Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bieszczady in the fall #1

Me and my photoamigo went to Bieszczady this weekend. It's nice part of Poland, but luckily still not as crowded as Tatra Mountains. Ok, this weekend is a little bit crowded, because we have wonderful weather! Sunny days and over 20C! Great! Nice opportunity to take some pictures. Early in the morning we attacked Połonina Caryńska using one of the most steep climb. We were first on top and only on way back passed many trekking amateurs. So here you can see some of the pictures I've taken on Saturday...

1. Nice Orthodox church (picture taken about 4:30 in the night!)

2. Carynska up and down

Later on that day we were visiting some more orthodox churches, but my pictures are not very attractive, so I decided to throw them away. In the next entry I'd like to show you more pictures from other nice trail, so please be patient... TBC....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ecuador Trip - final plan is ready!

So we are almost ready to go! Or rather we only have our schedule and destinations selected. Also tickets are reserved. Many of you, especially these interested in going to Ecuador, probably would like to know what is worth seeing there. And because of that I decided to share my plans with you. Here they're:

Day 1 (Saturday) We fly from Miami to Quito and head to Hotel Cayman for some rest.

Day 2 (Sunday) Flight from Quito to Baltra Island. Visit Black Turtle Cove. See many cacti, palo santo tree, mangroves, ferry through Itabaka channel to Santa Cruz Island. Bus to Puerto Ayora. Yacht boarding. Visiting Charles Darwin research center, watching galapagos turtle.

Day 3 (Monday) Watching iguanas, sea lions, endemic crabs, birds (endemic gulls, endemic swallows, Darwin's chaffinches, puffins). Looking for sesuvium plants making red carpet in the east part of island and many cacti. Afternoon we'll sightsee Santa Fe island watching giant prickly pears and iguanas, sea lions and birds colony. During night ship goes to Española island.

Day 4 (Tuesday) On this day we'll visit cape Suarez, watching motley iguanas, sea lions, endemic crabs and one of the most diverse bird colony (albatrosses, boobies, endemic seagulls, oystercatchers, cucubes, endemic pigeons, Darwin's chaffinches, etc.) . Here we'll also see nice natural phenomenon with water fountain spouting up of the rocks. Afternoon we'll visit Gardner bay on Española Island with nice beach. It's opportunity to snorkel a little and take some underwater photography.

Day 5 (Wednesday) On this day yacht goes to Kicker Rock - lonely rock standing in the ocean that symbolize Galapagos islands. On this rock many sea birds live. We'll meet frigates, tropical birds, boobies, etc. Then we plan to see San Cristobal island altogether with Baquerizo Moreno that is capitol of the while archipelago. There we'd like to visit Centro de Interpretación and Cerro de las Tijeretas.

Day 6 (Thursday) The last day of the cruise will begin with sea lions colony on Seymour Norte island. We'll also have a chance to see iguanas, sea birds like frigates and blue-footed boobies. Then we'll go to Baltra island and fly back to Quito.

Day 7 (Friday) We fly from Quito to Coca over the eastern Andes mountain range. After landing, about mid morning, we transfer to local chiva (hired bus) or local taxi from airport to Port Francisco de Orellana. They will drive us to embark onto a comfortable covered motor boat. Here we start a canoe ride along the Napo river for about 2 ½ hours approx. Along the way birds like herons, kingfishers and others can be spotted. After arriving at NWC’s entry dock we take a majestic and peaceful 1 ½ hours dugout canoe ride surrounded by trees overhead, paddling along a narrow creek that connects to the lake where the lodge is located. Good possibilities of monkeys sights of various species as well as large birds like toucans, parrots or even macaws. Late afternoon arrival to the NWC lodge by the overwhelming view of the Añangu lake. After dinner cayman (alligator) observation around the lake and natural sounds at night.

Day 8 (Saturday) This day we wake up early to reach the best and easy access parrot clay licks in Ecuador, about 1 hour away from the lodge, guests reach there just before parrot activity kicks off at the clay lick between 7:30 to 8:30. A total of 11 species of parrots, parakeets and macaws can be seen. Later, hike along forest trail to visit to the Quichua community of Añangu and sharing time with a family on their activities. Return to the creek and hike through a Terra Firme Forest for about 30 minutes until we arrive to the second parrot clay lick to find different species of parrots, parakeets and even macaws.

Day 9 (Sunday) After early breakfast, depart from the lodge to the finest experience at a canopy tower on the Napo. A 36m high canopy tower opened to guests in November 2004, a great way to experience the life above the forest floor. This is the second tower at the Napo Wildlife Center (the first is attached to the dining hall and allows great views of the lake). The canopy tower is located about 20 minutes from the lodge deep within the terra firme forest. As you ascend the 12-story tower, you pass through different levels of the forest and emerge on top of a huge Ceiba tree. Here you cross onto a wooden platform that is actually built into the tree and experience the view formerly reserved only for the birds. From top to bottom, there is no finer canopy experience in Eastern Ecuador. Flocks of colorful tanagers pass right through the canopy of the tree, Blue-and-yellow Macaws fly past, in nearby trees Spider Monkeys search for fruit, two species of large toucans call in the early mornings and afternoons, and the life of the forest canopy opens before you. Birds that are virtually impossible to see from the forest floor far below are suddenly right beside you, oblivious to your presence. The canopy tower opens a whole new world to guests of the Napo Wildlife Center!! Afternoon visit to a terra firme trail, hike along primary forest to discover the forest interior, possibilities of finding lizards, colorful manakins or the unique and endemic Golden mantle tamarind monkeys. After the hike, explore the lake and creeks by dugout canoe with great possibilities of running into a Giant otter family on the way…

