Ushuaia & The Beagle Channel!

The happy penguins of Patagonia!
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The Beagle Channel is named after Darwin’s ship, the HMS Beagle. Darwin explored and mapped the entire southern tip of Patagonia.
The Andes.

Channel view from Andes hike.
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Poppies everywhere!

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Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia Argentina. (This means “Land of Fire” and was named by Darwin. It referred to all the fires Darwin saw from his ship that were lit by the native people to keep warm.)
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Ushuaia terrain.
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I would recommend adding gorgeous Patagonia to your bucket list if you like to travel.
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Happy Sunday to you from The Holler!

“It’s Good to be The King or Queen!”

Traveling Tea Set for the Royal Party.
When in Vienna in May of this year we visited The Hofburg Imperial Apartments which contain The Winter Imperial Apartments, the Royal Silver Collection and The Imperial China Collection.
Each different pattern you see in a photo, represents a different complete set of royal china to serve up to 140 royal guests.
I only photographed one example of patterns that I liked. There were many more, from all around the world, that I didn’t photograph


This museum is filled with a VAST fortune of antique china services, each to serve large numbers of guests. It also contains vast stores of silver flatware and serving pieces to go long with each china service. It seems hard to justify this type of over the top opulence, when poor people at this time had hard and difficult lives.

All the sets had coordinating center pieces and serving dishes.
The palace was home to the Hapsburgs for 600 years. The furnishings and china you see in these photos date from the early 18th century to the mid 19th century.

There are more patterns that I took sample photos of that I liked. If anyone is interested in seeing them, I will post them, but I didn’t want to bore your with too many examples.


If you were the hostess of one of these dinners, this is the dress you might wear, an actual dress worn by Empress Elizabeth.


And if you were the King Franz Joseph, this was your bedroom. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to be taking pics here……but I did find out! So enjoy these rare photos.



Cheers to your from the decidedly Non-Imperial Holler~

Patagonian Memories!

Stunning Patagonia. We were back for the second time in January of this year.

This is a saltwater marsh bird-sanctuary in El Calafate Argentina. It looked like a Monet painting.

These Harrier Hawks were guarding their nest and dove at us repeatedly. We wore tie on hats and protective eyewear and ducked a lot. We moved out of their nesting territory, but not before I took some shots. It was quite exhilarating!
Note the talons!

He looks rather annoyed at me doesn’t he!

The Southern Caracara’s were everywhere!

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We came upon this herd of oncoming traffic while exploring down a dirt road in Las Rocas, El Calafate. You can see why Patagonia is famous for its horses. They were a gorgeous sight, and a bit of a problem as the road had no shoulder! They streamed around us quite politely though!
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El Perito Morena Glacier El Calafate.

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This Night Heron was in Ushuaia Argentina, the southern most city in the world, nicknamed El Fin Del Mundo. Of course we want to go back!
Cheers to you and happy Tuesday!

Have You Ever Been Stared at by a Hummingbird?


Now you have!

The hummingbirds are now landing on my hand when I change the feeder. I have ordered a hand-held feeder, but have yet to determine how I will feed them and take pics at the same time! They tend to look at me quite directly as you can see in this and the next post’s photos!

Hummingbirds are one of the most aggressive bird species. They will attack jays, ravens and even some hawks. They climb to great heights and dive bomb each other at up to 60 mph!


The hummingbird above right is flying backwards away from another bird. Hummers are the only birds that can fly backwards. They can also fly upside down!
I have purchased a second hanging feeder to lessen the competition between the birds. I have heard and seen the impacts, but so far no bird has been injured, and they even co-operate at the feeder as you can see in some of these photos.
Hummer’s hearts beat at up to 1200 beats per minute!
But, they can’t walk or hop on their feet….
Their beaks are like rapiers and they are not shy about using them!

Hummingbirds often consume up to 2X’s their body weights in nectar daily! Cheers to you from Hummer Holler!

