Walkabout Wednesday – along the boardwalk at Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone

Welcome to another walkabout. Today we’ll be taking an oh-so-short trip via the boardwalk around Grand Prismatic Hot Spring in Yellowstone National Park.

Grand Prismatic Hot Spring

Located in the Midway Geyser Basic in Yellowstone National Park, it is the largest hot spring in the United States. It was named for the prismatic colors ranging out from the central pool.

The bright, vivid colors are the result of microbial mats around the edges of the mineral-rich water. The mats produce colors ranging from green to red; the amount of color in the microbial mats depends on the ratio of chlorophyll and temperature of the runoff.

In the summer, the mats tend to be orange and red, whereas in the winter the mats are usually dark green.

Wee flowers

Other beauty abounds nearby including some tiny little wild flowers in a mustardy hue.

Although the surrounding area is covered with pines and prairies, the Midway Geyser Basin itself it barren of trees for obvious reasons. We came across this painting in a coffee shop which reminded me of the stark dichotomy of the abundant life and barren landscape.

There you have it, I said it was quick! This post was inspired by:

Terri’s Sunday Stills where our monthly color challenge in Mustard
and Marsha’s PPAC #60 where we can always find diverse artistic expression

Til next time ~ stop, look around, be amazed ~JP

Wednesday Walkabout – Panyu Lotus Hill Resort

In the Eastern Panyu district of Guangzhou, China, lies the Lotus Hill Resort. Famous for its temple and numerous scenic sites and, you guessed it, public art.

The first thing that catches the eye is, of course the Lotus Pagoda at the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. The pagoda itself is one of the oldest landmarks in Guangzhou, carrying nearly 1500 years of history. This octangular pagoda stands 57.6 meters tall, the tallest pagoda in Guangzhou.

Lotus Pagoda at Lotus Hill Resort, Guangzho, China

The pagoda towers above the grounds but my eye wanders to the gilded rabbit statues. Rabbits are considered the luckiest of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac symbolizing mercy, elegance and beauty.

Stair and steps and view oh my

Ahhh, my old nemesis … stairs. Lots and lots of stairs, but worth the climb looking out over the Pearl River delta.

Guan Yin Goddess of Mercy statue

At the top of the hill, we find the largest statue of Guan Yin, Goddess of Mercy in the world. Standing over 130 feet tall, the statue was originally cast in 1994 using over 120 tonnes of bronze and 180 taels (that’s about 230 ounces) of gold in the coating.

Lotus Flower

And finally we make our way to the lotus ponds, their gentle serenity and exquisite beauty marking the end of our walkabout.

This post inspired this week by Marsha’s PPAC #59

Til next time ~Have the courage to be kind ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – Rachel Nevada

Greetings sentient life forms! Today I thought we’d take a tiny (and I do mean tiny) walk about Rachel Nevada, take in some high desert scenery and art.

Welcome to Rachel, Nevada, elevation 4,840 feet. Above, an exhausted Rver stands beside the Time Capsule Beacon.

In case you can’t make it out, the plaque reads:

On the eighteenth day of April, AD 1996
Twentieth Century Fox dedicates
this time capsule and beacon
for visitors from distant stars,
to the state of Nevada and the
“Extraterrestrial Highway”

This time capsule will serve as a beacon
to be opened in the year A.D., 2050
by which time interplanetary travelers
should be regular guests of our planet earth.

Alien face mosaic of local stone at the base of the time capsule.

Side of the restaurant/gift shop/motel check-in building. Rachel’s population was 48 as of the 2020 census and I think most of them worked here at the A’Le’Inn.

Rachel is the nearest “human” habitation to Nellis Air Force Range and Area 51, located along the scenic(?) Extraterrestrial Highway where, apparently, parking rules are strictly enforced. And, Yes, there is an “Area 51 Do Not Cross Use of Deadly Force Authorized” sign and NO I did not hike out into the desert to take a picture of it.

This post inspired by:

Sunday Stills – Deserts or Desserts
Marsha’s PPAC # 57 – where we find that Aliens are everywhere

Til next time remember:

“There is no unknown, only that which is temporarily hidden.” ~James T. Kirk

~Peace ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – The Road Traveled

Speaking of road trips, we were speaking of road trips weren’t we? We didn’t make one this year. We had plans to take a road trip to Paradise and tiny hamlet on Lake Michigan with BIL and his family, no RV, just car and motels. Shortly before our scheduled departure date, Superhubs’ diabetes went brittle, again. Our destination resort is some distance from medical care and I was uneasy about the trip so we ended up canceling reservations and deciding on a “staycation” instead. Then, lo and behold, the day before our intended departure date, Hubs tested positive for COVID and 3 days later your truly followed suit. So, no road trips or even staycations this year. I thought perhaps we’d take a short trip down the old memory lane to last fall.

