CFFC: Animal Art

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week has the topic Non-Alive Animals. Of course, any representation of an animal has a real animal in mind as the artist creates it. But the rendition may be very close in appearance to the real animal, or it may be whimsical, or abstract. It all depends on the craftsman’s talent and point of view.

It was hard to choose photos for this post – so many to choose from! Everywhere I go, locally or abroad, there is animal art. Animals have been subjects for every kind of art imaginable for thousands of years…

Such as the first known painting in the world, a painting of Egyptian geese on papyrus at the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo,

and the god Horus, usually represented as a hawk, at the Temple of Horus in Edfu, Egypt.

Also at the Egyptian Museum is a throne of King Tutankhamun, whose tomb was not found until 1922, with most of its grave goods intact – it hadn’t been subjected to many tomb robberies!

This elaborate throne contains many symbols and images of gods, such as twin lions on the front. One of ancient Egypt’s sacred symbols was the scarab beetle, depicted in the cartouche on the front of the arm; the hieroglyphics within the cartouche generally are names of kings, so this may have been Tuthankhamun’s. Embracing the throne of either side are the wings of the vulture, a bird considered to be a protector of kings. In this case, he represents the king-god himself, wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt.

The ancient Chinese civilization also had many animal representations, one of the most common being the guardian lion. This one is in front of a restaurant, House of Szechwan, in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Generally depicted in pairs, guardian lions stood in front of imperial palaces, tombs, temples, government buildings, and the homes of the wealthy. The concept was to show the emotion of the animal, in this case ferocity, as a symbol of protection.

Deriving from this Chinese custom, there are people today who have a pair of lions as lawn ornaments, like this one in Des Plaines. He might look more ferocious if freshly painted!

Here are another example of a Des Plaines lawn ornament, this cute little bird sitting on an orb.

There were many whimsical animals on display for sale or as decoration in the charming small town of Poulsbo, Washington, north of Tacoma.

In Evanston, Illinois, there is a little known museum called the American Toby Jug Museum, which we discovered during Chicago’s annual Open House in October. Toby Jugs are ceramic figures, usually depicting well known persons, but also animals. The history of the toby jug, or philpot, dates back to 18th century potters in Staffordshire, England and was popularized by colonists in the United States. The top of each toby jug has a spout for pouring, but nowadays, these figurines are primarily for ornamentation or collections.

After the wedding we attended near Poulsbo, Washington, we spent a day in Tacoma before returning to Seattle for our flight home. There is a beautiful Museum of Glass there, which has many objects designed by the famous Dale Chihuly, but there is also a fine collection of glass sculptures by other artists, such as this beautiful horse.

Horses are the subject of many works of art, including statues of famous heroes mounted on horses in many European cities, but I am only including two 2-dimensional renditions, one a drawing of a palomino I drew a few days ago, and another one at a short film display at the Ij (Eye) Museum in Amsterdam.

While in Amsterdam, we visited the Oude Kerk, the oldest building in Amsterdam, founded circa 1213 CE. Under the seats of the choir were unique carvings – some rather bawdy! – including this one of a pig.

Most people love animals, and there are many examples of whimsical animals to delight human sensibilities. In the gardens behind Melk Abbey in Austria are some cute creatures, mostly fantastical combinations of human and animal, but there was this turtle:

In Passau, Germany, which we had visited the previous day while on our Viking European cruise, while walking around town on our own, we came across a dachshund museum! Big and little dachshund statues were in front of it.

Who could resist being delighted by several painted cows in the town across from Mont St-Michel in France? Here is one of them, my personal favorite (I love that bright blue udder!).

Our daughter loves Hello Kitty, and for her bridal shower, Hello Kitty was the theme! I bought these as party favors.

Some animal sculptures are cute,

At Mount St. Mary Park in St. Charles, Illinois

but some can be a bit intimidating!…

Giant spider at Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines, Iowa

and some are reminders of favorite movies, such as this groundhog in Woodstock, Illinois, where Groundhog Day was filmed.

CFFC: Colorful Buildings

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge continues with her theme “all about buildings” and this week’s topic is colorful buildings.

In Amsterdam, Holland:
the red light district

De Pijp neighborhood (across from our Airbnb)

Miltenberg, Germany:
storefront

the Town Hall (Rathaus)

Wurzburg’s colorful cathedral:

Budapest, Hungary:

Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico:

Costa Rica:

Sports stadium in Aswan, Egypt:

Tucumcari, New Mexico, USA on Route 66:

Shamrock, Texas (Route 66):

Cuba, Missouri (Route 66):

Uranus, Missouri (Route 66):

CFFC: Two- and Three-Wheels Around the World

Cee continues her transportation theme in her Fun Foto Challenge with motorcycles, tricycles, and bicycles.

