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Palms of the Amazon Pre-tour - Another Take


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#1 MikeL

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:04 PM

Most of my pictures from the Amazon pre-tour feature our fellow travelers and the people we met along the way. But I’ll make sure to throw in a few palm pictures as well especially in the later posts. Here’s a teaser: first, a fisherman cruising in front of a stand of Leopoldinia major; second a hillside of Euterpe precatoria, both pictures taken on the Rio Negro.

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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

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#2 MikeL

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:10 PM

The trip started and ended in Manaus. While the city features plenty of modern skyscrapers and factories, it also has a boat terminal that seems like something from an earlier century. Boats leave here for cities up and down the river; all cargo, including live chickens, is loaded by hand. If you look past the girl in the third picture, you’ll see the hammocks that must come in handy on the longer, multi-day trips.

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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#3 MikeL

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:13 PM

Fish markets are catnip for photographers and the one in Manaus is as good as they get. It has all the action of other big markets, but with the most exotic selection of bizarre fish you’ll ever see.

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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#4 MikeL

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:16 PM

This is our boat, the Dorinha, named for the owner’s wife. Instead of an open deck with hammocks, we had individual cabins with actual beds. That’s my wife, Mary, reading in ours. The third shot shows the boat’s dining room at breakfast one morning. The top deck was the most popular place to relax and enjoy the scenery as Donald Sanders does in the fourth picture.

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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#5 MikeL

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:17 PM

Most days featured two or three excursions by canoe through backwaters and lakes bordering the main channels of the Amazon and Rio Negro. Andrew Henderson (second picture) usually rode shotgun in the front of one canoe keeping an eye out for interesting palms. We’d land when he spotted one or whenever we could find a good trail through the forest. In the last picture here, Andrew identifies a large Bactris bifida for us.

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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#6 MikeL

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:22 PM

Captain Moacir, the owner of the boat, is a good naturalist and led several expeditions. On this one he sought out and found some giant Amazon water lilies. Captain Mo is also a great fisherman. I’m pretty sure he pulled these two piranha out of his pants.

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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#7 MikeL

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:25 PM

Occasionally we stopped in small settlements and visited the families who lived there. The man in the second picture is roasting manioc, a chore he does about once a week to keep enough of the staple food on hand for his extended family. We brought along some little gifts for the kids we met and you can see how happy these two little guys were with their new toys. The little girl in the last shot seemed a bit harder to please.

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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#8 MikeL

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:28 PM

We stopped in one actual city, Novo Airon, during the ten day trip. This was the only chance our group had to do any shopping or buy a cup of coffee. That’s Donald Sanders and Glenn Franklin in the first picture; Bob McDade, Dan Ashley and David Salmanowitz in the second shot; and Brett Emery and Mike Smukall in the third shot. As you might have guessed, the folks in the last two pictures were not passengers on our boat but just some photogenic locals from the town. Sure, people in U.S. eat lunch, too, but not in front of a wall that color.

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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#9 MikeL

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:32 PM

Novo Airon gets enough visiting boats that pink river dolphins will swim right up for fishy snack if you’ve got one. In order, the pictures feature Brett Emery, Lindsey Sayers, Lelan Nishek, Bruce Golightly (and Lelan, again), Dan Ahsley, and finally, the good Dr. Henderson, himself.


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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#10 MikeL

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:39 PM

Don’t let the city pictures give you the wrong idea, though. Most of our time was spent on the river and much of that on canoe excursions. We'd cruise for a bit and then hop out, as Bruce Golightly does in the third shot, and hunt down palms. In the fourth picture, Andrew Henderson reigns in a Geonoma deversa for us to photograph. In the fifth shot, Jack Sayers gets up close and personal with a Leopoldinia pulchra. In the last shot, Hugh Kunze helps Philip Arrowsmith get a shot.

