I find myself having some difficulty in selecting one place to call my favourite. After sifting through many pictures and memories, I still didn’t feel that I was any closer to nailing down a favourite. Until…..
Maybe beside a forest stream.
Or along a path amidst tall trees.
How about a sunny clime?
Or maybe a deserted beach.
So many places, so little time. I have had the opportunity to travel this country from shore to shore. You can turn your world upside down looking, but…………
No matter how attractive or enticing a place is, there is simply no place like home. It is that place where you “are”, both emotionally and physically.
And my own back yard.
It doesn’t matter whether I am seeking mountains or the sea, I am here, and they are only a glance away. And the best part, I don’t have to do it alone. I have come home to my favourite place. Cheers.
“When the uniqueness of a place sings to us like a melody, then we will know, at last, what it means to be at home”
Paul Gruchow, American author and conservationist.
No stay in Puerto Vallarta is complete without a visit to their botanical gardens. We have been annual visitors and never disappointed.
Founded in 2004 and open to the public in 2005, it is situated about a 45 minute bus ride into the Sierra Madre Mountains on a winding road. The Gardens is situated on 64 acres at an altitude of 1300 feet above sea level.
The Gardens was selected by the Canadian Garden Tourism Council in 2013 as one of the top ten gardens in North America worthy of a visit, it lived up to that reputation.
Abundant in greenery, many flowers, trails and a top notch open air restaurant, it is very easy to spend the better part of the day. With so much to take in, it can seem at first a bit daunting to get a grasp on all that it has to offer. It doesn’t take long to get lost in the beauty all around you.
Armed with insect repellant and our cameras, we set out. For the first time since purchasing, I took the opportunity to try out new lens extenders; these allow you to get great close up shots. A bit of focusing problems at first, but when I switched over to manual focus, (read, trial and error) I liked what I saw. With 3 separate pieces at 12mm, 20mm and 30mm, they can be used singularly or in combination. These are attached next to the camera body and the barrel mounted to that. Some of the pictures that follow were taken with the 20mm lens in place, camera hand held. A tripod (it was at home) and a remote release are essential for this kind of shooting. Next time.
The pictures below are just a small portion of the 100s that were taken. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them. Cheers.
When the flowers bloom, the bees come uninvited. Ramakrishna Grasp
On our trek last summer from Ontario to Vancouver Island, we opted to travel through the upper United States. Our intension was to check out various attractions along our route. One of our must do stops along the way was Yellowstone National Park.
As you can see, we had a cool, wet cloudy day, but that did not slow us down.
And now for a bit of history. Formed over 10 million years ago, Yellowstone was created by volcanic activity, and the resulting caldera contains the largest super volcano on the continent. The park covers the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, for a total of some 3500 square miles.
The geothermal activity still continues today, with old faithful being the big drawing card. For us, this old blow horse was a bit of a bust. It went off on schedule, but being a cool day, so much steam was created, and it was difficult to see the actual geyser.
The rest of our walk did not disappoint. The geothermal activity painted a picture that was eerie and out of this world. At times the steam was so thick that my wife, who was ahead of me, took on a rather ghost like appearance.
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 country
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.
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.
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.
Pelicans are rather entertaining creatures. One of the few animals that is almost a caricature of itself.
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.
Since our photo challenge this week deals with variations, I could not help but to add this fellow to the collection. Cheers.
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.
Badlands of South Dakota.
More layers in South Dakota.
Centuries of erosion expose many layers in the Badlands.
And who can argue with Shrek when he said, “Ogres are like onions……onions have many layers.” Who wants to dispute an ogre? Layered
Texture is all around us, some pleasing, others painful to the touch. Some beautiful and intriguing, and some not so.
Texture is not just for the touch, but also the taste. It can make or break a culinary adventure. Sometimes texture can be appreciated by simply looking at it. It can appeal to the senses at a number of levels. Some objects just beg to be touched, but be careful and wise.
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