Thursday, April 27, 2006

Feeding Time in the Back Yard

Some of the trees have loads of seed pods right now, and the birds are often around to take advantage of the abundant food. There were about a dozen Bonairian parakeets scattered around the vacant lot next door. They weren't as noisy as they usually are. Maybe they were too busy eating.

This Prikichi is beginning to work on a seed pod. They seem to be able to get them open and chow down on the individual seeds.

This orange Trupial came along and joined the feast. He seemed to be higher in the pecking order than the Prikichis. At least they gave him plenty of room on the tree. Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 24, 2006


We've seen some great sunsets during the last couple weeks. I've seen people taking pictures while I've been on my after work bike rides.

We'll frequently feed the dogs right around sunset time, so we can watch the sky, while we ride herd on the chow hounds.

I've been wanting to scout around for some good places to take some sunset pictures. A few nice big cactus or divi divi tree shapes in the foreground and a clear view of the western sky would be perfect.

It dawned on me the other evening (inverse pun not intended) that I should take some test shots from the backyard, so that I will be sure to get good images when I do venture out on a sunset photo safari. My camera has a pre-set for sunsets, so I snapped a few to see how the default setting looked. The colors came out quite realistic, so now I really need to scout out some super sunset shooting spots.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Kibrahacha Trees are Blooming

We had some rain at the end of last week and the Kibrahacha trees were blooming like crazy yesterday (Wednesday.) The blooms will probably be good today too, and then the show will be over. The flowers don't last long at all.

Sandra and I zoomed to the hills east of the TWR offices after work to get some pictures.

The contrasting colors were very pretty this year.

A pair of Loras flew into the picture below, yippie!
See that rock and white survey marker at the top right of the picture. (You may need to click on the photo so you can see it bigger.) The first picture on the Dec. 07, 2004 post on my blog is one that I took from up there, looking southwest towards town.

Here is a close up of the flowers. Actually, I'm not that pleased with any of the close up photos I took yesterday. The wind may have been moving the branches too much to get a clear shot. I'll try again next time they bloom. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Radio Station Execs Visit Bonaire

We recently had a group of visitors from the USA. They were Christian radio stations executives interested in seeing what TWR's international radio ministry was all about.

Before joining us on Bonaire, they visited TWR offices and studios in the Dominican Republic and in Venezuela. They conducted some training sessions and also learned about ministry opportunities that they can share with their listeners back home.

We turned the studio lobby into a food court so we could hang out with our guests.

We had am especially fun time talking to Larry and Janet Weidman, (second and third from the left below) who founded WGRC-FM. They have a station in Lewisburg, PA, as well as five other central PA towns. Our son, Richard, lived in Lewisburg for five years while attending Bucknell.

Eddie and Sonja, of Eddie's Gourmandise provided the delicious buffet.Posted by Picasa

Here we see one of our visitors interviewing a local iguanna expert. The execs. sent regular reports to their listeners back in the USA.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My Favorite Panorama

I climbed a new hill Sunday afternoon. Well, new for me anyway. Our friend Berni Lusse told us about it eons ago, but I never actually got up there before now. This hill, called "Lasana" on my map, is one of the high spots on the ridgeline as you drive from Rincon to the entrance to Washington park. These hills form a nice natural sort of wall between the park and the outside world.

I think that the views from on top of this hill are the best ones I've seen anywhere on Bonaire. I took some pictures, but will definitely go back again when we get a super clear day.

I put a roughly 270 degree panoramic image on my club photo site. It is called 1527_1537small. Contrary to its name, it is a pretty big file, but shows most of Bonaire.

On the original full size image, I can clearly see the Willemstoren lighthouse, the big wind generator by Sorobon, the lighthouse at Spelonk, and most everything in between, all the way to the lighthouse at Seru Bentana in the park.

The view starts looking west and Brandaris is the first hill you see in the distance at the left side of the image. Then you gradually look towards the North and then East to Rincon and then South across the bay to the rest of Bonaire.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Barkers Back on Bonaire

The Barker family arrived here on Bonaire last week. Joe, Ronda, and their two oldest daughters, served here with TWR a number of years ago, before moving to the Florida office, and eventually to the North Carolina office. We're happy to see their smiling faces back in the office.

We spent the morning today downtown picking up their residency papers at the immigration office, and getting their info. entered into the computers at the island registration office. (well, there is a long Dutch word for that office, but.....)

That all went well, and they can probably get their ID cards, or Sedulas, later this week. Then it is on to things like getting drivers licenses, bank accounts, internet access, and other modern day necessities. :)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Ser'i Camina panorama

I did some bike riding and hiking in Washington Park this morning. They've been working on the roads for about three weeks now, and they are in prime condition. There are places where the surface is loose and a little sketchy on a bike, but for cars etc. this is the time to visit the park for sure. It's getting a little warmer in there these days, but it still is not deathly hot like in the summer.

I climbed a hill called "sericamina" on my map. It started right by the road, and I only got scratched up the usual amount from thorns etc. I wonder if the park rangers ever wonder how come my arms and legs are all scratched up after riding on their nicely fixed up roads....

