• Sublime Colorfall….
A waterfall in Northern California is turned into a rainbow by two creative photographers….who dropped colorful, high-powered, eco-friendly Cyalume glow sticks into the waters above and photographed the falls with a long exposure.
An exquisite colorfall is the stunning result!
                                              Pure sublimity!
                                      ______________________
»Photo: Sean Lenz and Kristoffer Abildgaard/From the Lenz
  • Dread Naught!
United States Navy battleship, USS Tennessee (BB 43) underway in Puget Sound, WA in May 1943….following her repair, reconfiguration, modernization and rebuilding after suffering extensive damage during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
USS Tennesse was one of eight American battleships sunk or damaged during the surprise attack from the air. Two, USS Arizona (BB 39) and USS Oklahoma (BB 37), were completely destroyed….with huge loss of life. The other six battleships were eventually repaired and went on to fight in the war.
USS Tennessee emerged bigger, better and more fearsome than ever….and served with honor and distinction throughout the rest of World War II and beyond….until she was retired in 1947. The huge ship was scrapped in 1959.
                                     Dread Naught = NO Fear!
                                         *          *          *          *
»CLICK the photo for an impressive close-up….
»U.S. Navy photo
  • Catnap….
                                A purrrfect day it is today                                 For a catnap                                 A sonorous languid noon                                 Summer under a hat
                                Stretched snug in the garden                                 Beneath the tree                                 With dancing butterflies                                 The birds and the bees
                                The warmth of the Sun                                 Wrapped around fingers                                 On drowsy toes                                 Sleep lingers
                                The song of wind chimes                                 A medley in the breeze                                 The red gulmohar brushing                                 With rustling leaves 
                                The scent of red roses                                  White jasmine                                 Adrift in the air                                  Fragrance within
                                White satin clouds                                 In  blue skies                                 The wings of an eagle                                 Caught in the eyes
                                A lull….a lullaby                                 The heart at ease                                 Thoughts fade                                 The mind at peace
                                In the folds of early noon                                 Eyelids close                                 Far from the humdrum                                 A purrrfect doze
                                                              — Nishu Mathur (India)
  • Downward spiral….
This staircase at the ornate Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House, in Washington, DC….somehow reminds me of the state of America’s government of late.
With a lot of luck….the will of the American people….and a vast improvement in administrative and legislative leadership and cooperation….perhaps America can get back to the top of the stairs again someday.
                                    ___________________
»Photo: Brian R. Fitzgerald
  • Giant steps….
It’s hard to believe 45 years have passed since America first landed men on the Moon….July 20, 1969.
When I watched, enraptured, as a 15-year-old boy on that auspicious day 45 years ago today….I thought, for sure, man would have gone on to Mars and beyond by the time I reached the age of 60 in 2014.
Alas, that hasn’t happened for a variety of reasons. Perhaps, aside from practical realities like funding, politics, and engineering….it will, once again, take the sheer will of the people to make further space travel a reality.
I can only hope I live long enough to see it happen. I thought for sure, 45 years ago today, that I would!
                                         *          *          *          *
»Photo: American astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin walks on the surface of the Moon….July 20, 1969. He was the second man to step onto the Moon, after Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong had become the first just a few minutes before.
  • The Lone Freighter….
Awaiting the loading of its cargo in Colombo, Sri Lanka, a grain bulk carrier sits silently on the Indian Ocean, watching the sunset.
                                    _________________________
»CLICK the photo for an immersive close-up…..
»Photo: “The Lone Freighter” by Anindo Dey
»Note: I last visited Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1983 with the U.S. Navy, shortly before a costly and vicious Civil War broke out there, laying waste to much of this beautiful country once know as Ceylon. Today, peace again prevails….forward progress is abundant….and I so look forward to returning….
  • Haunting Finale….
A haunting and undignified end to SS America….once one of the most beautiful American-made ocean liners ever built.
She had a long, varied and storied career….spanning 54 years….before she met her demise on a beach at Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands in 1994. Her decaying hulk remains there to this day.
May she rest in peace….and not be emblematic of her namesake Nation….of late heading into perilous waters of its own….
                                         *          *          *          *
»Photo: “Grand Finale” by Pedro López Batista
                                         *          *          *          *
                                SS America in her glory days….
  • Enduring power….
A classic Hungarian Class 424 double-chimneyed, superheated steam locomotive makes a rare journey. One of only three surviving locomotives of this type, they are primarily used for historic and excursion trips.
Dating back to the World War II era….these powerful machines were built to last! They have become a nostalgic favorite….often found in films, literature and as models.
                                _______________________
»Photo: Carlos Blanco
  • Floating City….
The United States Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), arrives in San Diego, CA after a routine training period at-sea.
This view from the navigation bridge of the ship gives on an idea of just how big these ships are….appearing to dwarf a large bay and a burgeoning downtown just ahead.
When a carrier pulls into a port, it’s as if that city or town just gained another airport….or fresh-water plant capable of serving thousands of homes….or a power plant that could light-up a city on its own….what with the size and capabilities of one of these ultra-sophisticated engineering marvels.
The year I spent serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) in the late 1980s was an amazing experience. Life aboard an aircraft carrier is nothing like that aboard the vast majority of Navy warships. Most of the comforts of “back home” are there….from ATM’s….to fast food restaurants….to satellite TV. On most other warships….those are all things one must wait for until back in port.
But, alas, I’m a cruiser/destroyer sailor at heart. I like to feel the deck move beneath my feet….see the salt spray come over the bow….and feel like I’m a part of the vast ocean around me. On a supercarrier like Nimitz or Enterprise….you’re living and working in a floating city….not a ship!
                                    _______________________
»CLICK the photo for an even bigger perspective….