Tuesday, November 30, 2010

T is for Thor Heyerdahl's work on on Tenerife

These photos were taken on the island of Tenerife
during our Barcelona-Canary Islands cruise with Royal Caribbean, in 2008.

In 1991 Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002) studied the Pyramids of Güímar on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, and declared that they were not random stone heaps but actual pyramids. He believed that he discovered their special astronomical orientation, claiming that the ancient people who built them were most likely sun worshipers due to the alignment of the pyramids. Heyerdahl advanced a theory according to which the Canaries had been bases of ancient shipping between America and the Mediterranean.
Heyerdahl's expeditions were spectacular and caught the public imagination. Although much of his work remains unaccepted within the scientific community, Heyerdahl increased public interest in ancient history and anthropology. He also showed that long distance ocean voyages were possible with ancient designs. As such, he was a major practitioner of experimental archaeology. He introduced readers of all ages to the fields of archaeology and ethnology. (Information from Wikipedia)

Posted for the meme ABC Wednesday

To find out what other bloggers from around the world have done with the letter T, please click

Monday, November 29, 2010

They just wander down the street here in my world!

Home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play...
                                                                                                                                               Photo by Richard Schear
The snowfall had stopped for a day or so, and the snow on the ground was beginning to look a little scruffy Saturday morning, when suddenly I saw a deer outside the dining room window. Dick managed to grab his camera and rush to the kitchen window before the deer disappeared down the street toward the coulee. A healthy-looking young three-point buck, he didn't seem to be in much of a hurry.

Not long after that, the snow began to fall again, and it kept snowing for a day and a half, until everything was covered in sparkling white again. Then this morning, we awoke to the sight of hoar frost covering everything with glistening white. Also known as radiation frost, formed when the objects are colder than the air, it is not particularly good for plants and trees, but hoar frost is beautiful to see.

Posted for My World Tuesday.
For a glimpse into other worlds around the planet, please click

Look who jumped on my shoulder to have his picture taken

Photo by Richard Schear
See how shocked I look? Trained monkeys jump onto the shoulders of unsuspecting cruise ship passengers disembarking in Casablanca. Apparently their owners expect money for monkey rental, but I don't think Dick paid for the privilege of catching me with my mouth open. I had thought they were the same species as the "apes" found in Gibraltar, but our ship didn't stop there on our Canary Islands cruise out of Barcelona a few years ago, so I had to resort to Wikipedia to confirm my suspicion:

The Barbary Macaque population in Gibraltar is the only one in the whole of the European continent, and, unlike (the macaque population in) North Africa, it is thriving. At present there are some 230 animals in five troupes occupying the area of the Upper Rock, though occasional forays into the town may result in damages to personal property.[1] As they are a tailless species, they are also known locally as Barbary Apes or Rock Apes, despite the fact that they are monkeys (Macaca sylvanus). The local people simply refer to them as monos (meaning monkeys) when conversing in Spanish or Llanito (the local vernacular).
The Gibraltar Barbary Macaque is considered Gibraltar's unofficial national animal.
All Gibraltar Barbary Macaques are descended from North African populations of Barbary Macaques. DNA evidence has established beyond doubt that the present population of Gibraltar macaques is of relatively recent Algerian and Moroccan origin. No traces were found of a third source for their DNA, namely of any ancient, no longer surviving Iberian population.[2] An earlier theory, now dis-proven by the DNA evidence, was that the original Gibraltar macaques were a remnant of populations that had spread throughout Southern Europe[3] during the Pliocene, up to 5.5 million years ago.[4]
The original introduction of the macaques was probably by the Moors (who occupied southern Iberia, including Spain and Portugal, between 711 and 1492) for use as pets.[5]
The macaque population (was) present on The Rock long before Gibraltar became English in the 18th century.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Microfiction Monday #59

My take on this week's prompt:

A no-pets policy? But my wife loves her cattle so much! What? You don't mean the herd? You mean my leopard-skin hoodie? But, sire, please!

My friend Suzanne says:
"Is this the way to Pamplona?"


"Honestly when people told me he was full of bull
this isn't exactly what I thought. I've definitely had better first dates."

Posted for the Microfiction Monday meme,
hosted by Susan at Stony River. Thanks, Susan!

Every week, Susan posts a picture and we are invited to write a story or poem about it. We can only use 140 characters (the maximum in a 'tweet') including punctuation and spaces. So that we don't have to count on our fingers (and miss one), she told us where to find a character-counter, right here!

