July 4, 2013 – Post-Peru Day 011
With a definition of the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect, the theme this week for WordPress’s photo challenge is juxtaposition.
My response takes us to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on America’s Independence Day. On the Fourth of July (the 2013 version), the Smithsonian Institution was hosting its annual Folklife Festival. This is a yearly gathering where the Smithsonian picks (usually) an international culture, an American culture, and a government agency to highlight.
In 2013, the global culture the Folklife Festival shone its spotlight on was Hungary. I don’t know where this picture fits in the Hungarian culture, but one of the items showcased on the National Mall was this gigantic dog made out of stacked (and painted) planks of wood.
The juxtaposition here is the size of the dog compared to the size of the child underneath. Usually, it’s the other way around.
I guess one could also compare and contrast a Hungarian symbol being showcased on an American landmark on Independence Day, but the picture above doesn’t quite show that. This one does, though…
Wherever you’re from, hope you enjoy.
July 28, 2013 – Post-Peru Day 035
Perfect for the season, the word “eerie” is the theme this week for the photographic challenge brought to us by WordPress.
My entry takes us to Disneyland, that theme park in Anaheim, California, where the family and I like to spend part of our summer vacation when we’re in transit from wherever we have been to wherever we are next going.
No, what follows is not a picture of the Haunted Mansion, but is instead this…
So, what’s happening here?
This looks like a tree on fire but without being consumed, but of course that can’t be what is transpiring.
Eerie, isn’t it?
Actually, as with most things eerie (actually, with all things eerie) the explanation is more mundane. Every night, at half past nine, Disneyland has a fireworks show. For every other year we have spent at Disneyland, we have viewed this spectacle from the front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. For this year, we changed it up and decided instead to view the spectacle from behind the Castle and we were parked outside of the Storybook Land ride (that’s the one where the little boats go through Monstro’s mouth). Because of our new vantage point, there was a patch of trees that semi-blocked some of the pyrotechnics for us. This shot (one of many that I took that capture this effect) shows the lingering afterglow of one set of fireworks as it exploded behind the tree.
A trick of the light and treat I’m proud to show off.
May 26, 2013 – Day 674
Today’s post is an inside job as that is the theme of WordPress’s Weekly Photo Challenge (and I shudder to think how many responses to this week’s challenge use the same horrible play on words that I just did).
My response again takes us back to the time the family visited Lake Titicaca. In addition to visiting the floating islands and kayaking on the lake, we also were able to visit the tombs of Sillustani.
We decided to make this location one of our stops because of the unique structures used in this pre-Inca burial ground. Instead of digging a hole in the ground and instead of building huge pyramids to honor their dead, the people who built Sillustani erected towers, like these, called chullpas…
Okay, so the one above is a bit of a fixer-upper, but you get the idea.
Oh, so how does this visit to this place fit this week’s theme? The answer is because while some of these of structures are in a bit of disrepair, this means that visitors can enter these silent sentinels.
So, that’s what members of our family did. They went inside. Here’s the view from the outside…
…and from the inside.
June 26, 2013 – Post-Peru Day 003
An Unusual Point of View (or POV) is the theme this week for WordPress’s Weekly Photo Challenge.
One of the hints given by the author of WordPress challenge is to take a familiar subject and frame it in a new way. That is the path I have chosen with a photograph I took of an iconic object.
On our third day out of Peru (and, coincidentally, our third day in Mexico), the family and I soaked up the culture as we visited the Museo Nacional de Antropoliga (as seen previously in this photo challenge).
One of the main artifacts housed in this museum is the Aztec Stone of the Sun. Often mischaracterized as a calendar, this gigantic slab of stone resides on a dias in the most prominent part of the museum. It sits by itself and museum patrons are free to walk up to it, but not to touch as the artifact is not protected by any glass.
To obtain a different perspective for one of my shots of the Stone of the Sun, I positioned myself near the entrance and put another stone artifact square in the foreground.
I chose this photo for this week’s challenge because placing the Stone of the Sun in the background fools the eye. The carved circle is twelve feet in diameter, but this shot does not convey that scale. A clue as to its true size is to notice the couple (man in white shirt, woman in sleeveless dress) standing to the right of the Stone of the Sun. They are up on the dias looking at the piece, but they are only half its size.
July 24, 2013 – Post-Peru Day 031
The sea is the theme this week from WordPress. As I have lived both near the Pacific Ocean (California, Peru) and the Atlantic Ocean (Virginia), I have plenty o’pictures of el mar.
