52 Weeks of Life Seen Through My Eyes

Ida's Photo Theme Challenge


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8. Differences

In Casco Antiguo, Panama, there is construction galore as the decrepit old buildings which have deteriorated over the years are being revitalized. The entire area is changing. Many buildings are being restored by investors. As much as possible of the exterior walls is left intact and the interiors gutted and built anew. The changes are evident everywhere…buildings which look entirely new standing alongside those that are in total disrepair and in need of a good dose of loving care. This crumbling, neglected area of Panama City is being reclaimed one building at a time. New restaurants, apartments, and places of business are rising from a derelict environment.

As the land curves around the Bay of Panama, you can look across the water from Casco Antiguo to the skyscrapers dotting the horizon from one end to the other. These vast towers that house offices and apartments have been erected in very close proximity. They are a juxtaposition to the much smaller, more elegant buildings in Casco Antiguo which are so full of character.

While walking around Casco Antiguo, Emily and I took many photographs of the various buildings, those that have seen change and those that are yet to be tackled and resuscitated. I happened to spy the skyscrapers through the window of a building undergoing renovation and thought it was an interesting view. The other photos simply show the old and the new, side by side.

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I opted for black and white in the following photograph because it seemed to accentuate the differences.

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51. When The Wind Blows

The winds gusting over the mountains in this part of Panama can be fiercely strong during the dry, windy season between December and April. Leaves and flowers can be reduced to tatters, trees can be toppled, clay tiles sent spiraling off roof tops, and anything not securely attached can be blown away. However, the winds can also create marvelous patterns with the clouds high above. On a blustery late afternoon a few weeks ago, the clouds gathered over the mountains and swirled and twirled and shape-shifted as they blew across the heavens.

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2. Below The Knees

Oh, I had so many funky ideas for this theme that would have involved setting up scenes. I just never got around to it. Then our unscheduled visit to Skagit County, Washington happened, taking us to a darling little town and the last tulip farm open for the annual April Tulip Festival. Unfortunately the fields were well past the blooming stage, but the gardens were vividly beautiful nonetheless. Thousands of colorful heads bloomed in all their glory in the crisp air with snow-capped mountains in the background.

All those tulips in riotous color seemed to demand a spot in one of my posts. I had to find a theme that would work. While looking through my photos, I realized all the tulips were below my knees, even the little signs diplomatically telling visitors not to tiptoe through the tulips.

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4. Bright Idea

Dale Chihuly, glass artist extraordinaire, had a fabulously bright idea when he ventured into the art of glassblowing. His work is indescribably exquisite with brilliantly colored large-scale sculptures, strikingly displayed, to delight the eye.

I was lucky to be able to drink in the vivid colors and stunning shapes of his designs at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle. It was a definite item on my to-do list while in the Pacific Northwest and I was not disappointed. Balls and bowls, twisting spirals and rigid spikes, flowers and coils, fluted plates and frilled edges in glorious rainbow colors were a terrific treat. Chihuly’s art is a wonderfully “Bright Idea”, certain to provide pleasure for thousands of art lovers for a long, long time.

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A3. Doors And/Or Windows

This is a theme dear to my heart because it evokes warm fuzzy memories. One early Saturday morning before Mindy returned to Florida and my husband and I left for the island of Antigua (only to return to Panama 13 months later), Mindy and I took a field trip. Our mission was to photograph doors and windows in the small town of Boquete. Naturally, there was much laughter involved. Mindy always gets me to do things outside my comfort zone (not just me…most people fall for her cajoling). Anyway, together we captured a variety of doors and windows in various states: weathered, welcoming, vivid, shuttered. I have always been entranced by this topic. Not only do doors and windows open to welcome new adventures, opportunities, and relationships, they also close to end past experiences and to keep out things that go bump in the night.

I have continued over the years to photograph doors and windows whenever the opportunity arises in any place life finds me. I have even retaken shots I first took on our field trip. I have delayed posting this theme challenge on account of indecisiveness. My apologies if I’ve included so many photos. It was very challenging to choose so few!

The first photo shows a favorite house of mine in Boquete with its colorful array of flowers and its always open and welcoming door. The rest of the “doors and windows” are from different parts of Panama.

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I simply had to include the following picture of Emily as she photographed the windows in the photo above during our Casco Antiguo exploration while my son waited patiently (?) for the ladies to do their thing. I think it’s appropriate that she is standing beneath a window next to a door with many doors and windows in the background.

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A5. Reflections

My husband and I recently returned from a visit with our son and his lady love in the Seattle area. During our short time with them, we did a couple of touristy things like visiting Chihuly Garden and Glass, a brilliantly colorful exhibition of exquisite glass creations. It is located at the foot of the Space Needle and close to the Experience Music Project Museum. As we made our way past the EMP Museum, I caught sight of a reflection of the Space Needle in the wavy reflective exterior of the museum.

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To my delight, there were more reflections of the Space Needle in the beautiful glass balls scattered throughout the Chihuly Gardens. Irresisitable!

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