30 Funny & Hilarious No Context Images Shared By This Instagram Account





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Here are the 30 funny and hilarious no context images shared by “I Want To Leave” Instagram account. This page in question is on a quest to collect the weirdest pics of humans and animals out there, and it’s hilariously bizarre. This page followed by more than 215K followers around the globe. Click here to check more amazign photos.

Scroll down and enjoy yourself. All photos are linked and lead to the sources from which they were taken. Please feel free to explore further works of these photographers on their collections or their personal sites.

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Enjoy this outdoor event with your four-legged friend


‘Paws in Nature’ will be filled with activities that dogs and their owners can explore together such as holiday photos, a Coffee and Cream Food Truck and more.

CLERMONT, Ky. — Enjoy a fun day in nature along with your four-legged friend, or friends, at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest on Dec. 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

‘Paws in Nature’ will be filled with activities that dogs and their owners can explore together such as holiday photos, a Coffee and Cream Food Truck and local vendors!

Donations of $10 are requested by event organizers at the gate, but the event is free.

Officials ask that you keep your dog(s) on a leash and clean up after them throughout the event.

An ugly sweater contest will start at 2 p.m. Registration opens on-site the day of the event. Pet Supplies Plus in Elizabethtown will donate a prize to the winner of the contest.

Dog Training Camp USA will also supply three activities:

  • Animal safety talk (aimed at small kids, but all ages are welcomed)
  • Parkour for dogs: How to enrich your dog with items around you
  • Crash course dog training 

Attendees can also honor their four-legged friend, while helping protect Bernheim hiking trails, by becoming a four-legged friend sponsor. As a result, Bernheim will showcase the beloved pet on their social media and at their Visitor Center.

For more information about Paws in Nature, please visit their website.

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Roads Less Traveled: When the moon goes red


This week’s adventure is going to be a little different.

It’s been nearly a month since the lunar eclipse on the early morning hours of November the 8th. I spent a couple hours that morning taking photographs of the eclipse, and I’ve spent the past month processing those images in between work and other adventures. I thought about just sharing the finished product, but where’s the fun in that? Why not show the ugly stuff too.

My telescope of choice is a Celestron 130EQ. It is a classic Newtonian reflector telescope that is excellent for viewing the planets and deep sky objects as well. I have it on a tracking mount to track the stars and make astrophotography a bit easier. Unfortunately, the telescope and my camera don’t get along very well. This is largely a product of poor research on my end before buying. When directly attached the camera won’t focus on what the telescope is seeing thanks to Sony’s mirrorless design. Normally this design is fantastic, but not so much when you have a telescope like mine.

So what did I do? I went to work on the adapter. I sawed it in half and reattached the ends, a project my 1.5 year old son was fascinated by. This still wasn’t quite enough, but when hooked up to a 2x Barlow Lens (a “zoom” adapter for the telescope) I could finally focus on a decent sized area of the sky, almost big enough to shoot the entire moon at once. Almost.

Anyone who saw the eclipse knows that it was both low in the sky and dim. All lunar eclipses are dim, but the combo of eclipse and low sky angle made this one appear even darker. This means that without a longer exposure you won’t be able to get a particularly good photograph. One way to overcome this is taking a lot of photos at once. This can increase the detail and make editing better. The image below is an average of 20 separate 1 to 3 second images taken over the course of a few minutes about 1/4 of the way through the eclipse.

Not very pretty is it? Dark, right? And not to mention it’s not even the whole moon. Remember when I said I could *almost* get the whole moon in one shot? This is what I meant. Here’s the other half.

So far I’m 40 images and probably 30 minutes of processing time as my feeble old laptop merges and stacks the images. Next comes making the whole moon and editing. A quick export to light room, a few clicks and….

Well that sort of worked. I now have the whole moon, you can see some detail, but the overall image is still pretty dark, and for some reason the moon is shaped like an egg.

A few more clicks, some trial and error and…

There we go! A much better view of the moon and it’s round this time instead of shaped like an egg.

To date this is by far the best photograph I have ever gotten of a lunar eclipse. It was a fun first attempt and I will hopefully be more seasoned by the time the next one comes around in 2025.

I hope you enjoyed this foray into photo processing.

I’ll be back next week with a trip to one of my favorite places in the southeast: Linville Gorge.

Have a great week, and perhaps I’ll see you on the road…..

Army widow’s photography to be featured in Help for Heroes’ 2023 calendar







© Provided by Salisbury Journal
Army widow Tanya Warren’s image of highland cattle surrounded by winter frost at River Bourne Community Farm will represent the month of December in Help for Heroes’ 2023 calendar. (Image: Tanya Warren)

THE widow of a Salisbury Army veteran has won a competition to have her photography featured in Help for Heroes’ new 2023 calendar.

Tanya Warren, 57, is one of six amateur snappers from the Armed Forces community to have her talents showcased in the calendar, which celebrates the great outdoors and is on sale now.

Her photo, which illustrates the month of December, captures Highland cattle on a crisp morning at River Bourne Community Farm.

Tanya said: “I was a carer for my husband, Bill [Brig. Robert William Warren, MBE], after he was diagnosed with bowel cancer. He reached out to other charities, but Help for Heroes was the only one that could offer emotional support.”

Bill received counselling from Help for Heroes and Tanya was introduced to its fellowship events, including gardening workshops, a respite weekend, and photography courses.

Tanya said: “I felt really isolated being a carer. Meeting people during this difficult time in my life helped me to look after myself, so I could look after my husband.”

