52 Weeks of Life Seen Through My Eyes

Ida's Photo Theme Challenge


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50. Urban Scenery

My final hurrah for the 2014-15 Theme Challenge found me in the small town of Boquete, looking for something that could provide a teeny taste of “urban” life in this mountainous Central American locale. I opted to begin on the outskirts with a shot taken from across the Caldera River which reveals a glimpse of the Catholic Church twin towers, the surrounding mountains, and the lush greenery; then to take a quick walk through town for a closer look at a few scenes, human and man-made, and end on Avenida Central looking toward the church and those beautiful mountains.
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46. Still Life

I thought I had the perfect photo for this theme, only to notice it was not taken during the allotted time frame. So instead I decided to choose an image of life that is momentarily still.

A few days ago, my attention was captured by a rather raucous racket coming from the vicinity of a palm tree in the yard. When I looked outside, I could barely believe what I was seeing. My numerous vivid visitors were fluttering and prancing along the palm fronds, flitting in and out, jabbering noisily away. I was giddy with excitement! It is the first time that these Brown-Throated Parakeets have lingered so close to our house. Usually their loud chattering captures one’s attention as they babble overhead at warp speed. Over the years we have spent in Panama, we have seen them in flocks, numbering anywhere from 2 to over 60, always too fast and high to enjoy, always just flashes of iridescent green, but this time, they actually settled on palm fronds to eat seeds close enough and long enough for me to delight in their activity.
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28. Natural Beauty

It’s time for a quick change of scenery, to share a few sights of California’s rolling hills from Mount Diablo, the highest point in the San Francisco Bay Area. While visiting family recently, we had a couple of hours to do some exploring. Our wanderings took us to the top of the peak on a warm, foggy afternoon, the fog sometimes impeding the gorgeous panoramic views and at other times creating a rather ethereal allure. Even though many of the trees had already bloomed and the flowers had yet to come into their full glory, at least the brilliant orange California poppies added vivid color to the landscape. The vistas were sublime and well worth the time spent soaking up the natural beauty of the area.
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24. Long Exposure

Due to the fact I have a few more themes left in order to complete this year’s list, my husband and I spent a couple of hours gallivanting around Boquete and its surrounds. I was even treated to a delicious Mocha Frappuccino at our favorite coffee shop during a brief break. My quest today was to attempt my first long exposure shot. We ended up at Boquete’s most well-known waterfall, a very popular spot for locals and tourists alike. I also did a little boulder navigation to get closer to the river. The extraordinarily bright sunlight made it a trifle problematic, but even if these are not the most inspirational photos, I think the effect meets the challenge, “Long Exposure”.
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26. Masked

While wandering the streets of Casco Antiguo, a favorite spot of mine in Panama City, we came upon a man dressed in a costume based on the traditional Diablos de los Espejos (Mirror Devils) costume. In Panama, specifically on the Azuero Peninsula, the devil dances are of a religious nature, depicting the battle between good and evil and the ultimate defeat of Satan by the Holy Spirit. The mirrors worn by the dancers are meant to ward off the evil eye. The dance has been practiced since the 16th Century and although it originates from Europe, there is a definite Afro-Caribbean vibe to it stemming from enslavement during the Spanish colonial days. The young man we saw whose job, it seemed, was to entice diners into the restaurant, must have been sweltering in his vibrantly colored hooped skirt and leggings as well as having to contend with a head adornment and shiny plastic mask in all the heat and humidity of the day. Although he briefly posed for me, his eyes beneath the mask did not reveal a happy spirit.
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22. It’s A Mystery

Close to a year ago, at the beginning of the 2014-15 Theme Challenge, my husband and I were driving through the town of David when I pointed out these trees that were sporting flashy wraps. I took a few photos and filed them away in my “Theme possibilities” folder, thinking that they may eventually come in handy for an emergency post. At the time, to my knowledge, there were no parades or holidays to warrant the decorations and the trees remained wrapped for a few weeks. I attempted to find out why the trunks had been wearing bright bands of color, but was unsuccessful in my search for enlightenment. Needless to say, we have come to the final week of the challenge, and those striped trunks are still a mystery.
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