Monday, December 31, 2007

Berry Merry Christmas

We ran into these berries while visiting our daughter's family in College Station over Christmas. I had never put it together that these berries were around for the holidays. I guess that cutsy saying, "Have a Berry Merry Christmas" was true to life.

--steve buser

Make sure you stop by and see New Orleans Daily Photo while your here

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Flying fearlessly

You're big now. Four-years-old. Nearly a man. It's time to take the big leap. Grab that motorcycle by the handle grips and leave the bounds of earth. Mother Earth. Cut the strings. It may be only for a second or two, but you are flying into a place where only clouds and eagles live.

Again and again. Around and around. Almost seems like a ride at the fair. Almost.

Our grandson Sullivan shows how it's done. Who would have thought that out of all those motorcycles, he would get the fastest, meanest, highest-flying of the whole bunch? Who would have thunk it.

Only the bravest of the brave.

--steve buser

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Slipping out to sea.

Looking back out the plane window as we jet out of Houston, the alluvial deposits sparkle in the late after noon sun. The City of Anahuac is in the lower left on the shore of Lake Anahuac. That lake is released through a dam which is barely visible into the Trinity River. The Trinity isa line come in from the right of the picture and taking a sharp turn toward the top of the picture right in the center. It spills through a channel into Trinity Bay.


The water finds its way from there into Galveston Bay that comes up to Houston. Eventually the effluent makes its way out to the Gulf of Mexico. But before it does, it makes a lot of sailboat enthusiasts happy and makes it possible for large ships to come into Houston.

So much for all the commerce and geography. I just thought it was an interesting shot.

-steve buser

Friday, December 28, 2007

Shared existence






















 

The single stalk of grass owes its existence to the weathered fence behind it. Snuggled close to the aging boards, the grass is inaccessible to lawnmowers chomping by. So what can it give back to the fence? It's too small to offer much shade from the weathering of the sun or the the pounding rains. Just companionship, that is all it can offer. They live separate existence. Neither aware that their fates are intertwined.


-- steve buser

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sunset jet stream

The last rays of the sun capture this high flying streaker. Standing on the ground, it was obvious that the plain was zooming across the sky. The camera, lens however, looses track of up, down -- a sort of vertigo, loosing track of the horizon. The effect makes it look like a comet striking down.

In a sense, it's a kind of metaphor for life. Loose track of what's terra firma in your life and things that are just streaking by you seemed to be crashing down on you.

--steve buser

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Bird watching

This critter is one of the regulars at the Trinity River Mouth Waterbird Rookery on the east side of the I-10 bridge over the Trinity River. The Rookery has a parking area and a overlook pier that makes a favorite spot for bird watchin. Bring binoculars -- the view is incredible but the action is often on the other side of the lake. Look for Anhingas, White Ibis, Little Blue Herons, and Roseate Spoonbills in this area. It is incredible that a site such as this is available just off the I-10.

So what's this guy doing there? Well, birds sometime slip from the trees.

Boy in a bubble

Another shot from the Downtown Aquarium in Houston. Our grandson, Sullivan, gets a fish-eyed view into a tank filled with sting rays.

--steve buser

Friday, December 21, 2007

It's Christmas time in the village

The Christmas Village, where time stands still. Peace and warm lights. Snow, for sure, but not the messy kind. No traffic. No snarling faces. No fences. No jails. No crime. No run down buildings -- they're all ideal, architecturally perfect.


I was just preoccupying myself for a few moments at my daughter Vicky's house and started shooting pictures of the Christmas Village on her counter.


The Village has been reinforced over and over in our mind from young ages. It lays deep in our psyche. For one moment in time --- a week, a fortnight, a day, a morning -- we drop our defenses, our bickering, our jostling and enjoy the peace of the season with one another.


It's Christmas time in the Village. May yours be Merry and Bright.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fog focused

A walk along the waterfront in Victoria on Vancouver Island. The fog doesn't let distractions sneak in. You're fully in the moment. Strolling. Sharing the moment with friends. Even the cold seems more of a friend than an enemy. The water is only making soft rippling sounds. The birds are quiet. "Why sing when you don't know what lurks?" they think.


