Posted by: David Vernon | April 30, 2018

May 2018 Desktop Calendar

May 2018 Desktop Calendar

It’s back to Spain for May – and to one of my favorite places in Basque county – the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

An inspired Frank Gerhy-designed building, I spent almost as much time outside of it as I did inside of it. After the Louvre and the D’Orsay in Paris, I wasn’t sure how well this would hold up – and yet – it did. A wonderful museum in a lovely small hip city.

Meanwhile, help yourself to one of these awesome size choices, good from May Day to Memorial Day with a few extra days added in.

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Posted by: David Vernon | April 1, 2018

April 2018 Desktop Calendar

April 2018 Desktop Calendar

We let April take us to the middle of one of my favorite roads in the US – Utah 12, between Bryce and Torrey (so between Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef). There’s a spot just a few miles east of Escalante, UT, called the Head of the Rocks Overlook. As you stand there and look north at sunset, well, you get this view – and it ain’t bad… Mind you – there are a lot of excellent views on this road, so maybe we’ll see another calendar from here some day. This is the 12th Utah image as a calendar – but the first from Utah 12 – so it kinda fits.

Meanwhile, help yourself to one of these awesome size choices, and consider it your first April Fools’ day present. You celebrate that, right?

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Posted by: David Vernon | February 28, 2018

March 2018 Desktop Calendar

March 2018 Desktop Calendar

We’re back to Spain for March. Gaztelugatxe (I can’t pronounce it either) is an islet on the coast of the Bay of Biscay near Bermeo – in kind of north central Spain. It is connected to the mainland by a man-made bridge. On top of the island stands a hermitage (named Gaztelugatxeko Doniene in Basque; San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in Spanish), dedicated to John the Baptist, that dates from the 9th-10th century.

The word gaztelugatxe comes from the Basque gaztelu = “castle”, “fort” and gaitz = “difficult”, “tremendous”, forming gaztelu gaitza, gaztelugatxe “the craggy fort”. It’s still dang hard to say.

It’s a long steep walk down to the bottom, and then 237 steps back to the top – where you can ring the bell on the outside of the chapel. And if you ring the bell, that means you get a March calendar.

So think happy Spanish thoughts in good late afternoon Bay of Biscay light and decorate your desktop with one of these delightfully-sized images to get through the month that brings us both Spring and Daylight Savings Time.

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Posted by: David Vernon | January 31, 2018

February 2018 Desktop Calendar

February 2018 Desktop Calendar

When we think of February, we often think of snow. When we (okay when I) think about the mountains of Wyoming – snow also comes up – a lot. The joke we used to have, after years of living in southeastern Wyoming at 7200′ above sea level, went like this: “What do you do in the summer in Wyoming? Well – if it comes on a Sunday, we have a picnic.” Yes – summer in Wyoming is fleeting, but if you happen to be in the Snowy Range in mid-to-late July, there’s very little snow left (most years) and the wildflowers are just peaking out. Just a few miles short of the summit on 130, there’s a turnoff to a couple of high mountain lakes, including Little Brooklyn. And, if you find that, you’ll also find, nestled across the road, little St. Alban’s Chapel. Standing at the alter and looking through the little window allows for views of 20-30 miles – almost all the way back to Laramie. It’s quite an impressive place – and I hear it’s a good place to get married – if you wait until a Sunday in July for summer to rescue you from the snow…

Meanwhile, think wildflowers in winter – and decorate your desktop with one of these delightfully-sized images to get through the shortest month of the year.

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Posted by: David Vernon | December 31, 2017

January 2018 Desktop Calendar

January 2018 Desktop Calendar

After 12 months of Paris, we didn’t want to venture TOOO far to start 2018. If you hop on the TGV at Gare Montparnasse, you can head southwest across the body of France to Bordeaux. Continuing along, you end up in the border town of Hendaye, where you hop on a commuter train to the nearby city of San Sebastian, Spain – in the heart of Basque country. And there, because it’s hard to avoid, is the famous beach on the bay – La Concha – overlooking the old city and then the Bay of Biscay. Preferably at sunset – in summer. And what an evening it will be.

