December 2010 Archives

Panama - Coffee Plantation

We're in Cala Mia, a resort on Isla Boca Brava just off the south-west (Pacific) side of Panama. We're sitting beside the pool enjoying a balmy New Year's Eve. Much to our surprise, the place has wi-fi, so I'm taking the opportunity to send some photos from yesterday, when we stayed at Finca Lerida, a coffee plantation in the western province of Chiriqui.

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(Click to enlarge) The building in which we were staying, viewed from a hill over the coffee plantation. Our room is just to the right of the central angle.

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(Click To Enlarge) Coffee beans (called cherries) on a bush. The dark red ones are picked, one at a time.

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(Click to enlarge) Cherries waiting to be skinned (there are two skins, outer and inner) to make the beans ready for processing.

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(Click to enlarge) Elsa in the "cupping" room, where different batches of beans are roasted, ground, and tested for fragrance and taste.

Happy New Year!

Panama - Embara Village

Yesterday we went to an Embara tribal village, boating up the Chagres River and Lake Madden. They're handsome people, colorfully dressed and sophisticated in receiving visitors. Rather than dole these pictures out two at a time, I thought I'd post them all at once.

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Panama - Panama City

We're at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort outside of Panama City, in the midst of a torrential downpour (a front that has moved up from South America) that shows no sign of letting up soon. Our Country Walkers group -- which was supposed to be nine people -- is down to just Elsa and me. Five, stuck by snowstorms on the East Coast, have canceled. One is trying to get here from Washington, D.C. And one is stuck in the San Blas Islands, where she went before this tour, the rain being too heavy for her small plane to fly up here.

So we're sitting in the comfortable lobby of the resort, with free wi-fi, and I figured that I might start posting some of my photos from Panama City, where we spent three days before starting our Country Walkers excursion.

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(Click to enlarge) When we took our first walk around Panama City on Saturday, the two things that struck us immediately were the enormous concentration of skyscrapers, newly built or under construction ...

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(Click to enlarge) ... and the large number of nativity scenes, many of them life-sized and constructed with great care and verisimilitude.

More of both themes to come in following days, as internet access allows.


New Mexico - Bosque del Apache

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(Click to enlarge) Sandhill cranes flying into a pond for the night.

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(Click to enlarge) In the pond, safe from predators.

It turns out we do have internet in the place we're staying in Panama. This may change day by day, so stay tuned.

New Mexico - Bernardo Wildlife Area

More of the quiet beauty of the fields, waterways, and background mountains in south-central New Mexico.

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We are currently on vacation in Panama, heading into the jungle this afternoon. Internet access is uncertain, so this may be the last post until the beginning of January. Happy New Year!

New Mexico - Bernardo Wildlife Area

Even without the big birds in the scene, the fields and waterways of the Bernardo Wildlife Area are beautiful.

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New Mexico - Sandhill Cranes

Every winter thousands of sandhill cranes and snow geese fly south from the northern plains to New Mexico, where they eat and sleep in fields and ponds that are specially prepared for them. The most famous of these areas is the Bosque del Apache (of which I'll post pictures in a few days), but there are others nearly as notable. One of these is the Bernardo Wildlife Area, part of the Ladd S. Gordon Waterfowl Complex. It is located about an hour's drive south of Albuquerque, between Belen and Socorro and between I-25 and the Rio Grande. The area, purchased in 1971 and consisting of 1675 acres, contains mostly flat croplands. In the late fall and winter, fields are flooded for the waterfowl to roost in.

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New Mexico - Petroglyph National Monument

Late afternoon sunlight cast a golden glow over the Petroglyphs National Monument.

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New Mexico - Petroglyph National Monument

Afternoon sunlight on the silvery bushes set the hillside aglow.

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New Mexico - Petroglyph National Monument

Dark rocks and glowing vegetation

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New Mexico - Petroglyph National Monument

The terrain around Albuquerque is seismically fairly quiet now, but there are extinct volcano cones scattered about, and in Petroglyph National Monument the ground is covered with basalt rocks from previous eruptions. The rocks make strong patterns against the yellow grass and silver bushes.

