Author Archives: Karl

“Pic of the Week”, April 10, 2020: Airplane Weathervane, Whitehorse

03 Airplane Weathervane Yukon Transporation Museum (95)

The world’s largest weathervane, an actual Douglas DC-3 aircraft, sits on a pedestal in front of the Yukon Transportation Museum.  It’s an interesting sight made more impressive by the fact that the plane slowly and quietly moves, always with her nose pointed into the wind.  The plane is so finely balanced that even a 5 knot wind will turn her.  I made a point of watching over a period of several days and she always seemed pointed in a slightly different direction.  

The idea for this weathervane belongs to the The Yukon Flying Club (which morphed into the the Yukon Transporation Museum).  In 1977, members of the Club started a multiyear project to create what was to become …

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.All Trips / Chile / South America

Exploring the Fjords of Patagonia: 4) Pia Glacier

19 Pia Glacier

Having finished a hike in Tierra del Fuego and studied birds up close on Tucker’s Islets, we completed a memorable day with an evening of fine food, good companionship and restful sleep.  During the night our ship re-positioned itself and the next morning’s excursion was a visit to Pia Glacier.

Pia Glacier is in the north-west arm of the Beagle Channel and lies on the Darwin Range.  It’s an advancing glacier, meaning …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 3, 2020: Sloppy Joe’s Bar, Key West

Key West, Florida (500)

Sloppy Joe’s Bar is located on Key West’s main business street, Duval Street.  The bar opened in 1933, the day prohibition ended.  It was to move locations and have a name change or two before it ended up being at its current site in Key West.  The name finally chosen was borrowed from the original Sloppy Joe’s bar in Havana, Cuba, although today the name has really stuck to the Key West location.

Local legend has it that Joe Russell, the original owner, was a friend of author Ernest Hemingway who lived in Key West at that time, and that Joe provided Mr. Hemingway with some illegal hooch during prohibition. It seems likely that Hemingway would have visited the bar when …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Exploring Midland Provincial Park

05 Midland Provincial Park (41)

Midland Provincial Park is located in Alberta’s Badlands and was established in 1979 to help conserve some of Alberta’s coal mining history.  The park was once the site of the Midland Coal Mine and the land was donated to the province after the mine closed.  The park is home to one of my favorite museums, the Royal Tyrrell, and adjoins the Red Deer River. 

Today’s post focuses on exploring the Midland Coal Interpretive Trail located roughly midway between the city of Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Museum.  This trail has a series of educational interpretive signs providing information about coal-mining in the area and to help you understand the artifacts on the grounds, A former mining office survives.

Coal Mining office, Midland Provincial Par

Coal Mining office, Midland Provincial Par

A rich …

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.All Trips / Asia / India

A Day at Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi

17 Humayun’s Tomb (54)

The building of Mughal Emperor Humayun’s tomb was actually undertaken in 1565 by his Persian-born widow, Hamida Banu Begum, nine years after the great man died.  She selected the site of the monument, on the banks of the Yamuna River, and the Persian architect who designed it.  The monument took seven years to build and shows a strong Persian influence, including it’s gardens divided into four parts by walkways or flowing water.  It was the first garden-tomb in India.

The massive mausoleum is constructed of red sandstone interspersed with white marble, while the inner tomb itself is made of marble. The platform of the mausoleum is 7 meters tall, while the height of the building’s impressive marble dome is 47 meters.  …

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“Pic of Week”, March 27, 2020: District of Columbia War Memorial, Washington DC

03 District of Columbia War Memorial

In a city filled with a lot of memorials, including some grand ones named after men like Lincoln and Washington, this memorial seems tiny in comparison.  I didn’t even know it existed until I came across it while making my way from the Reflecting Pool to the newish Martin Luther King Memorial.  It was built as tribute to the 26,000 residents from the DC area who served in the First World War.

The site occupies 2-acres and is surrounded by a deciduous trees.  At the center is the circular memorial designed to resemble a small Greek temple, with 12 Doric columns supporting a domed roof.  The white marble used to build it was quarried in Vermont.  It is …

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.All Trips / Chile / South America

Exploring the Fjords of Patagonia: 3) Bird-watching at Tucker’s Islet

00 Tucker Islets

After our morning hike in Tierra del Fuego we returned to the Australis for lunch and some rest, during which time our ship re-positioned itself in Ainsworth Bay.  Our afternoon excursion was to be entirely on a Zodiac. This is obviously a slower process than zipping us onshore for the morning’s hike as the supply of Zodiacs was limited.

The Zodiacs took us to a small cluster of islands known as Tucker’s Islets.  These lie within the Strait of Magellan and are rich in bird life (note:  Magellan was the Portuguese explorer who visited this region 500 years ago).  We would slowly circle these islands in the Zodiac to observe the different types of birds, slowing to a stop when possible, …

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“Pic of the Week”, March 20, 2020: Alpenglow on the Kootenay Rockies

03 Kootenay Rockies, February

I was passing through the Kootenay Rockies of Eastern British Columbia at dusk, just as the sun was setting.  That occurs early during the winter months, around 4 – 5 pm.  It was a clear day and I could see a bit of the alpenglow on the snow clad mountains. 

The alpenglow is a band of reddish light observed in the direction opposite of the setting sun, and occurs just as the sun dips below the horizon.  It’s best appreciate on the mountain tips, as you see here. The phenomenon lasts just a minute or two, then it’s gone.  But it was a lovely scene.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

 

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