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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#11 MikeL

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:40 PM

I'll see if I can add some more pictures tomorrow and maybe even get to some of those palm shots.
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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#12 amazondk

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 12:14 AM

Mike ,

Thanks for the great pictures of the place I call home. It is nice to see the place through other peoples eyes. I have spent a lot of time buying fish at the market in your pictures. I don´t go there much any more because there is a good small one by my house. There is a project to rip it out converting the area to a more tourist and people friendly site. The entire river front area is to be renovated over the coming years along with downtown. The current project is to take all of the thousands of street vendors off the streets and put them in a renovated area near the main passenger port. This will open up the streets of downtown which are currently chocked with their stands. I mentioned in the other thread that my wife lived in Novo Airão when she was a teenager. I have only been there once on a boat trip some years ago. We plan on driving up there one of these days. By road it is about 250 kms from Manaus.

The Igapo, flooded forests of the Negro are great places. I love to paddle around in a wooded canoe. This time of year is great for this as the river is high enough to float around the tree tops looking at orchids and other plants.

Keep your pictures coming.

dk
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Don Kittelson

LIFE ON THE RIO NEGRO
03° 06' 07'' South 60° 01' 30'' West
Altitude 92 Meters / 308 feet above sea level
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#13 Lowey

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 12:18 AM

Wonderfull pics Mike :D more please :)
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#14 ariscott

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 02:08 AM

Of course you would be in Brazil, Mike :) :). How are you and Mary going? I hope everything is going well in your garden... Thanks for posting photos for us who are housebound... :winkie: . I am glad you had fun!!

Regards, Ari :)
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#15 amazondk

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 02:37 AM

Mike,

In post number 10 it looks like someone left their log behind. Or, they are coming back to get it.

dk
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Don Kittelson

LIFE ON THE RIO NEGRO
03° 06' 07'' South 60° 01' 30'' West
Altitude 92 Meters / 308 feet above sea level
1,500 kms / 932 miles to the mouth of the Amazon River


Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil - A Cidade da Floresta
Where the world´s largest Tropical Rainforest embraces the Greatest Rivers in the World. .
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Click here to visit Amazonas
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#16 junglegalfla

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 05:31 AM

Hi Mike,

Your photographs are excellent as always. I look forward to the next installment.
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#17 Gileno Machado

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 06:03 AM

Hi Mike,

From these fantastic pictures you're starting to post now, this pre-tour was indeed a great adventure.
It was a nice pleasure to meet you and Mary during the Biennial in Rio and hopefully everything is fine in San Francisco and Maui. I wish we could have joined you, Jack, Lindsey and Anders on your day tour to Itatiaia Park in Rio on the free day, but the beach was so inviting...
When are you coming to NE Brazil next?
Best regards.
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#18 BS Man about Palms

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 06:14 AM

WOW. :bemused:
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#19 BeerPlant

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:08 AM

Fantastic! Better then the travel channel!!!
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#20 MikeL

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:21 AM

Don, thanks for the information about Manaus. Given the speed at which Brazil is modernizing, I kind of guessed that the waterfront in Manaus wouldn't be around forever. I'm glad I got a chance to see it now before it disappears. I'm sure it will be more tourist friendly once it's renovated, but it will almost certainly be less interesting, too.

And hello to you, too, Ari. Mary and I are doing fine and had a great time as you might be able to tell from the photos. It was fun to meet Jack and Lindsey for the first time and get a chance to talk about our respective visits to Darwin and your house last year. I guess they met you just before the baby, and we arrived just after. Yet you were a gracious host to all of us through it all.

Gileno, it was a pleasure meeting you and Barbara and we especially enjoyed our chance to learn a little Portuguese at your expense. I had never thought about visiting NE Brazil before, at least not until I met you. Now I'm going to have to consider it.

And Bruce, Bren and Bill(s), thanks for the compliments. At least, I'll consider "wow" a compliment for now.

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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#21 MikeL

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:24 AM

So what was a typical excursion like? On the Amazon River west of Manaus, there were little settlements and houses scattered about and signs that the area had been inhabited for many years. We came across these tall Euterpe and Captain Mo had a crew member climb one and fetch down some ripe acai berries. Bob Grimm demonstrates the effect of the juice on his tongue. On this same trip we came across the interesting Euterpe shown in the last picture that seemed to be growing on a floating island in a lake even though Andrew Henderson assured us that something like that was quite impossible.

