Category Archives: Photography

‘CAPTION THIS PHOTO’ CONTEST ~ HAVE FUN!!!

GREEN RUMPED PARROTSWhat does the photo BELOW say to you?
Pictured here is National Geographic grantee Karl Berg
holding a young parrotlet, a New World parrot species.
How would you caption this photo?

PARROT

I just received the above photo of Karl Berg (taken by Soraya Delgado) and the information below in an e-mail from National Geographic, announcing a fun new contest – “Caption This Photo Contest” open until midnight Wednesday, July 31st.

Hi,

A picture can often be worth a thousand words, but a photo with a great caption can help us see an image – and often the world – in a whole new way.
Share your caption for the photo above and you could be our July Caption This Photo Contest winner.
If your entry is selected, your caption will be shared with National Geographic supporters in our August email.
So what does this photo say to you? Don’t be afraid to be creative.
It’s easy to enter. Simply submit your caption before our deadline – midnight, Wednesday, July 31st. Only one entry per person please.
Pictured here is National Geographic grantee Karl Berg holding a young parrotlet, a New World parrot species. Dr. Berg is studying communication among green-rumped parrots in Venezuela.
He and his team have recently discovered that parrot parents use slight variations in their calls for each of their offspring. Baby parrotlets appear to recognize the specific calls designated for them.
But don’t limit yourself to what is actually depicted in the photo. There are no limits to what direction your caption can take.
Also, don’t delay. You only have a few days to enter your caption before the July 31st deadline.
And if you don’t want to submit a caption, but want to read the winning caption, just sign up here.
Thank you for making it possible for groundbreaking researchers like Dr. Berg to make important discoveries about wildlife communication and enabling us to share inspiring photos with you.
Sincerely,
Nancy Rehman
Vice President, Development

LINK TO ENTER CONTEST ~

https://donate.nationalgeographic.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=1493&utm_source=NatGeocom&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=development_20130720&utm_campaign=Content

Did you know?
The National Geographic Society is a non-profit organization that relies on the generous contributions of individuals to help us inspire people to care about the planet.  Donations to Mission Programs – the core scientific and education programs of the Society – support the research and exploration behind the stories in National Geographic magazine, on the National Geographic Channel, and other media.Your donation helps us expand our efforts to fund the world’s top and emerging scientists, explorers, researchers, and adventurers.

Have fun with your captions and good luck to all. 

Please share your captions with us here at Rainsoft Ottawa, Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.

RAINSOFTHOUSEWITHLOGO

PHENOMENAL ~ WORLD’S HIGHEST TIDES ~ CANADA

BAY OF FUNDY2 RESIZED

The Bay of Fundy tides are so dramatic that they are considered the highest tides in the world – a phenomenon that occurs nowhere else on the planet.  200 billion tons of water flow every single day!!!

Bay of Fundy | Tides | New Brunswick, Canada“, uploaded Jun 4, 2009.  Come to the Bay of Fundy and watch the highest tides in the world and then, six hours later at low tide, you can walk on the ocean floor.  In July 2009, the Bay of Fundy was named as a finalist for the New 7 Wonders of Nature contest that ended in November 2011.  It was not chosen as a wonder.  The highest water level ever recorded in the Bay of Fundy system occurred at the head of the Minas Basin on the night of October 4–5, 1869 during a tropical cyclone named the “Saxby Gale”.  The water level of 21.6 meters (70.9 feet) resulted from the combination of high winds, abnormally low atmospheric pressure, and a spring tide.

From wikipedia.org:  The Bay of Fundy… is a bay on the Atlantic coast of North America, on the northeast end of the Gulf of Maine between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, with a small portion touching the U.S. state of Maine.  Some sources believe the name “Fundy” is a corruption of the French word “Fendu”, meaning “split”, while others believe it comes from the Portuguese fondo, meaning “funnel”.      The bay was also named Baie Française (French Bay) by explorer/cartographer Samuel de Champlain during a 1604 expedition led by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts which resulted in a failed settlement attempt on St. Croix Island.

