Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tarpon Springs - II

Tarpon Springs - II

If I were not as lazy, this post would have been a part of the earlier post or would have come earlier in the week. The history lesson continues, Annie :) The Greek heritage of this place dates back a century. This is shot at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral's courtyard. The Cathedral is a replica of St. Sophia of Istanbul (Hagia Sophia) which many of us have seen at Istanbul's DP blogs. The Cathedral was consecrated during the Epiphany festivities of 1943 and is home to the largest Epiphany celebration in the United States.

Each year, January 6th, marks the day long Greek Orthodox event. The celebration begins with a morning service. This is followed by the release of a white dove of peace. Next is a mesmerizing ritual dive into the Spring Bayou by fifty local young men between ages 16 and 18 to retrieve a wooden cross. Locals believe that retrieving the cross will ensure a year of good luck and blessing. The young man who finds the cross is carried back to the church in a procession, where a short service is held to bless the diver. The young diver here in the pic has found the cross. If I happen to be around this place the next Jan 6th, I promise I'll try to bring glimpses of the event here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tarpon Springs-I

Tarpon Springs

As promised, here comes the first part of the write-up on Tarpon Springs, Florida. The city incorporated in 1887 is named after the fish tarpon found in plenty off the coast.

The city earlier popular as a place for winter homes acquired fame as sponge capital of the world when around 1900, huge quantity of sponge beds were discovered offshore. Greek immigrants were hired to work as divers and by 1930's the sponge industry of Tarpon Springs was very productive, generating millions of dollars a year.

A red tide algae bloom occurred in 1947, wiping out the sponge fields in that region of the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the sponge boats and divers switched to fishing and shrimping for a livelihood. The city then converted most of its sponge-related activities, especially the warehouses where they were sold, into tourist attractions. The Sponge Docks are now gift shops, restaurants housing Greek fare and museums. Sponge Diving continues today after a revival attempt in recent past.

The gentleman on left and the cute lad on right are the divers that the city has put proudly on display. :)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Think inside the crayon box :)

Think inside a crayon box

Think inside the crayon box :)

This long weekend is such a welcome reprieve from school. The best part is it just doesn't seem to get over. We made a short trip to Tarpon Springs yesterday, a predominantly Greek establishment in Florida. The place is called the Sponge capital of the world and has enough to pack in for a day trip......apart from sampling distinctive Greek cuisine. Shall do a post on this charming li'l place, the minute I find some time off from being lazy :)

This vivid collection of shells was screaming to be clicked. Have a great weekend all :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dog Day Afternoon!

Dog Day Afternoon

Dog Day Afternoon!

Say Hello to Cinnamon! She's no ordinary dog and she isn’t just good at cuddling, she’s a life saver too. Met her and her owner a few afternoons ago and the lady had some stories to tell.

The faithful canine is trained to take care of the deaf and has been a companion to her owner who has hearing impairments, for the last 13 years of her life. The dog's aging now and it was so evident. It's a quiet dog and rested almost all the time we were there. 13 years for a dog is equivalent to almost 75 years of human life. Cinnamon's a grand old lady, really!!! And all through these 13 years, Cinnamon has come to her owner's rescue several times apart from helping her through her daily life. As she told us, "Whenever I have a bad day, she always delivers" :)

I have never owned a pet though I always badly wanted to ....right from a bunny to a pup, every summer vacations we (that's my brother and I) demanded one but in vain. I hope to own a houseful of them some day. :) If you own a four legged friend, don't forget to give her a belly rub tonight!

PS: I wanted this pic in Black and White but the reason for Cinnamon being named so would have been lost, so I retained the color.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine :)

Little Miss Sunshine :)

We never got any rains but we did get a lot of breeze and a smattering of clouds. An almost perfect weekend before life gets busier and lesser fun.

A jaunt to Siesta Key in Sarasota a week earlier yielded this shot. Its one of the finest places to visit on this side of Florida. The crystal-white sand is so fine that it feels like satin below feet(they tell moi, the sand here is 99% pure quartz). And the Gulf of Mexico as blue as Blue Curacao.

She was the cynosure of every adoring eye on the beach. People would stop by just to smile at all the fun she was having. I could not contain my enthusiasm while capturing her and ended up with more than a dozen odd shots (as always :D). This one's my favorite. Absolutely adored the way she wants to have fun in water but not brave enough yet to leave her mom's side :) Have a great start to a great week, all :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Rain, rain......Come again!

Rain, Rain, Come again :)

This is for the rain-starved souls. I know Anna and Mark are not gonna appreciate this :), but maybe this will get rain-gods to bless the parched parts of my world. I am so hoping that the 20% chances of rain predicted for this evening come true......

This shot was taken during last Sunday's evening showers while waiting for the traffic light to go green. Have a great weekend all. This is my last weekend before classes begin the coming week so am holding on preciously to this one :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tickled Pink Wednesdays :DDD

Picture 534

Despite the blazing sun and mercury rising only northwards through most of the year, one thing that fascinates moi about Tropical climes is the high-octane hues they are associated's like fiesta shades define Florida. I was pleasantly surprised to see all those comments about blue being fav. color with many. At one point of time, I stacked only blue and white clothes in my wardrobe. Now it's the more (hues), the merrier!!!!

This one was taken from a speeding car, so could not get to frame it as well as I'd ve liked to .....but here it is :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday Morning Blues??? ;)

Monday Morning Blues??? ;)

Nah!!! I have none for classes don't begin till later next week. And sloth never killed anyone!!! Not moi, for sure :) Loved the blues in this being my favorite color...the pic made its way here on my blog.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mama Mia! :)

A would-be-mom will surely appreciate this pampering from the authorities. I tried to better my earlier pics on Moms but could not. Here's wishing all the moms and would-be-moms a beautiful and happy Mother's day.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A man's best friend.

A man's best friend

The languid summers are here and now that textbooks have been done with and pushed to some remote corner of the shelf, my study corner de-cluttered, and teetering pile of papers put away for recycling....I seem to have so much more time on hands to stop and smell the proverbial rose. And if weather fairies continue to be as benevolent as they have been since Sunday evening showers, I get to stay outdoors longer and shoot to my heart's content. :)

This shot was taken a few Sundays ago when on our way to St. Petersburg (Florida's own St Pete's not heading to Russia yet :D)we spotted this gentleman stopping by the highway as his car began to sputter midway. His canine friend does seem concerned, if you look closely. I wish I spotted them a few micro-seconds earlier than I did and this shot could have been so much better. I like it, nevertheless. :)

Monday, May 07, 2007

May showers

Picture 638

"Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain."

It's been scorching hot lately and I was banking upon that 20% chances of rain that local weatherman had promised for Sunday. Some of life's best gifts, I'm told are unanswered prayers. I would not know about unanswered ones for I am mighty stoked that we had a bout of May showers this evening. We cherish our long drives in rain. A shot from this evening.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Love's warm glow???? :)


"There are two kinds of light--the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures."- James Thurber

An abstract image shot at my favorite time of the day. Me and my husband were back from school (yes we are still struggling our way thro' books, exams, semesters and other scholarly demands of school life), relaxing now that we are done with the Spring semester..........when lying on our couch, i shot this image of fading sun from behind the chair that lay between me and the patio window.

On this day today, 7 years back, we got around to being together (we have been married for 4 months now and have a long way to go) and no we haven't felt the seven year itch yet :) Here's to all that we share and will continue to.

Have a great weekend, all :)