“Pic of the Week”, December 18, 2020: Brown Bear fishing at Devil’s Falls, Alaska

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We planned our latest visit to Alaska to coincide with the salmon spawning season because this is when large numbers of Alaskan brown bears migrate to the rivers and streams to begin a feast, fattening themselves for the upcoming winter hibernation.
It had been a nearly rain-free and warm summer in Alaska and many of the streams were dry.  Fortunately Devil’s Falls, which drains glacier melt from the mountains of Katmai National Park, was in full flow.  The base of the falls is only a few meters above sea level but, nonetheless, salmon spawn here and bears gather to catch them.  Our boats could go only so far up the river during rising tide because of all the rocks in the …

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.All Trips / Europe / Slovenia

Some Street Art from Slovenia

00 Street Art Ljublajana

This post contains a few photos of some of the art we discovered while wandering the streets of the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, which I hope you enjoy.  The first we encountered was this statue of a bull taken outside of a bank near the apartment where we were staying — shades of Wall Street!
There were an interesting assortment of statues and much that we saw….
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


 

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.All Trips / Asia / India

A Wedding in Jaipur

01 A Wedding in Jaipur (2)

If there’s anything more colorful than a wedding in India, I’m not sure what that would be.  It’s uncommon for a group of tourists to be invited to a wedding celebration; this unique opportunity arose because our tour guide was a good friend of the groom, hence the invite.
Indian weddings are still mostly arranged affairs, the parents picking appropriate mates for their children.  I personally believe that marriage for love is better, but the Indians are happy with their system and it seems to fairly work well for them.  Marriages in India are as stable as those anywhere in the world.
We arrived at the rented venue, part of a total of about 250 people ultimately attending.  We were invited to …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 11, 2020: “Big Mike,” Bozeman, MT

Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman (7) – Copy

Meet “Big Mike”.  He’s a life-size bronze of a Tyrannosaurus Rex located outside of the incredible Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman.
Big Mike’s skeleton was discovered in 1988 near Montana’s Fort Peck Reservoir, and is one of the most complete T Rex skeletons ever discovered. The skeleton was excavated by a team from the Museum of the Rockies.
Using a mold created directly from the bones, the skeleton was cast in bronze in 2001, becoming the first life-size bronze T. rex in the world.  The cast measures 38 feet in length, stands 15 feet tall, and weighs 10,000 pounds. It was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Michael P. Malone, former President of Montana State University, and was a gift …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Calgary’s New Central Library

00 Downtown Calgary Library

Calgary’s new Central Library is located on the eastern edge of downtown.  It opened about two years ago on Nov 1, 2018, replacing the existing library branch in Downtown Calgary.  As you can see, the exterior of the building uses textured and clear glass panes in an effective manner.
The building is considered a new landmark in the city and has been a popular destination, with visitation so far at about 2,000,000 people per year.
The city had begun planning for a new library in 2004 and contracted with architectural firms Snøhetta (an international/Norwegian firm) and Dialog (a Canadian firm).  Their design features an oval shape with a large central skylight  and a spacious central four-story atrium.

Central Atrium, Downtown Calgary Library

Central Atrium, Downtown Calgary Library

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“Pic of the Week”, December 4, 2020: Monkey getting a Drink, Sri Lanka

Polonnaruwa (237)

Sri Lanka is home to several exquisite and fascinating historic sites, one of which is the medieval city of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There’s a river not that far from the ruins, but this toque monkey was innovative, deciding instead of having to scamper a mile or more for a drink, she would simply drink from water trapped in rounded stone holes (probably where logs had been inserted centuries ago).
Simple, but effective and thirst-quenching. 
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance the slideshow)


 

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.All Trips / England / Europe

Around Marlborough, Wiltshire

01 Marlborough (3)

Marlborough is a small town located not far from Stonehenge.  We had visited Stonehenge late in the afternoon and stayed over-night in Marlborough at a historic inn known as the Castle and Ball, which dates to the mid-18th century (rooms are mediocre, but it has a good restaurant).
The next morning after breakfast my brother and I explored the town a little before hitting the road.  Our wanderings were mostly around the environs of the city’s broad High Street.  On Saturdays and Wednesdays, as has been the tradition for hundreds of years, High Street hosts a market selling all kinds of  locally produced food and goods, which I would have enjoyed experiencing (unfortunately we were not there on those days).  High …

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.All Trips / Europe / Sweden

Some Doors of Stockholm

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A sampling of some of the interesting doors I encountered during my exploration of Stockholm during a recent visit.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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