An American Visitor In Cuba

Cuba – 1999

American visitors to Cuba continue to be rare. I saw sights few people have seen on the island. Here are a few images:

The buildings on the waterfront in Havana are painted bright colors reminding one of wedding cakes. Deep pastels keep the people’s spirits up.

The buildings on the waterfront in Havana are painted bright colors reminding one of wedding cakes. Deep pastels keep the people’s spirits up.

Because comforts are rare, the family in Cuba is even more the core of their existence.

Because comforts are rare, the family in Cuba is even more the core of their existence.

Cars driving on the flooded waterfront on a stormy night.

Cars driving on the flooded waterfront on a stormy night.

An eighteenth century fortress still stands watch.

An eighteenth century fortress still stands watch.

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Adventures In The Botswana Safari

On my first night ever on safari in Botswana, we went to search for big game night animals, and the jeep stopped under a tree. A guide with a searchlight slowly raised the light from the tree trunk up to the first crook in the tree and peering out a us was this sweet baby leopard. I shot like crazy.

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He then raised the light beam to the branch ten feet directly above us. Sleeping there was the momma leopard. WOW! I shot again like a madman.  The driver’s hushed voice said to me “You shoot, you shoot fast, boss!” I sure did and we slowly backed away from the tree.

Mama Leopard copy copyThe light then beamed some twenty feet away to a partially devoured impala. The driver then explained to me that momma and baby had just dined on the impala and momma was napping, with a full belly. Had she not just eaten we would have been in big trouble with momma, being so close to her baby! Not a bad adventure for the first time out ever, huh?

VIENNA’S OPULENT CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS

If Paris is The City Of Lights, Vienna is the City Of Christmas Lights. Known as a romantic city with The Blue Danube Waltz, its wickedly rich food and gorgeous architecture, it pulls all stops out to set the town ablaze for Christmas.

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These delicate hand-blown glass ornaments are in shop windows everywhere.

IMG_0410 I copyViennese pastries and chocolates define the word “Heaven”.

 

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This gigantic ball or red lights hangs next to the famed St. Stephen’s Cathedral (see it lower left?)

 

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The spirit of Christmas resounds in Vienna.

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Lions Eating Zebra

This is a once in a lifetime image. It was taken standing in a jeep about twelve feet away from the lionesses. They were busy feasting which was happily more interesting to them than charging me. When one of them suddenly glanced up and looked right into the lens with the glare that jolted me almost out of my boots I shot the image. Of three rolls of film of them this was the most dramatic image of the event

Curve of Nevis

Curve, Nevis

You could wake up to uglier views. I woke up and stepped out on the patio of my hotel room on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean.I don’t have a very rich fantasy life. My real life is far more fantastic that anything I could imagine.

SIBERIA!

One of the most exotic locations on the planet. It conjures up 50 degrees below zero winters. I crossed from Beijing to Moscow on the Trans-Siberian Orient Express and arrived in Siberia in August. This image of a farm there has stuck in my head because it looked the opposite of what I’ve heard all my life about its weather.

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This farmer’s face will tell you a lot about his life.

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A folk singer entertaining the train passengers.

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 Farm people depend on a growing season that is less than 90 days for winter food.

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Farmer-scythe

Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world. In winter, eighteen-wheeler trucks cross the lake with full loads with no danger of falling through the ice. Here it is on a peaceful summer afternoon.

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On the 3614 mile journey, Siberia was the destination that left me with the indelible impression of the spirit of the people and how hard but pure life can be.

Prayer Flags

Buddhist prayer flags are sometimes striking and beautiful. Each color has separate significance. These decorate a temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Buddhist prayer flags are sometimes striking and beautiful. Each color has separate significance. These decorate a temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The high winds in the Tibetan Himalayas create this color splash against the sky.

The high winds in the Tibetan Himalayas create this color splash against the sky.

These white prayer flags pierce the sky in Ura, Bhutan

These white prayer flags pierce the sky in Ura, Bhutan