A Moment of Hope #2

We are living in some scary times right now. I am old and have lived through others but this one is somehow different and maybe more frightening. So until it is over each day I plan to post an image that provides calmness and a moment of zen. We all need a lot of moments like these right now.

This is a pond in the spring. Pond are full of hope and new life in the spring. You can hear the peepers and see the baby turtles on their banks. Sitting and gazing into a pond and listening to the sounds provide and uplift to the human spirit.

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Reflections of a Pond

A Moment of Hope #1

We are living in some scary times right now. I am old and have lived through others but this one is somehow different and maybe more frightening. So until it is over each day I plan to post an image that provides calmness and a moment of zen. We all need a lot of moments like these right now.

Here is a daffodil from our Pittsburgh garden. You have to have hope to plant a garden.

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A Perfect Bloom

Social Distancing

If you follow this blog you know that it mainly focuses on photography and travel. However, the pandemic of Covid 19 is hard to ignore and I would not be much of a blogger if I did. . I know its hard to think about your life if you are stressed and anxious and when experts tell you to social distance yourself it doesn’t mean you have to hide. Some of us will have to isolate and quarantine ourselves but others can have outdoor activities.

Go for a walk or if you can surf pick up your board and head to the beach. If you can’t surf, don’t do it, the last thing you want to do is injure yourself and wind up in the emergency room. If you are a photographer put away your wide angle lens and get out your telephoto lens. Photograph the spring flowers. Be safe, live your life at a distance for a while and don’t panic. And don’t forget to carry your towel

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Social Distancing

Desert Fountains

One expects the desert to have little water. Of course that’s true. Try driving the back roads from California to Nevada if you need proof. However people who own property in the Palm Springs area seem obsessed with water. Small houses will frequently have fountains and large resorts have many water features from large fountains on golf courses to small little ones in gardens. Here are a couple from our recent trip.

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Desert Fountains

Desert Fountains

The Miniature Trains at The Living Desert

One of the great surprises of The Living Desert in Palm Springs was the extensive miniature railroad exhibit. I have always loved miniature railroads. I have a great set as a kid and have seen some amazing exhibits. The exhibits at the Barnum Museum in Sarasota, at The Science Center in Pittsburgh and The science and Industry Museum in Chicago are unbelievable However, the one at The Living Desert in Palm Desert California is truly unique.

The exhibit is outdoors and is almost an acre large It consists of more than 3,300 feet of track, six different loops and a variety of trains in different gauges. There are all sorts of surprises in this exhibit including Most Rushmore. I imagine the fact that it is outdoors creates all sorts of maintenance costs. Throughout the exhibits are miniature road signs of the corporate sponsors.

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Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

Desert Textures

Some people think the desert is ugly. It looks dry and lifeless. Some of it is pretty rough. We drove from Palm Desert to Nevada and the lan truly looked dead. It is one of the most desolate drives I have ever taken. Truly no country for old me. It is surprising though when you stop you notice all kinds of life. Even when we stopped in the Mohave desert we saw lots of life. Not dead but a different type of beauty.

This image was taken in The Living Desert and the textures of the desert plants provide a different sort of beauty.

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Desert Textures

Desert Textures

The Tuscan Island of Elba

Our cruise ship, The Azamara Pursuit was a small luxury cruise liner. Because of that we could visit smaller ports that can’t be reached by the large cruise ships.

When The Pursuit docked in Portoferraio it was the largest ship in the harbor and the only cruise liner there on that day. This made our stay on Elba more enjoyable. Portoferraio is one of the most beautiful natural harbors I have ever seen. The mountainous island has an interesting history dating back to the Etruscans. The town of Portoferraio is beautiful and filled with shops, cafe’s and beautiful beaches.

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Porto Azzurro Elba

Porto Azzurro Elba

Portoferraio

Portoferraio