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New Mexico - Petroglyph National Monument

We were down in Albuquerque a couple of weeks ago, and hiked for an afternoon in the Petroglyph National Monument west of the city. It's an attractive and interesting hike, especially in cool weather. The fields of volcanic basalt rock provided plentiful surfaces for the estimated 25,000 images carved by Ancestral Puebloan peoples and early Spanish settlers.

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University of Minnesota - Helical Sculpture

Two more photos of the helical sculpture in the Science Teaching and Student Services Building. The piece lends itself to an unlimited number of vivid abstract images.

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University of Minnesota - Base of the Helix

The base of the helical sculpture in the Science Teaching and Student Services Building is a brilliant combination of blue and silver metal with bright LEDs. A web search reveals that the piece was made by Saint Paul artist Alexander Tylevich, though it is not yet featured in the public art section of his web site.

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University of Minnesota - Helix

Two views of the helical part of the spectacular sculpture that runs up the middle of the atrium of the new Science Teaching and Student Services Building.

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University of Minnesota - Public Art

The new Science Teaching and Student Services Building at the University of Minnesota has a spectacular piece of art running vertically through its core: a multi-story helix rising from a shining blue base. It's the most striking piece of public art I've seen at the UM, or perhaps anywhere. More photos will follow.

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University of Minnesota - Saint Paul Student Center

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(click to enlarge) A capsule summary of university life: studying, eating, sleeping, talking, texting ...

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(click to enlarge) It takes a lot of supplies and equipment to keep the place clean.

University of Minnesota Buildings - Bowling

Bowling is a big thing in the Saint Paul Student Center.

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University of Minnesota Buildings - Ruttan Hall

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(click to enlarge) Formerly the Classroom Office Building on the Saint Paul Campus, Ruttan Hall is named after distinguished agricultural economist Vern Ruttan.

University of Minnesota Buildings - Sunny Saint Paul Campus

A couple of photos from this fall on the Saint Paul campus, to serve as a counterweight to yesterday's blizzard.

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(click to enlarge) McNeal Hall

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(click to enlarge) Saint Paul Student Center

University of Minnesota Buildings - Scott Hall

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(click to enlarge) Some empty hallways at the University of Minnesota look like cell blocks; this one in Scott Hall looks like a church.

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Pretty tilework in the Scott Hall entryway.

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Scott Hall used to house the School of Music. Its lobby therefore has some nice bas relief plaques of musicians.

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University of Minnesota Buildings - Nicholson Hall

Nicholson Hall is not just elegant curvy railings. It also has students and computer labs.

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Elegant ironwork

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Nicholson Hall was renovated several years ago - very elegantly.

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University of Minnesota Buildings - Wesbrook Hall

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University of Minnesota Buildings

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(click to enlarge) Fraser Hall classroom

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(click to enlarge) Wesbrook Hall cubicles

University of Minnesota Buildings - Cooke Hall

Cooke Hall houses the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota.

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(click to enlarge) Thomas Stoffregen, Professor of Kinesiology, with two of the weighted wands he uses to study perceptions of weight and distance.

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(click to enlarge) One of Prof. Stoffregen's graduate students, using a video game to assay susceptibility to motion sickness.

University of Minnesota Buildings - Biological Sciences

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University of Minnesota Buildings

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(click to enlarge) Homecoming lunch at McNamara Alumni Center

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(click to enlarge) Armory tower

University of Minnesota Buildings - Appleby Hall

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Programs housed in Appleby Hall:

* Community Service-Learning Center
* Counseling & Consulting Services, University
* Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Ally Programs Office
* Hispanic Advocacy & Community Empowerment Through Research
* Leadership Education & Development - Undergraduate Programs, Ofc for
* Literacy Initiative/America Reads
* Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence
* Off-Campus Study Programs
* Parent Program, University
* Student Academic Success Services
* Student Affairs, Ofc of the Vice Provost for
* Student Conduct & Academic Integrity, Ofc for
* Student Conflict Resolution Center
* Student Parent Help Center
* Student Writing Support
* Undergrad Research Opportunities Program
* Women's Center

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2010 is the previous archive.

January 2011 is the next archive.

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