Day 10 (Monday) Early departure and last excursion canoing back to the Napo river, the creek may reveal new sights of Giant otters, Monk Saki monkeys or many other rare birds. Entry docking area, and embarking on motorized canoe in order to return back to Coca,
arrival approximately after 2 hours boat ride up river, in order to check for Coca - Quito flight.
Then when we arrive to Quito we plan to see modern part of the city: monument of Francisco de Orellana, Guapulo panorama (church from XVI century) and valleys nearby. We also plan to see Catholic University, El Ejido and Alameda parks, and other attractions...
Then in the evening we will head to colonial part of the city: Plaza Grande, Presiden'ts Palace, Archbishop's Palace, Cathedral from XVI century, renaissance church and San Francisco Monastery from 1535. Besides we'll focus on baroque church La Compañía from XVII century (1605) and will end with city view from mount Panecillo.

Day 11 (Tuesday) This day we plan to travel to hot springs in Papallacta - about 2 hours away from Quito. During the trip we will pass different heights with changing climate and flora (600 m above sea level to 4200 m). Road goes through Antisana Reserve, Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve, then crosses Eastern Cordillera of the Andes at about 4200 m. above sea level. We will have some time to swim in Papallacta hot springs just at feet of Antisana Volcano (3300 m above sea). We hope to have a chance of taking pictures of nice vegetations and hummingbirds.

Day 12 (Wednesday) Trip to indian market in Otavalo - 2 hours away from Quito. When weather is good, there's a chance to see Cayambe Volcano (5790 m above sea), Imbabura (4630 m.) and Cotacachi (4935 m.), but also other volcanos. In Otovalo we hope to have a chance to take pictures of people in the market and maybe buy some souvenirs (hope there're not made in china:). Later we will see San Antonio de Ibarra, Cotacachi and Cuicocha (lake inside the volcano crater).

Day 13 (Thursday) One of the last days in Quito area we will head to Cotopaxi National Park and Cotopaxi Volcano (5897 m above sea level). This volcano is the highest active in the world. On the way to the volcano we will observe lahars -vegetation typical to paramo area. We will cross dried lake bed, then hike to Jose Rivas refuge located at 4800 m above sea and later to glacier. We should have chance to have an excursion around lake Limpiopungo (3800 m) and see some birds, wild ducks and horses.

Day 14 (Friday) Trip to Mindo - small city at Western Cordillera. There's butterflies garden and wonderful vegetation. During the trip we will stop by crater of Pululahua volcano - the only inhabited volcano crater in the world! Then we will have paradise and good chance to take nice pictures of hummingbirds. There's some inn near Mindo where you can see dozen genres of this small birds.

Day 15 (Saturday) We fly back to Miami for a week in Florida wilderness. We dream of seeing favorite Key West, Everglades, Sanibel Island and maybe also Dry Tortugas. We also would like to have some fun in Art Deco South Beach.

Above picture is from my recent trip to Dry Tortugas National Park in 2007.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Radom Airshow #2

As promised here are next pics from Airshow Radom...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gallery officialy opened

You're invited to see first release of my photo gallery. It can be found at Please leave your comments here or send by e-mail. Enjoy!
I would like to say big "Thank You!" to beta testers I can trust. Your comments were valuable and I hope they helped to improve overall look and details of the gallery. I also would like to thank Maro for hosting the gallery! It's really big help and I hope to have chance to repay for it one day!
One more time welcome everyone! And thanks for visiting.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Flower by Kenzo in Warsaw

Today and tomorrow are the only days you can see something unprecedented in Warsaw Old Town. Kenzo made us surprise and sown 150.000 poppies. I was very curious and went to the old town and photographed them. Below you can see some of my over 500 pictures...

1. 6:29 a.m. - still under construction

2. Closeup at 6:30

3. Another view at 6:33

4. Only security present in the street and it's 6:46

5. View of Krakowskie Przedmiescie at 6:56 a.m.

6. View of the castle at 2:31 p.m.

7. View of Krakowskie Przedmiescie at 2:35 p.m.

8. Castle at 6:36 p.m.

9. Another view of the poppy field at 6:41 p.m.

10. Night illumination at 8:11 p.m.

All pictures were only developed from raw files and cropped. I had no time to process them in PS or straighten. Sorry about that. Will try to fix it later and put better pictures into my upcoming gallery.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Radom Airshow #1

I owe you some pictures from fatal Radom Airshow. So after few days I decided to develop and process more photos from that event. Here they're:

1. Paraglider

2. Morning accident

3. Red Arrows

To be continued...