Bay of Fundy: Canada’s New7Wonders of Nature Finalist, uploaded on Aug 6, 2010

BAY OF FUNDYThe Bay of Fundy, rivaled by Ungava Bay in northern Quebec, King Sound in Western Australia, Gulf of Khambhat in India, and the Severn Estuary in the UK, it has one of the highest vertical tidal ranges in the world.  The Guinness Book of World Records (1975) declared that Burntcoat Head, Nova Scotia has the highest tides in the world:“The Natural World, Greatest Tides:  The greatest tides in the world occur in the Bay of Fundy…. Burntcoat Head in the Minas Basin, Nova Scotia, has the greatest mean spring range with 14.5 metres (47.5 feet) and an extreme range of 16.3 metres (53.5 feet).”

In the following YouTube video you’ll see both high and low tides featured as the camera captures the panoramic expanse – ‘An afternoon over the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada. Featuring Cape Split, lighthouses, and the highest tides in the world, published on Aug 17, 2012.’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_of_Fundy

FINDING JOY! ~ FRIDAY INSPIRATION

PHOTOPAD FINDING JOY2

Simple secrets to a happy life . . . What a special treat to find another truly inspiring video from Simple Truths – “Finding Joy ~ Simple Secrets To A Happy Life” ~ sublime!!!  Naturally I want to share it with all of you.

When life brings complications, it helps to remember that happiness is simple. With its beautiful pictures, uplifting quotations, and inspiring tone, ‘Finding Joy: Simple Secrets to a Happy Life’ will put a smile on your face when you need it most. So, today, take three short minutes to watch this movie. Your heart will thank you for it.  Music – “Capture The Moment” by David London, uploaded on Jan 5, 2009 by Hafiz.

A difficult choice to make, but the following are a few of my favorites:

PHOTOPAD OCEAN VIEW ROCKS3Nothing happens …but first a dream.



~ Carl Sandburg


PHOTOPAD RED LEAVESThe heart that gives, gathers.

 
 

~ Marianne Moore

PHOTOPAD SUNBEAM WATER FORESTChange your thoughts and change your world.
 
 

~ Norman Vincent Peale

PHOTOPAD AUTUMN MOUNTAIN WATERThe only things that stand between a person and what they want in life are the will to try it and the faith to believe it’s possible.

~ Rick Devos

PHOTOPAD BOATSometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.
 
 

~ Author unknown

PHOTOPAD PINK SUNSETJoy is the light that fills you with Hope, Faith and Love.
 
 

~ Author unknown

PHOTOPAD YELLOW ROSE NEWTo love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.
 
 

David Viscott

Link to Simple Truths site where you’ll find an impressive selection of inspiring books.  Many of these books also have an accompanying video which you can preview.  Simple Truths offers frequent book sales.  This may be the next one I order for gift-giving.

http://www.simpletruths.com/canada/

Once again I hope that you enjoyed the video and will find joyful inspiration in many of the quotes, and of course share with others.   Have a great weekend everyone.

WORLD WATER DAY 2013 VIDEO – A MUST SEE!

WORLD W DAY 2013

I came across a remarkable video, “World Water Day 2013″, posted by Haruna Akashi to YouTube.  Nako Akashi, a young 15 year old student in Japan produced and narrates the video herself.  I’m so impressed with Nako’s work that I feel her insight on water’s impact on our world, should be shared.

Nako is a junior high school student who enjoys music, painting, designing and photography. The devastation of the March 11, 2011 tsunami in Japan had a profound effect on Nako and she says, ” It’s time for us to help the water. The power of just one person may seem very little, but it all counts – one for all – all for one. I believe this is the international rule for everyone.”