Tanya’s husband passed away in 2019 at the age of 58, having lost his battle with bowel cancer. She said Help for Heroes helped her cope with her loss, which was made even more difficult due to isolation caused by the pandemic.

Tanya said: “After I lost my husband in 2019, the pandemic hit – grief and facing the unknown felt overwhelming. Help for Heroes gave me hope and a sense of belonging.

“During the pandemic, I signed up to the Help for Heroes online photography courses. These courses have been a lifeline. I’ve met some amazing people on the way, learnt new skills and developed a new hobby which I’m passionate about.”

Tanya said the course leader is very approachable, knowledgeable and gives excellent guidance.

She added: “When I found out that my image would be part of the 2023 calendar, I was over the moon. I can’t wait for other people to enjoy the calendar.”  

Help for Heroes’ launched photography courses during lockdown to help veterans in their recovery through fighting social isolation, providing a routine and generating a sense of pride and achievement.

Since then, the virtual and face-to-face meet-ups with professional photographer Siorna Ashby have attracted hundreds of veterans and their families. who all learn how to improve their picture-taking skills, whether they are using a camera or a mobile phone.

To ensure delivery before Christmas, the deadline to order the Help for Heroes 2023 veterans’ calendar is December 16.

The Best of the Mountain West 2022


Our third annual celebration of the people, places, and things changing the way we live for the better—from a megasculpture in the Nevada desert to a riverside wine region in Idaho to a Montana bison preserve recently returned to Indigenous control.


ADVENTURE

Photo by Whit Richardson

The Raptor Route

Utah
One of the more challenging—some might say punishing—aspects of the Whole Enchilada, Moab’s legendary 26.5-mile singletrack from Burro Pass to the Colorado River, has traditionally been its finish. After already descending thousands of vertical feet across technical terrain, mountain bikers confront the Porcupine Rim, whose drop-offs and rock features have claimed countless collarbones—and even lives. But now there’s a more forgiving option. The Raptor Route’s 10 miles of new singletrack allow riders to skip the double black diamond descent on Porcupine Rim in favor of a more intermediate, flowy trail. Two of the Raptor Route’s stages, called Eagle Eye and Falcon Flow, debuted over the past two years, and a third segment, Hawks Glide, was slated to open in November. (A fourth segment, Kestrel Run, has also been proposed and is currently undergoing an environmental review.) Riders are already loving this alternate ending, which takes them through the slickrock of the Sand Flats Recreation Area. Their unbruised bodies and bikes are probably loving it, too. —Chris Walker

Wind River Rally

Wyoming
For the nomadic community, home is where you park it, and over four days in June, that was the tiny hamlet of Hudson for more than 120 camper vehicles. Souped-up custom vans, vintage Volkswagen buses with pop-up tents, and skoolies (converted school buses) descended on the mountain-nestled Wind River Country for the inaugural Wind River Rally. The gathering—which featured live music, gear swaps, performances by a traveling circus family, morning yoga sessions, and fresh ink from mobile tattoo artist Chris Montes—is slated to return in August. That’s good news for van lifers and overlanding enthusiasts and even better news for area businesses such as Svilar’s Bar & Steakhouse and Wyoming Whiskey. Local outfitters also got an economic boost by hosting add-on adventures like hot air balloon rides, guided rock climbing, bighorn sheep viewing, and historical mine tours. —Karyna Balch

The I. B. Perrine Bridge

Photo courtesy of Tandem BASE

Idaho
A year ago, MSN named this 1,500-foot truss arch bridge, which extends across the Snake River in Twin Falls, Idaho’s most terrifying attraction. That’s not because it’s structurally unsound, but because it’s open for BASE jumping, a pursuit in which parachute-clad thrill-seekers leap from high perches (per the name: buildings, antennae, spans, and earth). At 486 feet above the water’s surface, the Perrine is among the tallest bridges in the United States and the only man-made structure in the country where you can BASE jump year-round without a permit. That doesn’t mean just anyone should try it, of course, which is why local outfitters offer visitors the opportunity to take the plunge while strapped to certified instructors. Jumps with 13-year-old Tandem BASE and BASE Jump The Bridge, which opened in June 2021, include social-media-ready videos of your experience. If that still sounds too terrifying, you can spectate and take in gorgeous canyon views from the bridge’s pedestrian lanes instead. —JL


FOOD

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Natalie Young

Photo courtesy of Angie Ortaliza Photography

Nevada
About 2.5 miles from the extravagance of the Las Vegas Strip sits chef Natalie Young’s breakfast and lunch joint, Eat. Like its no-frills name, the restaurant’s menu is light on adjectives, with options such as “shrimp and grits” and “chicken salad.” But sample the homemade sourdough bread and aged cheddar that make up the grilled cheese or the Parmesan-rind-infused tomato soup and you’ll taste their creator’s dedication to fine-cooking techniques. “I keep it simple and approachable,” says 59-year-old Young, who was trained by a classical French chef at the Paris Las Vegas casino. Her food’s subtle depth is a big part of the reason why the restaurant is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year—an extraordinary tenure for a low-key, alcohol- and smoke-free eatery in a town full of glitzy, celebrity-chef dining destinations. Young says she still feels gratitude for each pancake- and Reuben-ordering patron: “Every person that makes their way over to my little restaurant makes me feel blessed.” —Courtney Holden

