Friday, June 28, 2013

South Pacific - Australia

Harry's Cafe de Wheels is an iconic pie cart located in Sydney. It is over 70 years old, and has maintained a tradition of daily fresh deliveries of its pies. Their signature dish (Harry's Tiger) - named after founder Harry ‘Tiger’ Edwards. Chunky lean beef pie served with mushy peas, mash & gravy. Also, on the menu Chilli Dog - Continential Viennese smoked frankfurt served with freshly cooked spicy chilli con carne and chilli sauce. Yum, Yum!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

South Pacific - Australia

For you cat lovers (you know who you are). Here are images of the Sitting Lion and Lioness. These cast iron lions, restored in 1990, has been polished to a fine smoothness by countless children sitting on them over the years. They were presented to the Royal Botanic Gardens in 1912 by the executors of the estate of Edward Sanders. The lions now guard the gate leading to Lion Gate Lodge.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

South Pacific - Australia

The Park had a lot of unusual plants, here is The Queensland Bottle Tree (Brachychiton rupestris) Family Sterculiaceae. Found in drier rainforest and Brigalow scrub in South-eastern Queensland. The trunks of this cultivated species are bottle-shaped and can reach 6 feet in diameter. These trunks have been a valuable water source for the Aboriginal people. The starchy roots and seeds can be eaten - Yum.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

South Pacific - Australia

In the Gardens there are some sculptures installed as part of the City of Sydney's Sculpture Walk program. Here is an overscaled Magnolia seed-like sculpture by Bronwyn Oliver, placed adjacent to the site of the First Farm in Sydney Cove. The forms reflect the ‘organic flotsam washed up by the tide, blown by the wind, and laden with the potential for transformation and new life’.

Monday, June 24, 2013

South Pacific - Autralia

Here is another new bird for me. It is a Noisy Miner Manorina melanocephala. It is in the honeyeater family Meliphagidae and is endemic to eastern and south-eastern Australia. This miner is a grey bird, with a black head, orange-yellow beak and feet, a distinctive yellow patch behind the eye and white tips on the tail feathers. Foraging in the canopy of trees and on trunks and branches and on the ground, the Noisy Miner mainly eats nectar, fruit and insects. Yum!

Friday, June 21, 2013

South Pacific - Australia

Here is a Golden Orb-weaving Spider Nephila plumipes.  Woody Allen said in Annie Hall  "Honey, there’s a spider in your bathroom the size of a Buick." Golden Orb-weaving Spiders are large spiders with silvery-grey to plum colored bodies and brown-black, often yellow banded legs. In Sydney, the bushes and trees of the Royal Botanic Gardens are a good place to see them (as shown here).

In Sydney, the bushes and trees of the Royal Botanic Gardens are a good place to see them, - See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Golden-Orb-Weaving-Spiders#sthash.ItqDl1cl.dpuf
Golden Orb Weaving Spiders are large spiders with silvery-grey to plum coloured bodies and brown-black, often yellow banded legs. - See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Golden-Orb-Weaving-Spiders#sthash.ItqDl1cl.dpuf
Golden Orb Weaving Spiders are large spiders with silvery-grey to plum coloured bodies and brown-black, often yellow banded legs. - See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Golden-Orb-Weaving-Spiders#sthash.ItqDl1cl.dpuf
Golden Orb Weaving Spiders are large spiders with silvery-grey to plum coloured bodies and brown-black, often yellow banded legs. - See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Golden-Orb-Weaving-Spiders#sthash.ItqDl1cl.dpuf
Golden Orb Weaving Spiders are large spiders with silvery-grey to plum coloured bodies and brown-black, often yellow banded legs. - See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Golden-Orb-Weaving-Spiders#sthash.ItqDl1cl.dpuf
Golden Orb Weaving Spiders are large spiders with silvery-grey to plum coloured bodies and brown-black, often yellow banded legs. - See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Golden-Orb-Weaving-Spiders#sthash.ItqDl1cl.dpuf
Golden Orb Weaving Spiders are large spiders with silvery-grey to plum coloured bodies and brown-black, often yellow banded legs. - See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Golden-Orb-Weaving-Spiders#sthash.ItqDl1cl.dpuf

Thursday, June 20, 2013

South Pacific - Australia

There were a lot of new birds that I have not seen before. Here is the Masked Lapwing Vanellus miles. It spends most of its time on the ground searching for food such as insects and worms.
 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

South Pacific - Australia

My favorite place in Sydney was the Royal Botanic Garden, an oasis of 30 hectares in the heart of the city. Wrapped around Farm Cove at the edge of Sydney Harbor, the Royal Botanic Garden occupies one of Sydney's most spectacular positions. Established in 1816, it is the oldest scientific institution in the country and home to an outstanding collection of plants from Australia and overseas. This bird is an Australian White Ibis Threskiornis molucca.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

South Pacific - Australia

While in Sydney I went looking for some local color in a pub crawl. I found this poster in one of the fine pubs that I visited.

