Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Hello, Fall

 We had a very warm Fall that suddenly jumped into Winter. Some of the plants hardly had time to process the event and their leaves were still in place when the snow started. A few of the plants turned lovely colors but others turned a dull brown and are still clinging to their branches. Now we move into snow. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Parque Chankanaab, Cozumel, Mexico


The skeletons in Mexico dressed up and displayed are part of the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) celebration, which is a pre-Hispanic tradition that honors the cycle of life and death. The skeletons are called calacas, which are whimsical representations of the deceased in various scenes of everyday life. They are often made of papier-mache, wood, clay, or sugar or in this case, iron.

The calacas are displayed in homes, altars, streets, and cemeteries during the Day of the Dead, which takes place every year on November 1 and 2. They are meant to celebrate and remember the lives of the departed, as well as to mock death and show that it is not something to be feared. The calacas are also decorated with bright colors and flowers, especially marigolds, which are believed to attract the souls of the dead with their scent. The calacas are a unique and festive way of expressing the Mexican worldview and spirituality.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Dolphin Statue Cozumel, Mexico

Quoting from Microsoft Bing Chat:
Cozumel is an island and municipality in the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. It’s located just off the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and is directly across the water from Playa Del Carmen. The island is known for its white sand beaches, coral reefs, and modern amenities.

Cozumel was once a bustling Mayan community with as many as 10,000 local residents2. Sacred to the Mayan Moon Goddess, Ix Chel, the island and its temples were an important place of pilgrimage for women seeking fertility. The remnants of that once thriving civilization can still be seen today in the small ruins of San Gervasio in the island’s forested interior.

Today, Cozumel is a popular tourist destination. It has two very different sides: the modern amenities around its main town of San Miguel, and numerous places on the far side of the island to get away from it all. Cozumel is considered a very safe area to travel to, especially compared to other parts of Mexico.

Cozumel is especially known for its warm, tropical water, snorkelers and scuba divers from across the globe enjoy exploring the island’s reef, teeming with aquatic life. No trip to Cozumel is complete without a boat ride (or two) around the island’s magnificently blue waters.

The tropical climate in Cozumel is reasonably predictable and easy to make plans around. Without much of a temperature difference throughout the year, (the average temperature lingers around 83° F) it’s the rainy season that travelers should pay attention to.


Monday, November 27, 2023

Ctenosaura similis, commonly known as the black iguana or black spiny-tailed iguana


According to Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ctenosaura_similis ia found in Mexico and Central America which is probably why I saw this one in Mexico. Here is a quote from Wikipedia,

Ctenosaura similis, commonly known as the black iguana or black spiny-tailed iguana, is a lizard native to Mexico and Central America. It has been reported in some Colombian islands in the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, and has been introduced to the United States in the state of Florida. It is the largest species in the genus Ctenosaura. They are typically found in areas such as grasslands and forests.

The Guinness Book of World Records lists this as the world's fastest lizard, with a maximal sprint speed of 34.6 kilometres per hour (21.5 mph) also from Wikipedia.  


Saturday, November 18, 2023

Provo City Cemetery, Provo, Utah


The Provo City Cemetery has the graves of many early Utah pioneers. Some of my own relatives are buried here. My Great Great Grandfather Sidney Tanner's (b. 1809, d. 1895) half-brother Myron Tanner (b. 1826, d. 1903) is buried in this cemetery. Myron Tanner was an Alderman for Provo City for many years. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Tampa, Florida from the Tampa Bay, Cruise Terminal


Tampa Florida is on Florida's west coast. Its population is about 400,000 which makes it about twice as populated as Utah's Salt Lake City with about 200,000. Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida with almost a million inhabitants. Florida has a population of just over 21 million, while Utah has only about 3.5 million. Provo's population, where I live now, is about 115,000. However, the population of Maricopa County, where I lived for many years, is well over 4.5 million making its population greater than 21 of the states. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Olmec Colossal Head from Central America


This is a lifesize replica of an Olmec head found in a botanical garden on the island of San Miguel de Cozumel. This particular sculpture was reproduced from an Olmec head or colossal head labeled as number 1 in the Xalapa's museum of Anthropology. It is also known as "el rey" (the king) It was found in San Lorenzo, Tenochtitlán (name of the archeological site, usually shortened to San Lorenzo), located at Texistepec, State of Veracruz, México. It dates from 1200 to 900 years B.C. and is 2.9 meters high and 2.1 meters wide. See “File:Cabeza Colosal No1 Del Museo Xalapa.Jpg.” In Wikipedia, May 9, 2012. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Cabeza_Colosal_n%C2%BA1_del_Museo_Xalapa.jpg&oldid=491549457 

Here is a brief explanation of the origin of these remarkable carvings from “Cabeza colosal.” In Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre, October 19, 2023. https://es.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cabeza_colosal&oldid=154729115.

The Olmec colossal heads are stone representations of human heads sculpted from large basalt boulders. They range in height from 1.17 to 3.4 meters (3.8 to 11.2 ft) and weigh an average of 8 tons.

The heads date from at least 900 BC and are a distinctive feature of the Olmec civilization, the first civilization to develop in Meso-America.

The Olmec civilization flourished in the lowlands of southeastern Mexico, especially in the states of Veracruz and Tabasco, between 1500 and 400 BC. The heads are believed to portray powerful individual Olmec rulers, as they display unique facial features and expressions that may be considered portraits. The heads also wear protective helmets that were worn by the Olmec in battle and during the Meso-American ballgame. Some helmets have jaguar paws or talons as symbols of political and religious power.

The boulders used for the heads were brought from the Sierra de Los Tuxtlas mountains of Veracruz, over 150 kilometres (93 mi) away from some of the Olmec sites. The method and logistics used to transport the stone remain unclear, but it is likely that they used river rafts and log rollers. The heads were sculpted using hard hand-held stones and drilled with reeds and wet sand to create depth and detail. They were probably originally painted with bright colors. 

Seventeen confirmed examples of the heads have been discovered to date, from four sites within the Olmec heartland: San Lorenzo, La Venta, Tres Zapotes, and Rancho La Cobata.

The heads were variously arranged in lines or groups at major Olmec centers, but some were moved or buried by later cultures or natural events. Dating the monuments remains difficult because of the lack of archaeological context for many of them. Most have been dated to the Early Pre-classic period (1500–1000 BC) with some to the Middle Pre-classic (1000–400 BC) period.