Don Guerra

Photo by Rebecca Noble

Arizona
“Bread is just flour, water, and salt, but all over the world, you have millions of representations of those ingredients,” says Tucson’s Don Guerra, who won the 2022 James Beard Foundation Award for outstanding baker. “Bread is about the artisan.” For Guerra, that means showcasing the heritage and ancient grains he’s worked closely with area farmers to bring back to their fields over the past decade. The varieties, dense with flavor and nutrients, are what was grown before maximum-yield, hybrid wheat became ubiquitous in the mid-20th century. Patrons flock to his Barrio Bread bakery for loaves of Sonoran white, Khorasan, red fife, and einkorn, a primitive wheat that’s naturally low in gluten and has notes of roasted corn and coffee. You can also taste his work in the tortas at Barrio Charro and the pizza at the Monica, both of which he’s partnered with as part of his mission to create a sustainable local grain economy. “The way to do that is to engage farmers and then use up all the grain that’s planted for food,” Guerra says. “It’s about creating jobs and agricultural opportunities, but it’s also about feeding my people.” —JL

Coelette

Wyoming
Coelette stands out in Jackson’s star-studded culinary scene by aiming high—6,000 feet high, to be exact. That’s the minimum elevation for the vast majority of ingredients used in the restaurant’s self-described “snowline cuisine,” which draws inspiration from high-country cultures such as those in Japan, Peru, and the Himalayas. Sam Dawson and Drew Madison, former sous chefs at two-year-old Coelette who took over the head chef duties in August, use pickling, lacto-fermentation, and preserves to extend seasonal produce year-round. Rotating dishes primarily feature goods from local farms, with a few far-flung surprises: Diners might sample poached beef with horseradish skyr (Icelandic yogurt) or a whole snow trout raised in an aquaculture system in Hokkaido, Japan. The cozy dining room is located in a restored 1915 log cabin while the bar—which slings cocktails such as a mezcal-and-brandy hot chocolate with marshmallow foam—is housed in a new, wood-paneled addition. This summer, diners will be able to embrace the high-elevation concept even more literally when Coelette’s rooftop deck opens. —Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan


LODGING

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Armendaris

Photo courtesy of Deann McBride

New Mexico
From rare Bolson tortoises to the discovery site of the Sierraceratops turneri dinosaur to one of the largest populations of Mexican free-tailed bats in the United States, this nearly two-month-old addition to Ted Turner’s portfolio of guest ranches in New Mexico offers plenty of unique reasons to visit. But the most exclusive aspect of staying at 362,885-acre Armendaris might be the fact that visitors are welcomed into the private residence of the billionaire media mogul and conservationist himself. The four-bedroom hacienda, which has been featured in Architectural Digest, comes complete with replicas of Turner’s museum-worthy art collection, a private chef, and a housekeeping staff. Guided activities—such as nature photography workshops, petroglyph tours, and wildlife safaris to see bison, African oryx (large antelopes introduced nearby for big-game hunting around 1970), and desert bighorn sheep—are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are also included. That’s a good thing because a stay rings in at what would be, for most of us, a once-in-a-lifetime cost of $7,600 to $9,600 per night. —JL

The Virginian Lodge

Photo courtesy of Travis Burke

Wyoming
We have at least one good thing to thank the COVID-19 pandemic for: the resurgence of the great American motor lodge. Leery of crowded lobbies and sharing elevators with strangers, travelers found rooms with drive-up access particularly attractive—leading to investments in classic properties such as Jackson’s Virginian Lodge. Originally opened in 1965, this past January the 165-room property debuted an extensive multiyear renovation that merged Western and midcentury modern design elements into a travel influencer’s dream. The courtyard’s pool, two hot tubs, and fire pits are open year-round, and in the winter, skiers returning from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on the complimentary shuttle can après there or in the on-site saloon, which kept its original sign. Meanwhile, the adjacent Outbound Adventure Center, operated by Backcountry Safaris and JH Skis, has everything guests need (including stand-up paddleboards, e-bikes, and guided fly-fishing, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting) to explore Jackson’s most timeless amenity: the great outdoors. —JL

The Gravel House

Arizona
When Heidi Rentz Ault and Zander Ault first visited Patagonia, a small town 18 miles north of the Mexico border, in 2015, they quickly realized they’d stumbled onto a gravel biking paradise. The then nascent cycling discipline steers riders off pavement and onto wider, less obstacle-laden trails than mountain biking singletrack, and the couple has since tapped into the fast-growing sport via a variety of ventures. In Patagonia, they hold gravel camps through their guide company, the Cyclist’s Menu; they launched the annual Spirit World 100 ride in 2019; they run Patagonia Lumber Company, a cafe and bar; and they converted two homes into Instagram-worthy Airbnb destinations in 2020. Their two-wheeled empire is built on the San Rafael Valley’s 100-plus miles of gravel roads, which wind between the Santa Rita and Huachuca mountain ranges that rise dramatically from the desert floor. In early 2023, the duo plan to expand their lodging offerings, all under the Gravel House moniker, to include a nine-room hotel in town—meaning even more people will be able to discover this gravel riding mecca. —JL


ART

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“City”

Nevada
Area 51 isn’t the only mysterious locale tucked away in the Nevada desert. For more than 50 years, large-scale sculpture artist Michael Heizer has been building “City,” a mile-and-a-half-long installation within Basin and Range National Monument composed of dirt, rock, and concrete. The project, which opened to the public in September, is reminiscent of ancient ruins while simultaneously evoking a futuristic metropolis. Actually seeing Heizer’s monumental work might be as difficult as spotting a UFO, though: Only six people (who are picked up in the nearby town of Alamo, nearly 100 miles north of Las Vegas) are allowed to visit each day. Heizer, 78, hopes the exclusivity will allow viewers to be fully immersed in the structure’s eerie geometry and shifting shadows instead of theme-park-esque crowds. Booking for 2022 has already closed, but the Triple Aught Foundation, which manages “City,” will resume accepting reservations ($150 per person) for 2023 in January. —Barbara Urzua

