Monday, June 21, 2010

Birds and the bees? er... flowers?

I haven't been taking as many pictures recently... Partly because we are more in a day-to-day routine of life and less seems "interesting." Partly, too, because the camera I usually use decided to have a spas attack and hasn't yet recovered. :( So these photos are all compliments of our pocket-sized point-n-shoot digital camera!

A nice, quaint centerpiece at our table during a coffee outing with our friend Christine, who recently visited us from the U.S.

We were feeling a little snacky, so we ordered up some grilled bananas -- served with the ever-popular Indonesian pairing of cheese and chocolate. (And a maraschino cherry...)

The centerpiece again, in full color...

I liked the combination of these pretty purple flowers growing their green vine up the harsh barbed wire at the top of one of the three concrete walls surrounding our house. (Click on it for a bigger pic!)

Interesting railing at the spa where Major took me for my 28th birthday.

We had a second trip to the bird market recently... Didn't bring home any pets, but there were some interesting and lovely creatures there! (Some strange and ugly ones, too....) :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

~@ Papua @~

We recently had the opportunity to visit Indonesia's eastern-most province. IT. WAS. BEAUTIFUL. Here are a few little glimpses of life I captured there...

At the entrance to a local grocery store, a lady sells ants' nests for medicinal purposes. She had a sheet with a long list of things the elements of these nests are known to help.

Cute lizard in a tree.

We watched a Persipura soccer game at the arena in Jayapura. (Final score 2-1 Persipura, but this moment was my best opportunity for a shot of the fans near the scoreboard.)

A beautiful black-sand beach near sunset.

Just off the main road, we enjoyed fresh young coconut "milk" with strawberry syrup.

Someone decided the drainage ditch was a good place for a clock they no longer wanted...

The fresh young coconut with strawberry syrup I mentioned... YUM! (And a beautiful view to enjoy while we had our snack!)

Flowers at sunset.

Cute kiddos playing at the beach.

I love the vibrant green of this tree's underside.

A young fan enjoying his ice cream at the Persipura soccer game in Jayapura.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

This and That...

Ants that decided to take up residence on a banana tree flower. (Now if I could just convince all the ants in our house that banana flowers in the great outdoors are the way to go...)

This twig and river debri sort of made me think of a little SOS flag.

Somehow, a chili seed made it's way into out concrete wall. And somehow, it found a way to reach itself out into the sunlight to finish growing. Maybe this should be on one of those "Perseverance" or "Despite All Odds" inspirational posters?

One of our favorite nearby hikes takes us through tiers of rice paddies. These ladies are collecting the new shoots to replant in other terraces...

Not sure why someone tiled the outside of this building, but it makes for a fun shot.

You should have seen the size of this old lady's calf muscles, as she steadfastly treaded past us, carrying a heavy load up the hills...

Just one of many shops in Yojakarta's Bird Market, where you can purchase lizards, bats, chickens, pigeons, owls, ...

We recently discovered that this spider, who took up residence off our front porch a few months ago, is female. (ONE spider, OUTSIDE, is no big deal, but we weren't so keen about the egg sacks she produced.)

Offerings like this one - banana leaf containers holding flowers, incense, fruits, and vegetables - are outside and inside most shops and residences around the city of Sanur in Bali. While Indonesia is majority Muslim, the island of Bali is largely Hindu.

My mom's lunch came with volcano-shaped rice, complete with fried onion smoke/lava.

Strange and interesting foliage...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ancient temples (Buddhist & Hindu)

Catching up on posting some pictures from recent adventures... I'll get the rest up over the next few days!

BOROBUDUR ancient Buddhist temple... Built in the 8th or 9th century, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has nine levels (6 square ones at the base, and 3 circular ones near the top), and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. Seventy-two of the statues are seated inside stupas around the main dome. Borobudur is Indonesia's most visited tourist attraction, and is still used for pilgrimage by Buddhists who come here during an annual celebration at the temple.

Some dancers with Borobudur in the background...

Prambanan ancient Hindu temple complex... This 9th century Hindu temple compound is dedicated to Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Sustainer (Vishnu), and the Destroyer (Shiva). Prambanan, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, and one of the largest in southeast Asia.