Hidden Rainbows~


It’s hard to hide,

when you are naturally curious,

and colored like a rainbow.

The scarlet macaws seemed bemused by my presence and eventually got used to me.


“Who is this odd person?”

“She doesn’t move or speak.”

“Unusual for a human.”

“Maybe if we just ignore her, she’ll go away.”

Which, of course, after a long time, I did. Smart birds!

Cheers to you from Costa Rica’s flying rainbows~

Tonight we are approaching The Galapogos Islands. There will be no reliable internet until we reach Lima in about a week. Miss you & look forward to catching up with you then!

Cabo Sunset~


Off the coast of Guatemala now, heading south.


Will pass the equator in a few days.

Internet is impossible.

Looking forward to connecting with you when we touch land.

Cheers to you from sunset seas~

Gifts of Color~


From me to you!

Hope they brighten your day,

and bring you comfort.

We are sailing off now for a lengthy trip to the distant south.

Hope you will travel along, because you make traveling so much better!

I know you will understand when I am not able to access the internet. I do look forward to reading your blogs and comments, and chatting with you, when the maritime satellite deigns to cast her beam upon me.

Until then, sending you cheers & hopes for only the very best, throughout the holiday season~

Schloss Marksburg~


Marksburg Castle rises above the town of Braubach in Germany and is one of the principal sites of The Rhine Gorge UNESCO World Heritage area. Come on in, and let’s go snoop around….

Construction started on the schloss in 1100. The great hall dining area dates back to 1239.


Of the original forty castles in the Middle Rhine Valley, this is the only one that was never destroyed. It seems an impenetrable fortress.

It was, however, damaged by allied artillery in 1945, but not destroyed.

Touring gives one a sense of what life was like living (and eating) here in the middle ages.

The living areas are surprisingly cozy and welcoming for a castle,

and the old artifacts and furnishings are fascinating to see in situ, as they were used in everyday life.

Topping off your visit, there are amazing views of The Rhine Valley from the castle ramparts.
Cheers to you from Schloss Marksburg~

Twigs & Twine~


Weavers, like this Red Bishop from Africa, are industrious and highly social birds. These photos were taken at The San Diego Safari Park aviaries, close to The Holler. There are now 400 or so of these beauties flying wild in Holler skies.
I bet they escaped from the park. Smart birdies.

Weavers belong to a family of birds named Ploceidae that weave incredibly intricate nests that hang from trees in groups or colonies. Holler orioles are weavers.


Buffalo Weavers, also from Africa, are charmingly gregarious, happy birds, that like to perch next to you to for a little chat!

Here they are discussing a leaf. What to do with it? Should they pick it up? They seem to think not. It is, obviously, an object worthy of much interest and discussion, but in the end, a useless thing to them.


They may have no use for leaves, but they are artistic masters of twigs and twine, and spend much of their time collecting both.


Cheers to you from the very busy, very happy weavers~
(Click on paired birds to see more detail.)

Putty-Cat~


I think I saw a putty-cat! I went to The San Diego Safari Park to practice with my new camera, but I got kinda distracted by these little guys. I think this one wanted to come home with me……or else he wanted to eat something right past my ear.

Meet the tiger cubs. One cub was brought to the park from The National Zoo after it was rejected by its mother and the other was confiscated at the San Diego/Mexican border by patrol agents when it was seven weeks old. One is a Bengal Tiger and the other a Sumatran. There are less than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild.

This wasn’t a fair test of my new RX10 camera because I had to shoot through-multi inch tempered scratched glass, but who cares, these guys were too amazing to pass up and I knew you would like to see them! I can show you some fair test shots later. Now, it’s tiger time.

The cubs are living in a 5.2 acre outdoor tiger habitat with a river running through it, a waterfall, grass, trees, multiple levels and hiding places, and real dirt to roll in. It cost $19.5 million dollars to build. The cubs are growing up together and thriving. Check out this video of the day they were introduced to each other which was filmed with no glass obstructions:

There are other tigers in the habitat too, like this guy, who likes his bone. Doggies get grumpy when you take their bone. I wouldn’t want to try taking this guy’s bone away! He seemed to think I might want to!

There are only 3,890 tigers left in the wild. In 1900 there were an estimated 100,000.

This past year is the first time there has been an actual modest increase in the wild tiger population since 1900, which proves that conservation efforts can work if they are supported.

It would be a worldwide disgrace if the only tigers left in the world lived in zoos.

Cheers to you from the earth’s last remaining magnificent tigers~

New Sony RX 10- IV~


Yesterday my new camera arrived and I have been practising with it, taking first photos around The Holler. (Click to enlarge the bees to see the details).


It is getting detail and is super fast, but will require more practice.

I was planning to use the camera mostly for landscapes, so I was pleasantly surprised with these first-attempt macros.


You can see some of the detail capability in this Datura or Moonflower. Moonflowers are night-blooming and belong to the nightshade family. They are poisonous and are pollinated at night by Sphinx and Hawk Moths. Native Americans used Moonflowers in sacred ceremonies as a hallucinogen.

These Night Blooming Cereus flowers were taken with my older, trusty HX400, which is still my go to bird and wildlife camera. The flowers grow on the tallest cactus in the world, Cereus Peruvians. Ours is over 30 feet tall! It’s flowers are as big as plates and open only at night. The tree generates tons of fruit called Peruvian Apples that are crunchy, sweet, and delicious!


Cheers to you from Sony’s views~