The University of Arizona Museum of Art

Photo courtesy of Bob Demers, University of Arizona

Arizona
The day after Thanksgiving in 1985, a couple entered the University of Arizona Museum of Art. The woman distracted a guard while the man went upstairs, and less than 10 minutes later, they left with Willem de Kooning’s “Woman-Ochre,” the canvas having been crudely sheared from its frame. The whereabouts of the abstract expressionist’s work remained a mystery for more than three decades. Then, in 2017, it turned up at the New Mexico estate sale of the deceased presumed thieves: schoolteachers who had hung it in their bedroom, where the piece was obscured by the door anytime it was open. In those intervening years, the 1955 painting’s valuation jumped to more than $100 million, even as its arguably misogynistic content drew controversy. (“Women irritate me sometimes,” de Kooning said in 1956. “I painted that irritation in the Woman series.”) After a painstaking restoration process at Los Angeles’ J. Paul Getty Museum, “Woman-Ochre” returned—with a U.S. Department of Homeland Security escort—in September to the Tucson gallery, where it hangs alongside an impressive array of works from other masters, such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko. —JL


GEAR

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Duckworth

Montana
The merino sheep that grow the wool destined to become base layers, socks, and T-shirts from this eight-year-old, Dillon-based brand have a side hustle: ecosystem restoration. This past summer, the city of Missoula tapped about 800 of third-generation rancher and Duckworth co-founder John Helle’s sheep to chow down on invasive and noxious plants such as leafy spurge, spotted knapweed, and Dalmatian toadflax on several thousand acres of the city’s public lands. “It’s a really novel—and in every sense of the word, organic—solution to a problem,” says Mike Somerby, Duckworth’s marketing director. And in a market where most merino wool is imported from abroad, raising the fluffy ovines in the Rockies not only helps to lessen the company’s carbon footprint but also yields an extra-crimped fiber (due to a combination of Helle’s breeding science and the local climate’s wide temperature swings) that makes for exceptional heat regulation and breathability in Duckworth’s gear. —EKH

RigStrips

Colorado
It’s a tale as old as time: You trudge back to the lot after an epic day on the slopes. You lean your skis against the car to de-layer. And, every time, they clatter to the ground, dragging those metal edges right down your paint job. Thankfully, Denver-based RigStrips founders Steven Graf and Zhach Pham created a $50 solution: a molded, magnetic bit of genius called the SnoStrip with slots where you can securely rest your gear. For summer, switch out your SnoStrip (an updated model, released in October, features deeper grooves and a grippier material) for the SunStrip, similarly designed to prop up fishing poles and bikes. —Julie Dugdale

Erem

Photo by Cameron Karsten/Courtesy of Erem

Nevada
Most athletic shoes are a combination of polyurethane, EVA foam, and polyester—which means we spend our time hiking, running, and otherwise Colorado-ing in plastics that take thousands of years to completely biodegrade. Fledgling footwear brand Erem is doing things differently by building trail-ready boots that return to the dirt they pound much more quickly. Led by fourth-generation shoemaker Noah Swartz, the year-old Henderson company designs its kicks for rugged environments using all-natural materials such as cactus-proof leather, eco-rubber, and upcycled cork. In the right conditions (i.e., if they were buried in your garden, not overwintering in your closet), Erem footwear will decompose within seven to 14 years. To ensure that happens, the company will even take back your worn-out shoes in exchange for credit toward a new pair. “Our view,” Swartz says, “is that green can outperform [the alternative].” You can test that theory with Erem’s new all-weather line, set to launch in January and designed for high-desert environments just like the Centennial State’s. —CH

Wild Rye

Idaho
Until recently, many outdoor brands making women’s gear were guilty of simply shrinking men’s apparel and turning it pink. Frustrated by the resulting dearth of properly fitting, shred-ready get-ups, in 2016 Cassie Abel launched Wild Rye, a women-focused bike, ski, and active lifestyle brand based in Sun Valley. Dedicated to function and fashion in equal measure, with a touch of fun (hello, pandemic-inspired houseplant graphics), Wild Rye makes clothing for women with strong, athletic figures. That means strategically using four-way stretch fabrics that move with a woman’s curves; including lots of pockets because, as Abel says, “women carry a lot of shit”; and testing products on women with a range of body sizes. “We are—and always have been—unwaveringly a brand for adventurers who identify as women,” Abel says, noting that’s precisely why her brand attained B Corp status this year. The certification, which is based on companies’ commitments to social and environmental causes, is “a way to really define who we are,” she says, “and who we’re going to be.” Whatever the future holds for Wild Rye, you can bet it will be female. —CH


CULTURE

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Brooke Pepion Swaney

Photo by Rebecca Stumpf

Montana
“A lot of what I’ve been interested in is the overall idea of justice in an unfair world,” says Brooke Pepion Swaney, the Polson-based writer, director, and producer behind a suite of film projects that focus on the contemporary Indigenous experience. Her first feature-length documentary, Daughter of a Lost Bird, follows a Lummi woman who was adopted by a white family as she meets her birth mother, reconnects with her tribe, and grapples with what it means to be Native. (The 2021 festival release is newly available for streaming on pbs.org.) Pepion Swaney’s first love is fiction, though, and she especially loves comedy—a proclivity that’s evident in her in-development sitcom, Tinder on the Rez, about a woman’s dating misadventures after returning to her family’s reservation. The project snagged a prestigious mention on the first Indigenous List, a collection of promising film and television scripts created by Sundance Institute, Black List, and IllumiNative in 2020. “When I came out of film school 10 years ago, there wasn’t faith that Native people could [create] content people would want to watch,” says Pepion Swaney, an enrolled citizen of the Blackfeet Nation who also has Salish ancestry. “Now, it feels exciting that there’s more opportunity for artists like me.” —EKH


