Category Archives: travel

flagging

This sculpture is in Larkspur, California. I have vague memories of seeing this regularly while growing up, as I lived in this part of Northern California for many of my childhood and teen years. I never actually knew anything about the sculpture, but its stark silhouette caught my eye during my trip to California earlier this year while we drove towards the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge one evening after an excursion to the Marin Highlands.

The wonders of Google allow me to learn that this is a statue of explorer Juan Batista de Anza, something I hadn’t known. Really, I just picked this photo for the flag because the word “flagging” had popped into my mind to describe the way I am feeling. In my tired state, I can see the statue as the pose of a weary traveller.

It’s been a really hectic stretch, with even more rushing around than normal, and tonight my energy is flagging. I will keep pushing forward, but I really just want a break.

the ruined abbey of Howth, Ireland (friday foto finder: ruin)

During my trip to Dublin in May, I went on a little excursion to the seaside town of Howth with a friend. (A few other photos are posted here and here.) The town was beautiful, and the weather was perfect for a casual stroll. After we walked along the harbor, we decided to head up into one of the townhouse-lined roads that cut into the hillside. We could see glimpses of a ruin here and there between the rooftops.

It was quite striking looking, but there wasn’t any obvious way to get up there. (At least not obvious from the street. Probably people with maps and/or guidebooks could find the way obvious. But it was more of an adventure to explore without these things.)

Soon enough, we came across this intriguing little stairway that climbed through a narrow canyon-like space between some stone walls. There were no signs that said where they led. On the other hand, there were also no signs that told us not to go that way.

The stairs led up to another road, or perhaps another bend of the same winding road, up higher on the hill. And a quick walk led to an overlook and entrance to the ruins and cemetery.

It was quite a beautiful and dramatic place to wander and photograph.

The moral of the story: Climb any intriguing stairways that are not marked with signs telling you not to.


This week’s friday foto finder theme is “ruin,” which gave me a nice opening to share these photos. To see what other ruins have been discovered, pay a visit to the fff blog!

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.