Tuesday, December 31, 2013

John wishes you a Happy New Year

On New Year's Eve tradition here at John's Island requires opening up this antique cylinder music box and playing a few cycles of Auld Lang Syne.  We thought we should share it this year with our loyal followers and friends. The cylinder produces music by turning slowly and tiny metal picks click musical pins. Pretty amazing, actually. Enjoy, and Happy New Year from John's Island.  Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Griffith Observatory

John visited the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and would like to share a few pictures and some postcards.

Just the ticket
Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California, USA
Telescopes can view sky objects when domes are open.
Interior shot showing one of the Science Murals
The Science Murals were published on a set of postcards in 1937
The Observatory was dedicated in 1935
The murals were painted by artist Hugo Ballin
The Ballin murals have been called the
Observatory's greatest artistic treasure.
The murals depict the "Advancement of Science"
The Griffith Observatory is a great destination and
the murals are just one part of
what makes the Observatory
Downtown Los Angeles from the Griffith
on a fairly clear day.
Thanks for stopping by John's Island.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Seattle Great Wheel

Are there tourist attractions around you that you've never checked out?  For John, the answer was "yes" until this week when he finally took a ride on Seattle's Great Wheel.  Reading the reviews on the web, it appears most folks enjoy the ride although it does get kind of pricey for large families. The views are spectacular on a clear day.

The Great Wheel is on the Waterfront

More tourist attractions, as viewed from the
 Great Wheel, in this photo:  The Space Needle
and, at lower right, Pike Place Market

A transparent floor in gondola allows
some interesting views.
Looking south, over the sports stadiums,
Mount Rainier in the distance.
Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Big Leaf Maple Love

So many big-leaf maple trees and yet one gets special recognition. And it's not even still standing. When the tree got old and became a safety hazard to a nearby trail it was cut down. And some people loved it so much that they memorialize the tree by placing fresh flowers on the stump. The tree gets its own Facebook page (click here) and has been written up in the Seattle Times (click here). John keeps an eye out for the tributes on his walks around Green Lake and thought you would enjoy seeing some of the flowers placed during the last year. Have you ever loved a tree this much?

Around Halloween last year

Last January

Irish salute!

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dahlia Garden End-of-Season

John stopped by the Dahlia Garden this past week for one last 2013 visit.  (Please see our post about the Puget Sound Dahlia Garden earlier this year here ) The beautiful garden display will soon be over and many of the flowers are already in decline. Below are a few with beauty left to share.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sunrise at Sea

From one of John's recent voyages please enjoy this brief video.

There was no crowd along the railing on the Promenade Deck on the morning this sunrise was recorded. For one thing, most cruisers are more likely to party late into the night than be early risers to catch a sunrise. This is on the port side of the vessel, looking east, of course, as we were southbound about 30 miles off the coast of California, somewhere in the area of San Francisco.  For those of you with larger screens and a careful eye: Pause the video at 33 seconds and below and a little to the right of the sun ... you will see a dark figure coming out of the water. Yes, it's a whale, and it jumps completely out of the water with a big splash on return. At the time, we paused to wonder if the whale was saluting the sunrise?  Wish we had zoom on video but no such luck this time.

Here is a shot of Promenade Deck on a sunny afternoon at about the same place were the sunrise was watched the following morning ....

And here is a self-portrait of our founder ...

And, lastly, another sunrise photo ... this one at the Port of Los Angeles, our destination.  John calls this an "industrial sunrise".

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.


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