The view from the top of the hill was great, and I shot 13 pictures with my zoom at 28mm, which I stitched into a 360 degree panorama. It is on my club photo site and is called "seru360" Some day I may change the name to "sericamina360", so if you aren't reading this posting right away, that may be the name to look for.

I'm hoping that we'll get some really clear weather again sometime, like we had a couple months ago. I think the panoramas would come out much better. It wasn't too bad today, but I couldn't see Curacao etc.

You'll need to make sure your browser doesn't automatically resize images if you want to be able to pan back and forth and see the details on the panorama. I told how to configure Internet Explorer in a previous posting, or you could do a Google search to get instructions.

When the full size panorama is on your screen, (mine is set for 1024x768), the left side of the image is looking pretty much West, and Playa Funchi is the first big feature you see along the shoreline. There is a little hill just to the right of Playa Funchi. It is called "Shishiribana" on my map.

As you continue to head to the right, there is a large hill in the foreground and then you can see the shore again at Boca Bartol. On my screen, this is about a third of the way across the picture. Just to the right of Boca Bartol, also on the coast, before you get to the next big hill, is Malmok. That's due North and where we went to see the total solar eclipse in 1998.

The big hill and ridge just to the right of Boca Bartol and Malmok are "Ser'i Mangel" and "Jarabi Mangel." To the right of them, you can see "Ser'i Bentana" along the shoreline and then the wide round hill "Ser'i Sumpina" more in the foreground.

You can see part of Seru Grandi along the shoreline, just on the right flank of "Ser'i Sumpina" You are between half way and two thirds of the way across the picture now, and looking East.

If you pan all the way to the right side of the picture and start heading left, the first thing you come to is "Brandaris". Then in the foreground is "Hobao"

There is a big notch to the left of "Hobao" and you are looking due South to a big valley or plain that appears in some of my other panoramas, that I shot from the hills that you can see through the haze way in the distance.

To the left of the notch and valley is the hill, "Yuwana". Then a little in the background is "Matado di Pasku", and then back more in the foreground, the broad rounded top of "Seru Largu". There is actually a steep valley between Yuwana and Seru Largu in front, and Matado di Pasku in back. I might be able to get a good picture of that valley if I climb "Hobao."

Poking up way in the distance, on the horizon just to the left of "Seru Largu" is Seru Yuwana, another of my panorama shooting sites.

Things get a little confusing just to the left of there. There are hills hiding behind other hills, and nice valleys, and old roads. I've seen most of the roads, but climbing all the main hills should keep me busy for quite some time. I'm still working out the easiest way to get to each one.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Fun Online Translation

Have you ever tried computerized translation? I did a couple years ago and the person I sent my message to wasn't that impressed.

Well, here is a cool web translation service that translates text into and out of text messaging shorthand lingo.

For example, the phrases: "Just type in your SMS, TXT, emoticon, smiley, slang or chat speak and let transL8it! convert it to plain english -- OR -- type in your phrase in english and convert it to SMS TXT lingo slang!"

turn into: "jst typ n yor SMS, TXT o ch@ spEk & Lt transL8it! cvert it 2 pln eng --o-- typ n a frAze n eng & cvert it 2 SMS TXT lingo!"

So, now you can impress your grandkids with your webspeak savvy, or you can use the service to figure out what the heck they were saying in that last email they sent you!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


There are two cruise ships here today. We had a nice couple from St. Petersburg, FL drop by the station to say hi. They were only here for short time but their enthusiasm was contagious.

We also had some four legged visitors today. They didn't stay long either. I guess they thought that the grass might be greener somewhere else. :)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Time Change

Ha ha, I almost went to church an hour early due to the time change. Actually I always go to church an hour early to set up the sound system etc. But this would have been an hour earlier than that.

Now, the more astute among you may be saying, but but but, "forgetting the spring time change would make one an hour late for church, not an hour early!"

Others, who have spent time on Bonaire, are probably thinking, "wait, Bonaire doesn't have seasonal time changes".

Well, you are both right. Because of the 50hz ac power here on Bonaire, we've always used battery clocks, and they just run fine, but don't change for daylight saving time, which works perfectly here.

But, last fall when we were in the States, we were finally able to find a couple clocks that plug into the wall outlet, and have nice bright LED displays that one can read from across the room, but keep the time with an internal time base and don't care if the ac power is 60hz or 50 hz.
These clocks are really great, but they are too smart. They did the "spring ahead" one hour thing last night.

I was about to walk out the door, when I looked at my watch and discovered that it was 6:55am and not 7:55 am. Sandra and I had been commenting to each other about how much darker it seemed this am, and now we know why! We were up an hour earlier than usual.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Pitter Patter of Little Feet

Four little feet to be exact. Meet the newest member of our home security team. The one time our house was broken into, was when our old dog was arthritic and deaf and the new dog was still a puppy.

So Sandra's idea is to start raising up / training the next generation watchdog before the current ones lose their deterrence value.

Also the all important dogs - bikes balance was off kilter following the death of Asher late last summer. :) Posted by Picasa