Archives

An Artistic Look at Bridges

‘Post processing’ or photo editing can not only slightly improve a photo, it can extensively alter it! Here are a few ‘before’ and ‘after’ examples I applied to photos of Bridges.

Old Town Hall

Before: Bamberg Germany, Old Town Hall

Bamberg is an beautiful example of an early medieval town in central Europe. It has a large number of surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings. It is crisscrossed by many rivers, winding canals, and bridges. Some of the bridges are old and famous and some, like this one, are more modern, but don’t detract from the architecture of the surrounding buildings.

watercolor filter FotoSketcher

After: FotoSketcher Watercolor filter

In keeping with the feel of an ancient European City, I used a Watercolor filter.

_________________________________

Deception Pass State Park; Oak Harbor, Washington USA

Before: Deception Pass Bridge, Washington

Deception Pass Bridge is the common name for two, two-lane bridges that connect Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island in the U.S. state of Washington. Pass Island lies between the two bridges.

Washington, USA

After: FotoSketcher Emergence Filter

I used a filter called Emergence, which is really a series of triangles. I like the way they highlighted the red rose hips.

_________________________________

Arizona, USA

Before: New Navajo Bridge across the Colorado River, AZ

Navajo Bridge – The original Navajo Bridge was completed and opened to traffic in January 1929. Prior to the building of the bridge, the only way to cross the Colorado River and its formidable gorge was at Lee’s Ferry a short distance upstream. Construction on a new, wider bridge began in May of 1993. The old bridge became a walking bridge.

Pencil Sketch Collage

After: Pencil Sketch filter

I used a Pencil Sketch Filter – just because…

_________________________________

Have you experimented with using filters on your photos? Which program do you use?

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Bridge.

Post 579

RCMP – Law, Order and the Musical Ride

In 1867, Canada became a nation. This year (2017) is Canada’s 150th Birthday!

Mounties, dressed in red serge, are often seen leading local parades on Canada Day (July1st). There are 680 RCMP Detachments across Canada.

Six years after the Dominion of Canada was formed, the Parliament of Canada established a central police force and gave it the task of maintaining Law and Order in the newly acquired western territories of Canada. The force acquired the name “North-West Mounted Police” (NWMP). By 1886, the NWMP’s first riding school was established in Regina and in 1887, the horses and riders performed mounted precision cavalry drills on several occasions. It wasn’t until 1901,  though, that the drills, choreographed to music, began to be performed for the public.

In 1920, the name of the force was changed to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Today, the Musical Ride consists of 32 riders (plus one leader) in scarlet jackets on beautiful black horses. The RCMP has bred and raised its own horses since 1939. The Ride tours throughout Canada and internationally between May and October.

RCMP Musical Ride at the Calgary Stampede – 32 horses and riders in an orderly line-up!

More Canadiana – Best Canadian Puns, Jokes and Observations.

This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Order.

Post 577

The Greenery of Arizona

You might not think of the word ‘green’ when you think of Arizona – but the State is more than just desert with a few cactus!

Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens

The Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens is a showcase of arid-land plants from deserts around the world. This Dale Chihuly Glass Sculpture– Desert Towers welcomes visitors. It was installed as the entry-point to Chihuly’s first Desert Botanical exhibition in 2008. The installation was purchased by the Garden as a legacy to the exhibition.

Greater Phoenix ArizonaEast of Phoenix are the Superstition Mountains. In the spring, they sport a coat of green, sprinkled with bursts of color when the desert plants bloom. The mountains rise steeply to an elevation of 5,024 feet, and are characterized by sheer-sided, jagged, volcanic peaks and ridges.
Tonto National ForestNorth and east of Phoenix is the Water Users Recreation Site on the Salt River in Tonto National Forest. The Tonto National Forest, encompassing 2,873,200 acres, is the largest of the six national forests in Arizona and is the fifth largest national forest in the United States.
green water St. Patrick's DayNorth of Phoenix is the community of Fountain Hills. At noon on St. Patrick’s Day, the water of the Fountain Hills Fountain is tinted green, and when it is turned on, it shoots to the maximum height of 560 feet. Normally the height of the fountain  is limited to 330 feet. It runs for 15 minutes at the top of each hour from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the week!
green water St. Patrick's Day

Winter in ‘Zona is springtime
Spring is summer askew
Summer is torturous hellfire
Autumn is summer part II
– Terri Guillemets, “Spring sun,” 1993 –

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is It IS Easy Being Green!

Post 567

Donkey and Pancho – Boats and Sea Lions at Cabo San Lucas

We were in Mexico last week – specifically Los Cabos, which is a municipality on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, in the state of Baja California Sur.

Though we spent most of our time in San Jose del Cabo, the Cabo San Lucas Marina was the scene of the most excitement – if you like all the things that ‘bob’ on top of or ‘swim’ in water. This Marina has 380 Slips and 33 Megayacht Berths and just about every craft had a name!

559-cabo-submarine

 

559-donkey-i

 

559-cabo-san-lucas

The Sea Lion might have a name too. If you Google ‘Sea Lion Cabo San Lucas Marina’, you will find several items about ‘Pancho’ the bandit sea lion. The sleek dark beast demanded fish from every boat that came in to dock, and it would aggressively attempt to ‘take’ any fish it spied. A flock of brown Pelicans followed the sea lion, supplying diversionary tactics that kept the fisherman busy scooting the birds off the motor and the back of the boat. It was all quite entertaining!

Have you ever owned a boat? Did it have a name?

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Names.

