Centennial Bridge

Sunday, November 30, 2008

This beautiful bridge crosses the Guillard Cut through the Isthmus of Panama. This nine mile cut through volcanic rock was an extreme challenge during the building of the Panama Canal. Thousands of lives were lost to malaria and yellow fever before they realized that it was the little mosquito that was responsible for transmitting both diseases. A transit through the canal should be on your "must do" list. It's an engineering phenomenon.

"Centennial Bridge" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Three Little Mules All in a Row

These electric "mules" are what keep our ship evenly spaced once in the Panama Canal locks. There was only 24" of clearance on either side so it's important that the tension on the cables between the ship and the three mules on each side of our ship are perfect. Otherwise, we'd be leaving paint on the side of the locks. There are three locks on each end of the 50 mile canal. Three steps up and three down. Lake Gatun, in the middle, is man made and took four years to fill. It was a brilliant idea to eliminate a lot of earth removal had a cut been necessary through the entire width of Panama.

"Three Little Mules All in a Row" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Sunset - Punta Arenas

Saturday, November 29, 2008

We were headed back to the ship from our day's outing in the hills of Costa Rica when we noticed the sky sporting beautiful colors. Our guide said "looks like it's going to be a beautiful sunset". And under my breath I said "only if we get to the dock on time". I took this shot as we were driving onto the dock headed for our ship. It was beautiful but I wish we had been there sooner. Sunsets like this are so fleeting.

"Sunset - Punta Arenas" © Kathy Dunham 2008

One Big Ox Cart

Friday, November 28, 2008

Today we toured an ox cart factory in Sarchi, Costa Rica. This one sitting in the town square is the biggest ox cart in the world. I wonder if it fits "Babe", Paul Bunyan's big blue ox. He would certainly be a colorful addition to this beautifully decorated cart. Ox carts came into use at the beginning of the coffee trade in Costa Rica before the railroads and current day 18 wheelers. Lovingly hand painted, these colorful carts are now decorator items. And yes, I did buy a small one.

"One Big Ox Cart" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Mexican Spur

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The museum at the fort in Acapulco held many treasures. Among them this beautifully crafted spur. There was only one, don't know where the other one was. Would that make it difficult to ride a horse with only one spur on??? Inquiring minds want to know.

"Mexican Spur" © Kathy Dunham 2008

The Colors of Huatulco

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Huatulco is a verrrrry small cruise ship port on the southern coast of Mexico. Noted for it's eight beautiful bays, this area is great for snorkeling. Or shopping if you don't want to get wet. The buildings are painted wonderful, bright colors. Lots of fun with vendors always trying to get you to buy.

"The Colors of Huatulco" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Fuerte de San Diego

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Acapulco in the sun. But instead of beaches and cliff divers we decided to visit the old fort. Thank goodness it was just across the street from where our ship docked. Originally built in 1776, it was hit by a major earthquake in the 1800s and rebuilt. Not an exciting fort, as forts go, but filled with wonderful historical "stuff". I'm sure it gets missed by a lot of visitors.

"Fuerte de San Diego" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Dia de los Muertos

Monday, November 24, 2008

While strolling through Cabo San Lucas we came upon a very upscale "bar". It wasn't the drinks that caught our attention but these intricate ceramic statues of Dia de los Muertos figures. They were exquisitely done in wonderful colors and with a sense humor. This celebration in recognition of the deceased is held on November 2nd, but you can find figures similar to these all over Mexico any time of the year.

"Dia de los Muertos" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Lucy with "Mexican Barbies"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Four dollar... four dollar.... and I could have my own Mexican Barbie. Lucy was cute and for only two dollars, she posed for me on our walk in Cabo San Lucas. Then she offered to sell me a clay whistle for $3. I graciously declined.

Lucy with "Mexican Barbies" © Kathy Dunham 2008

All Ashore

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This seagull didn't know it was time to get off the ship. We've spent all day at sea enjoying cool temps and a little sun in the late afternoon. Tomorrow we'll be in Cabo San Lucas. Margarita time!!!!

"All Ashore" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Almost There

Friday, November 21, 2008

We just departed the dock in San Diego and are almost to Pt. Loma as I write this. Yes, I'm on another cruise. This time to the Panama Canal. Tomorrow we'll be at sea. Our first port of call is Cabo San Lucas. Pictures will follow. This shot is from another cruise I took a few years ago, just to whet your appetite. It's Punta Arenas, Costa Rica. We'll be there in about 5 days.

"Almost There" © Kathy Dunham 2008


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Canna lilies come in a wide range of colors. From delicate pinks to deep reds and everything in between. I wonder if a flower artist came along with a paint brush and added the freckles. Personally, that's a lot of work!

"Freckles" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Dew Drops

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Finding subjects with dew drops always presents an intriguing shot. I never know whether they are "cutsie" or really add interest to an image. I found these hiding in the shade under other foliage and because of the light, they are relfecting the color of the sky.

"Dew Drops" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Shrimp Plant

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Mom used to call this a "Shrimp Plant". Actually, it was a rust colored cousin of this member of the Justicia family. Native to Mexico and Central America, I found this lovely specimen in a conservatory at the Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Vancouver, B.C.

"Shrimp Plant" © Kathy Dunham 2008

The Domes of St. Mark's

Monday, November 17, 2008

I went to see the new James Bond flick tonight and after seeing all the exotic sights the movie takes you to, I started looking through my photos to see if I had anything that 007 might visit. Well, Venice certainly fit the bill and the beautiful domes of St. Mark's Cathedral do signify that fantastic city. Here's to you Mr. Bond.