My comments to Nako on her video: ‘Congratulations, Nako, on your remarkable video.  I feel your work is award worthy!!! I’m so impressed that I am going to present your video on my blog to celebrate World Water Day 2013.  Best of luck in all your future endeavours.  You are a wonderful ambassador for Japan as a young person with deep-felt compassion and vision.  You will find my blog on WordPress as Rainsoftottawa.’

Nako’s twitter page ~
href=”https://twitter.com/superduperpuper”>https://twitter.com/superduperpuper

Nako’s website where she has posted her photos ~ http://bitterbutter123.deviantart.com/

VIRAL VIDEOS ~ SCREAMTASTIC HALLOWEEN!!!

CAN YOU IMAGINE? ~ 882,225 HITS!!!

Uploaded by on 29 Oct 2009 ~The screamtasic Halloween Screams Fireworks of 2009 view from the Rivers of America at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. With the new and awesome addition of the same water screens used for Fantasmic to show the characters as with the globe in front of the castle..

CAN YOU IMAGINE?
~ 8,608,861 HITS!!!

2011 Halloween Light Show ~ This Is Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas4 singing pumpkin faces, tombstones, hand carved pumpkins, strobes, floods and thousands of lights. Most all lights have been changed from incandescent to RGB LED so power consumption is a lot less than previous years. Also DMX added to show. All lights, faces and props are custom made (DIY) by me except for the roof line which are CCRs. Controlling channels have gone up 8X from last year. 1144 channels. Riverside, CA

Uploaded by on Oct 22, 2011 ~

Website: http://www.creativelightingdisplays.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CreativeLightingDisplays

TO ALL OUR READERS ~ FROM YOUR FRIENDS AT RAINSOFT

 

GIVE THANKS FOR WATER

With many thanks to Fran Sorin for her inspiring blog, which I highly recommend you read (link at bottom), here are excerpts from, ‘Water: Joy, Beauty and Gratitude…Blog Action Day 2010′

“As a gardener and advocate of sustainable gardening, I thought that writing about water for Blog Action Day would be a no brainer.  Yet, each time I prepared to write about the importance of conserving water, my mind took me back to moments in my childhood; moments in which water played a pivotal role, leaving indelible memories and emotions of joy, love and beauty.

WATER: memories from my childhood.

~ Sights, smells, sounds… Walking through Watkins Glen, a maze of water and a force of nature, mesmerized by the sounds, sights and smells; knowing that I was touching divinity.
~ Watching and smelling torrential rain and hail sitting on the back the car in the garage
~ The ferocious lullaby of ocean waves – All of these scenes have had a significant emotional impact on me….one of beauty, sacredness and love.

Western civilization of the twenty first century overwhelmingly thinks of water as a product to be controlled and mastered in order to serve our needs. And yet, indigenous cultures revere water, understanding that it is the source of life. Prayers for water and Rain Dances historically were, and still are today, an integral part of certain cultures. These cultures intrinsically know that water is a powerful force, a gift from God, not to be taken lightly.

“Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” - John Updike

We are water.

70% of our bodies is water. As newborns, our bodies are composed of 80% water. As we grow older, the percentage decreases. By the time we die, the % is below 50. Without enough water, we die.

For most of my life, I took water for granted…Today I think about water each time I use or come into contact with it. When I wake up in the morning and step into the shower, feeling the force of water on my back…experience a sense of gratitude. When I go rowing early in the morning or as dusk settles in, I am often stunned by the amount of pollution and things floating in the water (bottles, containers, papers, and God knows what else..). For a moment, I feel a flash of anger and frustration at others total disregard for this narrow, winding river. And yet, like a plant that is infested with insects, I remind myself that the water, regardless of the condition it is in, is inherently a magnificent, mysterious, life-giving force, pure and generous. And I give thanks… 

So, the next time you’re washing off fresh fruits and vegetables in your kitchen, pause, even for a few seconds, and give thanks to water, the source of life.”

