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

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.
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Badlands, Onions and an Ogre.

Our challenge this week is to find pictures that best illustrate something that is layered.

One of the first thing that came to my mind was a stack of pancakes smothered in syrup, or how about a mouth watering hamburger loaded with toppings. Unfortunately I could not come up with the appropriate pics, so I will have to bore you with these.

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A rolling stone gathers no moss, but in this case…………
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fungi to climb.
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Where I live you don’t need layers.
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Almost too many layers to count.

And who can argue with Shrek when he said, “Ogres are like onions……onions have many layers.” Who wants to dispute an ogre?
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The Wait is over.

Something that has been on my mind for a while was to move to a new theme. Combine that with the photo challenge – waiting, being held over for another week, I decided to jump in.

Since I couldn’t lay my hands on appropriate “waiting pictures”, I decided to fall back to one of my favourite subjects, the limerick.

We are told that a limerick is a type of poem of 5 lines, and for the most part labelled anapestic.

Footnote: Anapestic is the term used to describe a metrical foot as it is used in poetry. It talks about stressed and unstressed syllables. All very important to those who care am sure. But for the purpose of this post, enough said.

The rhyme scheme is noted as AABBA. Seems it is required that they be humorous and possibly, if one is so bent, obscene.

To quote Wikipedia:The form appeared in England in the early years of the 18th century.[4] It was popularized by Edward Lear in the 19th century,[5] although he did not use the term. Gershon Legman, who compiled the largest and most scholarly anthology, held that the true limerick as a folk form is always obscene, and cites similar opinions by Arnold Bennett and George Bernard Shaw,[6] describing the clean limerick as a “periodic fad and object of magazine contests, rarely rising above mediocrity”. From a folkloric point of view, the form is essentially transgressive; violation of taboo is part of its function. Lear is unusual in his creative use of the form, satirising without overt violation.

So, with that in mind, it appears I have my instructions:

A limerick is such a fun ditty,

It lures one to be wicked and witty.

It leans to the naughty,

Never, ever too haughty,

As it explores and exposes all things gritty.

I was first smitten by the limerick after finding a book by Ogden Nash titled, The Face is Familiar, first published in 1931. After giggling my way through his words, I knew that I just had to give it a go.

The limerick form allows one to be unconventional and bend words to suit the need. Or to put it another way, just be silly and have fun.

Cheers.
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Iphone pics, 2016 616
Waiting

In for a Penny. In for a Pound.

This blog was inspired after reading a post from a fellow blogger and her experience.

She and her husband stopped off at a spot in Vermont, attracted by the appearance of a covered train bridge. Her adventure that followed can be found at A New Day: Living Life Almost Gracefully. I encourage you to give it a read, and you will see the connection.

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The falls above, Ammonite Falls just outside of Nanaimo, B.C., was the reason for the hike. After about 2 kilometers of easy walking through lush forests, and missing the falls on first pass, this is what we came across.

DSC_0998It turned out to be a drop of about of about 150 feet, broken into 4 sections, each with their own set of ropes. To add to the challenge, the ground is a mixture of dirt and lose gravel. Add to that, tree roots ,that were now exposed and begging to be grappled with.

We just looked at one another, well I said what do you think; her answer, please refer to the title of this blog. So with each of us carrying a 35m camera, and I with a side pack over my shoulder we ventured fourth. After all it was all down hill! Fortunately, there was only a couple of others, quite a bit younger I might add, to watch us old people navigate, or should I say feel our way down. So down we went, if it were not for the ropes, our descent would not have been an option.

DSC_0999I went first so as to help Maggie with her foot placement, some of the drops were beyond eyesight. Part way down Maggie was ok with taking the lead. Near the bottom she lost her footing, and did a little spin still holding on to the rope. Other than getting a little dusty and a scraped elbow, all was well.

DSC_0982The descent to the bottom was our reward. Though the flow was greatly reduced due to our dry summer in B.C., it offered up many photo temptations.

I have to say that our ascent was uneventful. Once at the top, we were looking around a bit and noticed a sign that brought a smile to both of us. The sign, being to the right, and somewhat elevated was totally unnoticed prior to going down.

DSC_0994DSC_1003That seemingly uneventful hike presented a formidable challenge, one that was met head on. Some might say that we were foolhardy, I for one was glad we did it, it offered me the option of turning a corner, of accepting the challenge at hand. Now on to the next one. I like SLPMartin’s comment on Pat’s blog about signage being noticed after the risk has been taken. So very ,very true. Cheers.
Corner