Monday, June 17, 2013

South Pacific - Australia

Back in March/April I was down in the South Pacific for a month. The first place I visited was Sydney. I will start this journey of images with one of the most iconic views in Sydney - it's Opera House. The Sydney Opera House (built between 1957 - 1973) is a masterpiece of late modern architecture. It is admired internationally and proudly treasured by the people of Australia. It was created by a young architect who understood and recognized the potential provided by the site against the stunning backdrop of Sydney Harbor. Denmark’s Jørn Utzon gave Australia a challenging, graceful piece of urban sculpture in patterned tiles, glistening in the sunlight and invitingly aglow at night.

Friday, June 14, 2013

New Mexico 2013

I will end this series of New Mexico with one last image of the church. Tucked away in a corner was this vase which added interest to the structure of the adobe. Next week - South Pacific!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Mexico 2013

The courtyard entrance frames the church nicely.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New Mexico 2013

How about a little star-burst to add some interest.



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Mexico 2013

The church is possibly the most photographed building in New Mexico. Morning shots, evening shots, front, back, left side, right side; it is always hard to choose. This year was the first time I shot it in the winter. The snow adds a nice touch.

Monday, June 10, 2013

New Mexico 2013

Another iconic location I try to visit when I'm in New Mexico is San Francisco de Asis church in Rancho de Taos. This week I will show off views of this church from this year's trip.


Friday, June 7, 2013

New Mexico 2013

Here are two girls from the pueblo playing on the frozen river.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Mexico 2013

I love the shadows on this corner of the pueblo.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New Mexico 2013

When you enter Taos Pueblo you pass this beautiful church. A little history about this church - The first Spanish visitors to Taos Pueblo arrived in 1540 as members of the Francisco Vasquez de Coronado expedition, which stopped at many of New Mexico’s pueblos in search of the rumored Seven Cities of Gold.  Around 1620, the first Catholic Church in the pueblo, San Geronimo de Taos, was constructed. Reports from the period indicate that the native people of Taos resisted the building of the church and the imposition of the Catholic religion. Throughout the 1600s, cultural tensions grew between the native populations of the Southwest and the increasing Spanish presence. Taos Pueblo was no exception, and by 1660, the native people killed the resident priest and destroyed the church. Only several years after its rebuilding, the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 began and the Taos Indians again destroyed San Geronimo and killed two other priests.
By the turn of the 18th century, San Geronimo de Taos was under construction for a third time, and Spanish/native relations within the pueblo became amicable for a brief period as both groups found a common enemy in invading Ute and Comanche tribes. Resistance to Catholicism and Spanish culture was still strong. Even so, Spanish religious ideals and agricultural practices subtly worked their way into the Taos community, largely starting during this time of increased cooperation between the two cultural groups. New Mexico formally became a territory of the United States in 1847 with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, but a revolt broke out in Taos Pueblo. Mexican Pablo Montoya and Tomasito, a leader at Taos Pueblo, led a force of Mexicans and Indians who did not want to become a part of the United States. They managed to kill Governor Charles Bent and others and marched on Santa Fe, but were finally subdued after taking refuge in the ill-fated San Geronimo Mission Church. The American troops bombarded the church, killing or capturing the insurrectionists and destroying the physical structure. Around 1850, an entirely new mission church was constructed near the west gate of the pueblo wall which stands today.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New Mexico 2013

I have returned from my latest travels (more on that later). It is time to continue images from my New Mexico trip.
Taos Pueblo today stands as the largest surviving multistoried Pueblo structure in the United States.  They have endured even after 400 years of Spanish and Anglo presence.
The crystal clear waters of the Rio Pueblo, which originate high in the mountains at our sacred Blue Lake, still serves as our primary source for drinking and irrigation. This river runs through the middle of the pueblo and is shown frozen in the foreground. Taos Pueblo shows the traditional method of adobe construction: the pueblo consists of two clusters of houses, each built from sun-dried mud brick, with walls ranging from 70 cm thick at the bottom to about 35 cm at the top. Each year the walls are still refinished with a new coat of adobe plaster as part of a village ceremony. The rooms are stepped back so that the roofs of the lower units form terraces for those above. The units at ground level and some of those above are entered by doors that originally were quite small and low; access to the upper units is by ladders through holes in the roof. The living quarters are on the top and outside, while the rooms deep within the structure were used grain storage. The roofs are made from cedar logs, their ends protruding through the walls; on the logs are mats of branches on which are laid grasses covered with a thick layer of mud and a finishing coat of adobe plaster. It is a massive system of construction but one well suited to the rigours of the climate. This image was created by stitching together 9 images.