Ball Hawk

During our trip to California we had an opportunity to do something we always wanted to do. We went to the Eldorado Polo Club in Indio California and saw a match. I love horses and my riding years are most likely behind me. I can no longer attend horse racing which is a cruel sport to the horses. I was amazed by polo and will undoubtedly be posting many pictures. The synergy between the horse and rider is truly amazing and magical to watch. After the first half I became aware why.

These horses are ball hawks. They are undoubtedly trained to follow the ball and when they turn the rider better be ready. If the rider falls off the horse they do not stop the match. If the horse falls the match is halted. Nobody fell and after two hours it was mind boggling that none did.

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Ball Hawk

Stamen and Stigma

I always wondered why there was one of the stamen looks different. I figured it was because it had no pollen attached to it. Maybe it was defective. I knew that the stamens where the male part of the plants reproduction system.

Turns out the one that looks different is not a stamen. It is a stigma and actually part of the plants female reproductive system and connected directly to the plants ovary. Learn something new every day!

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First Amaryllis in Pittsburgh

Stamen

First Amaryllis In Pittsburgh

We have grown Amaryllis in the past but have never photographed any for some reason unknown to me. We also have never had one since we returned to Pittsburgh. They are beautiful spectacular blooms. We bought this one late in the season and it is a little short but the the flowers are magnificent.

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First Amaryllis in Pittsburgh

First Amaryllis in Pittsburgh

First Amaryllis in Pittsburgh

Basilica of Santa Maria in Rome

This church, Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, was fascinating for a number of reasons. It was built in the ruins of the Diocletian Baths of Ancient Rome. There are fenced off ruins right next to the basilica but visitors are not permitted. Recently I post about magnificent pipe organ.

Here are some other images from one of the churches known as the Vatican Beyond The Walls

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Basilica of Santa Maria

Basilica of Santa Maria

Basilica of Santa Maria

Basilica of Santa Maria Pipe Organ

Tempio Maggiore Firenze Part Two

If you stand on the Plaza of Michelangelo and over look the city of Florence you will notice immediately the dome of Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore or Il Duomo. If you look to the left and a little further back you will see another smaller dome. This is the Tempio Maggiore or The Great Synagogue of Florence, Italy.

Tempio Maggiore is one of the largest synagogues in Europe. Although Jews survived in Tuscany better than some other areas of Europe they were still persecuted and second class citizens There was a Jewish emancipation in 1848 of the Jewish communities living in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. The temple was built in the moorish style and designed to fit in as worthy counterpoint to the famous Catholic dome

Comparisons aside this temple is a magnificent structure and museum. It has a fantastic history and had been miraculously preserved and maintained. Sadly, as with most synagogues around the world security is noticeable and you can not take a camera inside. However they do allow you to take photographs with your cell phones.

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Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze Part One

If you stand on the Plaza of Michelangelo and over look the city of Florence you will notice immediately the dome of Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore or Il Duomo. If you look to the left and a little further back you will see another smaller dome. This is the Tempio Maggiore or The Great Synagogue of Florence, Italy.

Tempio Maggiore is one of the largest synagogues in Europe. Although Jews survived in Tuscany better than some other areas of Europe they were still persecuted and second class citizens There was a Jewish emancipation in 1848 of the Jewish communities living in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. The temple was built in the moorish style and designed to fit in as worthy counterpoint to the famous Catholic dome

Comparisons aside this temple is a magnificent structure and museum. It has a fantastic history and had been miraculously preserved and maintained. Sadly, as with most synagogues around the world security is noticeable and you can not take a camera inside. However they do allow you to take photographs with your cell phones.

To see other images and buy apparel or prints, please visit my commercial gallery.

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Tempio Maggiore Firenze

Smokers

I started smoking when I was about 15 and quit when I was 45. When you are a kid you think smoking makes you look cool or tough. Everyone smoked. Even doctors smoked. Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant smoked. Women smoked and somehow it seemed sexy when they did.Tough guys smoked, bad guys smoked. Then the times changed at least in the USA. However when you go to Europe you see a lot more people smoking and I had some time to observe this on our last trip.

What used to look cool or tough now looked sad. People looked nervous while smoking or did they smoke because they were nervous?
Did smokers always look this unhappy and nervous? Did I hen I smoked? Do you if you still smoke?

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Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers

Smokers