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Situated on the windward east coast of Oahu is this lovely beach — the kind one imagines when thinking of relaxing on Hawaii.
This is Kahana Bay Beach Park. It has a beautiful beach surrounded on three sides by the steep, lush green Ko’olau Mountains. The bay’s waters are generally calm but few people swim here because the water is murky from the runoff of Kahana Stream.
Local residents like to camp here during weekends. It’s a good place to have a BBQ and enjoy the beach and lovely island scenery. We just stopped by in the late afternoon to stretch our legs and enjoy the views.
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The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is found near Escondido, California, about a half hour’s drive northeast of San Diego and its world famous San Diego Zoo.
I’ve visited the San Diego Zoo Safari Park about a half dozen times in the past 35 years and really enjoyed every visit. When we first came to the park decades ago the place was known as San Diego Wild Animal Park, but in 2010 the name was changed because some people were apparently getting it and the zoo confused. This is not the zoo — it’s where you can go on a (sort-of) safari. But at either place you’ll have the chance to see a large quantity and variety of …
The only place I’ve ever seen snow plant is on the western (wetter) slopes of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, especially in Yosemite National Park. It’s hard to miss seeing snow plant if its there, as it’s bright red and stands out against the melting snow and tree litter in which it grows.
Some interesting facts about snow plant:
1) It’s a bright fleshy red plant (herb) of the Indian-pipe family, usually 15-30 cm (under a foot) tall
2) It grows in high-altitude conifer forests of California, Nevada and Oregon (generally between 1000 – 3000 m altitude)
3) It derives its nourishment from soil fungi attached to the roots of pine trees, and does not need sunlight to survive
4) It usually pops out in late …
One of the loveliest modern chapels I’ve ever visited is Thorncrown Chapel, located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Thorncrown Chapel was designed by E. Fay Jones, who had apprenticed with the great Frank Lloyd Wright, and was built in 1980. The chapel was commissioned by Jim Reed, a retired schoolteacher, who wanted to create a non-denominational pilgrimage chapel for meditation. The chapel is elegant yet blends in with the local landscape, seeming an airy part of it.
Thorncrown Chapel is constructed mostly of local wood (e.g. Southern pine) and was built with the general rule of thumb that no materials bigger than what two people could carry should be used (e.g. 2x6s instead of massive beams). The floor is constructed with slabs of …
It’s not every day you get to see an enormous Van Gogh painting sitting on an easel in a small prairie town. But that’s what we encountered recently when traveling through Kansas.
Goodland, in western Kansas, is said to have the World’s Largest Easel. It’s 80 feet tall and holds a 32 x 24-foot representation of one of Van Gogh’s “Sunflower” paintings. The painting was constructed using 24 sheets of plywood surrounded by fiberglass mattes and layered with an industrial gel coat. The paint used was industrial acrylic urethane enamel, known for it’s hardiness in extreme weather conditions. The easel is built of steel, weighing more than 40,000 pounds. The supports are sunk 35 feet into the ground.
Goodland’s painting is a …
We stopped by the Keystone Gallery after visiting Monument Rocks, south of Oakley, Kansas. Unfortunately the Gallery was not yet open for the season. Still, our stop turned out to interesting.
Immediately adjoining the Gallery was a large pasture wherein we spotted this bison. He was surprisingly near and, as we had a barb-wire fence between us, we hopped out of our car to try to snap some close-up photos — the closest I’ve ever been to a bison (a.k.a. buffalo).
At first we thought this bison was alone, but soon it became apparent that he was part of a small herd as others started drifting over a rise in the pasture. A small reminder of a time when thousands of bison …
We were walking the streets of Key West after dinner — a beautiful warm winter night — and I was impressed with how nicely lite many of the older homes were. Admittedly it was December and this may have been something special for the Holidays, but I suspect it is part of the normal ambience of the city.
Yet another thing I enjoyed about our visit to Key West.
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I enjoy green public spaces and was glad to find the small prairie city of Moose Jaw had set aside a nice space for walking, playing and relaxing. The grounds of Crescent Park are nicely maintained, as you can see in these photos. Lots of birds were chirping in the trees and ducks enjoyed the parks waters.
Crescent Park was designed in 1911 and is just a block from the city’s main street. It covers over 28 acres. The park is centered on Spring Creek. A series of paths follow the banks of the creek and are part of the community’s trail system (Rotary Trails of Moose Jaw).
Scattered around the park are various monuments and flower gardens – even a time …