Post 559

Christmas 2016 – Santa and the North Pole

558-christmas-tree

Christmas is very nearly here, and I’d like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, and All the Best in the New Year. As you can see from this photo of my Christmas tree, I’m all ready for Santa to visit.  I anticipate one very nicely wrapped medium sized gift of the hair drying appliance variety!

For better or for worse, Christmas is a time for gifts and giving. Who knows that better than Santa – and Wal-Mart, Costco and Tesco, to name just a few of the larger retailers!

While it is easy to walk into the familiar brick and mortar stores in communities around the world, it is quite impossible to visit Santa’s establishment. There are several reasons for this. First, of course, is the fact that Santa is not a retailer. He is the owner of a factory and distribution outlet. His business model simply does not include on-site sales.

Then there is the issue of the location of his  facility. It is, according to lore, at the North Pole – a place that isn’t even located on a land mass. It is nearly in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, and  is almost permanently covered with constantly shifting sea ice. So, even if you could get to the North Pole, you might find Santa’s factory at the designated GPS location or it might be miles (kilometers) away in an undetermined direction.

The North Pole, in the winter, is a very cold place. Winter temperatures can range from about −50 to −13 °C (−58 to 9 °F). It is quite inhospitable. Despite that, several countries have laid claims to these icy high seas (Canada, Norway, Russia and Denmark.) It could be decades before their claims are scrutinized by the United Nations and one of them is declared the owner. When that happens, Santa, Mrs. Claus and all the elves will have to apply for citizenship, I suppose. The paperwork will be monumental…

While you may not be able to visit Santa at his home, you can certainly mail him a letter. Canada has assigned the North Pole a Postal Code, so letters to Santa can be mailed to North Pole, H0H 0H0. Finland says Santa’s official office is in their country and his address is Tähtikuja 1, 96930 Arctic Circle. There is place called the North Pole in Alaska, USA. Letters to that Santa can be mailed to North Pole Postmark Postmaster, 4141 Postmark Drive, Anchorage, AK 99530-9998. In the UK, Santa’s letters go to Santa/Father Christmas, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ. In Australia, letters may be mailed to Santa, NORTH POLE 9999. Santa has other addresses in other countries and these can be found at a site called Letters to Santa.

On Christmas Eve, you will most certainly want to watch Santa’s journey around the world on the NORAD Santa Tracker Site.

I’ll end this post with a burning question – should the North Pole become part of any country at all? By extension, should Santa have to become a citizen of any country, and if yes, which country do you think it should be?

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Anticipation.

Post 558

Look Up – Waaay Up… The Picket Post Mansion, Arizona

548-picket-post-mansion

Picket Post Mansion, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Arizona, USA

– Picket Post Mansion, also known as the ‘Castle on the Rocks,’ was built by Colonel William B. Thompson
– Construction began in 1923, it took 14 months to complete and the estimated cost was $20,000
– The Colonel founded the Boyce Thompson Arboretum and donated his house and the surrounding property to the Arboretum in 1928. The Colonel passed away in 1930.
– When it became a financial burden to the Arboretum, the Mansion was sold in 1946 to Walter and Ida Franklin of Globe for $40,000. They operated it as a bed and breakfast.
– The Building changed hands again and was eventually acquired by Rick and Tina Rose who gave tours.
– On July 15, 2008, Arizona State Parks purchased the property to make the Arboretum whole again.

Post 548

Driving By the Numbers Through Utah and Idaho

Our trip home from Arizona to Alberta took 5 days (April 29 to May 3, 2016) to cover a distance of 2600 km (1650 miles).
Arches National Park Utah
This year we drove Sadie, a 2002 SL500 convertible that gets 10 L/100 km (28 mpg) and loves to gallop along at 129 km/h (80 mph) on the I-15.

Your car knows

One of our fuel stops was in Monticello, Utah – elevation 2,155 m (7070 ft) where Sadie dined on 91 octane. I bought 1 bar of dark chocolate fuel for myself – our glove compartment had 0 gloves and 0 candy bars.

 

M129E1

804 km (500 miles) later, we were in Idaho Falls, Idaho. We stopped at the Army Surplus Warehouse (after Sadie got some more gas, and I refilled the glove compartment with chocolate.) There are many interesting things for sale there, including an M129 leaflet dispenser that is 2.28 metres (7.5 ft long) and 40 cm (16 inches) in diameter. Its empty weight is about 52 kilograms (115 pounds) and when loaded with leaflets it weighs about 100 kilograms (225 pounds).

This leaflet bomb is apparently left over from the Vietnam War.

Leaflet propaganda is still being used, with one of the more recent examples being in Syria (population 18.5 million people) where the military hoped to deter possible ISIS recruits from joining in 2015.

Iraq was another conflict were PSYOPS (Psychological Operations) leaflets were used. About 19 million were dropped in Iraq prior to ground combat. 31 million were dropped during the fighting. Also, the U.S. bombarded Iraqis with e-mails and cell phone calls.

We probably get upwards of 5 phone calls a day from Telemarketers based in the United States. (Canada’s National Do Not Call List is very effective, and we are thankful for that!) Can you imagine what it would be like to be bombarded with leaflets, emails AND phone calls?!

This week I looked for Quotations about Numbers and found:

Managers and supervisors with large numbers of people under them – each with his own ideas – must sometimes feel like Charles DeGaulle, who once lamented, “Nobody can simply bring together a country that has 265 kinds of cheese.
– Author Unknown –

My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to 99 cents a can. That’s almost $7.00 in dog money.
– Joe Weinstein –

This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Numbers

Post 544