Friday, January 27, 2017

EVERYONE LOVES PENGUINS, RIGHT?

The Penguins of the Falkland Islands

It's been nearly a year since I traveled via a Holland America cruise to the Falkland Islands off the southeast coast of Argentina. 
Torn between which land excursion to take, King Penguin 4x4 Adventure or North Pond Penguin Colony, my partner and I chose the latter. 
As a result we were able to stroll among the colonies of Gentoo and Magellanic penguins that call this stretch of South Atlantic beach their home.

Penguins are found only in the Southern Hemisphere, but not exclusively in the ice and snow of Antarctica. 
In fact, the Falkland Islands is one of the world's great penguin capitals.


As many as a million penguins nest in the Falklands in the summer, representing five of the world's species -- 
Gentoo, Magellanic, King, Rockhopper, and Macaroni.



Gentoo Penguins are the world's third largest species, 
and the Falklands are the home to the largest population of Gentoo Penguins on earth. 



So what's the difference between Gentoo and Magellanic Penguins? 
Gentoo Penguins have reddish orange beaks, yellow feet, and a broad white chest.
They nest in colonies in above-ground nests.



Magellanic Penguins have black beaks and black feet. 
But the most distinguishing feature is the white striping 
around the eyes and above the white chest
They live in below-ground burrows. 



Since we were there in February which is nearing the end of summer, 
these juvenile Magellanic Penguins were in the last stages of molting 
hence the abundance of downy feathers on the ground.



This is a test: 
Gentoo or Magellanic?



Gentoo or Magellanic?





Sunday, January 8, 2017

IT IS SAID THAT CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN . . .

THEN SHOES MUST MAKE THE WOMAN



One of my favorite Facebook posts during my trip to Milan 
was this photo of a window display in a shoe shop 
in Milan's China Town neighborhood where we stayed. 
While Milan is known as a major fashion center 
throughout Europe and the world, 
I have a feeling these shoes are not the high-end fashion 
for which Milan is famous. 
But what fun I had asking my audience which pair seemed most like me. 


More shoe choices, though not nearly as much fun 
as the stacked and/or spiked heels.
But I know all women need several pairs 
of functional shoes in addition to the funky fashionable ones.


And as long as your at it, why not a colorful wig to match?





Saturday, January 7, 2017

Friday, January 6, 2017

THEY DON'T MAKE THEM LIKE THIS ANYMORE

Milano Centrale Railway Station
Piazza Duca d'Aosta

The central train station in Milan is a hodge-podge of architectural styles 
including Liberty and Art Dec, but certainly not limited to those.


It is adorned with numerous sculptures.


Its facade is 660 feet wide and its vault is 236 feet high, a record when it was built.
It has 24 platforms. Each day about 330,000 passengers use the station,
totaling about 120 million per year.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A GIRL SHOULD BE TWO THINGS: CLASSY AND FABULOUS

--Quote by COCO CHANEL

With the train station in Milan being in the news recently, 
I was reminded of this picture I took in May of 2015. 
Dolce & Gabbana is a luxury Italian fashion house founded in 1985 
by two Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbano. 




Bata is a family-owned global footwear and fashion accessory manufacturer and retailer 
with acting headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

WHO LIVES HERE?

Guessing from the two bicycles, one a woman's frame 
and the other a man's frame with a rear child seat, 
I think it's a young family of three. 
The laundry hanging on the second story supports my guess. 
What do you think? 


This was a photography two-fer for me--
hanging laundry and bicycles--two favorite subjects. 
It's always important to look up as I walk. 
If I hadn't, I could have easily missed this shot.


Taken on Lido di Venezia, 7-mile sandbar in Venice, home to 20,000 residents. 
It is also a favorite summertime weekend getaway for Italians and foreign tourists alike.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

SCENES OF LAUNDRY DAY


There's something about the sight of hanging laundry that appeals to my photographer's eye. The articles being dried reveal tiny glimpses into the people who wear them, enough to create characters for each child-sized striped T-shirt or brightly colored soccer jersey. I also love the banner-effect of the colorful array of items suspended from a clothesline.

These are pictures I took while on the train between Rabat and Casablanca, Morocco. We were returning to the airport to (hopefully) retrieve Doug's suitcase that had been lost somewhere between Paris and Casablanca. 


To anyone who has ever taken a train between major cities whether in the USA or elsewhere, 
you know that railroad tracks rarely go through the nicer sections of town. 


Traveling has taught me not to judge a dwelling by the look of the outside. 
Not everyone in the world is as concerned about curb appeal as western culture, or more specifically, as we Americans.




It's easy to notice the open pipes extending from what appears to be street level or just below. 
I don't know if they are for surface drainage, household grey water, or sewage. I would hope not the latter.




Sadly, this is a sight I see all too often in my travels, particularly in the less prosperous countries, or in the smaller towns and villages away from the bigger cities. Garbage, mostly plastic shopping bags and bottles, have been tossed carelessly and repeatedly over a back wall or down a ditch.