Impressions of Cuba – People

Eleven years ago, Karen and I visited Cuba for a week with about 15 people on a “charitable mission”. This was the only way to get there at that time. So we packed school supplies and medicines, and visited both a school and a hospital while in Havana. The rest of the time we were just tourists.

The visit was quite fascinating. Cuba is a lovely country scenically. We visited Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Santa Clara by mini-bus with a wonderful guide Osmos and an equally wonderful and hilarious driver Fernando (who was a smaller Bruce Willis and knew it!).

Fernando and Osmos

Our initial lasting impressions were of the Cuban people, who were friendly, warm, and seemingly reasonably happy. At the same time there were elements of sadness – unable to travel, relatively poor, limited futures, economic struggles and so on. Many were working, some relaxing, others in costume. Music is very popular as well. Here are a series of images from the trip.

Hanging Out in Havana
Whiskered Man
Band in Restaurant
Food Stands in Trinidad
Lady in Trinidad
Street Band in Trinidad
Old Man with Rooster
Bar Patrons
Street on way to Santa Clara
Band at Resort
Life Observers
Tea Lady
Buddies in Bar

Birds at Elephant Havens

While I am normally taking pics of our dear little elephants, sometimes on hot afternoons I sit on the deck and watch for birds. Here are a few taken on the last visit.

First, a Golden-tailed Woodpecker.

And an African Golden Weaver:

Then a Kurrichane Thrush:

Next an African Hoopoe:

An African red-eyed Bulbul:

A Burchell’s Starling

And lastly, a Forktail Drongo

LaLomita Photography Ranch

Three of us spent a day photographing birds at the LaLomita Photography Ranch, located just west of Uvalde, TX. The ranch is 20 acres in size, fairly heavily treed, with four shooting blinds. Each blind is surrounded with vegetation and has a small pond, several stump-like wood structures, some with a drip line. The bird population is generally quite good, and the birds fairly close to the blind. Thus sharp images with suitable backgrounds are normally achieved. Here are some recent images.

Northern Mockingbird

Green Jay

Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Orange-crowned Warbler

Lesser Goldfinches

Orange-crowned Warbler

Spotted Towhee

Black-crested Titmouse

House Finches

Green Jays

Bewick’s Wren



Long-billed Thrasher

Barn Swallow

House Swallow

Lesser Goldfinch

Lesser Goldfinches



House Sparrows

Yellow-rumped Warbler