CFFC: Boats Through the Ages

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Anything to do with boats. All the photos in this photo essay are from my travels near and far.

26th Century BCE – 1st century BCE: Ancient Egypt

This relief at the Temple of Horus (built 237 BCE-57 BCE) in Edfu shows two boats, depicting the pharaoh’s journey to the afterlife. In the middle of the photo, at the center of the boat is the sarcophagus of the pharaoh. You can also see oarsmen in both boats. These likely bear some resemblance to the royal boats powered by oarsmen used during the ancient Egyptian times.

Modern Egypt: Today the Nile teems with cruise ships alongside fellucas (open air sailing boats with no cabins), fishing vessels and freighters.

A dahabeya (2-sail vessel, usually containing cabins), a fishing boat and a cruise ship on the Nile near Edfu.

1st Century CE: Palestine/Israel

Modern Israel: This is one of the vessels used today to take pilgrims across the Sea of Galilee. We sang hymns, watched a demonstration of casting a fishing net, and watched the flocks of gulls who followed our boat.

Middle Ages: Norman Conquest, 1066 CE

The Norman Conquest of England began in 1066 when William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy) invaded the Kingdom of England, which led to the Battle of Hastings and the Norman control of England. The entire story is told on an ancient tapestry, woven by 11th century weavers, and is now housed in Bayeux, Normandy France. This replica of a piece of the original tapestry (which we were not allowed to photograph) depict a stylized version of the boats used at that time.

17th-19th Centuries CE: A failed ship, flat boats, and art

In Stockholm, Sweden, 1628, a ship became famous because it sank, 23 minutes after its maiden voyage! The Vasa was not pulled out of the canal until the 1950s, when the technology to do this had been developed, then it was reconstructed and the museum housing it opened in the 1990s. Why? Because it was top heavy! The photos above were taken at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, where the actual boat is on display (photo far right). The other photos are decorative mastheads and other items on the outside of the ship.

Sailing ship models

19th Century Flatboats:

1880s-Early 1900s: Impressionist Art

Native American Canoes: (L) in Maine (Oceanarium, Acadia); (R) in Alaska – this tribe still makes its canoes the traditional way.

1904-1914: The Panama Canal was completed in 1914, and received updates in the late 20th century to accommodate larger cruise ships and ocean freighters. These are some of the ships we saw passing through the canal.

20th Century: Steamships

2019: Amsterdam, a City of Canals, Ships and Boats

FFPC: Everybody’s Going Somewhere

Family out enjoying the nice day on their boat, on the Baltic Sea.
Getting on a small airplane for the journey from Serengeti National Park to Arusha, Tanzania
Cattle on trucks, Daraw, Egypt
In Daraw, all the traffic was stopped for a very long time at a railroad crossing.
“People movers” at Charles deGaulle Airport, Paris, France
Rush hour on Champs Elysee, Paris
Bus in Cairo traffic, Egypt (I was trying to take a photo of the building across the street but the bus got in my way!)

Marching band on the move, Vienna, Austria
Bicyclists waiting for light to change, Vienna
Canal tour boats in Amsterdam, Holland
Mother & son out for a bike ride, Regensburg, Germany
Wake of cruise ship at sunset on the Baltic Sea

Sandy’s Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: In Transit

CFFC: Roofs of Europe

The roofs in Europe are varied and interesting. So for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week with the topic of roofs, here are some European roofs.

Mont St.-Michel, France

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Abbey cloister and courtyard

Roofs with gulls

Roof with window
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Amsterdam, Holland – These are my favorites due to their variety in architectural style.

2 views of the roofs of the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam’s largest art museum), including solar panels! The building was designed by Pierre Cuypers (who also designed other buildings in Amsterdam in the same style, including Centraal Station and Concertgebouw) and opened in 1885.

The rest of these Amsterdam roofs were photographed during a private boat tour, which included all the major canals and the harbor, so there were many types to see, both on shore and in the water!
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Behind the boats in the foreground is the roof of the NEMO Science Museum, which is shaped like a ship!

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Modern apartment buildings

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This red roof really stands out!

Houseboat roofs:

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OK, it’s a tour boat, not a house boat, but it has an interesting mascot – Brunhilde the elephant?

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This houseboat rooftop has a nice deck (with furniture) for sunbathing on hot days!

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Colorful flowers grace the roof of this houseboat.

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I’m not sure if this is actually a house, but it’s unusual!

Gabled roofs
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Nuremburg, Germany
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Nuremburg Castle has existed since medieval times. Made of sandstone, it was a fortified group of buildings built on a ridge in the old center of town. The city expanded outward from there.
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Views from the ramparts of the town below

Schärding, Austria

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In the countryside outside the town is this house whose energy is supplied by the sun!