DRINK

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Lewis-Clark Valley AVA

Idaho
The Lewis-Clark Valley’s vineyards were decimated during Prohibition, but a century later (and six years after an official American Viticultural Area designation), rows of grapes once again line the hillsides. Nearly three-quarters of the almost 307,000 acres, which span central Idaho and eastern Washington, are in the Gem State, and its nine wineries are already racking up accolades. Clearwater Canyon Cellars, for one, was named Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year in 2020 by what’s now called Great Northwest Wine, and its 2020 Renaissance Red tied for the highest-rated red at this year’s Bellingham Northwest Wine Competition—beating out more established vintners from Washington and Oregon. The Rhône varietals that thrive in the region’s steep canyons are reason enough to visit, but what makes for good wine here also makes for stunning scenery. The confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers sucks the cold air out of the valley, allowing grapes to hang longer on the vine and develop more complex flavors. There may be no better perch to take it all in than a seat on two-year-old Rivaura’s deck, where you can sip the winery’s Grenache and soak up views of vineyards stretching toward the riverbank below. —Andrea Clark Mason


CRAFT

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Photo by Tira Howard Photography/SWAIA

“100 Years In The Making!”

New Mexico
Although potter Russell Sanchez spent only (only!) one year crafting his best-in-show winner for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts’ 100th Santa Fe Indian Market, he pulled inspiration from the event’s entire history. The black, red, and white of the polychrome piece—made of clay sourced from San Ildefonso Pueblo, where he lives, northwest of Santa Fe—is a nod to what his ancestors brought to the inaugural Native American arts bazaar in 1922, while the carving techniques and 400 inlaid turquoise and hematite beads are part of more recent Indigenous design traditions. Sanchez has sold out of his wares every one of the 45 years he’s attended the market and credits the event for his success in making connections with collectors and galleries, including Denver’s Native American Collections. But taking the top award (and its record $30,000 prize) in this centennial celebration year was a special honor. “Pottery was a very big part of the first market,” Sanchez says, “so it was nice to have a pot win this year.” —JL


MUSIC

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Obeeyay

Photo by Annie Whitehead/Courtesy of Obeeyay

Utah
Oba Bonner, professionally known as Obeeyay, could attribute any number of experiences to his musicality, from sitting in his mother’s lap at the piano while she taught voice lessons to showing up his seven older brothers and sisters (one of whom has performed on Broadway) in impromptu singing competitions. In fact, he still records gospel tunes with his parents and siblings as part of a group called the Bonner Family, with nearly 24,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. But that doesn’t mean Bonner isn’t forging his own path: As a preteen, he begged his mother and father to move to Los Angeles. Once there, he knocked on studio doors, offering to sweep floors and fetch lunches for musicians, and before long, he was working as an audio engineer with the likes of Queen Latifah and JoJo. Today, back in his hometown of Provo, 28-year-old Bonner is finally producing and performing his own music, and his first EP, Winnin’—a five-song collection of feel-good, melodic pop songs with hip-hop-inspired rhythms—dropped in March. Although the party anthems may seem at odds with his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints roots, “the family I have and the people who have loved me and I’ve loved over the years—they brought my hopes up,” Bonner says, and he wants to see his music do the same for everyone who listens. —KB

Vinyl Me, Please

Photo courtesy of Richard Edens

Colorado
These days, almost any song is just a few clicks away—yet annual vinyl record sales have mushroomed to more than $1 billion for the first time in nearly four decades. That growth includes Denver-based Vinyl Me, Please (VMP), which began as a service that sent curated albums, sometimes accompanied by cocktail recipes or art prints, to LP aficionados. Roughly a decade later, VMP offers four monthly subscriptions—classics, essentials, hip-hop, and country—to customers in nearly 50 countries. “We wanted to create not just a product but an experience around tangible music,” CEO Cameron Schaefer says. Now, VMP is expanding on that ethos by building its own pressing plant in RiNo. Once the 14,000-square-foot space opens to the public early next year, music lovers will be able to book tours to see the record-making process and stop by to purchase albums (VMP has struck deals for exclusive reissues from big names such as Run-DMC, Aretha Franklin, and Red Hot Chili Peppers) and grab a drink at the on-site bar. —Visvajit Sriramrajan


LITERATURE

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One Jump at a Time: My Story

Utah
From the first time he took the ice at age three in Salt Lake City to winning the men’s figure skating gold medal at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing, Nathan Chen covers the quadruple loops and lutzes that fueled his journey to international stardom—as well as the falls he endured along the way—in his memoir released in November. With the help of co-writer Alice Park, a Time magazine staffer, Chen opens up about knee and hip injuries that threatened his career, his difficulties navigating his relationship with his mother while she served as his coach, and the mental health struggles he confronted with the help of a sports psychologist. The lessons the 23-year-old shares—particularly how finding hobbies outside of figure skating and attending Yale University brought him the balance he needed to succeed on the rink—are poignant reminders for anyone, but especially for today’s anxiety-riddled teens. In February, Chen will impart more wisdom to the next generation in a children’s picture book. —JL


