Les Invalides

Les Invalides - Paris The beautiful gold dome of Les Invalides can be seen from all parts of Paris. It was established in 1670 by Louis XIV as a hospital and home for aging and sick soldiers. The complex includes a large church, 15 courtyards and many buildings. The National Military Museum is located here, … Continue reading Les Invalides

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Tough Turkey

Wild Turkey Along a trail in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains NP, I caught up to a group of 10-12 people moving off the trail in both directions to make room for this wild turkey rooster. He was all fanned out, strutting with purpose, looking for a fight. No one was approaching it, let alone … Continue reading Tough Turkey

Learning to Count

A bright young girl in Uduru Lutheran Parish's preschool shows the teacher she can count to 100.  Located near Moshi, Tanzania, this typical preschool relies on the church, volunteers and donations to prepare their youngsters for primary school. The four year old students were so quiet and patient, I marveled at the teacher's control of the … Continue reading Learning to Count

September First

September First is a very important and celebrated day in Estonia -- the first day of school. Flower shops lining the old cobblestone streets of Tallinn are very busy.  Every child, from preschool age through high school, was carrying a flower or bouquet to their teacher. The students dress up and many are escorted to … Continue reading September First

Fern Spring

Along Southside Drive that carries 90% of vehicle traffic through Yosemite Valley is a turnout for about four cars.  The sign for Fern Spring is small, like it was meant for hikers more than car/bus passengers, but it provides a quiet respite from the crowds. Nothing special about it compared to the giant waterfalls cascading … Continue reading Fern Spring

Plague Tower

The Black Death, bubonic plague, swept across Europe several times beginning in the 14th century.  The Great Plague of Vienna in the late 1600's was especially devastating. People were so fearful of the plague that they prayed the disease would pass by their family and community.  They promised to erect a great monument in God's honor … Continue reading Plague Tower

Serengeti Stand Off

I was in Serengeti National Park in northern Tanzania, perched on top of a high bank watching a hippo pool below.  The small river flowed toward me straight out of the northern horizon, made a left turn at my feet and headed east.  Several hippo families were lazing in the river's elbow. The 6,000 lb hippo came … Continue reading Serengeti Stand Off

Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in North America.  The floor is 100' below the cliff's rim above.  The circular tower on the right is over four stories tall.  To get a better sense of the scale, there are two men standing on the rim on the far upper left, and there is a … Continue reading Cliff Palace

Winnetoon, NE 68789

The 19th century is still alive in Winnetoon, Nebraska.  Hiding in the northeast corner of the state, north of Creighton and east of Verdigree, two other well-known population centers, is Winnetoon.  The city was founded in 1891 and a U.S. Post Office was established soon after, which is still open today. This photo was taken … Continue reading Winnetoon, NE 68789

Bath Houses

In the early 1800's, Bath, England was a place to be seen; i.e. a place to socialize, display your wealth, gamble, party, and look for a spouse that could enhance your social status.  Bath was England's party town, and all of London's gentry couldn't resist being seen there. The entire city seems to have been … Continue reading Bath Houses

Go Fly a Kite!

Go fly a kite!  Back in the day, this was a derogatory phrase meaning, "Scram", "Beat it" or a politically correct way of directing you to that subterranean area that is hotter than blazes.  Today, the phrase is an invitation for fun. When I was a kid, the Cub Scout Pack would have an annual … Continue reading Go Fly a Kite!

TP Hanging

Ben Franklin felt it unwise to discuss religion or politics with friends, that these two volatile subjects could result in dissolved friendships.  This confirms that toilet paper wasn't available in the late 1700's, otherwise Ben would have included toilet paper as another avoidable topic of friendly conversation.   (Geez, I'm not exactly sure when toilet … Continue reading TP Hanging