February 2011 Archives

Central Avenue - Geometry and Gesture

Photographing along Central Avenue in Albuquerque, I was continually attracted to the geometries and gestures (if inanimate objects can be said to gesture) of signs against the sky.

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Central Avenue - Layers of Signs

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Central Avenue - Transient Accommodations

Along with cars, another prominent feature of life along the western end of Central Avenue in Albuquerque is temporary housing: motels and apartments. Some of them are no longer in business.

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Central Avenue - Car Culture (3)

Whether it's getting a loan against the value of a car, insuring it, or testing its emissions, car culture along Central Avenue in Albuquerque is accompanied by vivid visuals.

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Central Avenue - Car Culture (2)

The not-so-happy side of car culture along Central Avenue in Albuquerque.

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Central Avenue - Car Culture

Central Avenue, being part of old Route 66, has a strong connection to the automobile. There are only a few places, however, that seem to celebrate that connection.

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Central Avenue - Murals

Albuquerque has some striking murals. Here are some from the West Side along Central Avenue.

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Central Avenue - Signs of Desperation

Life for many along the western part of Albuquerque's Central Avenue is close to the edge.

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Central Avenue - Signs

The west end of Central Avenue is probably the most economically depressed, and for that reason it's the location of some of the most revealing and evocative signs for businesses that didn't make it or are on the edge. Here are two examples; more to come.

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Albuquerque - Central Avenue

Historic Route 66, as it runs through Albuquerque, becomes Central Avenue. I've just completed a project of photographing along Central Avenue from end to end, from Unser Blvd on the west to Tramway Blvd on the east, a distance of 13.5 miles. Here are the beginning and end points.

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(click to enlarge) Western end, at Unser, looking off toward Gallup and Arizona.

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(click to enlarge) Eastern end, at Tramway, looking toward the Sandia Mountains, Santa Rosa, and Texas.

Panama Canal - Ships

Finally, what it's all about: Tankers transiting the Panama Canal through Gatun Lake.

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Panama Canal - Fauna

At the end of our Panama trip, we took a boat ride on Gatun Lake. According to Wikipedia, "Gatun Lake (Sp. Lago GatĂșn) is a large artificial lake situated in the Republic of Panama; it forms a major part of the Panama Canal, carrying ships for 33 km (20 miles) of their transit across the Isthmus of Panama.

The lake was created between 1907 and 1913 by the building of the Gatun Dam across the Chagres River. At the time it was created, Gatun Lake was the largest man-made lake in the world, and the dam was the largest earth dam."

The lake is part of a healthy ecosystem, and we saw many animals along its bank, including

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(click to enlarge) Capuchin monkey

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Building the Panama Canal

The Visitors Center at the Miraflores Locks of the Panama Canal has some evocative dioramas of the building of the canal.

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Panama - Finca Lerida

Three final photos from Finca Lerida:

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(click to enlarge) This tree reminds me of a menorah.

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Panama - Coffee Tasting

We were given the opportunity to sample three different preparations of coffee in the tasting room at the Finca Lerida coffee plantation. Notable taste differences were evident.

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(click to enlarge) Tasters

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Panama Cloud Forest - Lushness

The lushness of the cloud forest at Finca Lerida is almost overwhelming.

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Panama - Cloud Forest Leaves

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Panama - Cloud Forest

The cloud forest at Finca Lerida in northwest Panama is crowded, tangled, and lovely.

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Panama - Coffee Plantation and Cloud Forest

Finca Lerida, a coffee plantation in the northwest corner of Panama, is both a coffee plantation and an ecolodge situated on the edge of a cloud forest. It's a fine base for hiking.

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(click to enlarge) Rows and rows of coffee trees

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(click to enlarge) View toward the mountains

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(click to enlarge) Old shacks on the edge of the forest

Panama - Embera-Wounaan People

Two gatherings of Embera-Wounaan people:


(click to enlarge) For the tourists


(click to enlarge) For themselves

Panama - Embera Thatched Building

This is a small village (only 68 inhabitants, we were told), but the communal house, where they hold ceremonies and receive visitors, is impressively large.


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Panama - Gamboa Scenes


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Panama - Boats

Dugout canoes used by the Embera people.


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Panama - Blues

In a river town near Gamboa, waiting for a boat to take us up the Chagres River to an Embera village.


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Panama - Bark Painting (2)

In the Soberania Rain Forest National Park, a tree trunk looks almost like stained glass.

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Panama - In the Rain Forest

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(click to enlarge) A semiplumous hawk, seen through the underbrush.

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(click to enlarge) Striking leaves, but I can't remember the name of this plant.

Panama - Patterns in the Rain Forest

In Soberania National Park, transilluminated palm fronds make striking patterns.

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Panama - Leaves and Insects in the Rain Forest

In the Soberania National Park Rainforest outside Panama City, leaves and insects fight their unending battle.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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