Falling for Marymere Falls at Olympic National Park

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Marymere Falls is a wonderful sight at Olympic National Park in the State of Washington.  We hiked up the Marymere Falls Trail which begins with the tunnel we posted yesterday in our blog.  It is a pleasant hike of 1.7 mile.

We initially walked past Lake Crescent before the tunnel.  After the tunnel, we crossed 2 bridges to get to the falls.

The falls with the surrounding green moss reminds me of a woman with flowing “green” hair.  It’s a good reminder that all of us should “let our hair down” at times to relax, be uninhibited and just have fun.  If we would practice this on a regular basis, we might be able to lower our blood pressure and enjoy the moments in our life better.

Photos are good reminders of things we ought to do.  So let your hair down and enjoy!

 

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What did we see at the Hoh Rainforest?

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One does not have to visit Chile, New Zealand or southern Australia to find a rain forest.  We visited the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park in the state of Washington.

As a result of enormous amount of rain – 12 to 14 feet/year, there were wonderful trees decorated with moss varieties and ferns.

I love the draping effect of the growth on the branches.  The variety of growth in this tree is beautiful.

It reminds us that beauty does not need to conform to any particular convention.  Society promotes beauty to conform to certain standards.  Just as this tree’s beauty is a reflection of the rain and other environmental factors which cause the variety of growth, our individual standard of beauty should be a reflection of our internal processes and experiences which will effect the outward appearance.  May we focus on our inward growth to improve our outward persona.

See below is a link to learn more about the Hoh Rain Forest.

What are Temperate Rain Forests?

How to find Marymere Falls at Olympic National Park?

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We visited Olympic National Park in Washington State this past summer.  Our family loves road trips.  So we spent almost a week driving up north enjoying the greenery as we traveled to our destination.

My mother wanted to see Marymere Falls.

This interesting stone tunnel is near the Storm King Ranger Station which leads to the falls.  Highway 101 is above this tunnel.

It’s interesting to see the ridges of the metal sides.

In life, we may go through “tunnel” periods.  When we are in a tunnel, it may be a little mundane inside.  It could be a little dark.  It could be a little cold.  But we have to remember there is an exit to get out of the tunnel if we keep walking.  It could be far away or not as far as we anticipate.  We just need to remember to keep going to get out of the tunnel to see the light.

Outside the tunnel, our goal was to walk to the falls. Our goal in life should always be to seek to get out of the “tunnel” periods to see the light and beautiful views that are waiting for us.  Perseverance brings blessings and beauty in life.

We know this was true as we went on this hike.  I will share more photographs what is on the other side of the tunnel.

Pregame Fuji Photo Day at Candlestick Park

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I loved Fuji Photo Day at Candlestick Park on Saturday, May 14, 1988.  Fans were allowed on the field before the game to take pictures of the players and the ballpark.  I loved walking on the pristine and immaculate grass.  I wish I could have preserved a piece of the field to bring home.  Fuji Photo Day was one of my top favorite events at the Stick besides Opening Day and the Post Season games.

Fans were able to get on the field 2 hours before the game.  I wish AT&T Park would have a similar event now.  I would roam around and go crazy shooting photographs.

I do not remember who the gentleman is in this photograph. I really like his SF Giants shirt.  I am not sure if he was an usher.

The SF Giants player in the background is Joe Price.  He played for SF Giants from 1987 to 1989 as a left handed pitcher.   The SF Giants defeated the New York Mets 3-2 with Mike Krukow getting the win and Ron Darling taking the loss.

Just wondering if any other SF Giants fans who visited Candlestick Park also have good memories of the Fuji Photo Day events?  Please share any memories from this event too.  From my interaction on social media, I have heard how fans really treasure the fun moments at Candlestick Park.

 

Who is Peter Claver in Cartagena, Colombia?

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We traveled thru Old Town in Cartegena, Colombia with a small group from our Princess Cruise ship.  One person heard about this Catholic Church in Old Town – Church of St. Peter Claver and requested to visit it.

As we were reviewing Tony’s photographs of this beautiful church, I found the below link that explained who is Peter Claver.  He was born in Catalonia, Spain in 1580 and attended Jesuit college in Barcelona.  He traveled to the Indies.  Later he arrived in Cartegena where he completed his studies and was ordained as a priest.

African slave trade was prevalent during this time. Many Africans were captured and shipped across the ocean to Cartegena.  They suffered a difficult life of clearing land and working in the minds.  Their life was not their own.

Peter Claver declared himself the “slave of the Negroes forever”.  He ministered to these Africans and boarded every slave ship.  Peter cared for their physical needs of medicine, food etc.  He baptized many of these people – estimate is about 300,000 people.

In 1650, he contracted the plague which lingered in him until his death in 1654.  Unfortunately, he did not receive the same care he showed to others during his illness.

About Peter Claver

When we visited this wonderful church with his name, we had no idea about the sacrifice and love exhibited by Peter Claver.

Photographs are more than just images we enjoy.  There are stories behind the images which teach valuable lessons.  If we can learn something from Peter Claver’s life to serve others in need, then his personal sacrifice will continue to be a blessing.

Costa Rican Creature

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We took a tour in Limon, Costa Rica.  During the walking portion, the guide pointed out this creature.

We love the bright turquoise and black spots on the amphibian.

It reminds at home we are usually always rushing to our daily destinations and thinking about our to do lists for the day. We are so preoccupied we don’t pay attention to our surroundings.

This frog is a Poison Dart Frog or Poison Arrow frog. It is very beautiful.  The tour guide warned us to be careful not to get poisoned by this creature.