NATURE

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CSKT Bison Range

Chuck Haney/Danita Delimont/Alamy Stock Photo

Montana
In the late 1870s, the Ql’ispé people brought a handful of bison to the Flathead Indian Reservation, home to the Confederated Séliš and Ksanka Tribes (CSKT), in an effort to prevent the animals’ extinction due to overhunting. A few decades later, in an all-too-familiar story in the West, the U.S. government seized a prize parcel of the tribes’ land to form the National Bison Range under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It took until 2022, but the 18,500-plus-acre preserve—a mountain-meets-prairie landscape with black and grizzly bears, pronghorn, elk, wolves, and, yes, 350-some bison—has been restored to the CSKT. “When our wildlife management and conservation efforts are guided by Indigenous knowledge developed over millennia,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said at an emotional celebration in May, “we all succeed.” Since taking over, the CSKT have remodeled the visitor center and produced a short documentary, In the Spirit of Atatice, about the tribes’ historical role in bison conservation. “It’s our story, told by us,” says Stephanie Gillin, information and education program manager for the CSKT’s Natural Resources Department. Currently, the main attractions for sightseers are wildlife sightings on a scenic driving loop, a few short trails, and a gift shop with goods from tribal vendors, but the CSKT are in the early stages of planning a new cultural center. —EKH


HISTORY

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Colorado Historic Opera Houses Circuit

Colorado
As prospectors unearthed mineral riches in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they began building lavish opera houses in Colorado’s boomtowns to satisfy the growing demand for entertainment—and for places to be seen in their Victorian finest. The few venues that remain attempt to fill their plush seats by hosting cultural events, festivals, and musical and theatrical performances, many of which were canceled or limited during the pandemic. Ticket sales (in addition to donations and volunteer hours) are critical for their continued preservation, so the state, along with local and regional partners, launched the Colorado Historic Opera Houses Circuit in June. The awareness-raising tourism initiative includes a website with suggested visitor itineraries, a map, and an events schedule. The five buildings on the circuit—the Central City Opera House in Central City, the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride, the Tabor Opera House in Leadville, the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, and the Wright Opera House in Ouray—were built between 1878 and 1913. “The memories of each performance, whether last week, last month, or a hundred years ago,” says Nicole Levesque, marketing manager for 133-year-old Wheeler, “live on in the walls.” —Sarah Kuta

This article was originally published in 5280 December 2022.

Travel trend: Why Astro Tourism is growing among domestic travellers in India? | Travel


Travel enthusiasts, who crave a holistic astronomy experience to give voice to their curiosity about the vast skies beyond our stratosphere, can gain an integrated astronomy experience through Astro Tourism, a trend that has seen an increasing number of travellers who are keen to get to experience activities such as stargazing, sun observations, stargazing parties with friends, experiential science activities and much more. The spike in Astro Tourism could be a result of the post pandemic world where many people are looking for less crowded and nature driven experiences or the offer of a sense of discovery as when you look up at the sky, you may see a big white moon or two bright stars that never twinkle but when you look at them through the telescope, the moon suddenly has massive features (craters, flat grey surfaces, highlands, etc.) of varied colours and the two bright stars are no longer stars – one is Jupiter, a big disc with a giant red dot on it (which in itself is a storm three times the size of the Earth) and the other is Saturn, with many rings around it.



You literally cannot believe your eyes and you realise that the universe is so much more complex than what you see, with so much left to discover hence, a number of resorts and hotel chains are now offering stargazing as one of the activities for their guests to treat them to a flashback to their childhood. For a large number of people, the last time they looked at the skies and enjoyed the stars was when they were kids and ever since they turned into adults, they moved to a city and neither got the opportunity nor the time to experience the cosmos but looking up at the skies lets them relive their childhood.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Paul Savio, CEO and Co-Founder of Starscapes, revealed that Astro Tourism is seeing a spurt for three reasons:



(1) With higher disposable incomes and a more liberal view of living a wholesome life, people are on the lookout for new and exciting experiences that are beyond the usual offerings available. Anything new piques a huge interest, and today people are more willing to try them out than before.

(2) Millennials have, due to access to the internet in their formative years, a much more global exposure to life and career than previous generations. As parents, this demographic is open to encouraging their kids to look at radical career options, and therefore get exposed to such experiences that could kindle an interest in the kids becoming astrophysicists, aerospace engineers or even astronauts.

(3) Space is in the news, with NASA going back to the moon (Artemis), India sending humans to space (Gaganyaan) and space tourism kicking off with private enterprise (SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin). So it is currently top of mind.



He shared, “Lots of people, especially in metros, are beginning to step out to nearby dark sky locations to get a glimpse of the starry sky. Apart from the usual suspects (Ladakh, Spiti, Kodaikanal, Kutch, Coorg, Jaisalmer, etc.), myriad sites exist within 2 hours of all metros which can give a great dark sky experience. However, daytime astronomy as a concept is slowly picking up too.”

According to Neeraj Ladia, CEO of Space Arcade, there is a lot of interest in Astro tourism all over India. He said, “One major reason is social media. More and more people are showing people where they can travel. Places which were accessible for very few people earlier, like mountaineering and trekking, are now common among people. There are videos, reels on social media accounts where there is a lot of conversation around offbeat activities such as astro tourism. People have become more aware of these kinds of things. Astro tourism has gained more popularity post lockdown mainly because people want to be closer to nature and want to do something new and offbeat. Similarly, like wildlife photography/nature photography, people are developing an interest in astro photography too.”