So as to wean you off of Paris, we’ll spend half the year in 2018 visiting Basque Country – and what a nice place to start as the US is swept with an annoying Arctic turn to start 2018. So instead of crying into your beverage, why not grab one of the many designer sizes found below to adorn your desktop with something more delightful – by far – then blizzard conditions.

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Posted by: David Vernon | December 1, 2017

December 2017 Desktop Calendar

December 2017 Desktop Calendar

As I said last month, we’re ending 2017 on icons – and while it is totally iconic outside – it’s still one of THE Paris landmarks inside – the Cathedral Notre Dame.

Everyone touristy enters from the back of the Nave where I almost immediately set to making this image. It was early and there were only a few folks starting to mill around. Looking down the Nave, across the Transcept, through the Choir, and all the way to the alter – for a moment there was not a living soul in sight – so… snap. The only otherworldly experience here for me – the large TV monitors around the periphery, lending to the tourist experience but certainly feeling very non-churchy.

Thanks for spending 2017 in Paris with me. It was a joy to live it all over again – guess I’ll just have to head back to get more images. So why not end 2017 with a click on a link below to find a lovely desktop for the month ahead. Enjoy!

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Posted by: David Vernon | October 29, 2017

November 2017 Desktop Calendar

November 2017 Desktop Calendar

For the last two months of 2017 and in conclusion to our 12 months of Paris, we’re going out on the icons…

For November, we climbed the 208 steps to the top of the Arc d’Triomphe to navel gaze south towards the 1000′ tall beacon of the Tour Eiffel. And with everything to see up there, it’s not easy to do a little navel gazing. Paris, obviously from one of it’s nicknames – the City of Lights – comes alive at night. Bustling until all hours, it is a joy to behold and experience. Want dinner at midnight? Not a problem? Wanna hang out on top of the Arc d’Triomphe until like 11pm? Piece of cake. It’s still with me all these months later like I’m still there.

So enjoy month eleven of 12 months of Paris – still all shot in June 2016. So why not click on a link below to find a lovely desktop for the month ahead. Enjoy!

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Posted by: David Vernon | October 1, 2017

October 2017 Desktop Calendar

October 2017 Desktop Calendar

We’re down to the last three months of Paris calendars. So obviously we’ll be focusing on icons.

And I.M. Pei’s Louvre pyramid, love it or hate it, is iconic. If you don’t know the Louvre courtyard, it’s very 17th/18th century. And it’s very large. And in the middle – in a very 20th century way – sits the glass pyramid – the main entrance to one of the great art museums on the planet. It is a little disconcerting, and yet to me, it fits. The courtyard is open to the public until 11pm most nights, and rest assured, there’s a lot of activity there. The pyramid is surrounded by pools and fountains, but this one, to the east, was still as can be on this evening. And momentarily deserted. So reflections of the 20th century were had, while the 17th century surrounds the edges.

So enjoy month ten of 12 months of Paris – still all shot in June 2016. So why not click on a link below to find a lovely desktop for the month ahead. Enjoy!

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Posted by: David Vernon | August 31, 2017

September 2017 Desktop Calendar

September 2017 Desktop Calendar

Much like you’d like to think summer works – the cafes of Paris does work – they just keep going – long past the time they should. So welcome to September.

The Cafe des Beaux Arts sits at the corner of the Rue Bonaparte and the Quai Malaquais, on the Left Bank of the Seine, just west of the Pont des Arts. Right across the river sits the Louvre. Just down the street is the D’Orsay, while Notre Dame sits a wee bit off in the other direction. Where else would you actually want to sit on a lovely summer night in Paris – even around 10:30pm. That is what summer is for, after all.

So enjoy month nine of 12 months of Paris – still all shot in June 2016. So why not click on a link below to find a lovely desktop for the month ahead. Enjoy!

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Posted by: David Vernon | July 31, 2017

August 2017 Desktop Calendar

August 2017 Desktop Calendar

This feels like an August picture.

