Goodbye to Curiosity Cafe

Goodbye, dear readers. For the past year I’ve written on two blog sites, and now I’ve decided that I will post Weekly Photo Challenges on the blog.
Thanks to all of you who have stopped here to view the site, and you are welcome to join me at rainbowspinnaker.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Between In the Sea of Cortez


Hello WPC at last. It’s been three months since I was able to post on WPC, because I was traveling on a sailboat in the Sea of Cortez, where there is almost no internet service, and it is so SLOW when it’s available. I’m back in Portland, Oregon for about four months, and enjoying fast internet again.

This picture reminds me of one of the marvelous aspects of sailing in the Sea of Cortez, the snorkeling. Between the surface and the white sand of Puerto Ballandra, near La Paz. Between the rocky shore and the sailboat, Balance. Between the heated top layer of water, and the cold currents below. Swimming between the Sergeant Major fish, with their yellow and black striped bodies.

In Bahia de Conception, we sailed out to an island and anchored to snorkel. Between rocks and sea grasses, beautiful Queen Angelfish, that we’d never seen before, tried to hide. I waited patiently, hovering above with the Go Pro ( I could write a whole blog on how much I love the Go Pro) and finally it swam up close enough to capture it’s puffy lips, gorgeous colors, and iridescent scales, before it swiftly dove between the rocks again.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside Joy

This picture was taken at a birthday party, both children had just jumped into the enclosure filled with balls, and were catching their breath before climbing out and jumping in again. Several adults also had to join in!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Icy Perspective

The Weekly Photo Challenge is always about perspective; of the lens, of the photographer, of the relative distance between camera and scene, and of the mind of the photographer that chooses the photographs for the Weekly Challenge. Since discovering the WPC months ago I have been inspired, amazed, entertained, and taken on so many journeys with visual treats. Thank you all of you!
I’m reading Bill Bryson’s The Mother Tongue, English and How It Got That Way, so I had to go to the Merriam-Webster dictionary and look up perspective.
Perspective: the appearance to the eye of objects in respect to their relative distance and positions.
Origin: Middle English perspectyf, from Medieval Latin perspectivum, from neuter of perspectivus of sight, optical…

In the middle of December 2010 I was up at a cabin at Northwoods, near Mt. St. Helens, in the middle of a cold snap (cold by Northwest standards, not by the standards of Minnesota, say). Nikk and I were both sick with colds, and huddled near the wood stove, but the sun was shining, the water remaining on the sand of the reservoir was solidly frozen, the dogs were really wanting to go on a walk, so with cameras in hand we ventured out on the slippery, icy sands. Right below our feet were hundreds of miniature ice forests, frozen bubbles that looked like protozoa under a microscope, and waves of frozen water. While the dogs slipped and slid, running about looking for salmon and steelhead that had been discarded by fishermen (we hoped they wouldn’t find any, and if they did, that we could get to them before they ate, because one of the dogs had already experienced salmon poisoning a few years before, which gives nasty symptoms and death if not treated), we walked around bent over with our little Panasonic Lumix cameras, which was all we wanted to carry in our debilitated state. Here are the views from a perspective seldom seen, of Nature in a state seldom seen in the Northwest.




Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned Texas Movie Set


In the stark beauty of the Texas desert abandoned buildings appear to blend in with the geological forms, and as they decay, their impermanence accentuates the seeming permanence of the mountains, hills and hoodoos.

If this picture looks a little familiar, you may have seen the 1986 movie Uphill All the Way, filmed here in 1986, and the TV movies like Streets of Laredo, based on the Larry McMurtry novel. A major flood came through here in 2008, severely damaging this movie set. You can see where the white stucco on the church has been washed away. When I visited in the spring of 2012, the site was truly abandoned, with just a few plaques of information, but down the road at Big Bend Ranch State Park, the rangers told stories of the construction of this “Mexican village”.

When researching this site I found a video with footage of the movie set and the Rio Grande in flood, it’s really worth a look:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

An establishing shot.

A relationship.


A close-up.

The altar of orchids
Each petal alluring
Moving closer and yet closer
To the golden center.
What might we see if we could
Zoom even closer?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure/A Hummingbird Nests

After a few hours spent birdwatching in the hills above La Cruz de Huanacaxtle in western Mexico, my friend Peg and I were extremely hungry and thirsty. We wound up at a local restaurant, Gecko Rojo, which has a large courtyard with tables. Much to our surprise, we found a hummingbird nest with baby Broad-billed Hummingbirds, hanging from a plant next to the courtyard wall. The mother came and went, feeding the hungry babies, and even when she was gone, they held their little beaks up waiting for food. That was our unexpected treasure for the day and the week.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie On the Dock


It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a selfie, oh wait, that’s not how it goes. Snapseed helped me create this selfie taken on the dock next to the sailboat docked at the Marina Riviera Nayarit, in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, in Mexico. The boat has been my home now for over a year and a half (with some time off the boat to house and cat sit for friends this past summer in the heat and humidity of La Cruz). There is a blog about our travels:, I can’t seem to find out how to get a gravitar for curiositycafe using the iPad WP app, so readers of this post will be directed to rainbowspinnaker instead of curiositycafe. I know posting this when the temperature here is 82F, and much of the USA, Canada and Europe are experiencing one or another kind of cold and weather disaster, may lead to dreaming, envy, or the immediate purchase of a plane ticket to warmer climes.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition/Unexpected Pairings

Michelle says “Wandering with my camera I often find my eye drawn to strange bedfellows. Juxtapositions. Foils. Unexpected pairings.”

I think this photo qualifies for all of the above except the strict interpretation of “strange bedfellows”. It was taken at the Taste of La Cruz a year ago; these female impersonators were advertising a local bar. Hope you enjoy this juxtaposition of colors and orientation.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

This week’s challenge is a challenge, due to family, and I am sure there are many, many of the contributors who will identify with the challenge of being creative while taking care of the myriad necessities of family life. I am still staying and helping my daughter and her family after the birth of the new little girl in December, and I am sometimes overcome by the love that they all share with each other. I was playing with the baby and her four-year-old brother when he leaned over to stroke her head. While playing with the picture I decided to Rotate, and here you have a picture that might be titled “The Balancing Act”.