La Leona, Argentina – January 2020 – Three for the Price of One

In our travels across North America we have visited the Badlands in South Dakota, seen fossils in Arizona, and dinosaur bones in Colorado. In Southern Patagonia we had the chance to do this all in one place, La Leona.

And because it happens to be on a 30,000 acre ranch owned by one person, it is very restricted as to who can go there. We arranged a tour through one of the agencies in El Calafate, and were very pleased the next morning to see a mini van come to pick us up. Our group had 7 people, a driver and the guide!

The area is about 1.5 hours north of El Calafate – the scenery was fantastic along the way.











After a long drive up a bumpy dirt road, we got out and took off through the badlands.









It wasn’t long before we came upon the first dinosaur bone. They have been removing nearly full dinosaur skeletons from here for more than 20 years, so what is left are the ‘scraps’.

Still very impressive, they welcome you to touch them, hold them, and examine them – just leave them. They even gave us instructions on how to tell bone from rock – lick them. Or rather, lick your finger and press it against the object. If it sticks it is bone, otherwise it is rock.













There is even interesting vegetation throughout.





Our hike through the badlands continued with our guide Roci, until we reached the ‘petrified forest’. Roci was very knowledgeable and gave an excellent overview of what we were seeing, and how it got to be that way.





It is amazing how heavy small fragments of the petrified wood weighs.





We spent about 3 hours wandering around the badlands, finding plenty of petrified wood, and the occasional dinosaur bone.

What an amazing place, and fantastic day. To be able to see and touch these wonders of nature was great – and with such a small group at that.







































































Favorites of 2019

A great year of sights – these are my favorite 30 photos of 2019, with brief explanations why they are my favorites.

Chicago – Willis (Sears) Tower. The perspective of people out of their elements.





Washington – The former Capital Columns in the Arboretum. The morning lighting with the wildflowers and contrast of the columns.





Washington – Embassy Open House Day – and a young lady’s perfect timing next to their logo.





Near Frankfurt, Kentucky – I have a thing about old, seemingly abandoned buildings. This however had been reclaimed and re-used for it’s original purpose – bourbon storage and aging.





New Orleans – Mardis Gras World. It was like stepping into some psychedelic movie.





Avery Island, Louisiana – The symmetry of the rice fields with another old building.





Houston – The home of quirky art. This is from Lucky Land, a very cool place.





Houston quirky art part 2 – Giant President Heads.





San Antonio mission. Symmetry and historic architecture.





Amarillo, Texas – Cadillac Ranch, but after a storm where they appeared to be in a pond.





Columbus Zoo and a zoom lens. The statement in the face and amazing beauty of the animals.









Montreal – Ferris Wheel in Old Montreal – Perfect timing and lighting (just lucky on the timing).





Marietta, Ohio – Sternwheeler festival.





Chicago – Open House and another fantastic ceiling/light.





Buenos Aires – obviously the extended period spent in Argentina has opened a new world of photo possibilities. Recoleta Cemetery is the most popular tourist spot in the city, and I had the good fortune of some young lady there for (I suspect) a photo shoot when she ran by the row I was in, turned and posed for me! Who doesn’t want a photo of a young lady running through a cemetery with a knife.




Recoleta Cemetery provides so many great shots – the cob webs are natural, not staged.




The tomb of San Martin.





The La Boca neighborhood is known as a working class neighborhood in love with their team – La Boca juniors. The old car symbolizes the working class neighborhood and it was parked in front of the soccer practice fields with their bright colors on the walls.






Chacarita Cemetery is not as famous as Recoleta, but still a very stunning place.





The sunrises and sunsets can be amazing.









An hour drive out of town to San Antonio de Areco, and their gaucho festival was the event of the year. 4000 people and horses dressed for the occasion.





The Jacaranda trees are fantastic in bloom.






On a walking tour of street art the passer by’s sometimes fit the theme.






The Casa Rosada. A great courtyard and a bemused guard.










Hockey in Argentina – bring that soccer passion inside and combine it with hockey.





Finally – Bariloche, a beautiful mountain and lakes region.





Logan, OH – March 2019 – Last Ice Posting of the Year (Hopefully)

With winter hopefully coming to an end soon it was a good day to check out Hocking Hills State Park, and the numerous waterfalls throughout the park.





For this hike we started at the top of the gorge, where the aptly named Upper Falls is located.





As we made our way downstream we passed numerous ice formations on the gorge walls.





While the icicles are all bumpy, the icy spots on the trail were perfectly smooth, and very slick.





