Saturday, October 24, 2015

Laupāhoehoe Point Beach Park, Hawai'i

I have an uncle who lives in Hawai'i, and he told me that the best way to experience the Big Island is, "if you see a road, take it." We followed this good advice and learned a couple of things. First, you can't get lost; it's an island after all, no matter how big. And, some of Hawaii's hidden treasures are at the end of these roads-less-travelled detours, just off the main highways.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Pictures of the Moment - Autumn Brilliance in the Upper Peninsula

The splendor of peak color in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is on par with anywhere. For a few days during the leaf-peeping season, every curve opens to yet another roadside stand of maple, oak and aspen wearing a grandeur as majestic as any natural wonder. Even the yellowing tamarack, a deciduous conifer, joins the show.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Burning to the Foundations of Provence

The Alpilles hills of the Bouches-du-Rhône region, where Marseille is located, are covered in pines, or at least some of them are. Scorching summer Heat and high winds attract arsonists like candles do moths. Arson is derived from the Anglo-French word arsoun, itself from the Old French arsion. Marseilles may be the birthplace of the world-wide scourge of vandalism by fire--France's contribution to the origins of crime. Though it's a wonder that the pines overlooking the sweltering Riviera don't just spontaneously combust in August. 

We were on a motorcoach outbound from Emerald Princess and Marseilles' grimy port, headed for historic treasures of southern France. We first met these piney limestone hills surrounding the city, occasionally catching brief glimpses of steep-walled calanques plunging into the sea as the bus rushed along the coastline. Later, the countryside of Provence opened up to fallow, pebbly fields giving way to distant rippling mirages in the heat, then fields laden with seed-burdened sunflowers just past their peak. There was no sign of Van Gogh's ear.