Author Archives: Karl

“Pic of the Week”, May 11, 2018: Wild Peacocks, Yala National Park

01 peacock yala

Yala is Sri Lanka’s largest National Park and is best known as a good place to spot leopards (although we didn’t see any).  We did, however, come across lots of wild peacocks — both male and female– including this male who was putting on quite a show for the ladies.  Feather erect and fanned out, he slowly moved in a circle and strutted his stuff!

Peacocks are a type of pheasant, but with distinctive iridescent tail feathers.  As you can see from the bottom photos, the feathers make up over half of the male bird’s body length.  It is believed females choose their partners according to the size and colors of these feather trains.  These birds are blue peacocks, native to …

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“Pic of the Week”, May 4, 2018: Reclining Connected Forms, CityCenter

03 Around the Vdara (9)

Who would have believed that Las Vegas, in its ongoing transformation, would become a center of fine public art?  Certainly not yours truly, at least not until recently.

This is especially true at the $10 billion CityCenter, where part of the master plan included $40 million to purchase some world-class pieces.   One of these is by English sculptor Henry Moore, a work called Reclining Connected Forms.  It is one of several similar-styled pieces by the same artist found around the globe.

Here are some specifics:  Crafted between 1969-1974 of Roman travertine marble. A massive piece measuring 10 x 17 x 7 feet. It is thought to represent a baby wrapped in its mother’s embrace.  

You can find this work between ARIA Resort …

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.All Trips / Asia / Dubai

Signs of Dubai

Signs of Dubai (39)

Dubai is surreal in many ways — an extravagant oasis in the desert that most logically shouldn’t be, at least were it were not for the influx of billions of dollars of petrodollars.  Opulent, overdone, but still fascinating.

As many of you know, I collect photos of signs.  The signage of Dubai proved an interesting hybrid.  While mostly targeting Emirati citizens, it also needs to appeal to the large population of expats living and working here and to the city’s extensive tourist traffic.  As such, many of the signs are both in Arabic and in English.  As it is a mostly newly built country, the signs are generally clean and modern, and many reflect a luxurious lifestyle.

Some of the signs were …

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.All Trips / Art / Central USA / Colorado / North America

A Sampler of Rocky Mountain Street Art

03 Aspen 07-2015 (2)

I’ve enjoyed many visits to the Colorado Rockies, mostly in the summer months as I like the weather and wildflowers that time of year.  I love spending time in the mountains!  There’s nothing more pleasant than going for a walk on a nice day on a wilderness trail or in a beautiful alpine town resting in a lovely valley, surrounded by majestic peaks. 

During these strolls I’ve noticed an increased amount of street art displayed on the lanes and walkways of the tourist towns.  A lot of the work is of high quality, mostly bronzes, many reflecting the mountain life.  These photos include some of the street art I came across in Vail, Avon, Aspen and Leadville.  

I hope you like …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 27, 2018: “Big Edge”, Las Vegas

00 Around the Vdara (16)

Situated in the heart of Las Vegas’ City Center, in the middle of many beautifully designed skyscrapers, is a fascinating piece of street-art.  It’s crafted by Nancy Rubins and is known as “Big Edge”.   Like something you might imagine seeing at the bottom of a waterfall that has surprised dozens of boaters.

“Big Edge” is situated in front of the Vdara Hotel and Spa, between the Aria and Bellagio casinos, and is best seen from its elevated circular drive (its not visible from The Strip).  Two hundred boats, many canoes but with some flat bottom boats and rowboats, are incorporated into this unusual piece.  Given the strong desert winds, this seemingly haphazard arrangement of boats actually has to be firmly …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 20, 2018: Views of Seville

07 Seville views

For over 800 years the tower of Seville’s magnificent cathedral (the Giralda) stood as the tallest structure in the city, built at 103 m.  Completed in 1195, it was originally the minaret of the Aljama mosque before it became the bell tower of a Christian Church.  The structure took 12 years to build.

The name Giralda means “she who turns” after the weather vane on top of the tower.  The figure on the weather vane, called El Giraldillo, represents faith.

The Giralda, originally used for calling faithful Muslims to prayer and as an observatory,  was highly valued by the Moors.  There were plans to destroy it before the Christian conquest of the city in 1248, but a threat by King Alfonso X …

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.All Trips / D.C. / North America / Southeastern USA / Washington District of Columbia

Martlin Luther King Jr Memorial, Washington D.C.

00 Martin Luther King Jr Memorial (10)

 
“Out of the Mountain of Despair, a Stone of Hope”

 

One of the newer memorials in Washington DC is also one of its most unusual and memorable.  The Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Memorial is located adjacent to the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, beside the National Mall and the FDR Memorial.   The MLK Memorial is spread along the banks of the Tidal Basin and cover four acres, but is centered on a carving of the famous Civil Rights leader. 

The MLK statue is incorporated into part of a large granite boulder that has been sliced into three pieces, much like the layers of a giant sandwich.  To enter the monument from the National Mall, you walk through the outer two …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 13, 2018: Boo the Bear, Golden B.C.

Golden B.C . Grizzly Bear Refuge (35)

I’d like you to meet Boo, a grizzly bear. Boo is well known around the Canadian Rocky Mountain region because he lives at the Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge and gets lots of visitors. His home consists of a fenced 22-acre piece of natural land (apparently the world’s largest protected grizzly bear habitat) where Boo has lived and wandered freely since 2003. Boo and his sibling were orphaned at only a few months old when their mother was killed by a poacher; sadly Boo’s sibling didn’t survive his first hibernation.

Boo has found a good home here in eastern British Columbia, near the town of Golden. He’s been known to escape during mating season (he digs out under his electrified fence), …

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