Bogue Sound Sunset (Pic du Jour)

A dock on North Carolina's Bogue Sound just before sunset

While many visitors to Bogue Banks focus their attention on the Atlantic shore side of this North Carolina island, quite a few opt for the north-facing side and Bogue Sound which separates the island from the mainland portion of Carteret County. This was taken at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Boat Launching Facility in the city of Emerald Isle just before sunset.

ISO 250

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 290th straight, was snapped on 21 October 2014. Want a print? Go here. For a greeting card, here.


Wars Never End – an Annual Reminder (Pic du Jour)

Singing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' at the Thanh Xuan Peace Village in Hanoi

Today’s Pic du Jour is part of what has become an annual reminder that wars never end.

It’s from a post about an October 2010 visit —four years ago yesterday— to the Thanhxuan Peace Village, or Lang Hoa Binh Than Xuan, an orphanage, school and clinic in Hanoi set up specifically for victims of Agent Orange, which has now reached its third generation. Rarely a day passes that I don’t think about that afternoon on the fringes of the Vietnamese capital. I hope the kids are doing well.

I realize that this is fading gradually from memory into history, so a brief précis:

From 1961 through 1971, United States military forces dumped 20 million gallons, or about 80 million liters, of Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant containing an especially virulent form of dioxin, on southern Vietnam. Manufactured by Monsanto and Dow Chemical, it was housed in 55 gallon barrels adorned by orange stripes, thus its name. The operation ultimately left nearly five million people infected with dioxin. Estimates vary, but on the conservative side of things, some 150,000 Vietnamese children today live with the fallout.

Please take a few minutes to check out the rest of the post — Agent Orange’s Golden Anniversary –and as always, feel free to share.

Mannequin Monday #22

16 mannequin heads, Zurich

This week Mannequin Monday returns to Zurich where 16 heads are always better than one.

I’m not returning to Zurich, but instead to Cleveland, Ohio after a week on North Carolina’s crystal coast on Bogue Banks.  It was off season on the island, which meant that most mannequins were behind shuttered doors and windows. Nice early evening colors made up for that absence.

If you’re new to this weekly series, an attempt to create the largest repository of blighted mannequins on the planet, you can and should catch up here. Enjoy and do spread the word.

By the way, this image also serves as today’s Pic du Jour, the 288th straight. When you’ve got a few minutes to spare, you can catch up with some of those here.

Crescent Moon, Bogue Banks

Cresecent moon at sunset from Bogue Banks Islands, North Carolina

There was a nice view of the crescent moon from Bogue Banks tonight, my last night on this Atlantic barrier island just off the North Carolina coast. An oceanside place to stay for a week has its benefits.

I was very fortunate in each night brought with it a full palate of beautiful colors. I’m already looking forward to putting together a longer post. Very soon. :)

I didn’t have time to set up my tripod here so was forced to shoot handheld. I first went really high with a 1000 ISO, then decided to give 500 a try; this is 62mm for 1/4sec at f5.6.

And for the record today’s Pic du Jour is the 287th straight, was snapped near Emerald Isle (Bogue Banks Island), North Carolina, on 26-Oct-2014.

Tam Coc Portrait

Portrait along the Ngô Đồng River

More precisely, a candid portrait, snapped from the hip as I was rowed under a bridge on the Ngô Đồng River, near the city of Nihn Binh in northern Vietnam. It’s a bit shaky, but the pleasant memory more than makes up for that.

This was taken at the very beginning of the rowing part of an trip to the Tam Cốc, or three caves, a popular day trip excursion from Hanoi. Together with this woman, this pair owned two of the most unforgettable smiles I had the pleasure of experiencing in Vietnam.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 286th straight, was snapped on 25-Oct-2010, exactly four years ago today.

San Blas Sunset

Carribean sunset over Panama's San Blas Islands

I’ve been enjoying very nice sunsets on North Carolina’s Bogue Banks island this entire week, which prompted a quick look back to other memorable sunsets. Like this one, facing west from Elephant Island in the Caribbean. And while we’re reminiscing, here’s another posted about a year ago.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 285(!!) straight, was snapped in the Caribbean San Blas Islands of Panama in June 2013.

Treat yourself or a friend to a print, a greeting card or a post card.

Birds – Willet | Stock Image Gallery

Willet, Bogue Banks, North Carolina

For today’s Pic du Jour I’m adding a 16-photo selection to Piran Café’s small —but growing!— collection of bird photography with these willets snapped along a shore on Bogue Banks, North Carolina.  Their thick black bills, longer than their heads, and long thin gray legs distinguish them from their closest relatives, as does the piercing call they unleash when threats are perceived.

About 13-16in (33-41cm) in length with a wingspan of 27in (70cm), willets are the most common large shorebirds on US coasts. A member of the sandpiper family, tringa semipalmata commonly feeds along beaches and mudflats. They nest on the ground, often in groups, but during the day are somewhat solitary – you’re more likely to see them foraging along a shoreline alone.

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Street Vendor, Marrakech – Pic du Jour

Street vendor, Marrakech

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 283rd straight, features the most understated street vendor I came across in Marrakech last month. If you’ve been to Marrakech, you know that the quiet types are generally not among those peddling goods on the street.

Marrakech, Morocco, 18-Sep-2014.

And on this day from the Piran Café archive:

2013 – A notebook summary and nine minutes of audio highlights from ‘On the Path to Zero Waste‘, a roundtable discussion held in Ljubljana, Slovenia on 21 October 2013. Guests included Zero Waste Europe Executive Director Joan Marc Simon.
2011 – Want to know how big your slavery footprint is? Use this tool. (Mine was 46. It’s probably shrunk a bit since.)
201045 Minutes in Sapa’s Central Market – A mini shopping tour in this Vietnamese highland town.
2008Elizabeth’s Stroll in Ljubljana. As in Queen Elizabeth. A quick photo summary.
2007What’s on Radio Titograd? A quick look back at a 1963 RIZ 634 UKV radio.