To see what other people from around the world have seen in this picture, click

Many mellow yellows in Old Town San Diego

Photos by Richard Schear

One of the things Dick did when we went to San Diego for the first World Baseball Classic was wander through Old Town, which has become a major tourist attraction since I first visited it many years ago. Musicians, restaurants, displays of old-time gear and transportation provided photo opportunities.

Posted for Mellow Yellow Monday, hosted every week by Drowsey Monkey.
To see the yellows other people's cameras caught, please click

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pet Pride means grooming your dog daily, and Lindy loves it

Lindy's mom needed more practice with her new camera, so when Lindy's daddy was grooming her and Lindy was soooo relaxed, her mom took some photos. The one above was shot with the new Samsung WB5500, using the flash. The one below was shot with the same camera, without a flash. You can really see Lindy's curls above, and her lovely color below.
The sun was low in the southwest, so even the light from a very small west-facing window was sufficient to capture Lindy's laid-back posture and her lovely strawberry-blonde hair. Lindy's mom and dad think she is not only a gorgeous Golden Retriever, but also a wonderful member of the family.

Posted for the Pet Pride meme, hosted by Bozo and his people in Mumbai.
"Hi, Bozo!" from Lindy.
To see other pets the way their proud owners see them, click

Shadow Shot Sunday Snow

Photos by Kay Davies
Posted for the Shadow Shot Sunday meme hosted by Tracy at Hey Harriet!
To see other shadows from around the world, please click

Friday, November 26, 2010

These camera critters really are elk, says Dick, and I...well, I...

    Some years ago Dick and I were in the car, not far from home, when he suddenly shouted, "Elk!" at the top of his lungs, and stuck his arm under my nose in an attempt to direct my attention toward the field on my right.
    "No, dear," I said, when I had extracted his arm from my nose. "Those are pronghorn antelope. Little pronghorn antelope. Elk are large, sort of moose-sized."
    "Snrffle, mrff," he said, or something sounding like that. "I got the word wrong."
    "You probably don't even have elk around here," I said, because I spent most of my life in British Columbia where wildlife is really wild. BC is not where the deer and the antelope play, like Alberta is.
    "We do, we do," he insisted. "You'll see."
    But I never did see. I've never seen an elk in Alberta.
    Dick came home one day last year with a story about seeing elk an hour or two north of here, but he couldn't produce photographic evidence, so I refused to believe him. No proof, no "Oh, darling, aren't you wonderful?"
    Recently, however, he came home from a business trip waving his camera in the air, and, once more, yelling "Elk!" at the top of his lungs.
    "Where?" I asked, pretending not to see his camera. I looked out the window, but there wasn't even a deer or a rabbit out there. Wasn't even a dog.
    "In here, look, look!"
    "I'm rather busy right now, dear. Maybe later you can show me what you think is an elk," I said, smiling on the inside but looking like a very strict, very busy wife on the outside. Or a very busy blogger, anyway.
    "Just look here!" he said, pointing to the LCD screen on his camera. "What do you think those are?"
    "Spots," I said, "four spots."
    "Just a minute, just a minute, I'll zoom in on them."
    "Oh," I replied, straight-faced, "now there are only two spots."
Four spots
    "Here, here, here," he said. "This one's better, look at this one."
    "It's out of focus," I replied, looking at it.
    "Oh, that's the wrong one. Here, this one is better."
    And he was right. Two elk. Two large elk. And he hadn't really had time to leave Alberta, unless he had gone to Saskatchewan, which would have been silly.
    So, now I know there are elk in Alberta. And the third picture was better than the second one, also better than the first, for that matter, although you can enlarge the first one and see the four spots are elk, too. Not antelope, not deer, not rabbits. Elk. Yep.

Two of the four elk, rather nice-looking ones, too. 
To see other critters that have found their way into people's cameras, please click
Posted by Kay for Misty Dawn's Camera Critters photo meme.
Both photos, in this instance, are by Richard Schear.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sky watching can be a little tricky in Costa Rican cloud forest

Sky? What sky? I don't see any sky!

The jungles in places like the Monteverde area of Costa Rica are called "cloud forests" because a great deal of the moisture comes from low-lying clouds as seen in the photos above.
Pictured left are mosses and fungi which grow on the trees in a cloud forest.
Photos by Richard Schear

Posted for Skywatch Friday,
hosted every week by a group of
talented and dedicated people.

