture and touch.

Which ones are your favorites?

Can you spot the ringer?

chair and dried flowers

Gold-painted wrought iron chair, dried flowers and wicker baskets, Norway

sweater

cozy sweater and scarf, Norway

clamshells

knobbly clamshells, Norway

fishing net

fishing net, Norway

brick and wood house

brick and wood house, Brugge, Belgium

wrought iron flower

wrought-iron flower art, Brugge, Belgium

rusty buoys

rusty buoys, Norway

fish

fish, Norway

duck feathers

duck feathers, Copenhagen, Denmark

fish sculpture fountain

cement fountain with metal sculpture, Copenhagen

viking

viking beard and clothing, Copenhagen

farm

weathered-wood farmhouses, Norway

reindeer

reindeer fur, Norway

stage show

projected backdrop on stage

french fries

French fries

metal pipe sculpture, Norway

metal pipe sculpture, Norway

Belgian lace

Belgian lace

glacier

My husband’s shot of the tip of a glacier

wicker whisks in basket

wicker whisks in a basket

Categories: Architecture, Art, Belgium, Norway, Photography, Scandinavia, Stock Photography, Sweden, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life—Hawaii

Hawaii is like no other place in the world. Spending time at the beach is commonplace for most residents. Both children and adults dance hula at every opportunity—at birthday parties, weddings, other special occasions or just while enjoying the aforementioned beach time. At any given moment, there are more unique, fun and (mostly) free activities and events than can fit into anyone’s busy schedule. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in Hawaii consider all this part of our everyday life.

Hawaii Theater, downtown Honolulu

Downtown Honolulu’s renovated Hawaii Theater is a great place to catch a play, dance performance or music recital. And there are plenty of restaurants nearby.

surfers carrying boards in Waikiki

Surfers carry their boards across Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki during a break in one of Hawaii’s many parades.

rodeo in Waimanalo, Oahu

Hawaii could once claim the largest cattle ranch in the U.S. (yes, bigger than those in Texas). Parcels of it have since been sold, but there are still plenty of ranches and cowboys in the Islands, and they love their rodeos.

street musicians, downtown Honolulu

Impromptu street musicians in downtown Honolulu

children looking in a cockpit

Checking out the cockpit of a flight simulator at the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor.

costumed gecko at Missouri memorial

The gecko is Hawaii’s unofficial state lizard. Here’s one, doing his job by posing with a local visitor to the Battleship Missouri Memorial, Pearl Harbor.

tattooed man with fluffy dog

It seems that everyone these days sports an elaborate tattoo. Some are just for decoration, but others follow Polynesian tradition and are rich with symbolic meaning.

hula Lei Day

May 1 in Hawaii is not May Day—it’s Lei Day. Another excuse to wear colorful flower lei and dance hula.

keiki hula, Lei Day

When it comes to hula, everybody gets into the act, including these cute keiki (children)

Paniolo on a Maui ranch

Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) on the job at a Maui ranch.

water rocket launchers

Playtime with water-filled soda bottles and rocket launchers (air pumps).

juggler Waikiki

At any given time in Kapiolani Park under the shadow of Waikiki’s Diamond Head, you can see jugglers, slackliners and other performers practicing just for fun.

Chinatown restaurant

Island folks love to get together and eat out, and with so many enticing Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, French, German, Hawaiian and other ethnic restaurants to choose from, who can blame them.

Hawaiian checkers

In Hawaii, we don’t just play checkers. We play checkers with shells.

canoe festival red sail

When you live on a small island, the ocean is part of your home and your lifestyle. Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands settled Hawaii by traveling here in outrigger canoes.

Categories: culture, Hawaii, Photography, Stock Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far

Helsingborg, Sweden from the castle keep

The town of Helsingborg, Sweden through an archway in the castle keep.

While in Europe this summer, our cruise ship stopped at Helsingborg, Sweden, and we spent several hours exploring the town. One must-see on our agenda was The Keep. Once a castle stood on the hill overlooking Helsingborg’s streets, but now the only thing left is The Keep—a walled entrance behind which stands a lone remaining tower. We climbed the steps up to The Keep, and I looked back to capture this image of the town (far) framed by one of the arches (near).

