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Calm Reflections Photography shares beautiful photographs that can be placed on mugs, mouse pads, canvas, puzzles, T-shirts, coasters and prints. Joanna Macaulay makes souvenirs of St. Mary’s County for tourists and local residents. Information about St. Mary’s County attractions, travel, events and photography can be found at her site. She now does pet photography as well.

To buy my photos, photo cards, and photo crafts of wildlife, pets, holidays and more, visit my Zazzle Photo store at

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Featured Post

GroundHog Visits

Our neighbor’s groundhog likes to visit.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cherry Blossom Festival Lexington Park

Sarita, the bride
Smawlie and Sarita

April 2017 interview after the First Annual Cherry Blossom Festival with Sarita, the toy poodle.

Interviewer from radio station WOOF:   Congratulations!  You tied for first place in the dog parade at the Cherry Blossom Festival!

Sarita:   I won?!  Woof, woof!   I am so excited!

Interviewer:   I love your bride costume.  I guess the judge did too. Can you share anything about it?

Sarita:   Only that I just couldn't decide what to wear.  You can never have too many outfits, you know.  Mom's friend Nell helped me choose which outfit to put on right before the parade.  I guess she picked the right one.  My doggy friend DJ recently wore his groom outfit for a photo shoot with me.  He's just so handsome!  Grrrr!

Interviewer:   What was it like to be in the dog parade?

Sarita:   It had me panting!  It was so much fun with all those humans admiring me.  I'm just so adorable!

Interviewer:   I saw your Mom pick out a prize.  What did you win?

Sarita:   She chose a fuzzy fox toy.  I love it!  I love it!  I will play with it every day.  Grrr...

Interviewer:   Great News!  I heard there will be another dog parade next year.  Do you plan to attend next April 8th?
Sarita:   I plan on it.  See if all you big boys can beat me.  I hope all my pup friends come too.  Bring your human along to cheer for us, of course.  Let the competition begin!
Interviewer:   Wonderful!  I saw you over there posing with Smawlie.

Sarita:   Yes, for my winning portrait.  Although you don't have to win to pose.  Woofly friendly guy.

Interviewer:   Thank you so much for speaking with me.  I hope to see you on April 8th, 2018 12-4 pm at Coral Drive and Tulagi Place, Lexington Park, near NAS Gate 2.  The dog parade starts around 12:30pm.  Don't forget there will be vendors selling food and beautiful arts and crafts also.

Sarita:  Yeah, my Mom's one of the vendors!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Yucatan Mexico Merida Feb 4, 2018

A Day In Merida

With only a half day after a late night wedding, we visited a fascinating museum about the history and culture of the Mayans and a dinosaur exhibit for the afternoon before a nice dinner.

We visited the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya
(Grand Museum of the Mayan World)

 Chac Mool-the rain god

 Ek Balam replica of the front part of the Acropolis

 Ek Balam art

 Ball court hoop next to the Ek Balam exhibit

Museum staircase


Mexican flag

Fan Vendor from downtown Merida

Merida Colonial downtown vendors.  Merida is known for embroidery and guayaberas, shirts usually made with 4 pockets.

 Amaro Restaurant photos start here

Hanging decorations

 Whimsical folk art was on the edges of the outdoor restaurant.  I loved the pink boots!

 This artwork had a huge sparkly tongue.  Is it a mermaid or a dragon or a dog?  Really fanciful!

Nearby Pancho's restaurant looked interesting.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Yucatan Mexico Trip February 3, 2018

We returned to Merida, our main trip destination and a good hub for exploring the Yucatan.

 Many of the cities in Mexico now have these artistic signs in front of a picturesque scene.  Behind the sign in the main square (zocalo) is the Catedral de San Ildefonso.

Our pink and white hotel, The Gamma de Fiesta del Castellano.  I liked the colors and it also has an excellent reputation.

We took a carriage ride from near the cathedral to familiarize us with the downtown area.

Another horse and carriage nearby.

 Some buildings along the way.

Museum, Quinta Montes Molina

 We turned around the circle at the Monumento a la Patria, depicting Mexican patriotism.

 The main Catholic Cathedral (Catedral de San Ildefonso), in the downtown square.

 Clock tower of the Municipal Palace

 Embroidery vendors in the town square.

 Finally, the reason we went to Merida, to see Jim's friend's son Jorge get married.  Here is the Iglesia de la Tercera Orden de Jesus where the wedding was held.  A Jesuit church.

The ceilings were very ornate.

 Jorge and Maru after the ceremony.  The wedding and reception were in very low light.  Most of the time flash wasn't an option, so the best I could do was to capture the emotion and romantic feel of the event. 

 The reception.

 Jim, Anita and Jorge, Jim's friend.

 Anita and her son Jorge.

Father daughter dance.

Jorge's daughter, Pilar and her son, both good dancers.

 Jorge's daughter, Mariana and her boyfriend.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Yucatan Mexico Trip February 2, 2018 Kabah

Before returning to Merida, we spent the morning at Kabah, another Mayan ruin and Santa Elena to visit a church on the top of a hill with a tiny museum.  The highlight of Kabah was a building called Palacio de los Mascarones, or the Palace of Masks, with it's fascinating decorations and lots of masks of Chac.  Kabah was roughly dated 600-900 AD.

 Iguana on the top of a building

 The round circle on the ground is a rare cistern for collecting water

 Turkey vulture

Citrus fruit tree nearby

Palace of the Masks

 Chac masks

Decorated side of the Palace of the Masks

 Trunk noses are spread across the surface of the building along with masks.  This was the most complete one I saw.

 An alter to Chac
 Across the street was a gate to the sacbe, an ancient causeway to Uxmal.

 We stopped for lunch at El Chac Mool restaurant in Santa Elena, where Jim tried some fresh mango off the tree.


 Chac Mool

 Harley, the local cat at the restaurant

 Turtle at El Chac Mool restaurant

 Santa Elena colorful house

 Santa Elena Cathedral on the hilltop

 Wild turkey

 Jim at the entrance to the Museum at the Cathedral

 Henequin fibers from the agave plant are dyed for use as mats, hammocks, shoe soles, etc. are a major industry in the area.

Exit from Santa Elena