Talking about some of the common activities under astro tourism, Paul Savio highlighted stargazing, sun observation, astrophotography (where you learn how to photograph the night sky and even deep sky objects using different cameras and mounts), astro tours (trips to dark sky locations for an enhanced night sky experience), workshops and activities to understand different phenomena associated with astrophysics and space exploration.

For a person who has never experienced astro tourism, Neeraj Ladia suggested stargazing as one of the most exciting activities to do. Secondly, he recommended, “If it is a starry clear night, guided telescope view of planets and deep sky objects along with an astrophotography session can be quite exciting. With astro tourism, people have an opportunity to see and learn the names of the stars and constellations. They can also go much deeper into understanding these concepts.”



Paul Savio concluded, “Astro Tourism is the sunrise segment of the experiential tourism industry. Massive interest is being shown by luxury resorts across India to incorporate astro-experiences in the bouquet of offerings for their guests. Today, the customer base is overwhelmingly of people who are looking for a new experience and not necessarily an astronomy experience. We expect this to flip in the next 3 years – people will travel with an intent to have an astronomy experience. This will be driven by the springing up of dark sky parks (the astronomy equivalent of national parks) and other dark sky places equipped to service this interest.”

The big picture: Bill Brandt’s windows into the mind | Photography


Bill Brandt’s first book, The English at Home, published in 1936, exhibited a brilliant fascination not only with light and shade, but with the costumes of class divide – miners’ caps and public school boaters, maids’ pinnies and cricket whites. By the 1950s, however, his English interiors had tended to do away with clothing. His postwar series of nudes found ways of making flesh both sensual and abstract; his camera always seemed as interested in the rooms in which his models lived as in their bodily presence.

This picture, included in the current Tate Britain exhibition of Brandt’s work, is a celebrated example of that tension. The contours of the girl’s face lend her a sculptural quiet; the darkness of her single visible eye lies in contrast to the pair of windows staring out from the frame, one open, one shut. Light crashes in. Squint a little at the chest of drawers and the girl disappears into the setting entirely; focus on her and the rest becomes a place of her Alice in Wonderland imagining.

There is of course a third presence beyond the girl and the room, that of Brandt himself. Biographers have read into images like this one the controlling instincts of the voyeur. The quiet Anglo-German – with a whispering voice his editor at Picture Post described as being as “loud as a moth” – insisted that his intention was not to dominate but to withdraw from his compositions, to let strangeness take its course. Often in this period he used the wide angle of an old wooden Kodak camera used by police at crime scenes, which took all the evidence in. “Instead of photographing what I saw, I photographed what the camera was seeing,” he said of these pictures. “I interfered very little and the lens produced anatomical images and shapes which my eyes had never observed.”

Meet the biologist turned photographer putting nature in the frame







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Let’s go fly a kite at Leasowe Beach

WELCOME to Behind the Lens, a feature that shines a light on the talented photographers in our Wirral Globe Camera Club group.

This week, we’re looking at Heather Garland’s favourite images that she’s captured in Wirral and further afield.

Heather, who lives in Heswall, loves to be outside taking photographs and recording special family events but is currently exploring a new-found interest in underwater images.






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Heather Garland

Heather Garland

When and why did you take up photography?

My mum bought me my first camera when I was nine years old and I’ve enjoyed capturing candid family moments as well as beautiful landscapes on family holidays ever since.

My husband is an accomplished underwater wreck photographer and he sparked my interest in this branch of photography.






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An over under shot of the lighthouse in New Brighton

An over under shot of the lighthouse in New Brighton

What do you love about taking pictures?

I love recording special family events and nature as well as people and places while I develop my creativity skills with photography.

READ MORE:

Wirral Globe Camera Club member Hugh McLaughlan loves to showcase the beauty of the local area






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Compass jellyfish at Leasowe Beach

Compass jellyfish at Leasowe Beach

Where is your favourite place to take pictures and why?

In the great outdoors, whether it’s at the coast or under the sea, deep within a thick forest, on a lakeside or riverbank or up high on a mountainside. I am a scientist and love capturing the awe and wonder of places and the nature that can be found there.






© Provided by Wirral Globe
Telling the time

Telling the time

What is your favourite subject matter and why?

I don’t think I’ve developed a real niche in terms of subject matter but having been a recreational scuba diver for more than two decades, I’m currently enjoying being a novice underwater photographer. It’s testing both my skills as a diver and as a photographer. As a biologist by trade, I have a keen interest in natural history especially marine life, so capturing images of wildlife and their behaviour really excites me.

READ MORE:

Wirral Globe Camera Club member Neil Gillingham used photography as a way to rebuild his life and his self-confidence






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Dorsal fin, New Brighton

Dorsal fin, New Brighton

What do you enjoy about being part of the Wirral Globe Camera Club?

I’ve enjoyed being part of the Wirral Globe Camera Club as it’s developing my creative skills as I try to photograph familiar scenes but in an artistic way, that is both unique and exciting. I also think it’s a friendly supportive group of like-minded people.






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Natures infinity pool, Watkins Path in Snowdon

Nature’s infinity pool, Watkins Path in Snowdon

If you could photograph anyone/any place/anything, who/what would it be?

I thought of numerous answers to this question ranging from bringing back my late parents and taking the photographs I’ve been unable to take of them with my children, especially as my sons reach new milestones in their lives. Alternatively, travelling back to my honeymoon destination and photographing the beautiful shipwrecks and reefs of Chuuk Lagoon would be wonderful. However, I eventually settled on travelling back in time and joining Jacques Cousteau, as one of his underwater photographers, when they first ventured into the big blue.