The quiet stillness of fog. One could say the focus of fog.




--steve buser

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ferried away

One of life's simple pleasures -- the ferry boat ride. The water and the waves. The passing ships. The eager seagulls. The sea breezes. Kids of all ages love it And why not. Fifteen minutes off from the regular world into a world which we share with explorers of yore. This is the ferry from the Bolivar Peninsula to Galveston Island, Texas.


--steve buser

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

WhatChaGot?

Expecting some good eats, the sea gulls zoom in on a lad just wanting to see the ducks down in the water at Kemah, Texas. The Kemah Boardwalk had a bird feed vending machine just behind the rail here, so the gulls knew what the rules are and what to expect. They zoomed in and took a very close look over and over, wondering "what's wrong with this guy?"


--steve buser

Monday, December 17, 2007

Not with a whimper but a bang


And thus it end, not with a whimper, but with a bang. After the jousting match, while the band plays Renaissance songs, the fireworks explode above. The Texas Renaissance Festival closes for another night. The fall festival outside of Houston is an annual attraction for thousands
--steve buser

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Spindled sunset

Your guess is as good as mine what the four poles are doing out in the middle of Keith Lake. The lake is one of a handful of shallow lakes just to the north and west of Sabine Pass, Texas. The sun was doing one of its high value shows and so I pulled over to capture it. The black band on the horizon was a front passing through. The sun had to skip over it to find clouds to paint. Thus the sunset colors only start in the middle of the lake.


-- steve buser

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Gator baiting

This guy came swimming up to our boat on a swamp tour in Orange, Texas a couple years ago. I think he was hoping one of us would hop overboard. He was about 4 1/2 foot long -- I guess that makes him a teenager or something. Tour guide Eli Tate of Adventure Tours 2000+ had a great command of the ways of the river and bayous and where to find these wild creatures.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Galloping water steeds

The Aquarium in downtown Houston is the home for these two gallopers. The Sea Horse tank is at kids' eye level, so you will always see little faces pushed against the glass is wonder.


-- steve buser

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Late gate wait

You've been there. The plane waits at the gate for clearance. You wait for the plane to board. The sun doesn't wait. When it's tired it slips below the horizon. It will be a dark flight through the night back home. And then a dark drive to your house.


Travel. The destination and the journey are not the same -- that is never more clear than when you are suspended in twilight time.


--steve buser

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jumble, bumble fun

Okay. Here's the scenario. You take a large tube and spin it and then tell a bunch a kids to walk through to the other side. I suppose the idea is to give them a sense of what their clothes go through in the dryer. Anyway, it turn instantly into a jumble of arms and legs and body parts that come flying through.

The scene is a fair in the parking lot of the mall in College Station, Texas.

--steve buser

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Driving down the sun

It's getting late. The sun is sliding from the sky. The road is getting longer. You're out over the Atchafalaya basin -- the 25+ miles of bridge with virtually nowhere to get off. Up ahead the bridge at Whiskey Bay rises straight into the sun... what's left of the sun.

It's going to be a long drive through the night.

--steve buser

Monday, December 10, 2007

What's missing is the message

It's just half the mountain it was when I was a kid -- and that's what's so fascinating about it. Unless you're a member of the X-generation or Y-generation, you remember how it lost half of the mountain in a huge explosion in 1980 -- the most significant event in recorded history (this link has a fascinating tale of the event). In the foreground, the two travelers do what people do every day -- stop to take a shot to remember it by.


Here's a full view inside the crater. You can click in the image and move side to side to spin around 360.


The drive up to the mountain is a wonderful history and biology lesson in itself. If you haven't already done so, put it on you life's list to make the visit to Mt. St. Helens.


--steve buser

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Fogged in

The fog has set in. The wind just doesn't feel like pushing it around. So your sails are useless. This will be a day on land. The scene is the harbor at Victoria on Vancouver Island near Seattle. We cruised over on a ferry boat for the day. Fortunately, the fog lifted around 1 p.m.