Today’s selection for this week’s theme comes from a stop on our summer vacation that our family took to California. Specifically, you are looking at the state beach at Corona Del Mar. As a boy, I used to travel down with my parents to the shore and we would soak up the rays while I splashed in the waves. Every once in a while, I even brought a boogie board and tried my best to ride the surf. A generation later, my oldest child takes to the ocean.
Time and tide wait for no man.
May 27, 2013 – Day 675
Distance is the theme this week from the folks over at the blog Where’s My Backpack? and I aim to fit that theme.
During the same culinary tour where I indulged in multiple shots of pisco, our gracious guide also took us sight-seeing.
From Barranco, the artsy district of Lima, we were able to look out across the art galleries, roads, and a section of the Pacific Ocean to see the following landmark in the distance.
The location you are looking at is Morro Solar.
The cross you are looking at in the distance is made of metal, but that metal has some significance. According to our guide, when Pope John Paul II (who is still popular in Peru) came to visit in the 1980s, there were a series of risers built so that people could sit in the streets and watch the Pope drive by. Some of the metal from those risers was recycled and constructed into the cross that now adorns Morro Solar.
Oh, and it also lights up at night.
May 25, 2013 – Day 673
My response to this week’s travel theme takes us once again to Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake on the globe. While I and our eldest son were laid up with altitude sickness, the rest of the family enjoyed a great day visiting the floating islands and kayaking on the waters of the Peruvian lake.
After bringing the kayaks back on shore, but before the tour boat arrived to take my lovely wife and my other two children back to home port, my travelling threesome spent some time with a family who lived on a non-floating island. While my group waited for their ride back to the hotel, my two kids and our host’s two children do what kids do naturally. Despite the fact that my brood did not speak Aymara and the local tykes did not speak Spanish, the kids managed to get along just fine anyway.
Above is my middle child tossing a teddy bear to one child while trapping a soccer ball that was kicked by the other local child (who is not pictured because he’s being blocked by my son).
Play…the universal language.
June 26, 2013 – Post-Peru Day 003
Your guest photographer for today’s post is my middle child.
I take no responsibility for the subject of his snapshot. All I do stand accused of is the fact that I have posted them for your amusement.
While we were in Mexico, we stopped in a grocery store where they had the following items on sale. My middle child, being of that age where certain words are deliriously funny (and apparently I am still at that age because I snickered too) asked for my camera so he could capture for all time the below products..
Get ‘em while they’re hot! And just in case, you’re felling tired, try some…
In the next post, I promise a return to a maturity level that Sam would find appropriate.
June 23, 2013 – Day 702
The van is waiting outside. All eleven of our suitcases are by the garage door waiting to be loaded into the van. The house is looking just as white and stark and empty as it was when we arrived 702 days ago.
I am at the front door with my had on the door knob about to close the door for the last time.
We are leaving Lima, our home for two years, and we will never be back to this house ever again. We have had, over the long run, an excellent time in Peru. We have seen new sights, experiencing new things, and ate new foods.
We have seen a great deal, done a great deal, and eaten a great deal during our time on Peru. In all of our adventures and experiences, I have absolutely no regrets…save one.
As my hand leaves the door knob and I make my way to the vehicle that will whisk me to the airport that will take me to the vehicle that will whisk me away from Peru, I am truly full of regret that I never pushed the button.
June 26, 2013 – Post-Peru Day 003
It’s so nice to be moderately settled enough in our new home so that I can answer the weekly photographic challenges posed by on-line folk.
On our third day in Mexico – and our third day after leaving Peru – (and once I was feeling better from the insidious effects of altitude sickness) the family, our host, and I travelled into the heart of Mexico City and visited the Museo Nacional de Antropologia.
In addition to many other fascinating artifacts, this museum is home to the Aztec Stone of the Sun (often mischaracterized as an Aztec calendar), replicas of Mayan murals (such as those an Bonampak), and an Olmec head.
As big as those above items are, there is one thing in this museum that fits this week’s photographic travel theme. After paying admission and handing in your ticket, the first thing the visitor sees of this museum is a large plaza. This plaza is not technically an open-air plaza, because there is a roof.
Except it isn’t a roof. It’s an umbrella. The covering that spans the entire plaza is held up by one single pillar. It is the pillar and the umbrella that are my answer to this week’s challenge.
This picture doesn’t quite do justice to the bigness of the pillar and umbrella, so you’ll just have to travel to Mexico City to see for yourself.