Halloween moon over South Dakota

Barren Optimus Lite

We left South Dakota and our beloved Optimus Lite (our 5th wheel) along with 15 years of life on the road as full-time RVers behind with a grateful prayer and a thankful heart on October 31, 2021.

Cactus bread

Our first stop was Sturgis, SD where we (OK I) indulged in a final taste of that South Dakota delicacy known as “cactus bread.” The next morning Superhubs had his annual cerebral MRI and we headed out.

Ceramic brick wall quilt squares

In all honesty, about the only stops we made or pictures we took were at roadside rests and restaurants. We made the entire 1325 mile trip in 3 days (which is a LOT of driving for a couple of spoonies). Above a quick stop at a rest area in “quilt country” I’m sorry I’ve forgotten what state it was in. There were quilts and quilt art everywhere including this tile display on the exterior walls which I found fabulous enough to warrant a quick pic.

A reminder of my long lost Fall

Ahhhh FALL!

Along the way I was graphically reminded what I have missed so much the past 15 years – FALL! I am such a fall kind of person and it’s such an incredibly short season in most of the states we’ve lived in over the past decade and a half. WOW, I so totally needed that.

Kentucky, the bourbon state?

Finally, we entered the Bourbon State. I always thought Kentucky was the Bluegrass State but apparently, they’ve kind of changed their marketing focus. *insert rolling eyes*

First roadside rest in Kentucky

It is, thankfully, still known as the “Front Porch of the South” and possibly the “horse statue and reference” capital of something I’m sure.

A new view

Finally, after many long months of waiting and working, the plans all finally came together and we watched our first sunset on our new porch.

This week’s walkabout inspired by:

Sunday Stills – Road Trippin – do pop over for some great virtual sightseeing
Marsha’s PPAC #56 where things are going full circle

Til next time ~ Keep you feet on the ground, but keep reaching for the stars ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – More art, travels and coffee

Today I’m taking us back to River Rock Roasters in Laverkin, Utah. We saw examples of tabletop art last week, and today we’ll take another look.

Big Whirlygigs

Heading into the building, we are greeted by some fun whirlygig wind sculptures. Fascinating to watch and really appropriate for an area where the wind blows every day. The adjacent town, just about a mile south is named “Hurricane” for good reason.

Acrylic resin pour art

The place is half coffee shop, half art gallery for local artists. Nearly everything on the walls is “for sale.” Here two epoxy pour paintings. They reflect light very well (see the ceiling light in the “blue marble”) and have intricate designs and depth.

Enough solitude

And, of course a quote from Royden Card a favorite local artist

Moon in daytime over the Virgin River

Heading out, we must stop and admire the view. I always make it a point to admire a daytime moon and in the crystal clear skies of southern Utah it’s so worth it.

View from I-15

And so, we head on out, leaving the River Rock Roasting Company behind as we resume our travel.

Virgin River Gorge wall

Passing through the Virgin River Gorge the walls of the gorge are massive and steep, prime public land for rock climbers. Captured this little slice of gorge wall looking out of the car window as we went by at 60 mph. 😉

Linking up to Marsha’s PPAC # 55 do pop over and enjoy a bit of horsing around. 🙂

Til next time

~May your Mondays be short and your weekends be long
May your memories be sweet, and your coffee be strong ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – Willamette Hatchery

During our trip to Oregon last year we visited the Fish Hatchery near Oakridge, Oregon. The hatchery raises rainbow trout and chinook salmon for release into the Willamette River system. They also have a sturgeon pond some of which are over 50 years old and 10 feet in length.

Upon arrival, we discovered that, like most entertainment venues in the area, the hatchery was closed. But, the public areas remained open so we had the opportunity to take a short hike through the wooded areas and the exterior portions of the hatchery.

Salmon Sculpture

A tribute to the might salmon, a carved wood and driftwood sculpture erected over the base of a burned out tree.

Bighorn Sheep – Cool Dude!

A wood carving of a bighorn sheep, playing it cool in the summer sun. It was exceedingly bright the day we visited and shades were absolutely essential. No, those are not my sunglasses. 😉

Eagle carrying a salmon

When does a map become art? Often in my opinion but here it’s obvious. This magnificent carved wood map of the Willamette River System was too long to capture in one shot and appears to be made of a single plank of wood.