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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#22 MikeL

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:28 AM

Up the Rio Negro, signs of human habitation were sparse and the forest deeper. In the second shot you can see Lindsey and Jack Sayers enjoying the view from their canoe. I took fewer pictures on walks in these areas since the forest was thicker and darker as you can see in the third shot.

Bugs were rarely a big problem on the Rio Negro but we occasionally ran into some serious mosquito strongholds. That’s Jack’s leg in the fourth shot. Here’s the thing: he’d been wearing long pants and insect repellent at the time.

But I actually took the prize for most hideously disfiguring injury. That’s my foot in the last picture after I suffered an allergic reaction to something – maybe an ant or wasp sting, or perhaps simply to insect repellent. I had to wait till I got to Rio to get some steroids to knock that nasty rash and swelling down.


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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#23 MikeL

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:32 AM

Life was easy back at the boat, although you can see Andrew Henderson keeping an eye out for interesting trees as we cruised. Hugh Kunze and Philip Arrowsmith pore over some pictures in the next shot while Mary plays with a visiting youngster below decks in the third picture.

One of our passengers, Vasant Bhide, was a talented artist. Here you can see him sketching a portrait of Glenn Franklin in the boat’s dining room. Lelan Nishek just did the most sensible thing and simply relaxed with a book.


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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#24 MikeL

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:36 AM

Evenings on the boat were especially relaxing and could offer a chance for a dip in the Rio Negro. In the third shot Mary reads in the fading light, while in the fourth, David Tanswell and Andrew Henderson enjoy a quite chat.


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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#25 MikeL

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:39 AM

While habitation became more and more sparse up the Rio Negro, we did come across a very small settlement and bought some fish from the man in the second photo. He seemed pleased with the deal; I suspect that a visiting boat like ours provides welcome income to places like this. You can see crew member Zacao picking out the merchandise in the third shot. Back at the boat, our cook, Dona Eugenia, shown in the last shot, transformed the bucket of fish into a pretty tasty dinner that night.

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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#26 MikeL

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:41 AM

I'll try to add more later and I promise to eventually get to those palm pictures. But you can get a palm fix right now from the El Hoagie post. I'm sure Jack got more palm shots than I did anyway.

Mike

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Mike Lock, North coast of Maui, 330 ft/100 m elevaton, 80 in/2000 mm average rainfall

#27 paulgila

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 09:16 AM

amazing shots!
are there any parasites in that water? some of it looked pretty still. :hmm:
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the "prince of snarkness."

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#28 freakypalmguy

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 10:34 AM

Very nice pics Mike, thanks for posting them.

Matt
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#29 Kim

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 10:42 AM

Outstanding photography, Mike! Makes me feel like I'm sitting right there on the boat...
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#30 amazondk

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 11:54 AM

amazing shots!
are there any parasites in that water? some of it looked pretty still. :hmm:


Paul,

There is not much of a problem that I know of with parasites in the water. There are problems with some in the forest though. The worst of which is leishmaniasis. This is a parasite that is spread by a sand fly. My father in law which lives about 6 hours up the Negro River just got done with 30 days of injections to get cured. The parasites eat your body at certain spots and in his case were eating his nose. It is not a pleasant thing at all. And, then there is malaria which is endemic to the region. In the rainy season, which is now there is an average of 5,000 cases of malaria detected per month in Manaus. I got it a few years ago and it is a real drag. The last time my father in law got malaria I took him to the Hospital Tropical here which specializes in tropical diseases. The doctor asked him how many times he had contracted malaria. His answer was, "well I am not sure, but at least twelve over the years". There are not many mosquitos around the Negro River because the water is too acid. The malaria mosquitos come out between sun up and 7 am, and then from sundown to 7 pm normally. And, they tend to hang out in areas with clean water. I don´t get too concerned about this, but it is a fact of life in the tropics.

Mike,

Your pictues are great, keep them coming. The fish with the red tail in the pot is a pirarara, one of the largest cat fish in the region. They get up to around 100 pounds when adult. It is interesting that the people of Amazonas do not tend to eat many catfish, even though they are abundant. They prefer fish with scales for some reason. The people in Para for example eat a lot of catfish.

