Archive for the Local Roaming Category

And Now ~ For Something Completely Different…

Posted in flora and fauna, Local Roaming, wild creatures with tags , , , on July 23, 2016 by WanderArtist

we were visited this morning by a very unusual guest ~ we found this huge fly buzzing around our front yard and hanging out on the side of our RV. neither of us had ever seen a fly this large! despite it’s size something told me not to be frightened of it so we included my hand in the second photo for a sense of scale – when it flew away however, it sounded like a small Harley and i was duly startled!

my dad thought it might be a horse fly, and, upon further research we think he might be right… glad it didn’t bite us!

Mission Santa Barbara

Posted in American Indian, California, California Missions, Central Coast, historic sites, Junipero Serra, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Local Roaming, Santa Barbara, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2015 by WanderArtist

While wandering through the lovely city of Santa Barbara, in southern California, it would be very difficult to overlook the alluring architecture of Mission Santa Barbara. The historic building is beautifully preserved and reflects the SoCal light wonderfully throughout the day. The mission’s graveyard holds the remains of over 4,000 Chumash Indians, and the interior architecture is captivating… But the cemetery and inner spaces will have to wait for a later blog installment. For this article I will focus primarily on the outside of the building… This beautiful structure has caught our attention for years and we eventually realized it had to be captured at sunrise in order to do it justice. As we arrived at 7 AM we were given the gift of a gorgeous, crystal clear, peaceful morning to contemplate the details and the grandeur of the mission.

The original chapel was constructed by Chumash-Barbareño Indian labor in 1786. It was founded by Padre Fermín Lasuén as the tenth Spanish mission in the Franciscan order for the religious conversion of the local American Indians. Interestingly, this is the only mission founded by the Franciscan Friars to remain under their leadership since its founding. There is so much violence and sacrifice in the story of the building of the missions and the associated efforts by the Spanish to convert the native people of California. I will not dwell on that bloody and divisive history except to say that I am deeply saddened by the practices of the Spanish during that era, which contributed very significantly to the destruction of the cultures that occupied these lands for generations prior to the Europeans’ arrival.

Friar in the garden courtyard, Mission Santa Barbara, 1917

Friar in the garden courtyard, Mission Santa Barbara, 1917. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

The early mission chapel was destroyed by an earthquake in 1812. The chapel was rebuilt and dedicated in 1820, and again ravaged by earthquake in 1925. The structure that greets us today was constructed in 1927 and 1953.

After indulging our minds’ eye with the captivating facade and mission grounds/gardens we began to explore more deeply, discovering the outlying, very old structures built by the Indians and associated with the mission. Aside from the main structure there are many intriguing features and water works…

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California State Historic Landmark #309 reads:
“Santa Barbara Mission was founded December 4, 1786. Portions of five units of its extensive water works, built by Indian labor, are preserved in this park – a filter house, Spanish grist mill, sections of aqueducts, and two reservoirs. The larger reservoir, built in 1806, is used today as part of the city water system. Ruins of the pottery kiln and tanning vats are here, also. The fountain and lavadero are nearby in front of the Old Mission. A dam, built in 1807, is located in the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, one and one-half miles up Mission Canyon.”

Mission Santa Barbara itself certainly has an interesting history, and it has housed since 1833 an extensive archive of approximately 3,000 original documents culled from throughout the California mission system. There is a lot of information, history and lore about this mission available on the web for those who wish to learn more… here we chose to focus on a visit to this historic site early one winter morning. We hope you enjoy our visual journey and that it stimulates you to delve deeper into the history of this gorgeous structure.

 

Step Into the Garden

Posted in botanical gardens, flora and fauna, Local Roaming, Soul Food, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2014 by WanderArtist

These hot summer days are helping to precipitate some lovely blooming up at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. Armed with our hats, water and cameras (of course) we strolled the garden and witnessed some of the most amazing flowers bursting forth in full glory… Including the favorite of many – lotus blossoms.

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The eventual result after the lotus flower has lost it’s petals is the large seed pod that – to me – resembles an old-fashioned shower head. This day we saw all stages of the lotus, from just budding to petals gone or falling as we watched. One lotus even had a large spider poised on it’s stamen waiting for it’s eventual meal of tender, juicy bee.

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I love the cattails this time of year. They are like velvet and so fresh and beautiful you want to cut them and bring them home.

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The Chinese garden was lush with lotus flowers, black eyed susans and people. We watched a brief Qi Gong demonstration/class in front of the pond. Currently the garden is preparing the silk lantern exhibit – which will open in September. A yearly event, it constitutes hundreds of illuminated silk sculptural lanterns all created in Shanghai with a central theme and design chosen by the Montreal gardens.

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This is the first time I have seen the Chinese Garden while the silk lantern exhibit is being installed. The pond was partially drained and you could see the platforms that will eventually hold amazing silk sculptures. The workers had begun with these lovely boats, which just peaked our interest to see the final result.

