Fungi & Flowers

Mixed Kingdoms

Tree Fungi and Flowers, Chena Lakes, Alaska

What did the autotroph say to the heterotroph: Do you think the bow is too much?

Join K’lee & Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge: Fungi

 

Only in America

Only In America and Some Gave All

For me, 2017 has been a year in which American freedoms and ideals have been under attack. What a difference fifteen years can make. When Brooks and Dunn released Only in America in 2001, it was a celebration of diversity and dreams. As they sang: Everybody gets a chance to dance. It is so sad that the United States has fallen off its pedestal under the current administration, and the fall is accelerating. Fear and isolationism have become the new watchwords. During the 2016 presidential campaign, I learned a hard lesson. Many Americans not only don’t share my worldview (well, I knew this but I didn’t know the breath of the chasm), they want to devolve to a time when racism, misogyny, and religious intolerance were both accepted and promoted. I can’t understand how reasonable Americans gleefully admire a president who has no intellectual curiosity, accept alternate facts without question, promote lunatic conspiracy theories (the latest: the US has established a colony of children on Mars for research and pedophilia), devalue education and ignore science, and brand hate filled messages and threats across social media as patriotism.

Someday, I hope the United States can again aspire to be a place where everyone can dance and dream.

I have included two links to each song incase the official music video doesn’t work in some countries.

 

On the 4th of July, it is important we remember those who have served to keep as free so that we can dream. I love Ray by Billy Cyrus’s 1992 song Some Gave All, in the days he still had a mullet. Its message is one we must remember. Some gave all for everyone, not for one party, not for one social movement, not for one religion, not for the few.

 

 

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

America, The Beautiful

From the spruce forest of the interior of Alaska, to the windswept prairies of South Dakota, and on to the skyscrapers of New York City, I spent the last month traveling over 8500 air and land miles. The United States is a huge country with diverse and sometimes crazy land and cityscapes. I am lucky enough to have family living in many parts of the country. I flew to Fairbanks (North Pole), Alaska, then on to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I drove with one of my sisters from Sioux Falls to New York City. I took the train on the last leg of my journey back to Alexandria, Virginia. Blogging was low on my agenda because I love spending time with family and enjoying what this vast country has to offer. I attended two high school graduations, went camping, explored an eccentric sculpture park on the prairie, and visited the library of  a 19th/20th century financier and art patron. I topped off my month-long journey by experiencing (yes, not just seeing) Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly. The Divine Miss M is always an experience.

Alaska

South Dakota

New York City

Grand Finale

Leaving the Theater, Hello Dolly with Bette Midler.

Muse

I’ve Got The Whole World In My Hands

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Camel Rider, Thar Desert, Rajasthan, India

Hanoi Glow

Market After Dark, Hanoi, Vietman

Hagia Sofia from a rooftop.

Hagia Sofia, Istanbul, Turkey.

Ancient acacia tree, Deadvlei, Sossusvlei, Namibia

Ancient Acacia Tree, Deadvlei, Sossusvlei, Namibia

Young school children on island in Madu Ganga River, Sri Lanka

Young school children on island in Madu Ganga River, Sri Lanka

Playing with Fire. Sri Lanka dance group in traditional Kandy region costumes prepare to fire walk.

Playing with Fire. Sri Lanka dance group in traditional Kandy region costumes prepare to fire walk.

Chandelier, Florentine Hall, Peles Castle, Romania

Chandelier, Florentine Hall, Peles Castle, Romania

Plains Zebra in Etosha

Plains Zebra in Etosha

Livid Sky Over the Potrero Trading Post, New Mexico

Livid Sky Over the Potrero Trading Post, New Mexico

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At Prayer, Golden Mosque, Singapore

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Traditional Window Decoration, VIllage Museum in Bucharest, Romania

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Bishnoi Potter, Rajasthan, India

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Statues on Facade of Notre Dame in Paris, France

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The Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Floating Houseboat, Tonle' Sap Lake, Cambodia

Floating Houseboat, Tonle’ Sap Lake, Cambodia

Tyn Church after Dark, Old Town Square

Tyn Church after Dark, Old Town Square

Badger Leaves Port

The Badger Ferry Heading West Crossing Lake Michigan, USA

Parisian Pest Control Shop Window Display

Parisian Pest Control Shop Window Display

Family, The Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Family, The Taj Mahal, Agra, India

The Bird Men Of Beijing

The Bird Men Of Beijing

Buddhist offering lamp at puja in Kataragama, Sri Lanka

Buddhist offering lamp at puja in Kataragama, Sri Lanka

Vesuvius from Pompeii

Vesuvius from Pompeii, Italy

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American Falls, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, New York

Alphonse Mucha window detail, St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle complex

Alphonse Mucha window detail, St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle complex

Joseph Roulette, explorer, adventurer, pioneer, American Fur Company,

Joseph Roulette, explorer, adventurer, pioneer, American Fur Company,

Smiling faces on towers of the Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, Angkor, Cambodia

Smiling faces on towers of the Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, Angkor, Cambodia

Sunrise in Pushkar

Sunrise in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India

The world and its diverse cultures are my muse and inspire my wanderlust. Since retiring, I have made the most of my inspiration. In the last year I visited Prague and Cseky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Istanbul (Turkey). I have taken two road trips in the U.S, with stops including Niagara Falls, Lake Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Carolina. I had my first taste of poutine in London, Ontario, Canada, saw elephants in the wild in Etosha National Park, and received a blessing at a Buddhist temple in Katagarama, Sri Lanka. My muse has been good to me.

 

WPC:Muse

Travel theme: Environment

Protecting Wildlife Habitat in Sri Lanka

Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900 and a national park in 1938. It is home to 215 species of bird and 44 species of mammals, including leopards and elephants.  This wetland area is one of several ecosystems found in the park.

Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Travel theme: Environment

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