Alaska, Mexico and Beyond…

“One Journey Leads to Another”

Archive for the tag “plants”

Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme: Leaves

Lush gardens surround the courtyard of Casa Mañana, my favorite of all hotels, which is located in Bucerias, Mexico. During our last visit I spent the afternoon wandering the grounds admiring the huge variety of stately palms wrapped with climbing vines, peculiar tropical flowers and colorfully patterned leaves.

Click on any photo to enlarge or see slide show.

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Alaska shows off colorful leaves too!

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To enjoy more photos of leaves, click on the link below:
Travel theme: Leaves

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Cee’s Photo Challenge: Contrast Colors

Contrasting colors in Oaxaca? Too easy.  Oaxaca is awash with bold color combinations. It could be the birthplace of color contrasts! A one hour walk around El Centro provided more photo ops than I imagined.  I did not have to find them – they found me!

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Click on any photo for a slide show

If you just can’t decide what color to use…why not use them all!

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Photo taken in San Martín Tilcajete

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Throughout the day and even at sunset, the colors that surround us are intensified by the beautiful Oaxaca blue sky.

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Oaxaca Bloomers

Seasons drift by subtly in Oaxaca, often defined by the blooming trees and bushes that delight us as the color palette changes throughout the year.

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Primavera amarilla, Guayacá, tabebuia chrysantha

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Bougainvillea and Primavera amarilla

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Flamboyán, Tabachín, Royal Poinciana, Arbol de Fuego, delonix regia

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Clavalina, Shaving brush tree, bombax palmeri

I used the following books for identification:
Arboles de México by Luis Lesur 2011 online store: http://www.etrillas.com.mx

Tropical Flowering Plants by Kirsten Albrecht Llamas, 2003 amazon.com

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet

As I wander through the shady woods next to our house, my feet sink into spongy green mounds of countless varieties of unfamiliar plants,  some of them otherworldly! A few mosquitoes rise up to greet me, but I’m able to wave them away. I imagine the millions of tiny creatures hidden among the moss-like growth that is their own mini forest.

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Berries and mushrooms announce the beginning of the autumn season, though lack of normal August rains has delayed the appearance of mushrooms that seem to pop up right before your eyes!

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Treasures abound beneath my feet on the forest floor – I just have to be careful not to step on them!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

In Mexico the boldness of orange brightens every part of life – in fact I’m wondering if the Mexican people invented orange!

They love to….

LIVE IN IT

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WORSHIP IN IT

Church in Xalapa, Veracruz

Church in Xalapa, Veracruz

EAT and DRINK IT

Click on any photo for a larger view

RIDE IN IT or ON IT

CREATE ART and DECORATION WITH IT

CELEBRATE WITH IT

Part of a light show projected onto a church front during Day of the Dead celebrations.

Part of a light show projected onto a church front during Day of the Dead celebrations.

OR JUST RELAX and ENJOY IT!

Sierra Norte near the village of Benito Juárez

Orange you glad it’s photo challenge time?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth

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Capulalpam, Oaxaca, Mexico

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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Depth.”

The World Has So Much to Offer…

And in this corner of the world is Oaxaca!

Life in Oaxaca is rich withHumorous art

HUMOR

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THE PAST

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THE FUTURE

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 FOOD

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ART

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NATURE

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WONDERFUL HIDDEN PLACES

I hope  readers will learn from and smile at my photographic stories!

Ruins of a Spanish Mine

Spread along the Rio Papaloapam, high in the Sierra Norte north of the city of Oaxaca, are the ruins of Spanish haciendas that were built and inhabited during the years of Spanish exploitation of the mineral riches of the area.

According to historical records, Cortés learned of the possible existence of gold and silver in the Sierras and immediately sent scouts in search of the minerals. They returned with the news that the mountains were indeed rich with gold and silver ore, and Cortés, ever the opportunist, claimed the entire Central Valley of Oaxaca for himself (year 1521). The Spaniards built the infrastructure needed for mining operations and constructed aqueducts, large haciendas, stone bridges, and a church. These remains are located deep in a lush valley near the villages of San Miguel Amatlán and Lachatao.

Hacienda Wall

Hacienda Wall

Click on any photo to enlarge it   

The Friday hikers explored El Socorro, the first section of the Spanish ruins.

A sinuous highway (the highway signs said so!) led us through seemingly endless mountains that offered spectacular vistas. Local people navigate narrow gravel roads that zig-zag up the mountainsides to their villages.

Winding River, Winding Road

Winding River, Winding Road

After climbing to the mountaintop to pick up our guides in the tiny village of Amatlán, our excellent bus driver maneuvered to the valley floor on a dirt road that was clearly not designed for a school bus! He received a loud cheer and applause when we reached the fork where the hikers got off and started down the trail, while he continued on to a wide spot where he was faced with the daunting task of turning the bus around!

Our guides hopped off the bus and cleared rocks from the “road.”

 

Ruins of the Hacienda

Ruins of the Hacienda

Trout were visible lazing in the shadows of pools in the river, which  runs with clean, clear water.

Trout were visible lazing in the shadows of pools in the clean, clear waters of the Rio Papaloapam.

The pink blossoms decorated fat cactus in perfect circles.

Perfect circles of pink blossoms crown these fat cactus

Epiphytes grow anywhere and everywhere they can find a resting place. Some cactus favor the tops of old stone walls, while other prefer to just hang around.

Mountainside church

At the end of a long day of busing, hiking, and exploring…what could be better than relaxing and spending the night in a cabaña with a view!

Cabin with a View

For information on ecotourism in The Sierra Norte, and how YOU TOO could hike in these magnificent mountains and end your day in one of many charming cabañas:

http://sierranorte.org.mx/

http://www.oaxaca.travel/

Several of the photos in this blog were taken by my husband, David, who has become a hiker and photographer too!

Travel theme: Pink

OAXACA DRESSED IN PINK!

Pseudobombax ellipticum is the scientific name for this flowering tree, but I don't know the local name. I have also seen it in white.

Pseudobombax ellipticum is the scientific name for this flowering tree, but I don’t know the local name. It also comes in white.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

The delicate pink of the Rosa Morada trees (tabebuia rosea) are telling us it is spring in Oaxaca!

The delicate pink of the Rosa Morada trees (tabebuia rosea) are telling us it is spring in Oaxaca!

Scattered throughout the pine forests of the Sierras northeast of Oaxaca are these huge (4-5 feet tall) plants which appear to be a variety of thistle.

Scattered throughout the pine forests of the Sierras northeast of Oaxaca are these huge (4-5 feet tall) plants which appear to be a variety of thistle.

Hibiscus with a Blush

Hibiscus with a Blush

Reflection of a Sunset

Reflection of a Sunset

Look here http://wheresmybackpack.com/2014/03/21/travel-theme-pink/ for more interpretations of PINK.

 

Weekly Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

I stood in exactly the same place when I took the photos, but I had to crop a little off the left side of the horizontal view because there was part of an ugly building. I try to “crop in the camera,” but sometimes it’s impossible because of available standing room and other factors I can’t control. I much prefer the vertical shot because I was able to include more of that gorgeous fireweed.

Scout Lake Vertical View

Scout Lake, Sterling, Alaska
Vertical View

Scout Lake Landscape View

Scout Lake, Sterling, Alaska
Landscape view

A dead tree stump in the woods next to my house provided the fungus for the next two shots.

Fungus Horizontal View

Fungus Horizontal View

Fungus Vertical View

Fungus vertical view

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