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Melk Abbey, Austria
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Views of the town of Melk from the abbey

To end on a contrast, here are two views of dwellings in a Maasai village in Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. The Maasai build their villages in a circle, surrounded by fences. They use the surrounding land for grazing and herding their animals, mostly cattle and goats.
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Lens-Artists #84: Narrow Passageways

Amy at Lens-Artists this week invites us to explore the topic of narrow.

In my travels to “old” places – places built when there were no cars or crowds of tourists -I explored (or declined to explore) many narrow streets and other passageways.

Places like Old Town Tallinn, Estonia (where I got lost due to sidewalks and streets so narrow that I lost sight of our guide!)…
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A van that is nearly as wide as this street in Old Town forces all pedestrians to the narrow sidewalk on the left.100_0371
There were also narrow witches!
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In Stockholm, Sweden, I tried to imagine returning home to one of these narrow alleys on a dark afternoon in winter!
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Dale ends our bike ride through Stockholm coasting down a narrow cobblestone street.
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Stockholm, like many European countries, also has tall, narrow buildings.
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Even older is Old Jerusalem, Israel…Like elsewhere, vehicles have the right of way, squeezing pedestrians to the wall.
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Some of these climbing narrow streets are divided between steps and ramps.
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Watch out for motorcycles coming through!
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In ancient Egypt, clearly people were smaller to fit into narrow passageways into pyramids and tombs.

Dale and a few other adventurous souls (such as this woman from our group emerging from a pyramid) did go down these narrow steps into a now empty room in the Queen’s tomb in Giza. I took one look and decided to wait outside!
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Tourists descend a long narrow hallway covered with inscriptions and paintings to reach the tomb of Ramses IX in Valley of the Kings. These hieroglyphics declaim the deeds of the king during his reign, and there are also symbols of gods to accompany him to the afterlife.
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At the Chateau of Caen, France, a narrow stairway leads down to…where??
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On Omaha Beach, in Normandy, are the remains of WWII German bunkers, which I declined to enter, also reached through narrow passages and stairways. (I’m glad I didn’t go in – my son’s photos show empty rooms with an inch of rainwater covering the floors!)
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On the way back to our Airbnb farmhouse through the Normandy countryside, we drove down the narrow roads of villages, flanked by houses on both sides.
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A car in front of us navigates a sharp corner into another narrow street.DSC00482
A lot of traffic in Amsterdam travels its canals, which narrow on approach to bridges.
DSC00587Floating traffic jam!
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Bridges have these traffic signals indicating when it is safe and permissible to proceed (or not!).
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The day after our tour of the canals, we went to the “red light district” where we were told not to take photos of the sex workers who lived on either side of these narrow alleyways. Probably also not a good idea to photograph potential clients – good thing this one came out blurry!
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In Amsterdam, we stayed in an Airbnb 2nd floor flat, with a narrow stairway winding up to it. That was one of our son’s obligations to us for paying for his trip – carry our suitcases up and down! The stairway was so narrow and windy that he had to carry the suitcases one by one in his arms!
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CFFC: The K’s Have It

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge’s topic this week is needs to have the letter K anywhere in the word.

Korazim (also called Chorazin) National Archaeological Site in northern Israel
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Katy (yours truly!) at Korazim
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Katy’s drawing of a kitty
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Kinderdijk – town of windmills in the Netherlands
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Naschmarkt food market, Vienna, Austria

Kitten in Israel (we saw many felines in Israel, but this one was so little and so needy for affection!)
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Karnak – one of the most important ancient Egyptian temple sites on the Nile

Obelisks at Karnak
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Egyptian obelisin Paris that originally came from Karnak
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K
id at orchid show (Chicago Botanic Gardens)
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Karibu Sana! (Swahili for “You are very welcome”) – on our last night in Tanzania, the cooks at the safari camp made us a cake and sang.
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And here’s a video, just for fun…

Khachaturian, Waltz from Masquerade

CB&WPC: Bikes

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week has the topic bicycles, tricycles, motorcycles and unicycles.

BICYCLES:
What better place to find bicycles than Amsterdam?! Here are just a few photos of bikes in Amsterdam.
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Mother and son riding home together in Regensburg, GermanyDSC01712 (2)Also in Regensburg – this was actually a very colorful corner!
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On display in Poulsbo, WA
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MOTORCYCLES:
Miniature motorcycles outside a miniature soda shop – at a miniature show in November
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Parisians seem to like motorcycles – they were everywhere!
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Motorcycle-like vehicles were common in the smaller towns of Egypt. I took this first photo from a vehicle like the one behind me – they were commonly used as taxis.
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This young man is hauling a cargo trailer behind his motorcycle.
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Somewhere in Jerusalem – there’s room for two!
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