I love where I live and I enjoy a lot other peoples appreaciation of the place. I look forward to seeing more pictures.

dk

dk
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Don Kittelson

LIFE ON THE RIO NEGRO
03° 06' 07'' South 60° 01' 30'' West
Altitude 92 Meters / 308 feet above sea level
1,500 kms / 932 miles to the mouth of the Amazon River


Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil - A Cidade da Floresta
Where the world´s largest Tropical Rainforest embraces the Greatest Rivers in the World. .
Posted Image

Click here to visit Amazonas
Posted Image

#31 MattyB

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 12:03 PM

Beautiful pictures!!!! I'm in awe! Those dogs remind me of an old dog I used to have, Oakley. He was a huge overweight pink thing with no hair on his undersides. What a sight!
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#32 Alberto

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 01:35 PM

Mike,thanks for the photos! I really enjoyed them!!
Please,more!:rolleyes:
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Carambeí, 2nd tableland of the State Paraná , south Brazil.
Alt:1030m. Native palms: Queen, B. eriospatha, B. microspadix, Allagoptera leucocalyx , A.campestris, Geonoma schottiana, Trithrinax acanthocoma. Subtr. climate, some frosty nights. No dry season. August: driest month. Rain:1700mm

I am seeking for cold hardy palms!

#33 ariscott

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 01:38 PM

And hello to you, too, Ari. Mary and I are doing fine and had a great time as you might be able to tell from the photos. It was fun to meet Jack and Lindsey for the first time and get a chance to talk about our respective visits to Darwin and your house last year. I guess they met you just before the baby, and we arrived just after. Yet you were a gracious host to all of us through it all.


Anytime... Mike. It was great to see you then... Maybe next time we will have more time :).

Regards, Ari :)
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Ari & Scott

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#34 Kathryn

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 02:02 PM

I love people and cultural pictures!
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#35 MattyB

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 02:17 PM

Beautiful pictures!!!! I'm in awe! Those dogs remind me of an old dog I used to have, Oakley. He was a huge overweight pink thing with no hair on his undersides. What a sight!



ohhh, I meant dolphins, not dogs. :lol:
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Matt Bradford
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Spring Valley, CA (8.5 miles inland from San Diego Bay)
10B on the hill (635 ft. elevation)
9B in the canyon (520 ft. elevation)

#36 elHoagie

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 03:33 PM

Mike, thank you, thank you, thank you for posting these great pictures! Our computer is really slow and it was taking me forever just to downsize and convert from RAW to JPEG. Plus over 2/3rds of our pics are palm trees (boring). I love the pictures and I hope to see you guys again before Thailand.

Lindsey
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Jack Sayers

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growing cold tolerant palms halfway between the equator and the arctic circle...

#37 Jeff in Costa Rica

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 03:58 PM

Mike, your photos are worthy of National Geographic. I'm loving this thread. Thank you!

I look forward to seeing more of this once in a lifetime trip.
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Jeff Anderson
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#38 Walter John

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 04:25 PM

Great photography Mike, you're a genius. And, there's people I know and have met in there, I hope you didn't believe what they may have said about me. :huh:
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Happy Gardening
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Wal
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#39 ariscott

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 04:58 PM

Mike, thank you, thank you, thank you for posting these great pictures! Our computer is really slow and it was taking me forever just to downsize and convert from RAW to JPEG. Plus over 2/3rds of our pics are palm trees (boring). I love the pictures and I hope to see you guys again before Thailand.

Lindsey


Lindsey,
That was why I used picasa for my pics... It was way too slow and frustating for me as well... BTW, another side trip to Darwin after Thailand??

Regards, Ari :)
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Ari & Scott

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#40 Jeff Searle

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 05:01 PM

Mike,

Great pictures of an amazing trip! I also love all the people shots and visiting little villages. Good interaction. I'm looking forward to more and more. Post away......



Jeff
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Searle Brothers Nursery Inc.
and The Rainforest Collection.
Southwest Ranches,Fl.




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