May 12, 2016
Stonehenge and its Replicas
Did you know that there are several Stonehenge replicas! I have visited one in Washington State, and one in Western Australia. I visited the original in England, years ago, and by viewing these replicas it is nice to see what the original probably looked like.
On a lonely bluff overlooking the Columbia River and the town of Maryhill, Washington, is a full-size replica Stonehenge. An almost identical copy of the more famous English Stonehenge, it was built by Sam Hill, a road builder, as a memorial to those who died in World War I. Dedicated in 1918, the memorial wasn’t completed until 1930. Hill passed away soon after he finally saw his masterpiece completed. He was buried at the base of the bluff; but, because he wished to be left alone, there is no easy path to his resting place. Pictures of this Stonehenge will follow;
The project began when Hill was mistakenly informed that the original Stonehenge had been used as a sacrificial site. He thus constructed his replica as a reminder that “humanity is still being sacrificed to the god of war.
The dedication plaque on this American Stonehenge reads:
“In memory of the soldiers of Klickitat County who gave their lives in defense of their country. This monument is erected in the hope that others inspired by the example of their valor and their heroism may share in that love of liberty and burn with that fire of patriotism which death can alone quench.”
Stonehenge in Australia
Stonehenge in AU with Alter Stone
Stonehenge in AU with Alter Stone in the round
Stonehenge in AU
Esperance AU soltice point
Esperance Stonehenge has been constructed on the South Coast of Western Australia.
There are thought to be 66 large, permanent replicas of Stonehenge throughout the world.
It is a full size replica of the original “Stonehenge” in the UK, as it would have looked around 1950BC.
137 Stones of Esperance Pink Granite quarried adjacent to the Beale’s property, in Esperance, Western Australia.
The 10 Trilithon Stones in a horseshoe pattern weigh between 28-50 tonnes each, standing with the 18 tonne lintels to a height of 8 metres.
Inside the Trilithon Horseshoe stands another Horseshoe of 19 Blue Stones.
The Trilithon Stones are surrounded by a circle of 30 Sarsen Stones weighing 28 tonnes each and standing almost 5 metres high including the 7 tonne lintels on top.
Positioned between the Sarsen Circle and the Trilithon Stones is a full circle of 40 smaller stones, referred to as the Bluestone Circle.
The Altar Stone weighs 9 tonne and lies in front of the tallest Trilithon Stones.
The structure is aligned with the Summer Solstice – Sunrise – Esperance WA. The Station Stones are positioned on this line to allow the suns rays to pass through to the Altar. The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year (22nd December). The sunset on the Winter Solstice is (June 21st – the shortest day of the year). This is the same line as the Summer Solstice Sunrise.
For after hours contact call 90759003 or 0457647325.
Apr 29, 2016
New Zealand Birds
New Zealand baby Robin
New Zealand Stitchbird on Tiritiri Matangi
New Zealand KAKA
Oyster catcher Tiritiri Matangi
Sandpiper guarding the nest, Tiritiri Matangi
Tui on Tiritiri Matangi
Tui on Tiritiri Matangi
Takahes in a neighborhood
Weka bird hiding in Leaves
Kingfisher in New Zealand
Cape Barren Goose
Bellbird Tiritiri Matangi
New Zealand Gannet colony
New Zealand Gannet colony
New Zealand Birds
When humans arrived in New Zealand about 700 years ago the environment changed quickly. Several species were hunted to extinction, most notably the moa a giant flightless bird, (Check out http://www.bagheera.com/inthewild/ext_moas.htm) and harpagornis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haast’s_eagle). The most damage was caused by habitat destruction and the other animals humans brought with them, particularly rats – the Polynesian rat or kiore introduced by Māori and the brown rat and black rat subsequently introduced by Europeans. Mice, dogs, cats, stoats, weasels, pigs, goats, deer, hedgehogs, and Australian possums also put pressure upon native bird species. The flightless birds were especially sensitive.
