Puerto Rico: El Morro

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

Photography by Gary Wonning

To see more beautiful photos of Puerto Rico, please click on the photographs

Lying on the northeastern-most point of the islet of Old San Juan, Castillo San Felipe del Morro is named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. The fortification also referred to as el Morro or ‘the promontory,’ was designed to guard the entrance to the San Juan Bay, and defend the Spanish colonial port city of San Juan from seaborne enemies.

A formidable sight from the water, it has guarded San Juan against foreign invaders for centuries. 

El Morro and many other Spanish government buildings in Old San Juan became part of a large U.S. Army post, called Fort Brooke. In the early 20th century, the U.S. military filled up the Esplanade (the green space in front of “El Morro”) with baseball diamonds, hospitals, officers’ quarters, an officers’ club and even a golf course.

On March 21, 1915, Lt. Teófilo Marxuach was the officer of the day at the El Morro fortress. The Odenwald (built in 1903 and not to be confused with the German World War II warship of the same name) was an armed German supply ship which tried to force its way out of the bay and deliver supplies to the German submarines waiting in the Atlantic Ocean. Lt. Marxuach gave the order to open fire on the ship, which was forced to return; its supplies were confiscated. The shots ordered by Lt. Marxuach are widely regarded to be the first shots fired by the United States in World War I, although the first actual wartime shot fired by the U.S. came on the day war was declared, during the scuttling of the SMS Cormoran off Guam.

In 1961, the United States Army officially withdrew from El Morro. As a result,  The fort became a part of the National Park Service to be preserved as a museum. In 1983, the Castillo and the city walls were declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations, and  In honor of the Quincentennial of the voyages of Columbus in 1992 the exterior esplanade was cleared of palm trees that had been planted by the U.S. Army in the Fort Brooke era, and restored to the open appearance this “field-of-fire” for El Morro’s cannon would have had in colonial Spanish times.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of

Australia, where he was able to swim with the crocodiles.

Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

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Miami Florida in Pictures

Photography by Gary Wonning

To see more photos, please click on the photograph.

Miami is an international city at Florida’s southeastern tip. Its Cuban influence is reflected in the cafes and cigar shops that line Calle Ocho in Little Havana. On barrier islands across the turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay is Miami Beach, home to South Beach. This glamorous neighborhood is famed for its colorful art deco buildings, white sand, surfside hotels and trendsetting nightclubs

 

Miami at Dusk, this vibrant city comes alive when the sun goes down.

This photo, taken from a cruise ship docked at the Port of Miami shows the beauty of the city. 

Miami Sunrise

A sunrise over the giant metropolis shows the same beauty and splendor. 

A photo taken from Key Biscayne.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Phillippi Creek Estates Park, Sarasota Florida

 

Please click on the photos to see more beautiful photographs of Sarasota, Florida.

The Edson Keith estate on the south bank of Phillippi Creek, typical of the grand estate houses erected by the extensive Chicago coterie of friends in Sarasota, reflects much of Sarasota’s most venerable history. The estate lies near the “rancho”, or seasonal fishing camp, on the creek named for Felipe Bermudez.

 

Part of public lands ceded to the state by the federal government upon admission to the Union, the Philippi parcel was a tiny portion of the 4,000,000 acres purchased by Hamilton Disston of Philadelphia in 1881 for $1,000,000. This purchase helped rescue Florida from bankruptcy after the Civil War.

In 1883, farmer and bee-keeper W.J. Drumwright purchased 40 acres of the parcel from Disston for $50, selling that and additional land in 1910 to George H. and C. Woodburn Matheny, who subdivided it as “Phillippi Park.” In 1911, Chicago socialite Mabel Linn purchased the estate property from the Mathenys and began development of a homesite.

Miss Linn sold the undeveloped property in 1915 for $7,000 to Edson Keith, Jr., president of a large millinery business and a member of Sarasota’s “Chicago Colony” which included the Field, Palmer, and other prominent families. In the summer of 1916, the Keiths began construction of their “Italian Renaissance” home on Phillippi Creek. The architects were William A. Otis and Edwin H. Clark of Chicago. Original out-buildings still standing include a two-story servants’ home, garden shed, and garage. Other buildings on the estate included a water tower, a chauffeur’s house, and various sheds for farm and citrus grove activities.

Keith died in the home in 1939 and his widow sold the property to Chicago doll clothing designer Mae Hansen Prodie, whose husband operated the home as a luxury inn in the 1950s. Mrs. Prodie retired to the home in the 1960s and upon her death in 1986, Sarasota County acquired the property as a park site through a bond referendum.

Phillippi Estate Park located on the shores of Phillippi Creek, is a scenic, 60-acre natural area park south of downtown Sarasota and east of Siesta Key.

A beautiful Garden adorns the area.

Cupolas, popular in a time gone by, adorn the grounds.

A quaint walking path leads to Phillippi Creek

 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Australia: Recipe For Damper Bread

photo of Ayres rock

The aborigines of Australia

A favorite of the aborigines.

