Saturday, November 13, 2010

U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons over Madison skyline

Public Domain Photo: Four U.S. Airf Force F-16C Fighting Falcons from the 115th Fighter Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard over Wisconsin's capital city of Madison on October 18th, 2008. In flight lead is aircraft 87-278 with a unique tail flash that was designed to celebrate the unit's 60th Anniversary. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Paul Gorman)

Dish of serpentine with inlaid gold, pearls and other gems

Public Domain Photo: Dish of serpentine with inlaid gold fish, pearls and other gemstones, 1st century BCE or CE, with 9th century mounts from the Court of Charles the Bald, purchased in 1793 by the Louvre Museum and currently in the inventory of Louvre Museum (Musée du Louvre), Department of Decorative Arts, Richelieu, First Floor, Room No. 1, Paris, France.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Chair of Saint Peter (Cathedra Petri)

PD Image 1: The Chair of Saint Peter (bottom center), designed and executed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome.

PD Image 2: The Cathedra Petri and the interiors of Peter's Basilica, Rome

The Chair of Saint Peter (Cathedra Petri in Latin) is a wooden chair conserved in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, enclosed in a gilt bronze casing designed and executed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1647-53 AD. The cathedra in Saint Peter's Basilica was once used by the popes, and hence often said to have been used by Saint Peter himself, but it was a gift from Charles the Bald to the Pope in 875 AD.

Shrine Drive-Thru Tree, California

Public Domain Photo: The Shrine Drive-Thru Tree, a tree that visitors can drive through in a car, located at Myers Flat, Humboldt County, located on the far North Coast 200 miles north of San Francisco, photo taken on September 2, 2007.

The Shrine Drive-Thru Tree offers passage through a tunnel carved into a naturally angled opening in the trunk. The sign displayed at the site about the Shrine Drive-Thru Tree reads: “SHRINE DRIVE-THRU TREE, Age: 5000 years, Height: 275 feet, Diameter: 21 feet, Circumference: 64 feet, Myers Flat, California”. This tree tunnel is about 7 feet in diameter and 83 meters high.

Three other legendary drive-though tree tourist attractions stand near 101 Highway: Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree, the Tour-Thru Tree (at the northern end of the Redwood Country near Klamath), the Step-Thru Stump and the Drive-On Tree (a fallen giant with a partially paved ramp up).

The age of the Shrine Drive-Thru Tree, shown as 5,000 years old, is an exaggeration, because, top five of the verified oldest measured nonclone trees are:

1. Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, (known as Methuselah), Pinus longaeva - 4,844 years

2. Alerce, Fitzroya cupressoides - 3,622 years

3. Giant Sequoia, Sequoiadendron giganteum - 3,266 years

4. Sugi, Cryptomeria japonica - 3,000 years

5. Huon-pine, Lagarostrobos franklinii - 2,500 years

Also, view the YouTube video (below) of a car passing through the tree tunnel and also showing the hollow inner pith of the tree.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A black swan (Cygnus atratus) and cygnet

Public Domain Photo: Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) and cygnet, photo by D.M. Vernon, taken in 2006

Black Swans are large water birds of the subgenus of Cygnus, mostly found in Australia, and later introduced in New Zealand, and some other countries. They are primarily black-feathered birds, with white flight feathers. The bill is normally bright red and legs and feet are grayish-black. Males are slightly larger than females, and cygnets (immature birds) are grayish-brown with pale-edged feathers. A fully grown black swan measures 110 cm to 142 cm (43-56 in) in length and weighs 4 to 9 kg (8 to -20 lbs) approximately with wing span of 1.6 to 2 meters.

Giovanni Lanfranco: Venus Playing the Harp

Public Domain Photo: Venus Playing the Harp (Allegory of Music), 1630-34 oil on canvas painting by Italian painter of the Baroque period Giovanni Lanfranco (1582-1647), dimensions 214 cm x 150 cm, located at Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome.

Multnomah Falls, Oregon, United States

Public Domain Photo: Multnomah Falls, a waterfall on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge, located east of Troutdale, between Corbett and Dodson, along the Historic Columbia River Highway - the third tallest year-round waterfall in the United States.

PD Photo 2: Multnomah Falls, Oregon, USA, before the footbridge was built, photo dated 1914 (or before), colorized from black-and-white photo

PD Photo 3: Multnomah Falls, Oregon, with footbridge and showing the upper falls and the lower falls, looking 100 degrees east, photo taken in June 1994

PD Photo 4: Multnomah Falls, Oregon, a view from the base showing the lower falls and part of the upper falls in April 2006

PD Photo 5: Multnomah Falls, Oregon, showing the base, the lower falls, footbridge, and part of the upper falls

Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in the State of Oregon, drops in two major stages, upper falls of 542 feet (165 meters) and a lower falls of 69 feet (21 meters), with a 9 feet (3 m) drop in the elevation between the two. The total height is conventionally stated as 620 feet (189 meters).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Traditional Arts and Customs Museum in Seville, Spain

Public Domain Photo: The Traditional Arts and Customs Museum (Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares) on Plaza de América, Parque de María Luisa, in Seville, Spain.

Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares (The Museum of Arts and Traditions in Seville, Andalusia, Spain) is located in the María Luisa Park, across the Plaza de América from the Provincial Archeological Museum.

The museum occupies the Mudéjar Pavilion (Pabellón Mudéjar) built in 1914, and several alterations and additions have been carried out since then. The museum was established by a decree of 23 March 1972, initially as a section of the Museum of Fine Arts of Seville. The permanent exhibition space amounts to 5,496 square meters (18,031 feet).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lemon fruit and lemon flowers

Public Domain photos: (1) Lemon fruit, (2) lemon flowers

Lemon is a small evergreen tree (Citrus × limon, shortened as C. limon), commonly believed to have first grown in India, northern Burma and China. The fruit, also called lemon, is used for culinary and nonculinary purposes throughout the world, mainly in cooking and baking. Lemon juice has about 5% to 6% citric acid.

There are several varieties of lemons such as: Bush Lemon (naturalized lemon grown wild in subtropical Australia), Eureka Lemon (a year-round common supermarket lemon), Lisbon (bitter lemon, the fruits are similar to Eureka), Meyer (a cross between a lemon and possibly an orange or a mandarin, thin-skinned and slightly less acidic than the Lisbon and Eureka lemons), Ponderosa (thick skinned, very large fruit), variegated Pink, Verna (a Spanish variety), Villafranca, Yen Ben (Australasian cultivar), and Yuzu.

The photos are in public domain. You may use the pictures for any purpose, including commercial use. Please consider linking back to us (Link: Link Text: Public Domain Images and Photos: Lemon fruit and lemon flowers).

Sydney Harbour: aerial view

Photo: Sydney Harbour, view from the air, showing the Opera House, Sydney Central Business District (CBD), Darling Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Parramatta River, North Sydney and Kirribilli in the foreground, photo taken by Rodney Haywood during a helicopter joy flight.

License for reuse: THIS IS NOT A PUBLIC DOMAIN PHOTO, but the copyright holder, Rodney Haywood, allows anyone to use it for any purpose, provided that the copyright holder is properly attributed. Redistribution, derivative work, commercial use, and all other uses are permitted.

Attribution: Sydney Harbour Aerial View, photo by Rodney Haywood

Torre del Oro (The Gold Tower), Spain

Public Domain Photos: Torre del Oro (The Gold Tower), Spain

Torre del Oro (The Gold Tower), a dodecagonal watchtower in Seville, southern Spain, was built in the 13th century by the Berbers during the rule of Almohad dynasty to control access to Seville via the Guadalquivir River. The tower has three levels, and the third and uppermost level is circular and constructed in 1760.

The Torre del Oro served as a prison during the Middle Ages and as a secure storage tower for precious goods such as gold, silver, gems, pearls, spices, sugar, tobacco, silk, and other exotic goods brought from Spanish colonies to Spain by the Spanish treasure fleets (West Indies Fleet from Spanish Flota de Indias).

Currently the tower is a naval museum for engravings, letters, instruments and historic documents, and the museum outlines the naval history of Seville and the importance of Guadalquivir River.

The Appearance of Christ before the People by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov

PD Photo: The Appearance of Christ before the People (Deutsch: Christus erscheint dem Volke / Русский: Явление Христа народу) oil on canvas painting (1837-57) by Russian Neoclassicist painter Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (Алекса́ндр Андре́евич Ива́нов; 1806-1858), dimensions 540 cm x 750 cm, currently located at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov, who adhered to the waning tradition of Neoclassicism, was a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, but spent most of his life in Rome. His magnum opus ‘The Appearance of Christ before the People’ took 20 years to complete (1837-57) because of which he has often been called the master of one work. Critical appraisal about Ivanov improved in the later generations, because numerous sketches he had prepared for his magnum opus have been recognized as masterpieces in their own right. Most of his works are on public display at the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Peter Paul Rubens: Susanna and the Elders

PD Images: Susanna and the Elders (1607-08), oil on canvas painting by seventeenth-century Flemish Baroque painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), dimensions 94 cm x 66 cm, located at Galleria Borghese, Rome. Rubens is well-known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and his paintings on historical, biblical, mythological and allegorical subjects.

Charles Gleyre: Le Coucher de Sappho

PD Image: Sappho geht zu Bett (translated variously as Sappho goes to bed,
Le Coucher de Sappho or The setting of Sappho), 1867 oil on canvas painting by Swiss painter Marc Charles Gabriel Gleyre (generally known as Charles Gleyre, 1806-1874), dimensions 108 cm x 72 cm (42.52 in x 28.35 in).