Thursday, March 15, 2018

Saskatoon - March, 2018

I went to Saskatoon from March 5-14 and did get out for a few photo excursions. I recently bought a Neutral Density Filter and experimented with that a few times.

Here's the first one, taken on March 6 at 7:15 p.m. (25 minutes after sunset) on  McKercher Drive.

This one I took on March 7 at 7:20 p.m.

Before I took the above photo, I took this one of some cat tails at 6:25 p.m.

On March 10 I went for a walk in the afternoon through one of the wonderful parks near my sister's house. More cat tails.

On March 10 we were at my nephew's house on an acreage just outside of Saskatoon and I slipped out to capture the sunset.

On March 11, I went for a walk along the Meewasin Trail near the U of S. I arrived about 1/2 an hour before sunset and started shooting the setting sun, framing it between buildings on the opposite bank of the river. I kept having to tromp through the snow to keep the sun framed as it was moving to my right. Luckily, it was a beautiful night, with temperatures just below freezing.

After the sunset, I walked quickly to the railroad bridge and started shooting as I walked along the pedestrian walkway. I was surprised at the number of people out for a stroll.
I took this one at 7:30, about 1/2 hour after sunset.

Then I continued ambling across the bridge, stopping along the way to capture the scene.

After I walked down to the trail, I headed towards my car, and shot this one at 7:52.

And my last shot was at 8:10 p.m. A much longer twilight here than there was in Nicaragua last month, that's for sure!
I zoomed in a little closer on this last shot, positioning the boat at an intersection of the rule of thirds.

The next night, March 12, I went back to the riverbank, but this time across from the Bessborough Hotel, (aka "The Castle on the River"). I wasn't too happy with my photos of the setting sun, though, as I didn't get in a good position in time (scouting the site ahead of time would have been a good idea). But I did get some nice ones after sun set.

The "Castle on the River."
My last day in Saskatoon, the 13th, I got some shots of nice hoarfrost.

Saskatoon has wonderful parks and the city even clears the sidewalks in the winter!

I returned home on the 14th and admired the view as the plane gained altitude. I like the patterns in the snow.

And that's it for now!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Ometepe and San Juan del Sur - Nicaragua - Feb., 2018

La Isla de Ometepe - el 16 de febrero al 19

We took the (rough) ferry to La Isla de Ometepe on Feb. 16,

and the motorcyclists held on to their bikes.

Volcán Concepción
Dining in the restaurant near our hotel

            Our concierge

We walked across to the laguna on our second day

One of the many magpie jays

Traffic "laws" are different down here!

Volcán Maderas

Volcán Concepción (The sun sure sets quickly here!)

A capuchin monkey along the side of the road

Cattle egrets

La Cascada de San Ramón

Volcán Concepción at twilight, with car lights illuminating the nearby foliage and fence posts.

San Juan del Sur - el 20 de febrero al 23

Then, on Feb. 20th, we journeyed over to San Juan del Sur, on the Pacific coast. Our first evening there I hiked up to the Mirador del Cristo de la Miseriocordia. An exhilarating walk!

The San Juan River - see the boat? A local operates a ferry service, pulling the boat across the river. He charges 5 cordobas, or about 20 cents, and works from dawn 'til dusk. "Mucho sol!" he said.

After the other tourists left, I waited around waiting for it to get darker, but the attendant asked me to leave, so I had to be satisfied with this photo.

On my way back down, although I had a headlamp, I didn't use it, not wanting to advertise that I'm a Gringo.

I only saw one horse in San Juan, this one along the beach.

I took this photo of the rainbow from our hotel patio.

On the evening of the 22nd, I went back to the river to capture photos of the ferry captain.

The wind blew constantly while we were in San Juan.

Motorcyclists don't hesitate to ford the river.

Many egrets were fishing at dusk.

I had my tripod in the water and a wave jiggled it, but I decided to keep the photo and enhance it a little to make it more abstract.

After sunset, I met the others in La Lancha for a lobster feast - about $8 US.

And then stopped in the plaza to admire these dancers.

Most Nicaraguan cities have free wi-fi in their central parks.

Our last day in San Juan, we took a tour through Parque de Aventura las Nubes, up in the cloud forest near San Juan. We didn't do any zip-lining - been there, done that! - but had an exhilarating buggy ride up and down the hill, a nice walk through the forest, and an interesting tour of the iguanarium. 

The view of San Juan way down below

Monkeys on the side of the road
In the Iguanarium, they raise green iguanas and then release them into the wild. Green iguanas are endangered in Nicaragua because they are a local delicacy. In the mercado in Léon, we saw live green iguanas being sold, for food or pets?

                                                    Our guide with the Papa. 

                     The Mama is larger
                                                        You lookin' at me?

And in the enclosure next door were many babies of various sizes. Iguanas can lay up to 50 eggs a year, and in the center they have a high survival rate. 




That evening, we went to "Simon Says" restaurant, and enjoyed fresh bread from the clay-baked oven.

But before that, I had gone back down to the beach at sunset - just couldn't stay away! - and shot a few hundred more photos. It was probably the nicest sunset we had on the beach. 

You can make out el Cristo through the palapa. 

And that's it for Nicaragua. A wonderful country with wonderful people and an amazing mix of the old and the new.