Blue in Green is one of the songs in the iconic jazz album Kind of Blue by the great jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, recorded in the studio in March, 1959. While walking in a local woods on a bright early spring morning I saw this green house against the blue sky and heard Miles trumpet.
I was particularly tired and cold one day when, while walking down the street where I live, I noticed this scene that I pass by almost every day. I thought — wouldn’t it be so idyllic to spend my days napping under the warm sun near a woods by a lake in company of the living beings that mean so much to me.
The Panamá Canal has been on my bucket list for a long time. This summer my sweetie and I got to transit the Canal from Panamá City to Colón. The transit took about 10 hours and the bus ride back to Panamá City about 2 hours. The Canal was built between 1903 and 1914. It is a marvel of engineering today, and must have been one of the manmade wonders of the world when it was built. The lock walls are 55 feet thick concrete. The lock gates are original and have never been replaced. The locks raise ships to 85 feet above sea level so they can cross the Isthmus then lower them to sea level at the end of the trip. It takes only a matter of minutes to raise and lower a ship once it is inside the lock.
Click on any image to see full screen photos.
In the photo on the left the Mercury Ocean is behind us waiting to enter the Mira Flores Locks. The locks have two lanes of traffic so that northbound and southbound ships can transit at the same time. In the photo on the right the Mercury Ocean is in the first stage of the lock in the left hand lane, facing the viewer, waiting to be lifted. Our boat, a 300 passenger day cruise boat, is in the right hand lane, second stage and has already been raised. Next to the Mercury Ocean you can see the low water in the lock and the lock gates closed.
Atlantic Rose going through the Mira Flores Lock. This size ship is called Panamax because they are the largest ships that can fit in the locks. Notice the tight fit in the lock. The tugboat helps guide the ships into the lock but once in they go through under their own power and the electric mule is used only to guide them and keep them secure.
These men worked along the walls of the locks. They moored the ship to the walls while the ship was being lifted as the water rose.
The Centennial Bridge crosses the Canal at the Gaillard Cut before the Canal enters Gatún Lake, an artificial lake created by damming the Rio Chagrés. The trip across the lake is the longest part of the transit and the most scenic. In the picture on the right a pilot boat is approaching to take the Mira Flores pilot off and let the pilot for the Gatún Locks board, which he is doing in the photo below on the left. The photo on the right below shows north and southbound traffic passing in Gatún Lock. We are in the lock directly ahead of the Star Harmonia.
The Gatún Locks return the ships to sea level and they exit the Canal, either going to sea in the Caribbean or to port in Colón.
I’ve always been fascinated by hot air balloons, and even took a ride in one for my 50th birthday some years ago. I took these photos at the evening liftoff at the Warren County NJ Farmers Fair last week.
The Palisades are a line of 300 to 540 foot high cliffs along the west side of the lower Hudson River in northeastern New Jersey and southern New York. They are among the most dramatic geologic features in the vicinity of New York City, forming a 20 mile long canyon of the Hudson north of George Washington Bridge, as well as providing a vista of the skyline. This photo was taken from the edge of a cliff on a bright clear summer morning, and the camera saw the reflection of the bright blue sky on the water, a reflection which is not apparent to the human eye.
I was visiting my novia in Queretaro, Mexico for two weeks around the Day of the Dead. We went to Guanajuato for the Cervantino Festival, a three week fest celebrating music and the arts. Guanajuato is a pretty city in the central highlands tucked into the side of a mountain. Most of the town is 5 minutes from El Centro– straight up. I was struck by the twisting narrow streets and the bright pastels of the buildings.
According to legend, the balconies across Callejo del Beso were so close that they touched each other- so lovers could lean across the balconies and sneak a kiss without chaperones, of course.
Here are some more images of the walls and streets. I will post images of other sights in Guanajuato in my next post.