If you would like to appear in our Behind the Lens feature, email heidi.summerfield@newsquest.co.uk

If you would like to join Guardian Camera Club, visit facebook.com/groups/guardiancameraclub






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Together at Catbells in the Lake District

Together at Catbells in the Lake District

Star trek, a passion sky-high- The New Indian Express


Express News Service

CHENNAI: The white, tiny dots winking their eyes up above the sky are posing with a bright smile on their face. Lying on the terrace of his house, with the back of his head resting on palms, Bhavanandhi Babulal tells himself and the astrophotography camera lying nearby: “It’s time to sleep. Come on, let’s go.” But as usual, agony of indecision kicks in. He lies there gazing at the skies as if he is under the influence of a strange force, and, like that in a movie, his entire life starts playing in front of him, episode by episode.

“It’s captivating,” 31-year-old Bhavanandhi’s eyes gleam with joy whenever he speaks about his bonding with the celestial objects. For this resident of Kolathur in Chennai, stars and the moon are the best companions and stargazing his world.

Call it the tryst with destiny. Otherwise, an ex-banker who pursued his bachelor’s degree from Loyola College in Chennai would not have entered into the world of stars, Milky Way and the universe, ultimately leading him to establish a startup –  Starvoirs – six months ago. Bhavanandhi has a friend of his to thank for the initiative, as he is the one who kindled the passion in him during a camping trip to Nagalapuram in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh seven years ago, in 2015.

He was so engrossed in the beauty of the new-found world that he decided to gather interested people and organise star-gazing trips. “I quit my banking job in 2018 as I was finding it difficult to juggle my job and passion,” he says. During the second wave of Covid-19, he went a step ahead and started teaching stargazing free of cost.

To see the stars and planets clearly, Bhavanandhi says, a place free of light pollution is required. “That’s why I organise several trips to Ramanathapuram, Sayalkudi, Chidambaram, Kodaikanal, Ooty, Kodaikanal, and Poomparai after collecting lowest-possible amount from interested people as the telescope I use is very expensive,” says the star-lover who has read astronomy books despite being a commerce degree holder.

“I want more women and children to develop interest in the heavenly bodies as it would help mould a knowledgeable future. The trip fee for women is cheap and for kids it’s free,” he points out.Ask Dharmadev Kumar Singh, a staff at the hotel where Bhavanandhi stayed during Covid, he would say he considers learning from the “master” about stars as a big achievement. “It gives me immense pleasure to watch Saturn and the Milky Way,” says the man who studied only up to class 10.

Bhavanandhi suddenly woke up from the half-sleep and looked around. His camera is still lying there, with its lens pointing upwards. It’s past midnight. He stood up on the terrace, thinking about the excitement he had seen in the eyes of people after he showed them the bands on Saturn’s rings and craters on the moon.
“I should try bringing all those interested in stargazing under one roof and make it a grand movement,” he resolved while drowsily walking to his bedroom.

“It’s captivating,” 31-year-old Bhavanandhi’s eyes gleam with joy whenever he speaks about his bonding with the celestial objects. For this resident of Kolathur in Chennai, stars and the moon are the best companions and stargazing his world.

Call it the tryst with destiny. Otherwise, an ex-banker who pursued his bachelor’s degree from Loyola College in Chennai would not have entered into the world of stars, Milky Way and the universe, ultimately leading him to establish a startup –  Starvoirs – six months ago. Bhavanandhi has a friend of his to thank for the initiative, as he is the one who kindled the passion in him during a camping trip to Nagalapuram in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh seven years ago, in 2015.

He was so engrossed in the beauty of the new-found world that he decided to gather interested people and organise star-gazing trips. “I quit my banking job in 2018 as I was finding it difficult to juggle my job and passion,” he says. During the second wave of Covid-19, he went a step ahead and started teaching stargazing free of cost.

To see the stars and planets clearly, Bhavanandhi says, a place free of light pollution is required. “That’s why I organise several trips to Ramanathapuram, Sayalkudi, Chidambaram, Kodaikanal, Ooty, Kodaikanal, and Poomparai after collecting lowest-possible amount from interested people as the telescope I use is very expensive,” says the star-lover who has read astronomy books despite being a commerce degree holder.

“I want more women and children to develop interest in the heavenly bodies as it would help mould a knowledgeable future. The trip fee for women is cheap and for kids it’s free,” he points out.Ask Dharmadev Kumar Singh, a staff at the hotel where Bhavanandhi stayed during Covid, he would say he considers learning from the “master” about stars as a big achievement. “It gives me immense pleasure to watch Saturn and the Milky Way,” says the man who studied only up to class 10.

Bhavanandhi suddenly woke up from the half-sleep and looked around. His camera is still lying there, with its lens pointing upwards. It’s past midnight. He stood up on the terrace, thinking about the excitement he had seen in the eyes of people after he showed them the bands on Saturn’s rings and craters on the moon.
“I should try bringing all those interested in stargazing under one roof and make it a grand movement,” he resolved while drowsily walking to his bedroom.

Artist Wanda Comrie Creates Beautiful Hyper-Realistic Still-Life Paintings


Australian fine artist Wanda Comrie creates beautiful hyper-realistic still-life paintings with vivid and vibrant colors. Wanda responds to shadow play in domestic scenes and locally found botanicals, she reflects on the beauty and complexity that everyday living can provide. Many years after studying graphic design, her work retains a solid graphic influence with a strong colour palette.

Here in this post, you can find 20 of the best paintings by Wanda Comrie. Scroll down and inspire yourself. Please check Wanda’s Instagram for more amazing work.

You can find Wanda Comrie on the web:

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