Mountains in the Rearview Mirror

Where: Rocky Mountain National Park, U.S.A.

When: July 2010

Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i

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A reflection in a crystal-clear mountain pool? A break in the fabric of dimensions? Actually, it’s just an interesting way my camera dealt with my rear-view mirror while I was driving on Colorado’s Highway to the Sky.

/American Road Trip Plus

Basque Church

Where: Zumaia, Spain

When: November 2010

Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i

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I took this photo on a stormy November day, when a Basque friend had offered to show me some of the small villages that dot her region. Despite the weather, and although her car broke down the day before we’d planned to leave, we decided to press on by foot, bus, and coastal train. As the evening light turned the sky heavy colours, we came across this tiny church by the sea. I love the people huddled in the doorway, stretching out their goodbyes before they leave the cozy building under threatening skies.

Moffat Toffee and the Devil’s Beef Tub

Standing by the Devil's Beef Tub

Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland – August 21st, 2010

Not nearly as well known as historic Edinburgh or the Highlands in which so many romances are set, south-western Dumfries and Galloway is one of the least visited parts of Scotland. That’s too bad, because during the few days I spent there, I felt rewarded again and again for going a bit out of the way.

The town of Moffat was especially worth a visit. It’s surrounded by dramatic hills, and approaching from the north a visitor encounters the Devil’s Beef Tub, a deep hollow. It takes its name from the stolen cattle that would be driven down into the hollow by Clan Moffat after being seized in raids. The Beef Tub appears prominently in other stories as well. A fleeing highlander once tumbled down the steep sides, pursued by gunfire, and escaped. The covenanter John Hunter was less lucky – he was shot dead attempting to run up out of the Beef Tub.

The hills around Moffat

The town of Moffat itself is home to the world’s most narrow hotel, the Star Hotel, as well as the Moffat Toffee Shop, where you can buy a bag of (surprise!) Moffat Toffee. It’s not actually toffee, but a sort of hard candy that is sweet, salty, and sour all at once. It has a unique flavour and is made only in Moffat, according to a family recipe.

/From the Lowlands to the Highlands

The Jungle Fights Back

Where: Costa Rica

When: June 2008

Camera: Canon Powershot A550

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I took this picture from the bus as we were driving in western Costa Rica. I loved how the lush, tangled green of the forest suddenly parted to reveal the brightly coloured touristy towels hanging by the shop. I guess the photo could be a statement that the jungle is taking back the land, covering the buildings, or that tourism is encroaching on Costa Rica’s natural beauty – but for my part, I thought they co-existed rather well.

/Pura Vida in Costa Rica