To see skies from around the world, please click

Gordon Edward Davies, June 2, 1924 - November 25, 2009

One day when out walking I chanced to see,
A bonnie wee lass wi' a glint in her ee'.
Says I to the lassie “Will you walk fo' a while?
 My kilt is MacKenzie o' the H.L.I.”
She look'd at me shyly and said wi' a sigh,
“A Gordon for me, 
 a Gordon for me,
 The Black Watch are braw, the Seaforths and a'
 But the cocky wee Gordon's the pride o' them a'.”

Gordon Davies and Pauline MacKenzie
were married March 7, 1946 in Vancouver, BC.

When I’m lonely, dear white heart,
Black the night and wild the sea,
By love’s light, my foot finds
The old pathway to thee.

Before she died in 2007, Mother said she wanted nothing in the newspapers
until Dad joined her, and then she wanted:

Pauline Davies, 1924-2007
Gordon Davies, 1924-2009

Sweethearts since the age of 14, at school in New Westminster, BC, Gordon and Pauline were seldom apart except for World War II, when Gordon, a musician and artist, served with the Canadian Army Show, whose job it was to keep up the morale of all Allied troops stationed in Britain.

Dad's two books,
The Living Rivers of British Columbia;
The Living Rivers of British Columbia and Yukon,
are still available from

After their retirement from the family printing business, Mother accompanied Dad on all his travels up and down the west coast of North America, from Mexico's Baja Peninsula up to Alaska and Yukon, stopping at almost every river in between. In his books, Dad calls Mom his "camp cook" but she is the one who kept his spirits up, with good food and her constant, beautiful whistling. She could whistle any tune the two of them knew, and there were many.

I love a lassie, a bonnie bonnie lassie,
She can warble like a blackbird in the dell.

In 1996 my brothers and their wives, my sister, her husband, and Mom and Dad and I all went to Scotland and England, so Dad could renew his acquaintance with the places he had visited only in time of war, and so he could do a bit of fishing. Gordon Davies was the friend of every river he ever met.

Land of my high endeavour, 
Land of the shining river, 
Land of my heart forever, 
Scotland the brave.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

But, baby, it's Thursday Theme Song inside...

 I really can't stay
But, baby, it's cold outside
I got to go ’way
But, baby, it's cold outside
This evening has been
Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice
I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice
My mother will start to worry
Beautiful, what's your hurry
And father will be pacing the floor
Listen to the fireplace roar
But don't you see...
But how can you...
    Ahh, but it's cold outside!

Photos by Kay Davies
Posted for Hootin' Anni's musical meme, Thursday Theme Song.
Do drop in and give it a try, it's a lot of fun.
To see and hear what others have to sing, please click

Magpie #42 - The old trophy

The old trophy languished in a locked cupboard. No one had thought of it for years, and they'd all forgotten why Gramps had won the thing.
They didn’t mean to forget, but they all had lives of their own, were out establishing their careers, establishing themselves. Even the youngest was about to graduate from college, and it wasn’t the sort of college where students aspired to sports trophies.
But one day someone wanted the cupboard for something, for storing business files, perhaps. So it was unlocked and they found the trophy and read the inscription:
Oldest student in the neighborhood martial arts class to qualify for a black belt, at the age of forty-two.
"Wow," they said.
Even the youngest, the one who didn't particularly care about physical competition said, "Wow, who would have thought that about Gramps? Didn't he die when he was forty-three?"

Posted for Magpie Talesin which Tess of Willow Manor supplies a photo, and invites us to submit the story or poem the picture inspires.
To find out what literary gems were produced by others as they gazed upon this image, please click

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The letter S - Shopping for Spanish Seafood in Spain

Once again, the night market near La Rambla in Barcelona,
where my husband had a wonderful time with his camera.

Photos by Richard Schear
Posted for the letter S in the ABC Wednesday meme.
To see what others, from around the world, found to illustrate S, click

Monday, November 22, 2010

Use whatever you've got to slide downhill in our world

Richard Schear photos
Dick and Lindy saw all kinds of snow fun going on at the nearby coulee where they were walking two days ago. Since then, we've had light snow almost constantly, so next weekend should be great, too.

Posted for My World Tuesday, the meme for what's going on in the neighborhood.
To see what others have seen around and about them, please click