Sardine Festival; Opening Day (almost)

Lisbon Moon Set

Lisbon Moon Set and a section of the 25th of April Bridge, view from our rental balcony.

We do not do an extensive amount of research regarding the places we visit.  Lisbon, or Lisboa, was on our list of places to visit, so off we went, arriving June 13.  As luck would have it, this was the second day of the biggest annual celebration in Lisbon, the Feast of St. Anthony, the patron saint of Lisbon, AKA The Sardine Festival.  Our cab driver was very excited about the evening events and all the balconies were brightly decorated.
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Seaweed Swirls

I do not claim to be a cinematographer but occasionally I see ‘movie shorts’ that cannot be captured on a single image and am intrigued by their movement, not a single image.  A movie that highlighted these short clips was “American Beauty” where the next door neighbor guy filmed some leaves blowin’ in the wind.  Here is some seaweed flapping in the currents….the background noise is the wind.  To me it is interesting to think that wherever you are now, whatever you are doing, this action undoubtedly continues, on and on as it has done for thousands and thousands of years.

I want more cow bell!

The title of this blog is taken from an old Saturday Night Live skit with Christopher Walken who demanded “More cowbell” from the Blue Oyster Cult band members playing “Don’t Fear the Reaper.”  On our last day in the Swiss Alps we embarked  upon a hike that was a bit tooooo long.  Fortunately for me, it was suggested by the desk clerk, our unofficial activities chairperson.  Because the entire hike was down hill from the top of the Murren, Switzerland ski tram it seemed it would be pleasant enough of a hike.  It turned out to be a long way to go, walking in the full sun, for a beer served just outside of an active, operating cow barn.  While hiking, we heard the loud clamor of many, many cow bells.  The video shows just how far away the cows were, but the bells they wore were loud and clear.  We had heard these cow bells at a town festival a couple of nights earlier, when I had to cover my ears they were so loud.  I have a video of that as well, but will spare us all the embarrassment of posting it….

Turtles of Cinque Terre

When we stayed in Corniglia, one of the five villages in Cinque Terre, Italy, the landlord had three turtles in the small backyard.  The first night there we watched Mom Turtle dig a hole with her hind legs then lay eggs.  No photos as I did not want to disturb her.  The next day Papa Turtle was quite proud as well, as seen in this video….

Toboggan Ride, Funchal Style

One of our favorite cities so far was Funchal, on the Island of Madeira, Portugal.  We made our way across the beautiful town, over the black and white stone inlaid sidewalks, listening to unique street musicians, to a an aerial tram that took us high in the mountains overlooking the city.  After visiting the botanical gardens, downing a cold local brew and visiting a church, the question was how to get back down to the boat?  The answer was a toboggan ride down the steep, narrow streets.  Two Portuguese men pushed the toboggan off the summit and then jumped on the back of the vehicle.  They would jump off and pull the toboggan over the slower sections, then hop back on for the ride.  At the end they would very forcefully suggest that a tip was in order and then sell you a photograph.  All in all, a great experience….Toboggan pull

Wind Turbine Blade Speed

Texas Wind Turbines

Texas Wind Turbines

OK all of you inquiring minds and sons and daughters of physicists and engineers…. A mind wonders while driving down the road and I started to think about the wind turbines we have seen in China and across the USA.  In Palm Springs one can see an evolution in the designs as there are at least three different types of blades on the windy hillsides.
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Salmon Spawning in California

While walking the banks of the Sacramento River near Redding, California I heard a surprisingly loud racket sounding like loud drums beating.  I soon found the source of the noise were salmon spawning.  Here is a short video of a couple trying to make it upstream to their spawning grounds.

Cold Morning Fog

One cold morning I went exploring the area around Crested Butte, Colorado.  I turned and went up a hill to see the fog from the warmer lake water meeting the frigid morning air.  This is a site we would see on occasion in the winter on Lake Michigan.  What I often find intriguing is that sites such as these are everyday for some.  One reason this clip was chosen is no cars drove by on their way to work.  Also, the guy with the circular saw gave it a rest for a while…..