Fran Sorin is a gardener, author, broadcaster, and spokesperson. She is the CBS Radio News Garden Contributor, has made dozens of appearances on national TV and written hundreds of articles for USA Weekend Magazine and other national publications.

Our best wishes to you

for a very Happy Thanksgiving.

http://www.gardeninggonewild.com/?p=14344

AWESOME WATER CASTLES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

I find it amazing to think that one can travel around the world and visit such wonderfully preserved water castles today.

Wikipedia definition ~ A water castle (German): Wasserburg or Wasserschloss) is a castle or stately home whose site is entirely surrounded by moats or natural water bodies. Topographically water castles are a type of lowland castle.

I created the following video for you
and posted it on YouTube ~ I hope you enjoy it.

Best watched in full screen mode to appreciate the incredible photography.

The remarkable choice of sites, the remarkable French and Italian renaissance architectural style of the buildings, the remarkable artistic landscaping of the adjacent Baroque style formal gardens, and the remarkable use of surrounding water all add up to a fabulous trip back in time when these castles were a vibrant and functioning force within the various countrysides.

The stories behind the origins of various water castles are in themselves a most interesting history lesson and the photos a treasure trove of unsurpassed beauty.

Some of my favorites are:

Chambord Castle, France ~This castle was originally commissioned by Francois I, so that he could be closer to his mistress. But when the affair was over, the castle was mostly forgotten. The Chateau – with its giant hallways and ornate decorations – was picked apart and left to crumble until the Post WWII-era, when it was finally restored.

Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark ~ Frederiksborg Castle is a water castle in Hillerød on the Danish island of Zealand . It is the largest and most important building of the Northern Renaissance and today houses the Danish National Museum.

Chenonceau Castle (France) ~ Chateau Chenonceau was under the direction of Diane de Poitiers who was the king’s mistress at the time. But when the king passed away, his widow, Catherine de Medici, forced out the mistress and made the Chateau her own place of residence. During World War II, the castle served as a barrier between the German-controlled puppet government in France and the actual free world.

Trakai Island Castle (Lithuania) ~ Trakai Island Castle is exactly what its name suggests: an entire island. The castle was made with thick, brick walls, firing galleries galore and is surrounded by a series of locking gates. The castle currently serves as a prominent tourist magnet.

Mont Saint-Michel (France) ~ Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island and a commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometre (just over half a mile) off the country’s north-western coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. The population of the island is 41, as of 2006. The island has been a strategic point holding fortifications since ancient times, and since the 8th century AD it became the seat of the Saint-Michel monastery, from which it draws the name.

Links ~

http://thumbpress.com/20-amazing-castles-from-around-the-world/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_castle

You all know that by now we love hearing from you ~ remember that your comments can make a difference in the content of future blogs that we think you’ll enjoy.

INCREDIBLE LAKES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Wouldn’t it be an awesome experience to be fortunate enough to relax by any one of these lakes surrounded by the magnificence of nature?  The natural beauty of these lakes is unsurpassed ~ an artist’s dream come true! 

Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me!

I’ve created a video for you that I uploaded to YouTube ~ sit back, relax and enjoy ~ turn up your speakers!!!

 

 Five of my favorites are:

 PLITVICE LAKE

The stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park lies in the Lika region of Croatia. The park is surrounded by the mountains Plješevica, Mala Kapela, and Medveđak, which are part of the Dinaric Alps. The 16 blue-green Plitvice Lakes, which are separated by natural dams of travertine, are situated on the Plitvice plateau. Waterfalls connect the lakes, and the tallest waterfall is Veliki Slap at 70 meters (230 feet) tall.

FIVE-FLOWER LAKE

The pristine water of Wuhua Hai, or Five-Flower Lake, is the pride of Jiuzhaigon National Park in China. This lake contains such auspicious colors of nature, such flourishing flowers and trees of various kinds that it gives a multi-colored exquisite grandeur. This is why the lake is also called the ‘five-flower lake’. The lake displays all sorts of colors but the main to be sighted are blue, dark green, pinkish red, even goose feather yellow and light yellow, etc. This lake is actually one of the dozen natural lakes. It is quite shallow, and its bottom, which is as clearly visible as through clear glass, is littered with fallen tree trunks. The water of this lake never freezes and never dries up.