“Hieroglyphics of Angels…”


“Flowers haves spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels…” Lydia Marie Child

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.” The Buddha

Two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.” Sheikh Muslih-uddin Saadi Shirazi, The Gulistan of
Saadi, 1270


“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” Gerard de Nerval



“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it…”Georgia O’Keefe
“He who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth is generally considered to be a fortunate person, but his good fortune is small compared to that of the happy mortal who enters the world with a passion for flowers in his soul.” Celia Thaxter
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Confucius

I hope these flowers brighten your day. Cheers to you~

Spanish Village Artists Colony!

The Spanish Village Artists Colony in San Diego’s Balboa Park is home to 37 artist studios. It was built in 1935-1936 for The California Pacific Exposition.


Many art guilds are housed here including woodcarvers, potters, art glass makers, sculptors, wood carvers and many more. Check it out:




The patio has free wi fi and it is such a relaxing place to hang out after visiting the Koi pond. It will offer you a Zen-like day.


And you might even come home with a prince!!

Cheers to you, bloggin and chillin in Spanish Village!

Balboa Park Nishikigoi Pond!

This pond in Balboa Park was built for the 1915-16 California-Panama Exposition as were many of the buildings surrounding the pond. The pond is full this time of year with hundreds of tiny baby Nishikigoi and well as the gorgeous full-sized adults. The term Koi is an english language abbreviation of the Japanese word Nishikigoi, but they both refer to the same gorgeous fish! Take a peek at these beauties in their wonderful pond. I have been visiting them here since I was a tiny child and so have my children!

The water lilies alone are reason to visit this beautiful park.
But the Nishikigoi are the real stars of the pond!

The solid color koi are striking!
There are other creatures living in the pond, like seasonal ducks, and fellows like this one peeking over a lily pad.


Watching koi swim has been demonstrated to lower your blood pressure and stress levels. No wonder! They are so peaceful looking and gorgeous.

Next time you feel stressed out, go find a koi pond to relax by! Cheers to you from Balboa Park~

“The Sun’s Kisses…”


“My 10th Sonata is a Sonata of insects. Insects are born from the sun…they are the sun’s kisses.” Alexander Scriabin
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“I am dying by inches by not having anybody to talk to about insects.” Charles Darwin (Age 21)

“In fighting the insect we have killed ourselves, polluted our water, poisoned our wildlife, permeated our own flesh with deadly toxins. The insect becomes immune, and we are poisoned. In fighting with superior intellect, we have outsmarted ourselves.” The Hellstrom Chronicles

“If all insects on Earth disappeared, within 50 years all life on Earth would end.” Jonas Salk


“A stray fact: insects are not drawn to candle flames, they are drawn to the light on the far side of the flame, they go into the flame and sizzle to nothingness because they’re so eager to get to the light on the other side.” Michael Cunningham

Lords of The Holler Part II: Night Terrors!


When the sun goes to bed,
the howling hordes raise their heads.


They call to each other across the valley,
as the sun paints portraits in the sky.


Woe to the creatures in the failing light,
the Lords of The Holler rule the night.


Alert now, and watching.
Commencing the hunt.
At night at The Holler,
be cautious.

The shadows are alive.

Note: These night photos of Canis latrans were taken with a motion activated, night-vision camera.

Lords of the Holler Part I: Dawn.

He doesn’t want to play nice with me! This coyote surprised me and stood his ground. He stared at me and even lowered his head as if preparing to charge. Gets your heart beating faster then your morning cup of joe!
All of these photos were taken at early, misty, dawn.
Like most wild animals, the coyotes know you are there, well before you know they are! Usually they move off, but the large alpha males sometimes don’t, and this always gets my full attention
They are gorgeous, highly-adaptive, intelligent animals. This one looks away.


Sometimes they watch you, but typically, move off rather quickly.
This one hears something that interests him more than me, which is always good.
They have incredible hearing and are remorseless pack hunters, bringing down calves, despite the efforts of the herds and the bulls to protect them.


This is a younger one.

They are definitely nothing like your friendly dog Spot! Please stay tuned for Lords of the Holler Part II: Night Terrors!