Monday, November 14, 2016


Obviously the moon was already pretty close this morning when it set - actually wish I would be at the "ranch" (our house in the country tonight) to see the full "supermoon" rise. I actually put the "" around the name, as supermoon is not an astrological term with a clear defintion what it constitutes of, actually offering another supermoon next month, even though that one will not be as close as the one today. Actually Nasa made quite an intriguing video explaining the Supermoons, the closest (perigee) and farthest (apogee) points as well as Syzygy.

I shot with a Nikon D3300 - 1/60, 5.6, iso 3200 with a 300mm lens. Not that satisfied with the result. Maybe tonight when the moon rises again a try with some different settings - any input from some other photographers?


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Serenity Amongst Thousands of Fair Visitors

At the State Fair of Texas, even amongst the ten of thousands of daily visitors - on average it's roughly 100'000 a day - you may find a bit of serenity and peace of mind. While the area around the rides and games at Midway may be too crowded for you, just take a leisurely stroll on the fringes of the park, on Kid's Boardwalk.

Not only is there a calm, no name "lagoon" with a Texas Loch Ness monster, but there are also a couple of benches and green space to sit down, stretch your legs and relax for a little while, while watching the Texas Star © Ferris Wheel in the back slowly turning its rounds.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Tulip and The Story of Shirin & Farhad

Not liking the current rainy fall weather at all, I was looking for some more positive energy and decided to edit a picture of a simple tulip I have taken in March.

Tulips are named originally after the Persian word for turban, dulband. After the Islamic revolution in Iran, the sun and lion in the middle of their flag got replaced by a stylized monogram not only showing a tulip, but also meaning that there is no god but God. The region (from Turkey to the Hindu Kush) is the origin of this flower before she was introduced to the West, and where we now associate spring and the Netherlands with the bloom of it.
There are many versions of the traditional story of "Shirin & Farhad," but one version puts the princess and the mason together at the same place, where they independently commit suicide; Farhad after falsely being told that Shirin has died, and Shirin after finding Farhad dead. And the legend says that where the blood has been flowing, a single tulip grows every year. And I guess, that is one reason, while tulips are considered a sign of re-birth.

The story of Shirin and Farhad as told by Johnathan Richman, worth listening to, even though in his story the tulip is missing.

Sources: YouTube, Wikipedia (Flag of Iran, Shirin & Farhad), Museum of Islamic Arts

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Big Tex Says Howdy Y'All

Big Tex, the greeter at the State Fair of Texas in all its glory. After its predecessor burnt down in 2012, a new, bigger and taller Big Tex was built at a cost of $ 500'000. 55 feet (16.7m) tall, a chest that spans 33 3/4 ft (10.3m), with hands the size of 5 1/2 ft (1.7m) and a boot-size of US 96 (Euro 129) - if my calculation is right, there isn't an official shoe size converter for that size of shoe, sorry cowboy boot with a height of 12 ft (3.6m). BTW, he wears top notch Lucchese boots, and his cloth are made by Dickies. The pants won't fit into a commercial washer, they weigh 100 lbs (45.4kg) and normally last three seasons, before they have to be exchanged. He is so famous, that even the website for the State Fair of Texas simply uses as their URL.

Can't wait till next year to go say "Howdy" to Big Tex again.