Abstract, Art, Blossoms, drink, Flowers, fruit, Landscape, Nature, Outdoors, photography, Seasons, Travel, Weather, wildflowers

Blossoming Prickly Pear

Despite its incredibly fierce passive/aggressive defense, the Prickly Pear Cactus sprouts a very delicate flower about this time every spring. These are a few growing around the perimeter of the Snow to Sun RV Resort’s leash-free dog park and birding center. Prickly Pear blossoms begin opening in the Rio Grande Valley late March. By the end of June to the middle of July tunas will be ripe for harvest and turned into a delicious wine.

Prickly Pear Cactus blossoms

Prickly Pear blossoms appearing in late March, 2018, in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Prickly Pear blossoms appearing in late March, 2018, in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Prickly Pear blossoms appearing in late March, 2018, in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Prickly Pear blossoms appearing in late March, 2018, in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Prickly Pear blossoms appearing in late March, 2018, in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Prickly Pear blossoms appearing in late March, 2018, in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Prickly Pear blossoms appearing in late March, 2018, in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

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Art, Comment, drink, forest, Great Lakes, Landscape, Nature, nostalgia, ocean, photography, rivers, Travel, trees

Some of My Favorite Places

My favorite place is wherever I am…or, most often, someplace else.

Regardless, those places always include green trees, water, moderately warm temperatures, and frequently – adult beverages.

Man tasting wine in a winery

My brother, Charlie, proprietor of Victor Alexander Winery, Bainbridge Island, WA

Lake Michigan shore near Montague, MI

Lake Michigan shore near Montague, MI

Northwest Plains and Mountains

Northwest Plains and Mountains

Sunset at Orange Beach, Alabama

Sunset at Orange Beach, Alabama

Quinta Mazatlan, McAllen, Texas

Quinta Mazatlan, McAllen, Texas

Wharf and Ferris Wheel at Seattle, Washington.

Wharf and Ferris Wheel at Seattle, Washington.

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Architecture, Art, History, photography, Travel

San Juan Hotel

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Historic San Juan Hotel in downtown San Juan, TX. It was home to fabled Texas lawman Tom Mayfield during the last years of his life. The hotel opened in 1920 and is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a prostitute murdered on the second floor.

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Art, Comment, Landscape, Nature, Outdoors, photography, Weather

A Little Late

Hitting the snooze button proved a huge mistake this morning. I missed the best part of the sunrise and the fantastic fog had mostly evaporated. Another mistake was rushing out the door carrying only a wide angle lens. I missed several shots that demanded a longer lens.

On the other hand, I did get this massive flock of grackles rising from the marsh, coursing across the horizon in numbers too great to count. Even though the birds are much too small in the frame (they look like specks of dirt) the flock itself becomes a significant element of the landscape.

Had I been there earlier, I would have missed this shot. Had I carried a longer lens the flock of birds could have been an even more impressive component.

Mistakes: I make so many and learn so little. But then, in a civilized world early morning is no time for learning.

(Click on the photo to see a larger image)

Sunrise with a massive flock of grackles flying across the horizon.

 

Yesterday’s “Daily Prompt” Mistake

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National Parks, Nature, Outdoors, photography, Travel

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Panoramic view of Sleeping Bear Dunes from Pierce Stocking overlook.Panoramic view of Sleeping Bear Dunes from the top of Pierce Stocking Driving Trail in the park. On the horizon to the left are the Manitou Islands; to the right is Glen Lake with the parking lot and visitor center in the middle of the photo. It was a mostly overcast, but delightful day in the park.

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Art, Landscape, Nature, Outdoors, photography, Travel, trees

Afternoon Light

Cottonwood, Mesquite trees and creosote bushes catch the afternoon light in Big Bend National Park.Who would ever think such greenery could exist in a predominately brown, gray desiccated desert? The afternoon sunlight skimming across these trees – I think they are cottonwoods, Mesquite and creosote – was a big surprise in the Big Bend National Park.

All day, we had been driving a self-guided tour in the southwest section of the park seeing nothing but earth tones, ragged volcanic features and dry desert floor. When we happened upon this scene somewhere near the end of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive at the Castalon/Santa Elena junction, I had to stop for the photo. It says everything about the concepts of “end of the day, rocking on the porch and sipping something refreshing.”

What does it say to you?

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Art, Landscape, Nature, photography, Travel, Weather

Windy Winter Day – Gulf Shores, Alabama

Surf at Gulf Shores, AlabamaWaves on the Gulf were 5 to 6 feet high with 20 m.p.h. winds following a very stormy night in late January. The photo was taken with my cell phone from the beach in front of the Sea-n-Suds Restaurant where we had breakfast.

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photography, Photojournalism, Street Photography, Travel

Nuevo Progreso

A sunny Saturday in Nuevo Progreso, Tamaulipas, Mexico just across the border from Progreso, Texas. It’s a tourist town catering to Winter Texans who come south to escape the cold winter in the north. Primary businesses are pharmacies and dentist offices. Prescription medicines and dental work are less than half the cost for the same products and services in the U.S.

However, street vendors sell food and trinkets throughout the town. Many of the salespeople are very young children. Although they appear impoverished, popular legend has it that these children and their parents go home at night to beautiful homes in various communities in Texas and  upscale neighborhoods in Reynosa, Mexico.

(Click on each of the photos to see a larger image.)

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Little boy sells chewing gum to patrons in an outdoor restaurant.

 

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Little boy sells backscratchers to patrons in an outdoor restaurant.

 

girl sells trinkets

Little girl sells trinkets to patrons in an outdoor restaurant.

 

Musicians perform in a cafe

Troubadours perform in a bakery/cafe.

 

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Man sells hooked rugs from a stall on the main street.

 

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Man sells knit hats from a stall on the main street.

 

Waiter prepares flaming Bananas Foster.

Waiter prepares flaming Bananas Foster table-side at Angel’s Restaurant.

 

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Woman prepares nopales (prickly pear cactus leaves) for sale from her stall on the main street.

Food cart

Taqueria food cart on the main street.

 

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