Recipe for Australian Damper Bread:

This is traditional bread baked in the coals of an open fire or in a Dutch Oven (huge lidded cast iron pot) but nowadays we bake it in a normal oven. Of course there are as many variations as there are days in the years but the basic recipe is as follow:

Ingredients
4 cups self-raising flour
3/4 – 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
Method Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and mix in the sugar.
Rub in the butter with your (clean) hands until a fine breadcrumb texture is achieved.
For a well in the top of the flour, pour in the milk and water, and mix well with a knife until the dough come clean from the sides of the bowl.
Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and silky, like a baby’s bottom.
Shape into a mounded loaf, (some people cut a deep cross in the top) and bake in a preheated oven, 200 c / 400 F, for 25 minutes.
Then lower the temperature to 180 c / 375 f and cook a further 10 – 15 minutes until done.
The loaf should be a light golden brown colour and sound hollow when tapped.
If you are “game” try cooking it on a camp fire; nothing beats that extra smoky flavour, especially using Australian Eucalyptus wood to give it that special something.
If you are cooking in an oven at home, try putting a few Gum Leaves in the over to smoke as your are cooking the bread.

Life in the out back

Damper Bread is very similar to Irish Soda Bread, and probably developed from recipes brought over by Irish immigrants/convicts. Variations of the basic recipe are seemingly endless, but you could try substituting other liquids, such as beer for a darker colour/flavour, or varying the ratio of milk to water, and so on.

Try adding more sugar and butter and some dried fruits for a dessert damper. Basically use your imagination. If you are cooking on an open fire you could try wrapping the dough in aluminum foil before you place it in the coals, or even try wrapping the dough around a stick and cooking suspended over the flames.
Good Baking!

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

U.S.V.I. St. John

photos of the US virgin islands

The beautiful Islands of Saint Thomas and Saint John

Photography by Gary Wonning

To see more photos of St. John, click on the photos.

St. John is the smallest of the 3 U.S. Virgin Islands, which are located in the Caribbean Sea. 

Virgin Islands National Park occupies more than half the island. Its forests shelter resident and migratory birds, including cuckoos, warblers and hummingbirds. The mangroves at Hurricane Hole, in the east, support corals and anemones. Dolphins inhabit the island’s waters, which also host hawksbill and green turtles.

 

With 60% of its land area comprising a pristine national park, St. John is as far away as you can get from civilization, but still be just a short distance from upscale jewelry stores and boutiques. A visit to St. John is a must for those seeking true escape.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Puerto Rico : San Juan Scenes

Photography by Gary Wonning
San Juan is the capital and most populous city in Puerto Rico. Founded in 1521 by Juan Ponce de León, who named it City of Puerto Rico (Rich Port). The capital of Puerto Rico is the oldest city under U.S. jurisdiction, but some people argue than St. Augustine, Florida, founded in 1565 is the oldest city in the continental United States.

Click on the photos below for more beautiful pictures of Puerto Rico

The history of San Juan begins a long time before its official foundation, in 1493, during his second voyage, Christopher Columbus landed in Puerto Rico. He named the island “San Juan Bautista“, in honor of John the Baptist. But was not until 1508, that the Spanish government appointed Juan Ponce de León as the first governor of the island. He founded the original settlement in Caparra, now known as Pueblo Viejo, behind the almost land-locked harbor just to the west of the present metropolitan area and the city quickly became Spain’s most important military outpost in the Caribbean.

A year later, the original settlement was relocated to a nearby coastal islet (to the site of what is now called Old San Juan) and named Puerto Rico (Rich Port). Sometime during the 1520s, confusion over the names led to a switch, the island took the name of Puerto Rico and the town became San Juan.

This is a 500-year-old neighborhood originally conceived as a military stronghold. Its 7-square-block area has evolved into a charming residential and commercial district. The streets here are paved with cobbles of adoquine, a blue stone cast from furnace slag; they were brought over a ballast on Spanish ships and time and moisture have lent them their characteristic color. The city includes more than 400 carefully restored 16th- and 17th-century Spanish colonial buildings.

The Alcaldia (San Juan’s City Hall), started construction in 1602, completed in 1789. In the 1840’s the building was heavily remodeled providing its present day facade intended by its builders to be an exact replica of Madrid’s. The building has a tourism information center and a small gallery for periodic exhibitions.

 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Michigan: Fort Michilimackinac

Photography by Gary Wonning

Enjoy more photos from my collection by clicking on the photographs below!


Fort Michilimackinac was an 18th-century French, and later British trading post and fort located at the Straits of Mackinac in northern MIchigan. 

Michilimackinac State Park

Built around 1715, and abandoned in 1783, it was located along the Straits, which connect Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Later, Mackinaw City grew up around the fort. 

Time for lunch

 

The fort provided much needed protection for the French and later British fur traders, and also protected the waterways from invasions from the natives living in the area at the time. 

 

Because of their isolation from the outside world, the soldiers ahd to be self sufficient by raising as much of their food as possible.

 

It was a self sustaining community, providing all the necessities of life, a blacksmith shop, chapel, infirmary, and all that was needed by the inhabitants. 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.