How Sweet it is.

This brilliant eye catcher is known as the primavera tree. It is very prominent in Puerto Vallarta at this time of year, even though it is not a native species to this countryDSC_0018

These large trees are actually native to South America, and is the national flower of Brazil and Venezuela. Once the blooms are finished, leaves will emerge, usually in the rainy season.

Their sweet fragrance attracts both bees and hummingbirds, and the large flowers, 1-3″, are pollinated by visiting bats. The wood is also prized for it’s few knots and very straight grain.DSC_0077DSC_0073DSC_0081

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When I saw the word for this weeks photo challenge, the title for this blog just popped into my head. The phrase really does not have anything to do with flowers ,but was uttered by Jackie Gleason in the 1963 movie Papa’s Delicate Condition.

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Bougainvillea
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Mexican Honey Suckle

 Next week we plan a trip to the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens. This seems to have become an annual event, but one that never disappoints. Pictures to follow. Until then, cheers.

And now for a totally different kind of sweet. A child’s delight, and a dentists nightmare.IMG_1612

Sweet

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Caught in a Time Warp.

Last week we took a trip to a small town about 80k from Puerto Vallarta via taxi and bus. A town virtually untouched by time. A town rich in history. A history that goes back over 300 years. So journey along  as we discover, in words and pictures a town caught  up in time. The town of San Sebastian Del Oeste, Mexico.DSC_0992

Getting there from the coast is a steady climb on winding roads (and a detour) until you reach an elevation of 4850 feet above sea level. Shortly after we got there we took a 9k taxi ride to the top of one of the road accessible mountains outside of town. After we hiked to the top of “La Bufa”, my altimeter peaked out at 8228 feet. This picture was taken from that sight.

Founded by Spaniards in the early 1600s, it was soon to prove a rich gold and silver source for the town, and Spain. The town has gone through several name changes over the centuries. More than likely influenced by the powers in place at the moment. It was first dubbed Real San Sebastian, then just San Sebastian, and finally in 1983, its current name.

At its peak, the town boasted over 30 gold and silver mines. Declared a city in 1812, it had a population of over 20,000. After the 1910 military revolution, production was halted, though mining activity had already declined steadily during the 19th century.The last mine closed in 1921. Today the town is mainly a tourist attraction, with a population of around 1000. This is where we come in.

Enough with the words. Enjoy the pictures. If you stand in just the right part of town, you will find yourself being transported back in time.

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Thank you for letting me be your tour guide. There are hundreds more pictures, but time and space are the restriction. The town’s people, and the town itself beckons you to come.  I will be back. Cheers.
Tour Guide

Down the Hatch.

Pelicans are rather entertaining creatures. One of the few animals that is almost a caricature of itself.

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Down on the beach in Puerto Vallarta this week while downing a cold one, we were entertained by a flock of pelicans on a feeding frenzy.

Having a front row seat, our cameras went into overtime. What follows is but a small sample of the pics that were taken.

This fellow was having difficulty swallowing a rather awkward piece from a cleaned fish. Their beak, over a foot long has smooth edges, but once the food is in the pouch, the tongue is controlled by a number of muscles that allow the pelican to manipulate the food. This one struggled for over 10 minutes before flying off.

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Since our photo challenge this week deals with variations, I could not help but to add this fellow to the collection. Cheers.

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The “Stone Eater.”

Variations on a Theme

That Weathered Look.

While strolling around Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, it is easy to come across dwellings that have braved the elements over the decades. Most do better than others, but not if it is wood.

The preferred building materials here are steel and concrete. Wood is subject to the ravishes of wind, salt and insects, termites in particular. Come to think about it, some of the locals here look like they have had their fair share of battles with the environment. But that is a story for another blog.

These two pictures were taken last year while on our winter escape. I think they capture the essence of the photo challenge rather nicely.

Cheers.

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Weathered

Everything Changes.

Nothing stays the same. Now that probably is a good thing, in most instances. There are some things that do not change for the better. But I do not want to go there today. Not in the mood to rant.

I love how nature can transform herself. It is a slow process that can take hundreds of years or even centuries. Our photo challenge this week is transformation. I hope what follows captures this process, in some small way.

Used to be a tree, did't you
Used to be a tree, didn’t you?
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Years of decay has played its part.
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These figures were sculpted from sand.
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This junco helps transform what is just a knarley branch to the perfect perch.

Transformation

Well Rounded.

I hate straight lines. They are boring, plain, uninteresting and over rated. They route you in one side of a scene or picture, and then  right out the other.

Just look at our buildings. For the most part they are boxes. And why; I suspect that in part it is dictated by custom, materials at hand and familiarity. And or possibly a lack of imagination.

Don’t get me wrong, straight has its place. It is just that it is highly overrated, overused and unimagetive.

The eye loves round. It softens a shape, it flows and allows the eye to dwell in one space. It can linger and rest there. It can reside in one spot and refuse to leave. Just gaze around you in Nature. Straight is highly outnumbered by well rounded lines. Take the time to observe and you will find it relaxing and rewarding.

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Close Encounters of the Third Kind was filmed in the area of this monolith.
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The eye follows around the frame and then centers on the dragon.

Look at these two top pics and notice how the eye automatically follows the curve of the water and the path. You are lead into the scene and wonder what lays around the bend.

When you look at these pics, the eye wants to dwell there and check out all the details. DSC_0637

DSC_0270Arches, domes, and many other curved structures of the past still abound today due to their strength, endurance, and design. Take a tour of Europe or Asia and many of these features will be evident. They will leave you in awe and wonderment as to their durability. Cheers.
Rounded

Day of the Dead, A Celebration of Life. No. 7

With our Halloween just around the corner, I thought it would be timely to repost this blog from last February.

LIFE AS I SEE IT - with one eye closed.

Many cultural rituals and “celebrations” are misunderstood and shunned by those who do not participate. I have to admit that I fell into that category. Being in Mexico for four months, and being exposed to many strange figures around town, I became curious and needed to know the story and origin of a three day happening ( Oct 31, Nov 1, 2) called The Day of the Dead or Dia de Muertos.


A little history is needed here.

Day of the Dead, called Día de Muertos in Spanish, is a Mexican holiday that falls on November 1 and 2 of each year. On the Day of the Dead, the boundaries between life and death begin to blur. Men, women and children of all ages honor and celebrate their loved ones who have passed away, participating joyously in a festival that has roots nearly 4000 years old. The holiday has spread in…

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Trademark,……really?

Here I go again. I am becoming addicted to limericks. Words and phrases keep popping into my head. If I am not careful, they could become my trademark. I am too weak to resist. They can be so delicious and tempting.

So, with that preamble in mind, here are two more to groan and giggle at.

A fine lady I know was a prancing,

Twirling and swirling and dancing.

The table I said,

Is not like your bed,

But in a pinch it’s great for romancing.

AND

Lady Nosebum read in circles most prudent,

Spewing mangled words she thought most fluent.

Was she smart and correct,

Cause no one could detect,

That she did enjoy a vowel movement.

Enough for  now. Till the next time.  Cheers.

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I need one of these after that!

Trademark

 

Glow, “glimmer, glimmer.”

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Still one of my favourite night shots. Taken on a quite street in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

When I first saw this word prompt for the photo challenge, I was transported back about 60 years to when my mother would play the tune, Glow-worm. First written for a German operetta in the early 20th century, translated to English by Lilla Cayley Robinson, and finally made popular by the Mills Brothers on an arrangement by Johnny Mercer in 1952.

Unable to find any glow worms, not even a fire fly, the best I could come up with follows.

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Moon glow in Tofino, British Columbia. Cheers.
Glow