--steve buser

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I never left

There are places you never leave. You may get back on the boat. You may climb aboard your plane. But you never leave. This is one of the. A beach on the ocean side of Cozumel. A part of me stayed behind in one of those chairs. It sits and lets the ocean breezes massage my cheeks every day. It's waiting for the rest of me to come back. Soon.


-- steve buser

Friday, December 7, 2007

Recycled sunshine

The City of New York reflects the sunshine onto St. Patrick's Cathedral spotting it all up and making the venerable old church seem almost liquid. The corner stone for the famous church was laid in 1858, the same year the first transatlantic telegraph was sent.


-- steve buser

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Spin me up, Scottie

It's the big one. It's in town. You've been waiting, now it's time to cut loose. The State Fair is here.


Get your body ready to spin, tumble, fall, and swoop in the hands of mechanical monsters. The lights, the food, the screaming music. It brings us all together. The exhibits, the animals, the contests, the bands. State Fair time.


This one is the South Texas State Fair, in Beaumont, Texas from a couple years ago.


--steve buser

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Teach the steed to heed

Bread always falls butter side down. The parking spot is always on the other side of the street. Laws of the universe. Another law of the universe, seldom cited, is that when a ersatz cowboy climbs aboard his steed on the merry-go-round for the first time, he will always choose the wildest stallion in the bunch. He'll have to hold on to tight to bring his speeding galloper under control.

Our grandson, Sullivan, stills his steed with the a steady hand and a fancy footwork. The ride goes on. The scene is at a parking lot fair in College Station, Texas

--steve buser

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sunrise serenity

Sunrise fishing. You, the pier, the water, the fish.... and serenity. This is the pier at Walter Umphrey State Park at the lower end of Pleasure Island in Port Arthur Texas. The fish swim in from the Gulf here and their drama with the wily fishermen begins.

--steve buser

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Lazy, glazy

Oh, those lazy, glazy lakes of summer. The Boomtown Lake in Vidor, Texas, is right on the I-10 which makes it a draw for campers. The lake is a former borrow-pit -- the dirt is "borrow" for construction projects. In this case, I'm guessing that the dirt ended up being used to raise the I-10 when it was first built.

That boat laying there looks awful temping. I didn't notice it when I shot this picture a couple years ago, that there was chair on the deck on the right. I'm pretty sure it has my name on it.

--steve buser

Friday, November 30, 2007

Needle in the night

Night piercing amour
The Seattle Space Needle in the night is a beautiful site. It pushed the limits of my camera to get this pix though. We were staying a few miles away and it was a landmark for getting around. I tried shooting it a few nights while we were there. The Needle was the tallest building west of the Mississippi when it was built. And, since you asked, No, I did not get up the courage to go up it.

Click on their web site above, they have a neat web cam that you can spin around and view the whole of Seattle.

--steve buser

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The fun never stops

Birds wait for food to be tossed into the air. The ducks wait for it to fall. People face in the wind, staring out at the boats in the bay grabbing the wind.

This is all why the Kemah Boardwalk is one of my favorite spots -- activity is buzzing around you on several levels. But each actor knows his part. "The fun never stops."

Kemah is just south of Houston along Galveston Bay. The Boardwalk is lined with great restaurants and there are rides for the kids. In the middle is a hotel looking down on a courtyard where bands keep the buzz going as kids splash in the dancing water spouts.

Great fun.

-- steve buser

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Country spirit

Anybody home?
Was the church abandoned? It appear that is was. But the grass was neatly groomed.

In any case, it was on a lonely country curve miles from the nearest town . Next to it was the cemetery. Where church members were laid to rest. Kind of a traditional thing, and not just for the Deep South.

But was the church abandoned? Or does the spirit still live?

People sometimes abandon churches, but does God?

