The Irrefutable Persistance of Beauty~

is all around us,

and inside us,


unique and perfectly imperfect.


Sometimes, when we are worried or troubled,

we fail to recognize,

beauty.


But is always here,

just waiting for us to notice,

and bring us comfort.

Cheers to you from all that is beautiful in you and around you~

Lake Vrana & Zadar~


These first five photos were taken atop Mt. Kamenjak in the Vrana Lake Nature Park in Croatia. The amazing view you are seeing looks down over Lake Vrana towards the Kornati Islands in the Adriatic Sea.


Lake Vrana, the greenish body of water in the forefront, lies on the Dalmatian coast, and is the largest lake in Croatia. It is separated from the sea by a mere 2 km strip of land which you can clearly see in this photo.


The view from the opposite side of Mt. Kamenjak is also incredible, and looks into the interior of Croatia. It was quite special for me to visit this area of the world, because my grandfather, who emigrated to the US through Ellis Island in the early 1900’s, was from this area.

The spectacular Mt. Kamenjak viewpoint is off the beaten track and less traveled.

There is a charming old chapel, many hiking options, picnic facilities, and a place to order snacks if you didn’t bring a picnic.

Lake Varna can be easily reached on a day trip from nearby Zadar, the oldest continuously occupied city in Croatia. This is St. Donatus Church in Zadar, founded in the 9th Century.


The small chapel is St. Mary’s Church, founded in 1066, and the ruins you see scattered about are the remnants of the largest Roman Forum in the Eastern Adriatic.

Zadar is the historical center of The Dalmatian Coast. It was founded by the Liburnians in the 4th Century BC, and numerous Neolithic settlements have been discovered here.


Zadar is a delightfully fun city to visit, with lots of places to explore, and wonderful restaurants to sample the local cuisine. If this isn’t enough to tempt you, Croatia is a good travel bargain, especially off-season. The city quay, where people gather, has a sea organ that chimes in rhythm with the waves. It also has the remarkable glass “Greeting to the Sun,” which you can see in this photo and read about by clicking on the link below:

http://www.zadar.travel/en/city-guide/attractions/05-12-2007/the-greeting-to-the-sun


We are still home at The Holler now, but it is cheers to you from spectacular Lake Vrana and historic Zadar, Croatia~

Egyptian Quackers in Germany~


Is there anything more winsome than newly hatched Egyptian goslings?

Mama is quite a beauty too!

Germany has a wonderful selection of exotic birds swimming in their lakes and rivers.

Egyptian Geese originated in the Nile Valley and Africa, and were considered sacred by the Ancient Egyptians who first domesticated them.

People bought these geese as ornamental birds and many escaped, establishing feral colonies all over Western Europe.

I saw these beauties swimming in The Neckar River in Heidelberg during my April trip.

Cheers to you from The Holler, and from the hopefully, still-happily paddling geese in Germany~

Bloggers~

This post, of photos taken in and around Greece, is dedicated to you. Opa!
(Athens)

Creativity is one of the most personally helpful gifts a person can possess.


It gets you through all sorts of negative situations, because it pulls you out of yourself, and your individual worries and concerns.

I think the willingness of bloggers to put their creativity out in the universe, consistently, in a blog, is a huge act of individual human courage.

This individual blogging courage and creativity results in a blogsphere replete with fascinating, absorbing and intriguing blog posts, that offer an improved reading and viewing experience, that is a refreshing alternative to mass media.
(Above four photos were taken on the island of Corfu)


Being part of a worldwide community of talented and supportive bloggers broadens our horizons and perspectives, and enhances our lives.
(Stairway Hotel Bretagne Athens)

It enables bloggers to form genuine friendships with like-minded people from all over the world.
(Corfu)


I wanted to take time to let you know how much I admire and respect you, and how grateful I am to be part of your community.
(Santorini)

You make my life, and the lives of so many others, much richer!
(Santorini)

So here’s to you, and to the enjoyment you provide to those who look at your blogs!
(Corfu lizard)

Cheers to you from The Holler (and Opa to you from Greece!)

Ancient Olympia~


Olympia Greece is the birthplace of our modern olympic games and is a UNESCO world heritage site. Touring the site is an incredible experience.

Only males could compete in the Ancient Greek Olympics. They slathered each other with olive oil and competed naked. My husband thought my last post was a tad boring, so I decided to ramp things up a tick with some factoids I learned from our Greek historian as we toured Olympia.