Map of Willamette River System

The rest of the carved river map. I love the way the wood whorls, knots and grain give the carving such depth.

Leaping salmon Batman

Ultimately, we made our way to the salmon pools where fingerling hatchery salmon are already practicing jumping the falls. At this stage they are about two inches long. We stood watching their antics until the relentless summer sun finally sent us dragging ourselves back to the car, the air-conditioned, cool and inviting car.

Inspiration for this post brought to you by Marsha’s PPAC #52

Til next time ~Stay cool hippies ~JP

Walkabout Wednesday – Westfir Oregon and some Public Art

Western Tiger Swallowtail on a HUGE buddelia

We quickly acclimated ourselves to the local flora and fauna and spent many days watching the Western Tiger Swallowtail butterflies cavort among the profuse blossoms of the biggest buddleia (butterfly bush) I have ever seen .

Look at those pinecones

We enjoyed some meals at an adorable little cafe which was about the only restaurant in town that was open for dine-in. Friendly staff and good food. I adore the hand painted mural on the concrete walls and check out the size of those pinecones!

More than a mouthful

The lumber country feel of the place was both fun and soothing. This hand-made wood sign would have been perfectly at home hanging over a camp cook’s stove.

More mural art

More of the forest mural on the concrete block walls.

Chambers Railroad Bridge

While driving here and there, we stopped at some of the covered bridges. The Chambers Railroad Bridge is the only remaining covered railroad bridge west of the Mississippi. It was constructed in 1925 by lumberman J.H. Chambers to transport logs across the Coast Fork Willamette River. In the 1950s, the railroad was sold and the bridge, no longer in use, it began to decay. By 2006, the bridge had experienced significant structural damage

The City of Cottage Grove raised grants, awards, and funds from many sources to repair and refurbish the once grand bridge. The bridge was dismantled, rebuilt, and restored on-site; and in November 2011, it reopened. Original material was reused when feasible and the rebuilding was done as historically accurate as possible. Interpretive panels were installed along with iron artwork depicting the steam engines that once passed through. Today, this former “bridge to nowhere” in the middle of Cottage Grove, Oregon, is a beautiful tribute to the past, a historical triumph, and a proud testament to the power of hard work and imagination.

Linking up to Marsha’s PPAC this week do come on over and see some great art.

Til next time ~Not All Who Wander Are Lost ~JP

Wednesday Walkabout – St. George Utah Pioneer Square

Ahhhh I have a computer … FINALLY so I thought we’d go walkabout in St. George, UT and see what we can find for Marsha’s PPAC along the way. Last summer was a crazy kind of blur running from every disaster known to man, crowds, fires, air quality (or lack there of), hail storms, you name it. During the mad dash across the west, we spent some time in St. George, UT when a blown wheel bearing caused some rescheduling. Never one to shirk from the unexpected day trip, we set off on an adventure while the cheese-mobile was in the shop. We stopped at “Pioneer Square” in downtown St. George to visit some museums and other artsy spots

Sushi at Pioneer Square

First Stop was lunch at Benja Thai & Sushi. Good food and cool inside. With temps over 110° f, this was a major consideration. We lingered over cold noodle bowls, sushi and iced green tea for as long as we could ;-).

Landscape Art

Venturing into the heat of the afternoon and came upon a nifty little water feature which provided a natural cooling ambiance. Water features are works of art in the desert as humans endeavor to make the stark landscape more palatable. The heat quickly overcame us though so we headed back indoors to find the aforementioned museums and art galleries.

A welcome cool-down spot

Regrettably, all museums and galleries within our walking distance (albeit very short distance in the heat), were closed due to pandemic concerns. Southern Utah got hit pretty hard and “elective” services were few and far between. Our driver told us that several restaurants and other entertainment venues remained closed through summer 2021. We quickly became seriously overheated and so very happy to come across this lovely little cafe. I love the graphics on the sign, as well as the name of the place and the greenery along the building.

Chalkboard Art – and beignets

I just adore chalkboard art. The graphics and colors for some reason just call to me. I may have to do a spread on chalkboard art. Not to mention that iced coffee and a lovely little treat was just the restorative I needed. The beignets looked lovely but in that kind of heat, fried food is just not for me so I opted for a beautiful little fruit tart and a half-sweet iced chai. Yummmm….

vintage looking tile mosaic

This vintage-looking floor mosaic really captured my attention. I love tile floors for their vintage feel and the sheer artistry involved in making them. Alas, this was about all the art we found with the galleries either closed or beyond my walking distance.

hotel room view – smoke haze in the distance

Time to pick up the car and head to a local hotel for the next couple of days. This is the view off of our room’s balcony. If you can look beyond the traffic and signs the mountains are really beautiful. The skies were filled with haze from distant fires filtering south. No matter where we went, pervasive smoke drove us ever on.

