52 Weeks of Life Seen Through My Eyes

Ida's Photo Theme Challenge


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12. Fences And/Or Rails

Living in a more rural part of Panama gives me the opportunity to see how the locals utilize the resources they have available to them, to be as economical as possible, and to add a touch of beauty to the already beautiful landscapes. Many farmers in the area use branches cut from trees that they thrust into the ground and intertwine with barbed wire to fence in their crops or their cattle as well as using rocks that erupted from the volcano over thousands of years and now dot the countryside in abundance.

I am always amazed that the branches the farmers plant in the ground often begin to leaf shortly after they have been “planted”. These branches grow into trees that form a beautiful living fence. When they begin to grow much taller and fuller, the whole process is begun again. The trees are cut down to about 5 feet and the branches stripped and used for new fences or repairs, only to begin growing once more.

The rock walls seen in the areas around the volcano are carefully and painstakingly built without the use of mortar or concrete…simply rocks stacked together like a Tetris puzzle. Unfortunately these rock walls are getting more and more expensive to erect as it truly is an art and the builders are demanding a higher price for their expertise.

Before the cutting begins
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Branches stripped, stacked, and ready to go
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Growing back less than a month later
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A rock wall that’s been standing for many years
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9. Drops of Water

While walking around my yard this evening, drinking in the beauty of the mountains and the sunset reflected on the ever-changing clouds, I was madly snapping photos of the gorgeous vistas I am privileged to see every day. I happened to notice a couple of drops of water still hanging tentatively from a branch after a rain shower some time earlier. Although I wasn’t certain how the photos would turn out, who cares when you can simply delete unwanted photo-flops? Having nothing to lose, I took a few. When I showed my husband all the pictures I had taken during the evening before the bugs became too interested in chewing me up, he grew most exuberant about these ones, a couple of drops of water.

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16. Group Portraits

Already weeks behind in this challenge, it’s time to play a little catch up. I decided people portraiture was not something I was particularly excited about. I looked through some recently snapped photos, only to discover a couple of group shots that would suffice for this theme.
Once again, my husband and I were at Playa Barqueta, Las Olas, when we noticed a wake of vultures gathered on the beach just beyond the sea oats. I tried sneaking up as close as possible…my zoom is not really effective…and was only allowed to snap a few photos before the kettle of vultures took flight, spooked by my presence. Having taken off to escape “shooting” humans, I went to investigate what had attracted these scavengers. The smell that wafted on the ocean breeze was not exactly pleasant. So, covering my nose, I ventured further down the path and found the carcass of a small dolphin. I was saddened to discover the reason for the gathering.
Since I chose vultures as my subject for “Group Portraits”, the handful I spotted on a very rainy drive back from the beach had to be included. This final photo was taken while standing in the rain on the side of a very narrow road. Unfortunately, the moment I moved to change the angle, those vultures were gone.

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35. Rocky Waterscapes

There is no shortage of rocky waterscapes in Panama with its mountainous terrain and copious amount of rainfall. I could inundate this post with appropriate photographs, particularly in Chiriqui Province with its gorgeous volcanic rocks that spewed out of the erupting Volcan Baru between 400 and 500 years ago. I tried to limit myself to two photos, but making choices is not my forte. On a Sunday-funday jaunt around the area, I captured these rocky waterscapes.

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Okay, I warned you…I couldn’t resist a third photo after all…and a fourth and a fifth!

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waterscape 2

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For a little twist on the natural beauty of the Boquete area, I simply had to include a shot of a custom picture painted for a good friend. She owns a funky sculpture of a goat which holds a sentimental place in her heart. She left the sculpture in her Chicago home and commissioned this delightful conversation piece. It charms her and makes her smile, while her husband rolls his eyes and groans! Here’s the quirky addition to the theme “Rocky Waterscapes”, a metallic goat poised on the rocks beside the tumbling water. Such a fun painting!

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