Helsingborg, Sweden is across the narrow Oresund strait from Helsingor, Denmark—a town famed for its Kronborg Castle, which is said to have been the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Helsingborg, Sweden, castle keep framed by flowers

Looking up from the streets of Helsingborg towards the castle keep

castle keep, Helsingborg, Sweden

Another near-and-far view of the castle keep

Categories: Architecture, flowers, Photography, Stock Photography, Sweden, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Reflections

Alaska mountains lake reflections

Misty snow-capped mountains reflect in a mirror lake, Alaska

fall colors, Olympic Peninsula

Beginnings of fall colors, Olympic Peninsula, Washington

sunset reflections, Olympic Peninsula

Sunset at Second Beach, Olympic Peninsula, Washington

Tivoli Gardens reflections, Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark

duck reflection, Cartagena

Does this water make my face look fat? Mandarin duck, Cartagena, Spain

Istanbul, Galata reflections

Colorful boat-restaurant reflections in Istanbul, Turkey

lake reflections, Olympic Peninsula

Where sky, earth and water meet. Olympic Peninsula, Washington

ducks and fall colors reflections

Ducks glide through fall-colors reflections, Olympic Peninsula, Washington

sun reflections Nice

Sunset rays off the coast of Nice, France

Categories: Birds, environment, nature, Photography, Reflections, Stock Photography, Sunsets, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Hummingbirds

hummingbirds

Face-off

Fascinating hummingbirds. They’re the tiniest birds in the world, weighing between 2 and 20 grams (a penny weighs 2.5 grams). They can see and hear better than humans. They can even see ultraviolet light. Yet they have no sense of smell. Their hearts beat about 250 times per minute at rest and up to 1,260 times a minute while flying. Their wings beat about 70 times per second, but up to 200 times per second when diving. Their metabolism is roughly 100 times that of an elephant.

I’ve never seen a hummingbird here in Hawaii, so on a recent visit to San Diego, I was delighted to find a colony of them hovering around my house-host’s feeder. I could have watched them all day, but time did not permit. Here are just a few shots from my short time with these captivating creatures. And some more hummingbird facts that might surprise you.

Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly both forward and backwards. They can hover in midair, fly sideways and even upside down. They can fly at an average speed of 25-30 miles per hour but can dive up to 60 mph.

hummingbird flying

A hummingbird’s wings will rotate in a full circle.

Hummingbirds do not mate for life. Females do all the nest building, and males do not help raise the young. Baby hummingbirds cannot fly and remain the nest for 3 weeks. A hummingbird’s average life span is 5 years, but some can live for more than 10 years.

hummingbird perched

Hummingbirds can flash bright colors (I saw red, green and blue on the head), or hide them. The colors come from iridescence similar to that on a soap bubble or prism. Females find these iridescent feathers attractive.

A hummingbird’s brain is 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom.

 

 

 

Hummingbirds are very smart, and they can remember every flower they have been to and how long it will take a flower to refill.

A hummingbird does not drink through its beak like a straw. It uses its tongue, which is grooved in the shape of a W and has tiny hairs on its tip, to lap up nectar from flowers and feeders.

hummingbird perching

Hummingbirds spend most of their life perching. They have weak feet and can barely walk, preferring to fly. Their body temperature is around 107 degrees F.

An average sized hummingbird will have about 940 feathers.

30% of a hummingbird’s weight consists of flight muscles. In comparison, human pectoral muscles are about 6% of body weight.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds have been known to travel 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico to breeding grounds. The trip takes an estimated 20 hours. Some hummingbirds will travel over 2,000 miles, twice a year, during migrations.

Contrary to popular misconception, hummingbirds do not migrate on the backs of geese. Geese fly on different migration paths or fly zones than hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds need to eat on average 7 times per hour for about 30-60 seconds (so I have to ask myself, how does a hummingbird make it 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico?), and will visit an average of 1,000 flowers per day for nectar, lapping it up at a rate of about 13 licks per second. They also eat small soft bugs for protein.

To sleep, hummingbirds go into a hibernation-like state called torpor to conserve energy. When in torpor, they appear dead and have occasionally been found hanging upside down. It takes up to an hour to fully recover from torpor.

hummingbird flying

Male hummingbirds are very aggressive and will chase other males out of their territories.

Hummingbirds are only found naturally in the Americas, as far north as Alaska and as far south as Chile.

There are more than 300 species of hummingbirds.

A hummingbird’s favorite color is red. They pollinate flowers by rubbing their forehead and face in the flower as they get nectar.

Early Spanish explorers called hummingbirds flying jewels. Can’t argue with that.

Categories: Birds, environment, nature, Photography, Stock Photography | Tags: , , , , | 16 Comments

Are you married to your job? Here’s an important post we’d all do well to heed.

Everywhere Once

“I feel like I’d be less of a person, a bad employee, if I didn’t work on vacation,” says Jermaine Turner, director of current series for Walt Disney Pictures Animation in a recent BusinessWeek.com article.

Mr. Turner is not alone. A Harris Interactive study “found that 57 percent of working Americans will have unused vacation time at the end of [2011], and most of them will leave an average of 11 days on the table – or nearly 70 percent of their allotted time off.”

That is a remarkable finding: the majority of us take less than one third of our vacation time. And on those rare occasions when we do break away, we bring work along with us. Why?

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