--steve buser

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

March of time

Wandering the back road a few weeks back I cam upon this house out in cotton country near Simmesport, LA. Probably and old share croppers home. The weather-worn look just have a nostalgic feel to me. As we march through time, technology by technology, we leave behind things that were once active and useful. We leave our past to the elements.


-- steve buser

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sun worshiping

This sun worshiping perennial was on the side of the road at J.J. Mayes Wildlife Trace just to the east of Houston, Texas, when I stopped there several years ago. The nature preserve is on the Houston side of the bridge over the San Jacinto River near Wallisville.


--steve buser

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Don't tell

Uncovering secrets.
Don't tell.
It's dark, nobody will notice.
You remember when you were a kid and were just so fascinated with things, that sometimes it was worth getting in trouble just to find out what made that fancy Christmas gadget work. Here, Our grandson, Sullivan, does a a covert operation in stealth mode in the darkness.

Paw Paw sits in the shadows unnoticed, gathering photographic evidence.

Don't tell.

--steve buser

Lagniappe

Friday, November 23, 2007

Icons on icons

Two well known icons, with their icons on top of the icons -- Grand Central Station and the Chrysler building in New York City. The John Donnelly Company did the statue at the top of the station . Fleet-footed Mercury (messenger of the gods and god of abundance and commercial success) stands tall in the middle, flanked by Hercules (renowned as having "made the world safe for mankind" by destroying many dangerous monsters")and Minerva (who was noted goddess of wisdom, commerce, crafts and more),

The Art Deco Chrysler Building, opened in 1930, remains the worlds tallest brick building. The 125-foot spire was actually built inside the building to keep it a secret until it was hoisted into place.

--steve buser

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The clock's stuck on five

The beach. The sun. The life. Cozumel here. One of the commercial beaches. Umbrellas ready. Drinks and eats a few steps away. Blues. Every color of them. But no one can mimic the color of the ocean. Azure blue. Turquoise blue. Clear blue. All in one. And its always five o'clock.


--steve buser

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Getting nosy

Our grandson, Sullivan, is excited and at the same time unsure, as an elephant gets a little nosy. Still, the rest of the day he kept talking about how he and his Nanny touched the nose of an elephant at the Texas Renaissance Festival near Plantersville (don't ask me where we were, just go to their web page).

It was and exciting day seeing, jousting, and knights and a medieval sights of every variety.

--steve buser

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Last rays, last pumps

Central Park. New York. Chilly Day. Dusk just around the corner.

The dark filters first down into the tree shaded jaunts of City Park. Buildings around the park soak up all they can of the last rays. Our hero here, the skater on the bottom, has a open road as he gets his last muscle-hurting pumps in before retiring for the night.

--steve buser

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sundown, lights up

I was very conflicted here. I was trying to capture the lights on the courthouse in Marshall, Tx. But there was also this wonderfully pink sunset that was setting up in the distance. Finally I decided to see if I could get the two in the same picture. Voila!.

--steve buser

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The dragon riding hero

You want to talk about real bravery?


Try grabbing on to the back of a fire-breathing, roaring dragon who then gyrates, slaps his tail, flails and humps his back over and over in circles to fling you off. Look, the dragon's smiling. He loves this. Throwing off little children.


A real dragon rider does it all with a smile, too, thank you. Bravery is enjoying this and getting off the dragon and back on again. Over and over. This may look like the little boy that sleeps in your house. But inside his mind awakes Sullivan, Dragon Rider Extraordinaire.


By the way, Sullivan, Dragon Rider Extraordinaire -- the one in the front -- is our grandson who was displaying his dragon-taming talents to us the other day when we were with him and his mom at a fair in College Station, Texas. Suddenly this dragon lands in the middle of the place and we did not know what to do. To the rescue.... you know the rest.


--steve buser

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Spinning down

I am totally convinced that the sky likes to play with rustic things. Even in this case, where the windmill was totally ornamental. The spinning toy tower sat out in front of a miniature golf course. But what did the sky know? It just saw a windmill and said "that would look neat with some bright pastels and some glowing highlights. So, one night the sky showed off its work -- I happened to be passing by and caught it with my glass eye.

