seagull

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Sometimes you just need a simple image to make you feel better –  I spent all of Saturday editing photos for a little book about my Mexico vacation —- And I found this gem among the pile – Seagulls get a bad rap because of all the scavenging they do combined with them being just common folk – I can relate to that —- Doing what they have to do to get by.

I like the calmness here without any retouching – no color adjustment – Just a simple bird on a beach.

What is wrong with that?

Ephemeral

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June 5th 2012 – The transit of Venus that I failed to capture….another failure? At least I thought it was — but no!!!

Here I am with my camera and a few lenses from the wielding shop – dark enough so I can look into the sun and photograph this historical event.

I am with my wife and kids (who thought this might be fun) and off we go to make history.

Clouds – and more clouds —–I can’t get a clean shot of the sun!

I am sad.

So, since I am by the Hudson River anyway – I decide to put my new Nikon DSLR camera in manual mode and take a few shots.

I am really new at this and I barely know what I am doing.

I have taken a couple photography classes but I am in the bottom group of students.

Also – I am getting severely hooked on Photoshop – I love it but with little result – It takes and takes and takes while giving nothing in return.

But return, stubbornly I do —- to get kicked in the head again and again.

This is a sickness. I need help

And today I got it

This is the pay-off.

This is the first image I photographed and processed that was any good – in fact, I have been chasing this bad boy ever since.

This picture started me on a journey.

Because I knew if I could prove this was not a fluke – I could be happy with my photos and fill a void – achieving excellence is a rare and beautiful thing.

I have come close in the months since.

But not all the way here.

This is the reflected light of Venus transiting our sun – coming around again in 2117 (I may not make that one).

Ephemeral

Buddhism and accepting my Ox-ness

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Chichén Itzá wall: photo credit Wayne at Cave of Fame

Road to to Chichén Itzá part 2:

“There are no accidents, there are doorways that will open to change your situation but there are no accidents”.

I am paraphrasing what the Chinese man said to me on a bus ride through the Mexican scrub-land. This is how he, as a Buddhist, approaches his day and his life.

This led to a brief discussion on the linear nature of Christianity and the circular nature of Buddhism with a heavy dose of Chinese Zodiac thrown in the mix.

My animal is a Spring Cow according to this deal.

I am destined as a hardworking-unappreciated-oxen with a life of struggle – strike one up for his religion … pretty much nailed my existence to this point—-“What about those doorways again?”

He was not looking to convert me and I was not looking to convert him – We are just two guys from different cultures having a discussion on a bus over a beer.

I found it fascinating down to my core.

No accidents

Not even one minor slip on the traction of fate?

No.

No accidents.

Weeks later that is still starting to sink in – concepts that hold deep validation tend to churn around in my brain over and over until they find a place to rest.

Less thinking and more doing is always the right path for me – my brain is going to spin endlessly with little result if I let it. Maybe I better get back out in that field and pull that plow? – That is where I am at my best — maybe the dude is right?

The bigger part of me says that all things work together for the good of those with faith.

I have been running on faith for a while now – I got to say that you find yourself in some amazing places when you do that.

Places like this.

When you meet up with other pilgrims on roads to discovery; clashes of thought leave deep impressions. Even different cultures and different beliefs become splashes in the same river of universal truth.

Good is good and bad is bad and we are better helping each other than hurting each other.

My Chinese friend said we get along in this life because we treated each other well in a previous life.

I am really glad I met him and made a new friend (my perspective), which is reacquainting with an old friend (his perspective).

Either way – it works

No accidents.

 

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Road to Chichén Itzá

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“El Castillo” The temple of the winged serpent Kukulkan. He was a bit of a bass-ass and live-heart-ripping-out monster-god-dude.

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It is impressive to look up and think – “Glad I’m not being sacrificed today!” … but, you can imagine the scene.

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Kukulkan guards the steps to his Temple.

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Here he is again on the “wall of skulls” where they use to place the heads of defeated warriors. No – these ancient Mayans were not easy going in any way. Small and very angry people by all accounts on the walls at this site.

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More graphics with common themes of heart-ripping by various animal type gods.

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The ball game arena is impressive. This is detail of a high place for important people to sit. Kind of Mayan luxury boxes -This is where Mayan Chris Christie would hug Mayan Jerry Jones after the game.

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They call this “the snail” – believed to be an ancient observatory…you know, so the sacrifices lined up with the stars.

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Another view of “The Snail”

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Here is “actual size” me in front of some ruins (I am not tall,…ok,…I may not even be average height, but here – I am good!).  This ancient world is a good fit, except for all the extreme violence and hardship of course.

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Shipping tourists to this site is big business – these buses are new, clean and plentiful. Here is a selfie of me and my son taken in the reflection of a shinny wheel.


This was a great trip — I need to say that all the violence and sacrifice came from the tour guides who would remind us of a chilling new way to be dispatched at each ruin we visited. This site was already abandoned a couple hundred years before the Spanish arrived – where we had another great round of blood-letting and savagery ensue.

