a.k.a. Photo of the Week

“Pic of the Week”, July 10, 2020: Kahana Beach Park, Oahu

east shore oahu (2)

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.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrows to advance slideshow)


 

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“Pic of the Week”, July 3, 2020: Snow Plant, California

Snow Plants, Yosemite (2)

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 …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 19, 2020: American Bison, Keystone Gallery

02 Keystone Museum, Kansas (9)

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 …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 12, 2020: Key West homes after dark

Key West, Florida (503)

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

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“Pic of the Week”, June 5, 2020: New Synagogue, Berlin

02 New Synagogue, Berlin

Berlin’s Neue Synagoge (New Synagogue) was built between 1859 and 1866. It was the largest synagogue in Europe, with a capacity of 3,200 worshippers. It’s a beautiful building that was very unique for its time.  It has a Moorish appearance, its architect having been inspired by the Alhambra in Granada, and has spectacular gilded domes that can be seen for some distance.
The New Synagogue has an important history.  Jews in pre-WWII Germany were mostly well-integrated into Germany society.  That ended abruptly with the rise of Nazis.  The New Synagogue was damaged on Kristallnacht (November 9, 1938), when Nazis burned synagogues and destroyed the homes and businesses of Jews across Germany.  The New Synagogue was damaged by fire on Kristallnacht but …

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“Pic of the Week”, May 29, 2020: Circular Congregational Church, Charleston

02 Circular Congrational Church of Charleston

Circular Congregational Church is one of the many interesting and historic churches in Charleston, and is home to one of the oldest community of worshippers in the USA.  The church was originally founded in 1681.  It is located on Meeting Street, the street named for the gatherings at this church.
The church you visit today is  the fourth building housing this congregation.  Records of the early churches have largely been destroyed by past hurricanes.  The third church was the first circular structure the congregation used, and it was destroyed by fire in 1861.  As the area was devastated by the Civil War and it took some time for rebuilding.  Bricks from the burned down church were used in constructing the present …

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“Pic of the Week”, May 22, 2020: The Nike of Samothrace, Paris

00 Nike of Samothrace

One of the more striking pieces in Paris’ Louvre, at least in my humble opinion, is this statue known as “Winged Victory”, or the “Nike of Samothrace”.  It’s an ancient work dating to around 200 BC, and originates from Samothrace, a Greek island in the north Aegean Sea.  Its creator is not known.
The marble statue stands nearly 8 ft tall and depicts Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, wind-blown with her garments clinging to her, triumphantly stepping toward the front of a ship.  The work was probably created to commemorate a successful sea battle.
The statue was unearth by French diplomat and budding archaeologist, Charles Champoiseau, in 1863.  He reassembled the 23 blocks that comprise the ship and sent the figure …

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“Pic of the Week”, May 8, 2020: A Century of Yukon License Plates

Yukon Transporation Museum (135)

I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this display of license plates at the Yukon Transportation Museum.  Where else would you find an actual  (not a custom plate) license plate #2?

Besides its displays of cars, trucks and planes, the museum features an exhibit of a century of Yukon license plates in one of its halls.  Licensing of motor vehicles was not required in this Canadian territory until 1914.  It was interesting to see how little the style of the plates changed, and how small the number of motor vehicles must have been in those early years given the single and double digit plate numbers.  Even today Yukon vehicle plates only have three letters and 2 numbers …

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