Link about Costa Rican Frogs

This is reminder that things which are attractive can also be harmful for us.  We all are attracted to beautiful things.  But things of beauty may be expensive by what we have to spend to obtain.  They also can be costly depending on the consequences of possessing or seeking the attractive object or being.  Beauty is good to admire. Wisdom is understanding if that beauty will cause us future harm.  Appreciate beauty and understand if that beauty is pure or has hurtful consequences.

 

Experiencing Cartagena, Colombia

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One of the ports we stopped at was Cartagena, Colombia during our Princess Panama Canal cruise.

We decided not to book a tour from the ship and explore on our own.  After determining which cab or van would give us the best deal to go and see Old Town, we found a nice driver with a van to take us.  His name was….

We only had a few hours to see this section of Cartagena.  One passeger requested to see the big Catholic church in this area.

We drove past the big wall around the Old Town, and the van maneuvered around the busy roads to get us into this area.

We were able to walk thru the square to go to the church.  Of course there are many vendors seeking to sell souvenirs to us.

Once I started walking, a woman had a bag of coffee candy.  I bargained and got an extra dollar off. I quickly bought the candy.  When we tried the candy at home about a month later, it turned out to be the one of best coffee candy we ever had.

We loved walking quickly thru these streets as seen above. The architecture was so interesting as well as the different colors of the building.  The golden dome of the church is in the horizon.

We loved the character of Cartagena’s old town and the architecture designs .

 

Costa Rican Thick Hide Caiman

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During our Panama Canal cruise, one of the ports on our itinerary was Limon, Costa Rica. We saw this caiman on our river boat excursion cruise.

Its scales make their skins stiffer and are less valuable compared to the alligators and crocodiles.  Caimans are small sized crocodilians with an average maximum weight between 13 to 88 lbs. Their average length is between 6.6 to 8.2 ft. long.

Link to Wikipedia where we found this Cayman info

Caimans are nocturnal creatures.  They typically spend their days hanging out in the sunshine, just as we encountered this one.

It is interesting the caiman’s scales and outer hide are stiffer than that of an alligator’s. There is also a distinctive pattern in the caiman’s hide.  The caiman’s outer scales have calcium rivets in the center of each scale.   Scales in general protect the creatures as they move over the ground. It also helps to the creature to retain moisture in the hot humid weather.

Caiman leather products are cheaper since the leather is stiffer than alligator or crocodile products.

The caiman needs the thicker “skin” to protect itself from the elements of its environment.

We should try to learn a lesson about developing a thicker skin to protect ourselves too. Do we get upset and angry over things to the extent it is also upsetting our ability to function?

Here’s an example where a thicker hide would have helped avoid expressing anger and disappointment by punching out a door.  See the link below for the story about SF Giants pitcher, Hunter Strickland, who was so upset he injured himself.

Can we find a way to develop a thicker skin to preserve and protect ourselves from ourselves? Can we try to be like the cool caiman basking in the sunlight in the water even with our failures, disappointments and difficulties?

Bleacher Report – Hunter Strickland’s Surgery for his Hand Injury after punching a door

Have You Seen a Sloth in the Costa Rican Jungle?

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We enjoyed viewing this Sloth in the jungle on a river boat ride near Limon, Costa Rica.  We took this excursion while on a Panama Cruise.  It was enjoyable to search for the wildlife as we sailed in the boat.

This sloth looks like it is smiling at us and was perfectly posed.

What can we learn from this sloth?

  • Sit back and relax – we don’t need to be constantly on the go
  • Smile no matter what are circumstances are. Worrying is not going to solve our problems
  • Take time to enjoy our surroundings
  • Be happy and content

Hope this will encourage you to take photographs to be reminders of valuable lessons.

 

 

Caribbean Princess going through the Panama Canal

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We had a wonderful time going on the Caribbean Princess ship to the Panama Canal.  We went in the beginning of April for a 10 day vacation.  We booked in February and got a better deal booking closer to the departure date.  My wife invited a few of our friends to come.  After my mugging at Candlestick Park, she felt there is security being with our friends.

This cruise goes into the Panama Canal and turns around to go back out.  It does not go from the east to west as some other cruises do.  One of our friends opted to not go on a tour off the ship when we arrived at the canal.  Instead, she got up early at 6 am to watch as the ship entered into the canal.  She watched for a few hours as the ship moved thru the canal.

The rest of our group took a tour of the old and new Panama Canal.  Passengers can only get off the ship if a tour is purchased.  This photograph was taken at a look out point to see the workings of the canal.  It was fun to watch our ship being towed by a small tug boat.  It is a reminder how the small things in life support the big things.

Taking pictures during a tour on a vacation can be a challenge to compete for a spot with other tourists and time constraints.  Fortunately, we did not have any time constraints at this lookout point.  We could not return to the ship until it was docked as it slowly traveled thru the canal to exit.  So there was a lot of time to enjoy the ship traveling thru the canal.

It was a challenge to get a good position to take the ship and to push my way thru the other tourists.  Position is everything for getting a good photograph.  There were lots of excited visitors at this lookout point watching this cruise ship makes its way thru the canal.

How can you get a good position?  Look at the different spots and use your camera to view the prospects of the picture.  Realize there is more than one ideal spot.  Be flexible and creative.  Then move quickly or wait around for the people to move to get your spot.  Patience and fast maneuvering is the key.  Don’t get upset as I did when I lost a spot. Good photography is being flexible and shooting fast from various spots.

I’ll be sharing more tips to get good photos that you do not need to “touch up”.  Also I will be sharing lessons learned from our vacation.