Sunday, June 27, 2021

Desert Wildlife

My photos today are from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum just west of Tucson in southern Arizona.  The museum is a 98-acre combination zoo, aquarium, botanical garden and natural history museum.  It has two miles of walking paths through natural desert environments and contains 242 animal species.

Above is a lookout point.  A place to look over the desert below.  To the left a canyon area.

Walking through the canyon area, you will find all sorts of animals such as this section with bighorn sheep.  They blend in so well with the rocks, I almost missed them.

A little further on, I spent some time watching the antics of a large Prairie Dog population.  They were popping in and out of their underground homes and chasing each other.  This fellow looks like it might be time to go on a diet.

There are two very large aviaries.  The first one is filled with a variety of birds native to the desert southwest.  I captured these cardinals watching from a high perch.  The male cardinal was playing hide-and-seek behind the tree.

The other aviary is filled with several different species of humming birds.  This one is simply a magical place to visit.  I spent quite a lot of time watching these busy creatures spending time between the flowering plants inside the aviary and the variety of feeders.  There are benches in this aviary and I enjoyed just sitting and watching them.  Every now and then, one would fly right up to my face and look me in the eye.  The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum is a place where everyone can find something to enjoy.


Sunday, June 20, 2021

Guest Photographer: Exploring a Volcano


Last week, my post was about my friend Julie's recent trip to Iceland and featured scenes from the capital city of Reykjavik.  This week I'm featuring some photos from her adventure photographing the volcano.

The top photo shows Julie with her camera pointed at the volcano and to the right is a scene showing the hikers walking to the viewing spots.

I love this photo of the photographers all lined up to take their photos.  Julie said that the volcano bubbled and simmered and then approximately every 20 minutes it would erupt with a spectacular show.

This shot taken off the viewing screen on Julie's camera give you and idea of how spectacular it was.

This shot shows some of the lava flows. 

Here is another shot of an explosive eruption.  

Julie also got to see some of the beautiful scenery in Iceland.  She found a beautiful waterfall and some Icelandic ponies who were curious about the people and their cameras.

These last two photos are a bonus.  As Julie's flight was leaving Iceland, someone told them they were passing over Greenland if they wanted to get some photos.  Julie took these two shots out of the window with her iPhone.  Aren't these amazing?  I love them. 

I want to thank Julie for letting me share these photos.  What a fabulous experience to get to see a volcano erupting along with all this wonderful scenery.  

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Guest Photographer: Julie Pace


My good friend Julie took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Iceland in mid-May and joined a small group of photographers on a quest to photograph a volcano.  While she was in the country's capital, Reykjavik she took quite a few photos around town and texted them to friends.  

I saved some of the photos she sent and asked her if I could do a post featuring them.  I'm pretty sure that I'm never going to get to Iceland so this might be the only chance my little travel blog gets to share these scenes.

These photos were mostly taken with her iPhone while she walked around Reykjavik and explored the city.

If I'm not mistaken, she took this photo from her hotel window well after midnight. She told us that this was as dark as it got the whole time she was there.

Dominating the skyline in Reykjavik is the Hallgrimskirkja (Church of Hallgrimur).  This church was designed by architect Gudjon Samuelsson.  He is said to have been inspired by the Icelandic basalt lava flows around the island nation that create step-like layers.  

Construction of this church spanned four decades from 1945 to 1986.

Julie took the elevator to the observation deck at the top of the church tower to get these awesome, panoramic views of the city.

One thing that strikes me looking at these photos is how crystal clear the air is.

Back on the ground again, I loved this photo she sent of the two tulips growing outside this rustic fence.

These are some of the photos Julie shared while in Reykjavik.  Next Sunday I'll show some scenes from out of the city and some from that volcano she went there to photograph.  There will be some pretty amazing shots featured next week.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

A Little Touch of Egypt in California


I was recently thinking about the trip I made to San Jose California about 7 years ago to visit the Rosecrucian Egyptian Museum.  I flew up to San Jose in the morning, visited the museum and flew back home in the evening just to visit this excellent museum.  I remembered how much I loved the way the museum and grounds make you feel like you are in a foreign country that has somehow been dropped right into the heart of a California town.

I did a post about the museum here and another here featuring some of the exhibits inside.  Thinking about the museum made me wish I could visit this exotic place again.  So I looked through my photos and found a few more that show just how interesting this place is.

The main museum building looks like an ancient Egyptian temple, but one that hasn't been plundered and abandoned. Indeed, it looks very well cared for.  So well cared for that you might expect to see a Pharaoh come strolling through those golden doors.

There are several buildings on the property and all of them have been designed to replicate temples from Egypt.  

One of the buildings holds the tomb of the founder of Rosicruscian Egyptian Museum, Harvey Spencer Lewis.  He is considered the founder in the USA and the First Imperator of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis.  

The museum holds the largest collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the western United States.  Anyone who is fascinated by ancient Egypt will enjoy a visit to this wonderful museum.  I might have to make another visit one day soon.