"The Domes of St. Mark's" © Kathy Dunham 2008

A French Rose

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I don't often paint roses but I'm always taking pictures hoping to find the perfect one to paint. I found this lovely rose in France earlier this year and although I don't think it has the qualities I look for to make a great painting, it still was a pretty flower.

"A French Rose" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Sweet Lilacs

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I love lilacs in the spring and when I saw this shot tonight I could almost smell their fragrant aroma in the air. Descanso Gardens in La Canada (near Pasadena) has planted a lilac grove with as many varieties as would be happy in this climate. It's proving very successful and after three years they're really taking off. Take time next March to visit if you're in the area and smell the lilacs.

"Sweet Lilac" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Mama, Papa, Baby

Randy, a photographer friend, sent me some spectacular images tonight of flowers photographed in black and white. The lighting was perfect, creating the drama that I'm always looking for when searching out subject matter. I tried turning some of my photos into black and white but I'm addicted to color. Bright, exciting, unique and knock your socks off color. These three callas, with the splash of blue in the background just didn't look the same in black and white. Or maybe you should be the judge.

"Mama, Papa, Baby" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Mouse on a Stick

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Today I was at my friend Clonard's house and was surprised to find the cute little mouse finger puppet I gave her, stuck on a stick in her living room. Poor little guy! She's chairman of our Plein Air painters group (referred to as the Field Mice) so it was appropriate she have the mouse. I'm not sure this was the best spot but he was guarding the realm from his high perch.

"Mouse on Stick" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Venetian Balcony

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tonight I spent a wonderful evening with my friend Terry, celebrating my birthday. So this one's for you Terry. She joined me three years ago on a fantastic cruise of the Mediterranean. We both love Italy so needless to say, there wasn't one bad port of call with an Italian name on it. We had a great time in Venice, drinks at the Pitti Palace across the Grand Canal from the Santa Maria della Salute; a stroll through Piazza San Marco; and of course, a trip over the Rialto bridge. Ahhhh.... to be in Venice again!!

"Venetian Balcony" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Yukon Spirit

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

While in Skagway, Alaska several years ago, I was taken with the colorful bunting and flags flying above the station for the White Pass-Yukon Railway. This was the starting point for the big Yukon gold rush. The White Pass was steep, narrow and treacherous and the Canadian Mounties required anyone going to the gold fields over the pass to have 2,000 lbs. of food and other gear to sustain them once they made it over the top. This was a tough trip before the railroad was built and was usually carried or drug up the narrow pass, normally taking several trips to get everything to the top. Since today is Veterans Day, I thought the red, white and blue was appropriate.

"Yukon Spirit" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Chat Noir

Monday, November 10, 2008

I seem to have managed to amass a collection of pictures of black cats. Don't know why but they make such appealing subjects. This cutie posed nicely for me in a back alley in Victoria, B.C.

"Chat Noir" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Sign of Spring

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The days are getting shorter and the nights a little cooler but what I want is warmer weather and blossoms signify the beginning of warm weather. I know, I'm a few months ahead of the game but a gal can wish can't she?

"Sign of Spring" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Bottles in the Window

Friday, November 7, 2008

Today I had a wonderful lunch with fellow artists Connie, Joanne, Linda, Clonard and Sheila. The six of us spent two weeks in France together this past May, had a great time, created lots of paintings and took a ton of photos. So today Sheila hosted our lunch while we reminisced and shared our pictures. This shot was taken at the restaurant in St. Emillion where we had our "last lunch" together. The meal was the best I had in France and when I saw these wine bottles lined up on the windowsill I just had to capture the spirit of this great wine region.

"Bottles in the Window" © Kathy Dunham 2008


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gladiolas are stately flowers in a rainbow of colors. Reds, violets, pinks and greens plus many other combinations. These pink and yellow beauties were growing just outside the famous Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC. Actually, there were near the parking lot. I sure wish we had such wonderful flowers in our parking lots but alas, our weather is too hot for many flowers.

"Confetti" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Bachelor Bee

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I never realized how many pictures I've taken of bees, insects and critters until I started doing this blog. You'd think I was an entomologist. This little guy was busy collecting pollen on a bachelor's button (hence the title of this image) in the herb garden at the Huntington Library this past summer. Notice that his pollen is red. And earlier posting showed a bee with yellow pollen. These guys sure do get around.

"Bachelor Bee" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Tread Carefully

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

These barrel cactus at The Getty Museum make a stunning statement planted so closely together. Thank goodness there's no way to walk through them for they are only visible by looking over the side of the upper terrace.

"Tread Carefully" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Cayman Greeter

Monday, November 3, 2008

This beautiful macaw greeted everyone who came his way at the shopping mall in the Cayman Islands. He was hard to miss, and as noisy as he was colorful.

"Cayman Greeter" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Orchid Waterfall

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The conference is over and most of the attendees have headed home, but as I review my photos, this a spectacular one that doesn't do the actual scene the justice it deserves. These beautiful Phalaenopsis were striking in that they were so perfectly matched, all the same size and shape, all with the same number of blooms, all 24 plants.

"Orchid Waterfall" © Kathy Dunham 2008

Foo Dog

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Just outside the Education Center at the Huntington stands a pair of Chinese Foo Dogs. Keeping guard over the Children's Garden, they make a formidable and regal presence.

"Foo Dogs" © Kathy Dunham 2008