I loved the food at the Mayan restaurant we visited after touring the site.

And I feel a connection and sadness for the Mayan people that still live in the area of their “lost’ civilization. It seems that they do not share in the fruits of this great peninsula  as much as those that came after them.

I was only here a week so I may not have an accurate grasp — they have been here for thousands of years — they have already seen their world completely destroyed at least twice over — and they still approach the day with a smile.

Cheers from the cave!

You marking me, Mate?

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You marking me?

That is what the athletic Australian dude said to me in the pool – He said it again, or more like half-yelled it with a little disbelief and disdain thrown in – “You marking me?”

“For as long as I can”  I finally answered and my mind raced around the track of how I got here.

Here is:  Playing a game of football in a pool in Cancun. This did not seem possible – I mean regular people don’t go to Cancun – We go to *Hampton Beach or some other dinky-little-past- its-prime tourist ghetto. We upgrade from McDonald’s to Red Robin and think we are living the dream.

We don’t end up in a pool in Mexico trying to out-swim an Australian—especially one with twenty less years and thirty less pounds of body fat on him.  I think by “marking him”, he means “covering him” – which is indeed what I am trying to do because his team is destroying my team.

This madness must stop – I am going to give it all I got. I could not “mark” him for too long, but at least he went back to his section of the pool.

And my mind is still racing.

Two week-long hospital stays for me with the last one including major surgery since this trip was booked.

There was also about three weeks of recent on and off hospital time for my wife – waiting until two days before we leave before the doctor gives his blessing on the trip. She was in real bad shape only a month ago. We must be insane to leave the United States at a time like this.

We were insane – this is not practical- this is not a good choice.

And we are not financially secure enough to do this: we are just at the point that we are starting to turn the tide – instead of the wolf barking at the door – he is out in the drive-way yelping. But he ain’t going away for a few years yet, even if we stay on track.

What will our neighbors think? – What will our family think?

We should be home and miserable.

This is insane.

My wife simply stated that we have no idea what the future will bring and that we have never been anywhere tropical and that her one wish for this family is we do that please-and that we do it now, while we still can.

So that is how I found myself on the blue team for gametime in a pool in Cancun. We got shellacked by the red team by the way. I mean – you must be crazy to try an’ out-swim an Australian, right?

Yeah, we were crazy.

And we still are.

Thanks to my wife for making us take the best vacation this family has ever had.

 

*Hampton Beach, New Hampshire – a dinky-little-past-its-prime tourist ghetto.

 

 

Rule of Thirds Challenge – My new best friend in Mexico

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From “The Cave” on location in Mexico.

 

This guy would visit us each day at poolside and we named him “Fred”.

Like many of my WordPress friends: I have no idea what his or her real name is or even if he is a him or a her. But always happy for the visit.

Why?

Because he/she gives me a unique iguana perspective that makes me think, smile and feel better.

And he doesn’t have to do anymore than he does to get that reaction. In this case; just crawl out and grab a little sun to warm up in the morning.

Just like my favorite bloggers – making the internet a better place by doing what they do.

The lesson here is “be yourself and enjoy being yourself” – because that gives others the courage to enjoy being themselves as well.

I love Mexico.

Cheers and viya con dios from the cave.

 

 

Photo Challenge – Scale

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/scale/

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OK, I admit to a cheap re-heat of an oldie – but almost nobody saw this post when first published and it fits the challenge so well.

From the top of White Face Mountain is my big backyard called “The Adirondack Park”.

I am thinking that I may be “coming out” to the blogging world as a photographer — please forgive me – it is starting to happen and I can’t stop it.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Depth

I went classic perspective with train tracks – I admit to Photoshop because … well … there will be Photoshop in everything I do …especially for making a simple point about keeping a clear path in murky times. Focusing on the tracks instead of the landscape tends to clear things up.

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I turned around to capture the sun rising through the trees – and, yes again — I over-saturated and blurred my way to a respectable image – This is my take on “can’t see the forest for the trees” – which is a stretch for a perspective challenge —– But — Both  these themes are strong mantras to me right now – so I share them with you.

After looking at work by talented photographers around WordPress – I almost did not hit the publish button – but then this whole blogging deal is about putting down what we are and getting on a trajectory for improvement. I need to set the stones down in order to step on them and move forward.

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And this is all for fun anyway, right?

Cheers from the cave!

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/depth/

Winter scenes


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Taking a few pictures that give an idea of what we have around the cave this time of year. I went to one of my favorite places on the Hudson river and there were more than a couple hunters with high-powered rifles in these same woods. I understand the passion about the sport and the need to keep the deer population in check (because we killed all the wolves that used to do this job without having to spend $800 bucks at the nearest Cabela’s!)—-having said that—–I really did not want to get shot at—and I wasn’t,… so….

 

Cheers from the cave!

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