Dino art

And so, the next morning we headed out to the local grocery for supplies. I was delighted by this lobby display of the local velociraptor guarding the chips. There are several dinosaur track attractions nearby featuring velociraptor tracks and I do adore all things Dino. 😉

That’s all from Castle Serenity for today. Til next time remember, there is beauty everywhere if you look for it. If you can’t see it, look again. And if you still can’t see it, look harder. ~JP

Sunday Stills and Monday Musings

For Terri’s Sunday Stills Challenge (a bit late)

It’s been a crazy weekend (hence my tardiness) of gardening. Almost have the backyard finished. Ah but JP you say, you live in a townhouse, don’t they take care of the landscape maintenance? Sort of, we have three feet in each direction of our townhomes that are ours to plant as we please (as long as it’s attractive). We moved in in November so I knew there would be work to be done this spring and I was NOT wrong. OK, enough about me, on to photos.

Most of these are from my archives that I thought “black and whited” up pretty well. To quote the song Black and White, “The ink is black, the page is white, together we learn, to read and write.” Black and White was originally written in 1954 by David I. Arkin and Earl Robinson, but topped the charts some 18 years later in 1972 with Three Dog Night’s pop version.

Sunrise on Kauai in black and white

Let’s start off in the land of vibrant color, Hawaii. Here a stunning sunrise on Kauai leached of color. The curls of waves and sea foam give the shot some depth.

Mokolii, Hawaii

Mokolii tiny island of Oahu also known as Chinaman’s Hat for it’s distinctive shape. I like the “old timey” quality the black and white here. Taken from Kualoa Ranch.

Plumeria in Kapaa

This is one shot I didn’t really like as well in black and white. The plumeria is such a beautiful, vibrant flower and although I do quite like the shading caused by the nearly translucent white of the flower, it leaves me kind of eh. Shot from our balcony in Kapaa. Linking this one up for Cee’s FOTD.

Traditional pavilion in Lulin Lake, Mt. Lushan, China

Now on over to Jiujiang, China. Thanks to the foggy day, the above photo didn’t have a great deal of color to begin with, but I think the starkness afforded by the black and white graphic enhances it a bit more. It was windy and I love the tiny ripple effect on the water.

Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Back in the US, here a set of ruins known as Spruce Tree House built by the Anasazi some 800 years ago. The settlement was abandoned about 1300, there is much speculation as to why. Nevertheless, the ancient ones left behind a marvelous legacy of wonder. The ruins were discovered in the 1880’s and plundered until Mesa Verde became a national park in 1906. Once again, I like the stark graphic black and white gives this shot.

Bad Water Basin, Death Valley National Park California

And last, but not least, a shot that’s not black and white but might as well be. I left this photo as is to show the sliver of blue sky that draws just that much more attention to the desolation of the place. Bad Water Basin Salt Flats lies 282 feet below sea level and encompasses 200 square miles.

Black is the absence of color,
combination of all makes white
life is lived somewhere in between
filled with color and light ~JP

My father was color-blind, I used to fetch resistors him which were color-coded, ahhhh but I digress once again, a tale for another time.

a hui hou kakou (until we meet again) ~JP

Something Wild — PPAC # 36 and Weekend Coffee Share

Shared with Marsha’s PPAC#36 at alwayswrite Wild Animals in Public, I can do that! Let’s dig into the archives and see what kind of public art I can come up with.

The extinct Moa bird in Queenstown, NZ

Greetings at TaoYuan Airport, Taipei Taiwan

Wood carving from Deadwood, South Dakota

Dragon waterspout at Kurama-dera Kyoto Japan

Tribute to the Omarama Rams and their beautiful merino wool.

Also shared at Natalie the Explorer’s weekend coffee share

If we were having coffee this weekend, I’d tell you that it feels kind of odd to not be traveling. It’s been years since I’ve done much international travel. I’m making the transition from “world wanderer” to “retirement living” it’s wonderfully relaxing, albiet sometimes a little on the tame side. But I’ve taken up new activities including new on-line classes and art projects, reviving my yoga practice. I’d ask about your world and what’s new in the blogosphere. 🙂

til next time ~Peace ~JP