LAKE BLED

Lake Bled is located in Slovenia in the region of  Upper Carniola. It takes it’s name after the Bled castle. The lake finds it’s beauty in the reflection of the marvelously beautiful castle standing magnificently on a rock overlooking the lake. It is a well known tourist attraction because of it’s mystic and royal appearance and cultural rooting of the castle.  The island on the lake has 99 steps and a beautiful and touching tradition is that groom carries his bride up these steps on their wedding day.

YUCATAN CAVE LAKE

Yucatan Cave Lake is yet another masterpiece of nature. The lake is considered forbidden though, but the lake itself is so beautiful, one can hardly resist the sight. It is found in Mexico, in the basement of Tiger Che in Yucatan peninsula. The lake consists of various caves in and around it, and they are the real amazing and delightful sight. One can hear deep and beautiful musical instrumental sounds, more like the sounds of bells, if any flat place there is struck hard with a fist.

LAKE TAHOE

At a surface elevation of 6,225 ft (1,897 m), Lake Tahoe is located along the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California.

~ AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST ~

Naturally I’d be remiss if I neglected to include one of our own beautiful Canadian lakes ~ Moraine Lake ~ located in Banff National Park, Alberta

Moraine Lake is a glacially fed lake in Banff National Park, 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) outside the Village of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. It is situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at an elevation of approximately 6,183 feet (1,885 m). The lake has a surface area of .5 square kilometres (0.19 sq mi).  The lake, being glacially fed, does not reach its crest until mid to late June. When it is full, it reflects a distinct shade of blue. The color is due to the refraction of light off the rock flour deposited in the lake on a continual basis.

Link ~

http://www.theworldgeography.com/2012/03/12-of-most-beautiful-lakes-in-world.html

THE DEAD SEA ~ INTERESTING VIDEOS AND FACTS

The Dead Sea is unique not only because it is the lowest point on Earth, but also because it is filled with natural treasures, with zoological and botanic riches and because the region has witnessed remarkable historical events.  The following YouTube video, “The Dead Sea For New 7 Wonders”, uploaded by on Jul 6, 2011, is a wonder in itself ~ creatively crafted and narrated with impressive artistic sand art and accompanied by serene music.


Uploaded by on Aug 25, 2008

To reach the top of the world one would need to be an expert mountaineer, be willing to risk one’s life and be able muster almost superhuman strength. To reach the lowest place on earth, however, one only needs to be ready to enjoy sunshine, good weather and floating in the salty waters of the Dead Sea. 08/25/08

Time.com video ~ “Is the Dead Sea Dying?”
The Dead Sea has long attracted tourists for its mineral-rich waters. But now man-made problems are causing the sea to shrink.
http://www.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,71715312001_2016083,00.html

“Land Sinking as Dead Sea shrinks” video

The Dead Sea in Jordan is shrinking at an alarming rate – a development that has led to the creation of some 3,000 sinkholes along the sea’s coasts. The sea has shrunk by a third since the 1960s when its major water source – the River Jordan – was diverted for upstream projects in Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. But for many people, the projects have backfired and the farmers who work near the sea say the once verdant and fertile land has become increasingly barren. Al Jazeera‘s Nisreen el Shamayleh reports from the village of Ghor Al Haditha.- Uploaded by on Feb 2, 2010