Consequently, many bird species became extinct, and others remain critically endangered. Several species are now confined only to offshore islands, or to fenced “ecological islands” from which predators have been eliminated. New Zealand is today a world leader in the techniques required to bring severely endangered species back from the brink of extinction.
During the early years of European settlement many bird species were introduced for both sport and for a connection with the settler’s homelands. New Zealand had a starkly different appearance to the countries from where the settlers came.
A wonderful place to visit near extinct birds is Tiritiri Matangi an Island off the NZ mainland. The following is from their website, and most of the bird pictures are also from the island.
Tiritiri Matangi Island
is a wildlife sanctuary and one of New Zealand’s most important and exciting conservation projects. It is located 30km north east of central Auckland and just 4km from the end of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. A hundred and twenty years of farming had seen this 220-hectare island stripped of 94% of its native bush but between 1984 and 1994, volunteers planted between 250,000 and 300,000 trees. The Island is now 60% forested with the remaining 40% left as grassland for species preferring open habitat.
In conjunction with this planting program, all mammalian predators were eradicated and a number of threatened and endangered bird and reptile species have been successfully introduced, including the flightless takahe, one of the world’s rarest species, and the tuatara. There are few places in New Zealand where you can readily see and walk amongst so many rare species.
The project is managed by the Department of Conservation in conjunction with the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi Incorporated.
A book on New Zealand birds–http://www.whitcoulls.co.nz/native-birds-of-new-zealand-5955027
Feb 1, 2016
Have you ever been to the Cadillac Ranch just outside of Amarillo Texas?
For a collection of junk it sure draws a lot of attention from people all over the World as they travel Route 66 across America.
It was started by a group of art-hippies. A Route 66 highlight. Read the article from the website:
On a Caddy at Cadillac Ranch
more information on;https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_Ranch
The pictures one sees on the internet and recently will be different as the colors and pictures on the cars, even the cars themselves constantly undergo change.
Field review by the editors.
An aristocracy of roadside attractions has been raised over the years: glorified in photo essays, calendars, blogs, and social media fiefdoms; spotlighted in video and film; instantly recognizable as icons. These Great Monuments, we are told, represent America’s hopes and dreams, art and commerce, materialism and spiritualism, folly and fame.
Cadillac Ranch is one of them. Professional authors and screenwriters know a pre-baked, easy-to-get symbol when they see it. Who are we to buck the trend?
Standing along Route 66 west of Amarillo, Texas, Cadillac Ranch was invented and built by a group of art-hippies imported from San Francisco. They called themselves The Ant Farm, and their silent partner was Amarillo billionaire Stanley Marsh 3. He wanted a piece of public art that would baffle the locals, and the hippies came up with a tribute to the evolution of the Cadillac tail fin. Ten Caddies were driven into one of Stanley Marsh 3’s fields, then half-buried, nose-down, in the dirt (supposedly at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza). They faced west in a line, from the 1949 Club Sedan to the 1963 Sedan de Ville, their tail fins held high for all to see on the empty Texas panhandle.
Another photo op fatality. (Darren Collins, victim)
That was in 1974. People would stop along the highway, walk out to view the cars — then deface them or rip off pieces as souvenirs. Stanley Marsh 3 and The Ant Farm were tolerant of this public deconstruction of their art — although it doomed the tail fins — and eventually came to encourage it.
Decades have passed. The Cadillacs have now been in the ground as art longer than they were on the road as cars. They are stripped to their battered frames, splattered in day-glo paint splooge, barely recognizable as automobiles.
Yet Cadillac Ranch is more popular than ever. It’s become a ritual site for those who travel The Mother Road. The smell of spray paint hits you from a hundred yards away; the sound of voices chattering in French, German, and UK English makes this one of the most polyglot places between the UN and Las Vegas. We last visited just after a Texas-size downpour, and yet a steady procession of acolytes trudged through the ankle-deep mud to make their oblations. Many were barefoot, cheerfully slogging through the muck of livestock pee and poo (and parasites) and spray can trash, happy to be there.