--steve buser

Friday, November 16, 2007

Mud Show


















The Mud Show at the Texas Renaissance Festival near Houston is a perennial favorite.. We were at the festival recently -- our last time there was about 10 years ago. But, to our surprise, the Mud Show was still there. Still the same. Still the same mud bathers. Still as funny as ever.


--steve buser

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This is your New York

Okay, I tried. I admit it wasn't for long, but I did try. I resisted the urge. But it was too strong. I mean the poster was sitting right there. I had to find a little bit of a oblique angle to make it work but that wasn't hard. And suddenly, I had the shot. New Yorkers. Watching the ice skaters at Rockefeller plaza. This is your New York. -- indeed.

--steve buser

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Kid shapes

Did you ever notice that different shapes of people's space? Adults keep their hands in, their feet under them. Kids run with their hands flailing, hair blowing, and legs shooting forward.

This picture was taken in College Station, TX -- we took our daughter and grandson (Sullivan) to one of those parking lot fairs with all the rides. You know, the buy-a-bracelet-and-ride-all-the-rides variety. Sullivan took full advantage of the that -- five hours worth. It was a beautiful, cool, breezy day. One of those kind you remember forever.

--steve buser

Monday, November 12, 2007

Neither lights, nor bustle, nor pizazz shall keep...

Times Square, asplash with color and lights and glitter. Filled with the brushing and bustling of tourists caught up in the awe. But remove the lights, tone down the pizazz and behind it all, live goes on. Needs get meant. In the center of all this? FedEx delivers another package.


-steve buser

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Marshalling interest

Christmas brings out the best even in courhouses, as the Marshall, TX, Courthouse gives evidence to in this photo. The lights are a favorite a tourism attraction in the region. It is a great advertising for their bus tour of Christmas lights through the town.

-- steve buser

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wave watching



Curiosity. That's all it was.

I watched this guy wander (wonder) down across the rock outcropping to where the waves were practicing slam dunks. He was making a pretty good pace, bouncing from foothold to foot hold, then slowed, trying to find the closest place that was still out of read of the splashes.

The scene is in at the beach front in Cozumel.

--steve buser

Friday, November 9, 2007

Into the heart of the sunset

Heading into the sunset over the I- 10 Atchafalaya Basin crossing at Whisky Bay. The bridge is about a 25-mile crossing of the swampy basin. The Atchafalaya River is sister to the Mississippi in the Southern part of Louisiana. It would love to carry all of the Mississippi River's water to the Gulf, were it not for a gate structure built by the Corps of Engineers to prevent that.


I guess if that ever were allowed to happen, this bridge structure would have to be twice as long.


--steve buser

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Coming in

It's been a fun day. The sun has baked your skin and the wind has been brushing past it all day long. But it's time to call it a day. Turn on the motor and lower the sail as you steer slowly back to the channel that brought you here. Your fellow sailors and captains line up in front of you and behind you -- it's their quitting time, too.

This is a shot from the Boardwalk in Kemah, Texas just south of Houston. Hundreds of boats pass by each day heading out from the Clear Lake area into the Galveston Bay for a day of sailing or speeding cross the waves.

--steve buser

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Catching Crabs

It was early morning and this young man in Guatemala had just got started on task fo catching crabs. But he pulled along side us and pulled out one to show us. We had landed at Puerto Santo Thomas de Castillo and were heading down the Rio Dulce.

--steve buser

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Horn-heavy

This friendly creature is from the South Texas State Fair in Beaumont Texas. This particular year was the first year the fair was held at the new Ford Park.

Seems long-horn cattle are a source of pride in the Lone-Star state.

--steve buser

Monday, November 5, 2007

Walk-on ...rather .. . Fly-on appearance

Seems like everybody wants to be part of the drama. After all, this is the Big Apple. The two feathery thespians hope to be discovered by an impromptu appearance at the statue at the entrance to Central Park in New York City.

--steve buser