The day was mostly cloudy but we did have a peak of the sun highlight the lower falls and rock formation near one of the trails exiting the gorge.





Much like snowflakes, it seems no two icicles are the same.





The stream continues down the gorge with numerous small waterfalls.





We reached the lower falls before heading off for other trails.





Broken Rock Falls is at the end of a short side trail. Despite the narrow path for the water to travel over the wall, it came down with significant noise.





We moved on to Cedar Falls where the path to the falls took us past more interesting formations on the gorge wall. It seems the ice here was ‘stuck’ to the wall, as opposed to the numerous icicles elsewhere, although there were some here too.





The light mist that comes over the edge causes the light coating.





Cedar Falls is one of the nicer ones in the park.





Another waterfalls was hidden around the corner from the main falls, and all of the people. Note the two logs framing the sides covered in ice as well.





Our final stop was Ash Cave. We saved this for our ‘grand finale’, however the cone at the bottom wasn’t nearly as tall as in previous years.

Still it is an impressive falls.



A close up of the ice ‘cone’ at the bottom with the mist of water barely visible in the center.

All in all it was a great day in the park, and my phone says I climbed the equivalent of 54 stories of a building! Exercise and photography, what could be better.







Columbus – September 2018 – Butterflies

Each summer one of the rooms at the Franklin Park Conservatory has butterflies that fly freely. This mid September day was the last day of this season for them (not sure where they go for winter – maybe Florida?)

Butterflies are fast – but when you do catch them in a photo they are beautiful.

2018 09 16 168 Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory.jpg

 

2018 09 16 169 Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory.jpg

 

2018 09 16 170 Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory.jpg

 

2018 09 16 171 Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory.jpg

 

2018 09 16 173 Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory.jpg

 

2018 09 16 174 Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory.jpg

 

 

2018 09 16 177 Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory.jpg

 

 

2018 09 16 180 Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory.jpg

 

 

2018 09 16 181 Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory.jpg

 

2018 09 16 182 Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory.jpg

 

2018 09 16 183 Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory.jpg

 

2018 09 16 185 Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory.jpg

 

2018 09 16 188 Columbus Franklin Park Conservatory.jpg

 

 

 

 

Fort Wayne, Indiana – August 2018 – Random Sights Around Town

The city of Fort Wayne, Indiana is the 2nd largest in Indiana, behind Indianapolis. While not huge, it was large enough to have a few interesting things to see and do.

Easily the most architecturally interesting building is the Allen County Courthouse.

2018 08 31 464 Ft Wayne IN.jpg

 

 

The building had numerous carvings and reliefs.

2018 08 31 474 Ft Wayne IN.jpg

 

 

The carved tablet emphasizes the idea of justice for all.

2018 08 31 476 Ft Wayne IN.jpg

 

 

While Lady Justice looks over the setting.

2018 08 31 478 Ft Wayne IN.jpg

 

 

The Lincoln Tower was for 50 years the tallest building in town. There are a couple of ones taller now, but none more stylish.

2018 08 31 486 Ft Wayne IN.jpg

 

 

Directly across the street from the classic architecture of the courthouse and the Lincoln Tower is this modern mid rise.

2018 08 31 487 Ft Wayne IN.jpg

 

 

The main branch of the library.

2018 08 31 459 Ft Wayne IN.jpg

 

 

Fort Wayne was surprisingly (to me) nice. There is some recent development downtown, the neighborhoods were pleasant and overall it didn’t feel like an old industrial city.

2018 08 31 460 Ft Wayne IN.jpg

 

 

One of the more unusual local tourist attractions is the Hanson Quarry on the southeast side of town. Where else in the flat lands of Indiana can you find a giant 1000′ deep hole in the ground.

They have an observation deck built that is open during daylight hours where you can come check out the giant hole in the ground.

2018 08 31 451 Ft Wayne IN Gravel Pit.jpg

 

 

The next morning we made our way to Lakeside Park and Rose Gardens.

2018 09 01 45 Ft Wayne IN Lakeside Park.jpg

 

 

The gardens feature some sculptures.

2018 09 01 15 Ft Wayne IN Lakeside Park.jpg

 

 

But their 2000 rose plants are the highlight.

2018 09 01 16 Ft Wayne IN Lakeside Park.jpg

 

 

Late August heat has put stress on the roses.

2018 09 01 29 Ft Wayne IN Lakeside Park.jpg

 

 

Lakeside Park in Fort Wayne is worth a visit.

2018 09 01 25 Ft Wayne IN Lakeside Park.jpg