Graffiti illegal sign.
Despite its exposed location in an empty field, Cadillac Ranch seems to give its art-anarchists a sense of privacy and anonymity, like a urinal stall in a men’s room. Individual painters take a stance facing one of the cars, then let it fly. Surrounding visitors keep their distance, perhaps less out of courtesy than from a desire to stay clear of the spray cloud. The Europeans really seemed to enjoy attacking the cars during our visit, maybe because they’ve lacked a good graffiti canvas since the toppling of the Berlin Wall.
Tourists are always welcome at Cadillac Ranch. If you bring spray paint, make sure to snap some photos. Because whatever you create at Cadillac Ranch will probably only last a few hours before it’s created over by someone else.
– See more at: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2220#sthash.IxI293xR.dpuf
Cadillac Ranch – Information about Journey across America through The Mother Road – Route 66, Route 395, Cadillac Ranch and Americas National Park. Maps, Articles, Local weather, Event calendar, News, Pictures and important information for travellers like itinerary, Identity papers and travel cost.
Paint Your Wagons: The Many Colors Of Cadillac Ranch
Jul 18, 2015
Check out my Smug Mug photos. Birds of Australia, (A Cassowary is the photo featured from AU) Birds of US Butterflies. More photos coming.
Just added NZ, New Zealand
to my website, will add them to this Smug Mug site soon. Check out FordsFotos.net, or FordsFotos.com. I uploaded one of the NZ birds to give you a heads up.
Jul 14, 2015
A visit to the Galapagos Islands is an amazing experience. Here are a few pictures from our recent trip. Some of the wildlife on the Galapagos are found nowhere else in the world, and vary even from island to island within the Galapagos area. For instance one type of iguana are found on one island, and not on others. The huge tortoise that has been found to live over 100 years, are found on one island and not on others.
The Galápagos Islands
a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, is a province of Ecuador, lying about 1,000km off its coast, and considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife-viewing. Its isolated terrain shelters a diversity of plant and animal species, many found nowhere else. Charles Darwin visited in 1835, and his observation of Galápagos’ species later inspired his theory of evolution.
The Finches : Darwin’s finches
Darwin’s finches are a group of about fifteen species of passerine birds. They are often classified as the subfamily Geospizinae or tribe Geospizini. They belong to the tanager family and are not closely related to the true finches. Wikipedia
Kicker Rock (a.k.a. Leon Dormido), a vertical tuff cone formation that juts up nearly 500 feet from the sea.
The view from the summit of Bartolome Island
Area: 17,375 mi²
Population: 25,000 (2010)
Capital: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
Galapagos is located on the Nazca tectonic plate. This perpetually moving plate is heading eastward over the Galapagos hot spot and has formed the chain of islands. The islands were formed through the layering and lifting of repeated volcanic action. This geographic movement is correlated to the age of the islands, as the eastern islands (San Cristóbal and Española) are millions of years older than the western islands (Isabela and Fernandina).
Most of the islands have a distinctive conical shape that is often associated with volcanic action. The mountainous islands have been formed through continuing eruption, building layer upon layer. Due to this volcanic formation, the islands are characterized by many steep slopes, with heights ranging from a few meters above sea level to more than 5000 feet above sea level.
Each major island, with the exception of the largest island, Isabela, consists of a single large volcano. Isabela was formed when six volcanoes joined above sea level. Geologically, the Galapagos Islands are quite young, probably no more than five million years old. Some of the westernmost islands, which are the most volcanically active, may only be hundreds of thousands of years old and are still being formed today.
Blue Footed Boobie and a chick
Frigate Male with inflated Gular
Male Frigate with mate
Male Frigate with mate
Blue Footed Boobie and a chick
Blue-Footed Boobie head
Sea iguana on sand
Red Faced lizard
Sea iguana with a Blue back
Pelican of Galagagos
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