“Pic of the Week”, March 2, 2018: School of Fish, Sparks, Nevada

fish2-1

One of our stops during a recent visit to the Reno area was the Outlets at Sparks.   The store selection and shopping experience left a bit to be desired, but there were some clever pieces of public art including this one, which I really liked.  Anyone who’s ever watched a school of sardines swim know how the individual fish merge into a collective organism, and that idea was brilliantly captured in this piece.

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

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.All Trips / Central USA / North America / North Dakota

Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota

Grand Forks Air Force Base B25J Flo

I’ve visited only two US Air Force Bases in my life.  One was in Colorado Springs where our friends (2 Air Force veterans) gave us a tour of the training facility and some of the planes on exhibition, a very memorable visit.  My second was this Air Force Base (AFB) in North Dakota, where one can visit a diverse display of aircraft and missiles outside the main entrance gate.  Apparently free guided tours of these aircraft can be arranged for groups of 6 and more with 2 weeks notice, but as just my father and I were visiting and ours was a spur-of-the-moment decision, this didn’t apply to us.  We did not actually enter the AFB, just explored the planes …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 23, 2017: Western Gorillas

San Diego Zoo Safari (121)

While gorillas are the largest of the great apes, the western (lowland) gorillas are the smallest and least endangered of this subspecies.  Native to the Congo River Basin, they live in lowland tropical and swamp forests.  They are quiet, peaceful animals whose existence is threatened by deforestation and poaching.

Male gorillas are up to 1.55 meters tall and weigh up to 157 kg; females are 1.35 meters and weigh up to 80 kg.  They  are mainly herbivores, feasting on leaves and fruit but occasionally eating ants, worms and caterpillars.  Western gorillas are nomadic, wandering in groups of up to 30 individuals in search of food.  Each band is lead by a dominant “silverback” male ( so called because of a silver …

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

Back at the Getty Center, Los Angeles

Getty Center Museum 11-2016 (7a)

When I have free time while traveling in greater Los Angeles, I love to visit the Getty Center — well worth a full day’s visit, especially if you’ve never been there before.  There’s no admission fee but you have to pay $15.00 to park for the day (so if you’re dropped off by a friend, the entire day would be a freebie).   There’s a large parking structure adjoining the 405 Fwy in Sepulveda Pass and from here visitors takes a tram uphill to the Getty Center.  The tram/funicular ride takes just a few minutes and when you exit you enter a beautifully crafted world of art and architecture.   I enjoy walking the meticulously maintained grounds and taking in the ever …

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D.C. / North America / Southeastern USA

“Pic of the Week”, February 16, 2018: Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC

Washington 285 Lincoln Memorial at night

Always held the 3rd Monday of February, President’s Day is intended to honor the first President, George Washington’s, birthday.  February (12th to be precise) is also the birthday of the President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President.  

Both men were great leaders who are remembered on their nation’s currency and through monuments in the nation’s capital.  Today’s Pic features my personal favorite, the Lincoln Memorial.   Built at the western end of the Washington Mall and styled after a Greek Doric Temple (which like Lincoln is featured on the $5 bill), there’s a H-U-G-E sculpture of Lincoln is inside.  If the Lincoln statue could stand up, it would be 29 ft (8.5 m) tall.  It’s carved of Georgia white marble and weighs 175 tons.  The …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 9, 2018: Old Massett, Haida Gwaii

Q.C.I.  017.  Old Masset

Haida Gwaii — the island chain off the coast of British Columbia formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands — has a long history of terrific native artistry.  While visiting the islands, we made a stop in the small community of Old Massett which sits on the site of several historic Haida villages.  

It was in Old Massett that some of the Haida people who had survived the devastating wave of smallpox that arrived with white settlers started regrouping in the late 19th century.   Today, Old Massett is the administrative center for the Council of the Haida Nation. 

Old Massett is home to the Islands’ largest collection of contemporary totem poles, which are located throughout the village.  There are several skilled …

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.All Trips / Central USA / Minnesota / North America

A Day in Grand Marais, Minnesota

04-Grand-Marais

Grand Marais is a town of about 1500 residents situated in Cook County, Minnesota.  It rests on the northwestern shore of the largest lake in the world, Lake Superior.  Grand Marais is a popular tourist destination, especially during the summer season, and is accessed by Minnesota Highway 61 (North Shore Scenic Drive).  It’s 110 miles NE of Duluth and 40 miles SW of the Canadian/US border.

Grand Marais is French for “Great Marsh”, the name referring to a marsh that was situated in the town long ago which it seems has mostly been filled in.   It has a nice harbor (see photos above and below) and many people like to sail from it onto the unpredictable waters of the Great …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / Ontario

Rambling around Thunder Bay’s Waterfront

00 Thunder Bay (51)

Situated on the northwestern shore of the world’s largest lake, Lake Superior, the small city of Thunder Bay is home to one of my favorite people (my baby brother).   I enjoy visiting the city, especially during its summers which are warm and pleasant.  

One of the nicest places to explore on foot is the waterfront along the northern section of town.  Much of the southern shore of Thunder Bay is devoted to transporting the bounty of the prairies to foreign markets.  There are many massive grain elevators alongside which ships pull up and fill their bins with wheat and other grains from the vast stores within the elevators.

The area around the Prince Arthur’s Landing has undergone a dramatic revitalization …

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