To Open and Unlock: A Collection of Photographs of Windows and Doors from Ten Countries (a travel photography book by ME!)

One of the reasons I love to travel is to unlock my curiosity about other people and to open myself to other cultures and religions.” Debby Lee Jagerman

Bhutan Windows and Doors To Open and Unlock

Ten years of travel. Thirty four countries on five continents visited. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of photographs taken. All while experiencing the people, the cultures, the religions, the scenery, and sometimes even the animals, of the places I visited. And from all this, I have created a travel photography book. A book with ten countries represented, from four continents, based on my favorite subject of my photography- windows and doors.

*****

Bhutan believes in measuring their development and economy not by a GDP, but with Gross National Happiness. The Buddhist religion is strongly embraced by the Bhutanese. It is in this country where I had the honor of trekking several days to the remote village of Laya, as well as the honor of having a brief conversation with the King and Queen of Bhutan the day after they got married. The above photo from Bhutan is the front cover of my book.

Québec City is one of the oldest cities in North America. It was the historical windows and doors set in stone and brick buildings, along with the matching paint colors of the window frames and shutters, coupled with a modern beautiful display of colorful flowers in planters on the window ledges that were the subject of some of my photographs in Québec City.

Quebec City Windows and Doors To Open and Unlock

Vietnam has 54 distinct ethnic groups, each with its own culture, lifestyle, heritage, language, and style of clothing. The landscape of the country is just as varied. The vibrant and colorful homes of the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, with their windows and doors, seemed to reflect the equally vibrant and colorful people and landscape of Vietnam.

Vietnam Windows and Doors To Open and Unlock

Quito, Ecuador is one of the gateways to the Galapagos Islands. The restored colonial architecture of the buildings of Old Town Quito, along with the balconies and iron railings of the windows, often overflowing with flowers and plants, captured my attention, and directed my camera lens.

Quito Windows and Doors To Open and Unlock

A 500-mile journey, stretching from the Spanish/French border across northern Spain to the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, is a pilgrimage that hundreds of thousands of Christian pilgrims have walked for over 1,000 years. My pictures in this chapter are organized into colors and other subjects such as materials, decorations, symbols, and objects. Yet many pictures could easily be placed into more than one category.

Camino de Santiago Windows and Doors To Open and Unlock

Bicycling in Skagway, Alaska, an historical boomtown born out of the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, is the town that started my tradition of taking pictures of windows and doors in 2002. As I zigzagged through the streets with not much intention or planning, I began to notice the older historical homes, becoming aware of porches, stone fireplaces, and other objects. As I took more pictures, the windows and doors came into focus.

Skagway Windows and Doors To Open and Unlock

A five-month solo backpacking trip in Europe brought me to 18 countries, my absolute favorite being Italy. Full of small hill towns, bright yellow sunflower fields, green vineyards, ancient history, fabulous food, gelato. Photos like this one with children’s bikes, made me feel like home. And I found that the windows and doors throughout Italy were as diverse and as flavorful as the gelato.

Italy Windows and Doors To Open and Unlock

Porvoo, Finland, one of the three Baltic Sea Countries that I have represented in the book, is one of the most photographed towns in Finland. It was the cobblestone side streets lined with an assortment of colored windows frames contrasting against the colored siding of the buildings that drew me to photograph here. I felt like I was walking through a rainbow of homes. This photo is the back cover of my book.

Porvoo Windows and Doors To Open and Unlock

*****

Filled with just one picture shy of 250, and one page shy of 100, To Open and Unlock is a book that you won’t be able to look at just once. With so many pictures, you will need more than one sitting to absorb them all. It is a book that will sit on your coffee table (and your family’s coffee table, and your friend’s coffee table, and your family’s friend’s coffee table) for years to come. Each time you browse through it, you will see a picture that you have never noticed before. Or you may see some new detail in a picture that you have seen before, but didn’t notice its subtleties.

Not only are there all these photographs in my book, I explain what attracts me to taking pictures of windows and doors. In addition, I introduce each chapter with reflections of my travels, including short stories containing experiences, impressions, and information of the countries. I’ve also included great quotes about windows and doors, both poignant and funny, from some famous people, throughout the book.

The book is available for you to order on Amazon, with preview on Blurb. You may also order books for your family, your friends, your family’s friends, even your friends’ family. You may also search for the book under my name, Debby Jagerman, or under the title, To Open and Unlock. One may even search using the words “Windows and Doors.” You may also share this blog.

5% of my profits will be donated to Bhutan Foundation.

Thank you!! and Sweet Travels!

Galapagos Islands: More of My Favorite Photos

Galapagos Islands Fur Seals

“More, more, more,” was my sister’s comment on my blog last week. While I am hoping my sister means that she wants me to travel more, more, more, I’m sure she really meant that she wanted to see more photos of the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos Red Footed Booby

Therefore, my sister, I’m dedicating this blog to you. Here are more, more, more photos…

Galapagos Swallow-tailed Gull

Galapagos Land Iguana

Galapagos Juvenile Waved Albatross

Galapagos Dove

Galapagos Giant Tortoise

And more, more, more…

Galapagos Sally Lightfoot Crab

Galapagos Masked Booby

Galapagos Lava Heron

Galapagos Blue Footed Booby

Oh, and thank you my sis, for all your comments on my blogs, for all your encouragement and support over the years in regards to my travels, as well as in life!

And one more…

Galapagos Vermillion Flycatcher

Sweet (and more) Travels!

