Category Archives: travel

a few specimens of stone flora from Dublin

For someone who is not especially fond of flowers, and for someone who has been known to kill off plants in my care, I sure do take a lot of photos of plants and flowers.

I also enjoy taking pictures of buildings, and their interesting details as they catch my eye. It shouldn’t surprise me, therefore, to have discovered that I had amassed a collection of plants and flowers carved from stone that adorned various buildings around Dublin.

All of these were taken in Dublin in May of this year, during my visit there for a conference.

It would have been great if I’d made note of which buildings, or at least which locations, bore these interesting details. Of course, I didn’t.

boats in Howth harbor

Here are some of the many boats that caught my eye during my excursion to Howth when I visited Dublin back in May.

a few views of Howth harbour (friday foto finder: lighthouse)

During my visit to Dublin back in May, I took a few short daytrips to nearby towns. One day before the conference started, a friend also in town for the conference and I took the DART out to Howth, a small fishing town on the coast.

A short walk from the train station brought us to a small harbour sheltered by a breakwater with a walkway. We caught glimpses of a lighthouse as we walked.

We walked out to the end of the breakwater, and enjoyed the views of the harbour, nearby rocky islands and cliffs, and this little lighthouse. Then we turned around to wander more around the town and hills.

One of the paths we took led us up to the short round tower that can be seen atop this hill. (The tower is a Martello tower a type of lookout tower/fort that the British built around many locations along the coasts of the British Isles and beyond.)

The hilltop offered great views of the harbour.

And my trusty telephoto lens brought me close to the lighthouse once more.

This little excursion to Howth turned out to be one of the high points of my trip, and I have lots more photos from that day. (Happily, I indeed still have them, because I nearly didn’t. This was the town where I almost lost my camera. I’d left if slung over the back of my chair in a dimly dark little cellar pub below the train station, and I didn’t realize the fact until on the train heading back to Dublin…Perhaps a story for another day?)

This week’s friday foto finder theme was “lighthouse.” To catch glimpses of other lighthouses, pay a visit to the fff blog.
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Scattered reflections of an amusement park game

It’s been a while since I’ve been so fixated on a changing series of distorted reflections. They still catch my eye here and there, but aside from when I’m travelling, I just haven’t been taking as many photos lately. (I should work on that.)

These photos are from The Fishing Well, a game at Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire. It was one of those games where you paid your fee, and then were guaranteed to win a prize.

In this case, the object was to catch a metal fish on a hook inside a big spinning well of water. The water was murky and dark, and it was impossible to see the fish at the bottom. You’d just drag the hook around, hanging from a chain on a big metal pole, until the hook latched onto one of the fish.

The prizes in this case were brightly colored little stuffed animals with an aquatic theme: alligators, crabs and fish. I like the way you can sort of make out the eyes of the rows of colorful crabs reflected in the swirling water.

The surface of the water was constantly swirling and rippling, from the motion of the motorized tank bottom as well as the various poles and chains being dragged around by kids trying to catch a fish.

The rippling surface reflected back an ever-changing picture of colors and patterns.

I feel like I should have something pithier to say here, but really, it’s all about the “oooh, pretty.”

3 more silhouettes of amusement park rides

These are 3 photos I’ve taken of amusement park rides in recent years. The photo I posted yesterday from our visit to Canobie Lake Park a couple of weeks ago reminded me that I have had this little set collected and ready to post for ages.

2010, Story Land, New Hampshire.

2013, Southwick’s zoo, Massachusetts.

2012, Edaville, Massachusetts.

Summer’s last hurrah

This photo was one I took the weekend before last, during our trip to New Hampshire for a day at Canobie Lake Park, an old and old-fashioned amusement park. It has become a tradition for us to go there the last weekend of August, to finish up the summer with a big bright and shiny adventure of lights and rides and noise and sugary treats and junky souvenirs. One last hurrah before the school year starts and the days start to grow noticeably shorter and darker.

fresh eggs in a Barcelona market

I took this photo in Barcelona, Spain in 2009. This ended up being one of my favorite photos of the trip.

I think part of the appeal is how differently the eggs are displayed and sold there vs. here in the US. Here, eggs are always in cartons, stacked neatly, and tucked into refrigerators. You just wouldn’t come across a giant mound of eggs, piled all higgledy-piggledy like this, in a US market. It is also fun to see the different sizes of eggs together: the smaller brown chicken eggs, and the larger pale eggs, which I believe are duck eggs. (I realized that I could just make out the sign, and for a moment was trying to figure out why it didn’t say “pato” for duck. But this was Barcelona, so most of the signs were in Catalan. I can just make out that the sign says “ous d’anec.”)

I also liked how the photo captured the moment and the atmosphere of the market. It was early morning, and I passed through on my way to the conference I was attending. Later in the day, it would be full of people and bustling. Just then, however, it was quiet.

This week’s friday foto finder theme is “eggs.” I do have quite a lot of eggs in my photo library, so once again, the difficulty lay in choosing which to serve up. To see what eggs others have on their menus, pay a visit to the fff blog.