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The gardens were followed by a wonderful meal at Rumi – “Rumi invites guests to experience the authentic cuisine and ambience of the Middle East , Central Asia and North Africa – known by many today as the cuisine of the Sufis”… a favorite stop after lunch is Cocoa Locale where you can stock up on the most amazing and original cakes I have ever tried!

The morning at the garden, the lovely meal at Rumi, and the stop at Cocoa Locale were enough to sustain the feeling of a wonderful day despite an hour and a half wait to get back across the border in the hot sun!

http://www.restaurantrumi.com/

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/67/1479702/restaurant/Outremont/Cocoa-Locale-Montreal

Bouquet River Dip

Posted in Adirondacks, flora and fauna, Living Simply, Local Roaming, Soul Food, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by WanderArtist

These hot Adirondack days my favorite road trip is south to the mountains and a swim in the Bouquet River along Route 73… We have a new favorite spot where, even on the hottest weekend day, we’ve not had to share the river with another soul! These photos were taken for fun with a GoPro camera.

Untamed Spirits… Cooperstown Bound

Posted in American Indian, Art, Decorative Arts, Decoupage, Design, Local Roaming, Museum, Soul Food, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2014 by WanderArtist

On a recent rainy weekend we let our wanderlust direct us and headed to one of our favorite places to visit, Cooperstown, New York. Since it was just a quick trip we centered on the gem of the town (in our opinion) and wandered the Fenimore Art Museum. The next trip will have to include another wonderful centerpiece – The Farmers’ Museum – but for now we fed our souls with the art at the Fenimore, and particularly the Thaw Collection.

The photographs follow our progress through the museum, starting with folk art and ending in the Eugene and Clare Thaw galleries. This collection continues to grow through gifts from the Thaws and others, as you will see by the final images of a more modern acquisition by a Lakota artist. It is an amazing and large group of diverse pieces from around the country including almost 850 objects. To wander the gallery experiencing the masks, clothing and artistry is a meditation. Completing the experience in the Study Room with it’s ‘open cases’ (for storage of the objects not on exhibit) is intriguing. The mind is pulled to the homes of those who created the work… the American Southwest, the Northwest Coast, the Plains… Perhaps not a cure for wanderlust at all!

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John’s Fords & Other Toys

Posted in Design, Inspiring People, Local Roaming, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , on May 3, 2014 by WanderArtist

I love cars. Old cars to be more exact… So when I found out that a new friend had a collection of old cars I did all I could to be allowed to come visit and get a look at the goods. John has over thirty in his collection, mostly Fords. If there is one truth I have learned about people who collect old things, it’s this: they never collect only one kind of object – not just cars… you can see that phenomena in this photo series… there are signs, many signs and even more license plates. What I wasn’t able to photograph were the toy cars in the corner of the garage, maybe a later visit. Here is a peek at the things that struck my fancy. There will be later installments and more visits I hope!

 

 

Sailing Hard Waters

Posted in Local Roaming, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2014 by WanderArtist

I moved to the North Country about 20 years ago and rediscovered true winter weather. Over the years I have figured out how you dress when it’s 10 degrees out, and what else to put on when it is 20 below zero and windy. I’ve found that keeping active and hiking, running, cross country skiing, or simply walking throughout the winter really helps to stave off cabin fever.

About eleven years ago I saw something out on Lake Champlain that I had never seen before. A new way some people deal with, even embrace harsh winters. There was a DN class ice yacht race held here and, bundled and ready, we walked far out on the frozen lake and watched them fly over the ice around us! DN ice boats are small, single-person vessels with a 12 foot platform on three large runners supporting a sail measuring 60 square feet (about 16 feet long) that can achieve speeds from 40 up to maybe 60 miles an hour if the wind is right! The whole boat weighs only 100-150 pounds (without the human on board). This smaller class of ice boat is the most popular class in both Europe and North America for obvious reasons… They are relatively simple to build, and easy for one person to handle, transport, rig and race!

After that winter a few friends of ours even decided to build their own ice yachts. Although I thought it looked like a fun sport it held little allure for me. I have never learned to sail and have other interests to keep me busy. Once those racers all left, I did not see ice boats on the lake again until just a few days ago. With the bitter cold temperatures we’ve had this winter it is no surprise that the North American Championship Regatta is back in our neighborhood this year. After scouting North America for the best “plate” they get the word out through various networks and sailers converge on the chosen “hard water” for a few days of racing. Apparently the weather has not cooperated this year and the site has been moved a number of times due to changing ice conditions and drifting snow. Happily for us, the racers wound up here on Lake Champlain!

So, we again bundled up (6 degrees with a strong wind all day) and headed out on the frozen lake to watch them run races throughout the day. We met a few other brave souls who ventured out to experience the world of ice boat racing – many of them on ice skates. It was fun to watch, and very cool to be out in the middle of Lake Champlain in winter… Very cool.

To see more of our ice boat photos and buy prints, check out www.wanderartists.zenfolio.com

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