Blue Nile Falls

The Blue Nile Falls is a waterfall on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia and the Blue Nile is a river flowing out of Lake Tana in Ethiopia. With the White Nile, it is one of two major tributaries of the Nile River. The Blue Nile supplies about 80% of the water in the Nile during the rainy season.
Blue Nile Falls is known as Tis Abay in the Amharic language which means “great smoke”.  It is situated about 25 miles downstream from the town of Bahir Dar and Lake Tana. The falls are about 1200 feet wide and 135 feet high and are one of Ethiopia’s best known tourist attractions.
I had finished photographing the falls and was walking away when I looked behind and noticed a woman making her way towards the closest viewing point of the falls. Quickly I found a vantage point and waited for her to arrive and hopefully stand still. It was my good fortune that she did so and was also wearing a red jacket to make her stand out nicely against the flowing water. Using an aperture of f/16 was not necessary for depth of field. However, this setting did allow me to use a slower shutter speed which resulted in creating a smoother flow of the water.

Stone Sculptures

Qaqortoq in southern Greenland might not be a very big town (although it was the fourth most populous in Greenland with 3,089 residence in 2016), but Stone and Man brings both its culture and its history to the fore. 
The project called Stone and Man is the work of local Qaqortoq artist Aka Hoegh, who endeavored to turn his home town into a permanent open air art gallery, and essentially, a work of art in and of itself. With the help of over a dozen artists from Greenland as well as hailing from other Nordic countries like Norway, Iceland, Finland, and Sweden, Hoegh oversaw the creation of 24 separate carvings and sculptures. Some of the works took the shape of fully shaped sculptures made out of local boulders, while others looked more like recreations of ancient tribal markings of fish and whales.
A.      A local girl was passing by and I asked her to pose with this small group of face carvings along the harbor.
B.      The head of a bighorn sheep carved on a large rock
C.      School of fish swimming carved on a large rock wall
D.     A boulder carved like a large mammal.

A Rare Penguin & Seal


What are the odds of photographing a white version of a penguin and a seal on the same trip? Slim odds I would guess, but that is precisely what happened while on a trip to Antarctica and South Georgia Island.
A.      This is a Gentoo penguin, Pygoscelis papua found on Ronge Island or Curville Island. This island is about 5 miles long off the west coast of Graham Land in Antarctica. This white version is called a Leucystic Gentoo penguin. I looked it up and this is what I found: “Leucism (/ˈluːsɪzəm, -kɪz-/) is a condition in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal resulting in white, pale, or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, and feathers but not the eyes. ... Unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in multiple types of pigment, not just melanin.” They are said to be very rare with estimates of only 1 in 10,000 like this.
B.      A normal looking Gentoo penguin at George’s Point on Ronge Island
C.      A white version of the Antarctic Fur seal, Arctocephalus gazelle found at Fortuna Bay on South Georgia Island. Note: An unusual pale, yellowish off-white to honey coloured form of the Antarctic fur seal has been known to occur infrequently within the population on South Georgia and you are looking at one.
D.     A pair of normal looking Antarctic Fur seal pups at Salsbury Plain on South Georgia Island.

Fire Hydrant w/Flowers, and the Rest of the Story

It is not every day that you receive a picture of such a mundane subject. However, I have been told that I march to the beat of a different drummer and no doubt this is proof of that statement.
A fire hydrant is a pipe with a valve that controls the water flow from a water main in order to quench a fire. I would guess that they are certainly not the object of many photographers lens. To the contrary though, I have been photographing such objects around the world for many years. You would be surprised at the varieties of fire hydrants that I have discovered.
The fire hydrant shown here was found only a few miles from my home in Coweta County, GA. Not only was the color unusual but it was surrounded in a bed of summer flowers.
I have heard fire hydrants called fire plugs. The term 'fire plug' started in the early 1800’s in the U.S. and it is a bit cloudy as to which city had the first underground water main system. I have found the cities of Seattle, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati all mentioned. Regardless, the water main was made by hollowing out logs and fitting the ends together. The water main was marked all over town to warn people not to dig there and possibly cause a leak.
When the fire department needed water, they would look for the main, dig down to it, drill a hole in the wooden pipe with a special drill, and stick a hand pump in the hole so they could pump water out and onto the fire. Don’t quit reading now. Read on “for the rest of the story”.
When they were finished they would plug the hole with a ready-made plug, tapered so it would fit tightly into the hole. Then they would cover the main back up with dirt, and mark the spot, so when they needed water in that area again they would know where to dig instead of having to drill a new hole. They could pull the plug out again and pump water. Today's hydrants are often called 'plugs' because of the original fire plugs actually being plugged up after use.
All fire hydrants today are 'dry hydrants,' which means there is no water in the part you see sticking up out of the ground. When a firefighter hooks a hose to the hydrant he then uses a hydrant wrench to turn the nut on top of the hydrant, which turns a shaft that reaches down the pipe to the water main, about 6 to 10 feet below ground. The actual valve is down there, so the water won't freeze during the winter.