Photos:
Fur Seals
Red-Footed Booby
Swallow-tailed Gull
Land Iguana
Juvenile Waved Albatross
Galapagos Dove
Giant Tortoise
Sally Lightfoot Crab
Masked Booby with egg
Lava Heron
Blue-Footed Booby with egg
Vermillion Flycatcher

Galapagos Islands: My Favorite Photos

Galapagos Baby Great Frigatebird

I was dreaming of the warm sun and island breezes the other day, as glimpses of springtime appeared. My thoughts brought me back three-and-a-half years ago when I traveled to the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos Baby Red Footed Booby

A week on a boat, cruising from island to island, and while there is sand, water, and beaches in the Galapagos, it is really about the fascinating wildlife there – the birds, mammals, reptiles, and other animals that don’t fly away, crawl off, or scurry away when you walk near them.

Galapagos Magnificent Frigatebird

To relive some of those memories, I looked through my vast collection of photographs I took from this trip. I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you.

Galapagos Yellow Warbler

Galapagos Blue Footed Booby

Galapagos Baby Fur Seal

Galapagos Blue Footed Booby Feet

In order, these animals are:
Juvenile Great Frigatebird
Juvenile Red-Footed Booby
Magnificent Frigatebird
Yellow Warbler
Blue-Footed Booby
Baby Fur Seal
Blue Feet of a Blue-Footed Booby

Sweet (and warm) Travels!

The Windows of Old Town Quito

At 9,200 feet above sea level, Quito, Ecuador is the second highest administrative capital city of the world (after La Paz, Bolivia). The central square of Quito is located about 16 miles south of the equator, and less that one mile from zero latitude, making this city pretty much “the middle of the world.”

Quito Windows

On my way to the Galapagos Islands a few years ago, I had the opportunity to spend time in this significant city. I even had a private tour guide take me around the Old Town of Quito on one of my days there. As we drove to Old Town, we stopped at a fresco mural which explains the history of Ecuador, and then took in a scenic view from a hill overlooking the homes, churches, and a bull-fighting stadium of Quito, all surrounded by some of the Andes Mountains.

Quito Windows

The church bells of a Basilica, near the main cobblestoned street of Old Town, struck noon just as we arrived. The Plaza Grande, several more churches, and a fabulous local arts and handicrafts fair trade market were part of the day’s itinerary.

Quito Windows

And then yes, I went to (the very touristy) “La Midad del Mundo,” the center of the earth, the middle of the world. A place where you can actually stand on the north and south halves of the Earth at the same time.

What I loved about my day was noticing the windows of the homes and buildings of Old Town. Each with a different paint color, most with balconies and railings of iron, and many decorated with flowers and plants.

Quito Windows

At an elevation ranging from 7,375 to 8,688 feet above sea level, and surrounded by some of the Himalayan Mountains, I am sure that Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, will inspire me to take photos of the windows of that city when I am there in October.

Sweet Travels!

More of my blogs on my photographs of the windows of various towns:

Mondays In Montepulciano

The Homes of Skagway

The Windows of Porvoo

Facts from Wikipedia

Waved Albatross in the Galapagos Islands: Lounging in the Grass in the Sun

albatross-baby-3-250-x-246

Awww! Isn’t that the cutest baby bird you ever saw? Of course, I say that about lots of birds that I see – the Penguin and the Blue-Footed Booby, to name a few. But this cute baby was actually about a foot and a half tall, maybe even two feet – larger than many adult birds. This is a Waved Albatross chick. And I was thrilled to encounter him!

albatross-baby-full-1-188-x-250

He was standing just a few feet from a path that I, my fellow yacht passengers, and our guide were walking on in Espanola, one of the Galapagos Islands. You might be able to see in the photos that this baby’s fluffy feathers were starting to develop into wings, so that one day very soon, he will be able to take flight, and soar for hours upon hours in the skies above the Galapagos. You might also be able to notice that his bill is turning yellow, a distinctive feature of the Waved Albatross when they are adults.

albatross-adults-1-250-x-131albatross-adults-2-250-x-86

After I took about a dozen pictures of this one particular baby chick, we continued down the path to a place where several pairs of adult Waved Albatross were lounging in the grass in the sun, many of them pruning their feathers. The yellow beaks are indeed quite noticeable.

albatross-adult-1-250-x-170

After I took about another dozen pictures of one pair of adults in particular, we continued down the path to a cliff so that we could watch the amazing flying of these birds. The Waved Albatross are considered “medium-sized” albatross, as their wingspans “only” get to seven and a half feet (that’s still about two and a half feet taller than I am)! This is compared to the “large-sized” Royal Albatross that I saw in New Zealand, whose wingspan measures up to twelve feet in length. Watching either of these albatross in flight is indeed a wonderful, powerful sight!

albatross-flying-250-x-87

After my time overlooking the seas below the cliffs, and watching the soaring albatross above, we walked back on the path, where we not only saw more baby chicks (very cute, huh?),

albatross-baby-a-161-x-250albatross-baby-full-b-250-x-248

but also a large egg of an albatross,

albatross-egg-182-x-250

as well as a chick with one of its parents, feeding.

albatross-adult-and-baby-1-250-x-146albatross-adult-and-baby-3-250-x-227

And then the ultimate that I saw was a baby albatross, an adult albatross and a Blue-Footed Booby, all together, just lounging in the grass in the sun!!

albatross-and-booby-1-250-x-184

Sweet Travels!

All photos by Debby