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE DEAD SEA ~ FROM EHOW and http://www.sfbsc.com/20-dead-sea-facts
The Dead Sea is 3 million years old and is located in the Jordan River Valley bordered by Israel and Jordan.
The Dead sea is 67 miles long and 11 miles wide at its widest point. It’s known as an endorheic (internally drained) lake and is one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet.
The Dead Sea isn’t actually a sea at all! The Dead Sea is a saltwater lake (10 times saltier than any ocean) and is the lowest elevation on earth.
The shores of Dead Sea mark the lowest elevation on earth,
The atmosphere contains a unique UV filter that allows visitors to soak up therapeutic sunlight without the risk of burning.
Even if you can’t swim, you’ll never sink in the Dead Sea because the minerals make the water so dense you just bob on the surface like a cork.
Many visitors to the Dead Sea rub themselves with the salt or cover their bodies with the black mud, which are said to be good for relieving skin ailments and arthritis.
In 1947 a Bedouin shepherd discovered some of the oldest copies of books of the Bible in a cave above the Dead Sea. These 2,100-year-old manuscripts are known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Dead Sea has been a part of human history since the Bedouin tribes lived in the area in 6,000 B.C.
Cleopatra had factories specializing in cosmetics and resorts built around the Dead Sea because it was one of her favorite places.
The Dead Sea was the most crowded leisure destination in Israel in 2011, with some 857,000 visitors during the year.
The BBC News reported in 2001 that environmentalists predict the sea will vanish by 2050 because the water that replenishes it is being rerouted to the countries of Jordan and Israel for various purposes.

Related link ~
The Telegraph – Can the Dead Sea be brought back to life?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/9260302/Can-the-Dead-Sea-be-brought-back-to-life.html

CANADA’S TAR SANDS ~ CATASTROPHIC DESTRUCTION!!!

Right now, Canadian premiers are in Halifax discussing the fate of a mega-pipeline that would traffic Alberta‘s dirty tar oil to the Pacific Coast.  But BC Premier Christy Clark knows that the hugely unpopular deal could cost her party critical election votes.   Her firm opposition could delay the project and even kill it for good. Hold Christy’s feet to the fire by signing Avaaz.org’s petition. 
 

Please click on the link below to see 9 photos taken by Luc Bourgeois of the Alberta tar sands area ~ you’ll be shocked at the unthinkable devastation of our once renowned incredibly picturesque land.  Luc refers to the new barren and toxic desert area as “Alberta’s Boreal Desert”, and refers to the containment lakes where 500 dead ducks were found in the toxic sludge. 
You can listen to George Poitras speaking in Montreal of “Life and Death Downstream ~ audio update March 17, 2011. 

~ http://www.lucbourgeoisphoto.org/tarsands.html

Avaaz is a world renowned non-profit organization dedicated to righting wrongs world wide that affect each and every one of us.  Please read and sign the petition ~ your vote can REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Pressure on Christy Clark is mounting ~ as the head of the province where the pipe will end, she has tremendous power to put the brakes on this reckless deal. Call on her to reject the Northern Gateway pipeline by signing the petition below and forward it to everyone. When we reach 50,000 signatures, it’ll be delivered straight to the meeting in Halifax ~

The meeting is happening now ~ let’s come together to place the spotlight on Clark and demand that she keeps Alberta’s deadly tar oil at bay. Sign here and forward to all your friends and family:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/24_hours_to_landlock_the_tar_sands/?blTFScb&v=16574

Sources ~

Gateway pipeline risks exceed rewards, B.C. Premier says (Globe and Mail)
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/gateway-pipeline-risks-exceed-rewards-bc-premier-says/article4435145/

Feds propose $3.7M penalty for Mich. oil spill (Salon.com)
http://www.salon.com/2012/07/02/feds_propose_3_7m_penalty_for_mich_oil_spill/singleton/

The Anatomy of Enbridge’s Once and Future Oil Spills (NWF)
http://nwcoastenergynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/NWF_EnbridgeOilSpill_LoResRevised.pdf

B.C. Premier Sets Conditions for Tar Sands Pipelines (Environment News Service)
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jul2012/2012-07-23-01.html

We thank all of you for your support ~ this is far too important to ignore!