Continuing with her narrative, the historian explained that married women were not allowed to attend the games, and if they snuck in, they could be put to death by being thrown off Mount Typaeon. (I don’t know if this ever actually happened.) However, young, “maiden” females were allowed in to “observe”, and prostitutes could, and did attend, apparently doing more business during these olympic days than they typically did all year-long.
Some of this I learned on my own afterwards because enquiring minds do want to know, and the historian sort of skidded over some of it.
Travel is very educational.


The historian clarified the word gymnasium came from Ancient Greek and means males exercising naked.
Females did apparently have their own sort of more minor, separate sporting event at Olympia, but they wore shifts, and only exposed one breast, imitating the Amazons.
I wonder if they were allowed to throw their husbands off Mt. Typaeon if they snuck in? Or let single, young, males, in to “observe”? What would you guess?


The first olympics were held here in the 8th century BC and the first buildings were constructed in 600 BC. The Temple of Zeus was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and is the oldest known Doric building in the world.

Olympia is extensive and takes a full day just to walk. There are twelve houses of treasure, a hippodrome, a stadium, the Paelastra or wrestling school, the Phillippieion an Ionic circular memorial, vaulted tunnels and walkways, a gymnasium, a museum full of statuary and relics, and much more. It was spring when we toured, and the Judas Trees and wildflowers were just starting to bloom which made it all even more incredibly beautiful. April is said to be the best month to visit ancient sites in Greece due to the stunning spring flowers.

In case you want to check out the historian’s factoids (I did), please see:
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Olympics/faq5.html
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/08/0809_040809_nakedolympics_2.html
http://www.ancient.eu/Gymnasium/
We are home now, so it’s cheers to you from The Holler~

Cape Sounion~


Cape Sounion, the southern tip of The Attica Peninsula in Greece, is the site of the stunning Temple of Poseidon built-in 440 BC on top of an earlier temple destroyed in a prior war.

Archeological finds at The Cape date from as early as 700 BC.

According to Greek Mythology, Poseidon God of the Sea, was second in importance only to Zeus, the supreme Deity. For an ocean reliant society like Ancient Greece, the God of the Sea, controller of storms and shipwrecks, was critically important to appease. This temple was the site of many ceremonies in Poseidon’s honor, often attended by entire city states, that sometimes included animal sacrifice.

The temple stands 200 feet above the sea, is rectangular in shape, and originally had 34 columns, supporting an exterior colonnade on all four sides.

A 20 foot tall statue of Poseidon stood inside the structure made of bronze and covered in gold leaf.

Lord Byron made at least two trips to The Temple, reportedly signed his name at the base, and mentioned it in his poem, The Isles of Greece:

“Place me on Sunium’s marbled steep,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
There, swan-like, let me sing and die:”

Sounion is an upscale summer home location for Athenians, with some of the most expensive real estate in Greece, some villas reportedly worth 20 million or so euros. The town is lovely, with quiet beaches, quaint restaurants, and a variety of wonderful places to stay, that thankfully are not as expensive as the surrounding real estate.


We are home at The Holler now, and I am posting at home about places we visited on our last trip, so it is still:
Cheers to you from beautiful Cape Sounion & Poseidon’s Ancient Temple~

For more info see:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sounion

Hummer’s Mean Home: Part I (Perching)~


Coming home means hanging out with the hummers.

I don’t worry about them when I’m gone.

I just miss them.

My husband, the actual-factual, logical-biostatistician, said incredulously, “They fly up to me like they missed me.”

He’s not used to thinking like this,


but he can’t help noticing such obvious birdy behavior.

Speaking of birdy behavior, we are having a problem this year.

The snoozing little capitalist you see above is dominating two quart-sized feeders and relentlessly attacking and driving all hummers off who try to feed. He spends more time hoarding nectar than feeding and snoozes all the time because he’s exhausted from all his effort. Of course he can’t even begin to drink this much nectar!

You can see him perched on the wire above the feeder, waiting to attack any bird that dares to drink! We have three feeders now spaced far apart to control him, one in a bush that is impossible for him to monitor, but when I shut one of “his” feeders down, he goes to dominate another. We have never had such a greedy little guy and he reigns unchallenged. I hope he’s not learning this behavior from watching humans! 😉


Cheers to you from the harmonious Holler Hummers….(and the one little greedy guy)~