Standing on the middle level of the Tour Eiffel, looking out to the south, you realize how large greater Paris is. In this direction it just looks packed, but, honestly, it never felt packed. The Parisians have an interesting rule about building heights that just seems to ease the feeling of large city claustrophobia. Each directional view from the Eiffel was a little different. To the west, the Trocadero and Bois de Boulogne; to the north, the Seine, the Arc de Triomphe, and a more memorial Paris. To the east, the long greenway in front of the Eiffel, and the heart of Paris… but this one said summer.

So enjoy month eight (we are 2/3 of the way there!) of 12 months of Paris – still all shot in June 2016. So why not click on a link below to find a lovely desktop for the month ahead. Enjoy!

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Posted by: David Vernon | June 29, 2017

July 2017 Desktop Calendar

July 2017 Desktop Calendar

If you wander to the Arc de Triomphe, centered in the Place Charles de Gaulle between the Avenue de la Grande-Armee and the Avenue de la Champs-Elysees (and ten other roads converging), you should definitely pay to go in… and up – 208′ to the roof where the views of Paris are magnifique. There’s a lovely little museum at the top and plenty to interest – but don’t neglect a walk around the outside – with its equally wonderful statues and carvings. Oh, and the giant French tricolor that almost always flys under the cover of French history… it’s all delightful.

So enjoy month seven of 12 months of Paris – we’re more than halfway home – still all shot in June 2016. So why not click on a link below to find a lovely desktop for the month ahead. Enjoy!

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Posted by: David Vernon | May 31, 2017

June 2017 Desktop Calendar

June 2017 Desktop Calendar

Ahh June in Paris. Nighttime walks on the quais of the Seine, which are filled with life, people walking, bands playing, people dancing. Just about two weeks earlier than this shot, upon our arrival in Paris, the Seine was flooded and the quai sides were under three feet of water. On our last night in Paris however, the walking was splendid and the views spectacular. Here, on La Rive Droite, we are standing just west of the newly reopened Pont des Arts, with the world famous Pont Neuf just behind.

The Pont des Arts, originally built under Napoleon, and finished in 1804, was the first metal bridge across the Seine. It became synonomous however as the bridge with the “Locks of Love” on it. This quaint (the first 2-3 locks) but unoriginal notion (the remaining millions of locks) did serious damage to the bridge. While Parisian authorities were constantly removing locks from the bridge, by 2015, there were over one million padlocks affixed to the bridge, weighing an estimated 45 tons. Some bridge rail panels actually collapsed under the weight. So eventually all the locks came off and the bridge panels were redesigned to prevent the re-adding of locks. Now the bridge hosts art installations (witness the abstract sculptures in this shot) and the locks have moved to a dedicated area on Left Bank side of the Pont Neuf that is well constructed for it… But I’m not cynical…

So enjoy month six of 12 months of Paris – we’re halfway home – still all shot in June 2016. So why not click on a link below to find a lovely desktop for the month ahead. Enjoy!

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Posted by: David Vernon | April 30, 2017

May 2017 Desktop Calendar

May 2017 Desktop Calendar

Our 100th calendar. Good lord I’m tired… okay – maybe just a little sleepy.

Month five of A Year in Paris takes you to the top. The top of the Arc de Triomphe that is – which is 162′ above the Place Charles de Gaulle, and one of the most famous monuments in all of Paris. Behind me is the famous Champs-Élysées  (and 12 avenues meet here), but we are instead looking up the Avenue de la Grande Armée, out across the Seine to La Défense, just west of the city limits of Paris. It is Europe’s largest purpose-built business district. However, in spite of that, what we are standing on is more interesting.

The Arc de Triomphe honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Beneath its vault lies France’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. The Arc was commissioned after Napolean’s victory at Austerlitz in 1806, but the building lingered for political reasons, and it wasn’t completed to just before 1840. Ahhh politics.

The climb to the top, on a wonderful circular stairway, takes you first to a museum, and then a few more steps to the roof, where you and hundreds of your closest friends can get lovely 360° views of the entire city. But they’re open late, and Paris is the City of Lights, so what better place to spend an evening…

So enjoy month five of 12 months of Paris – still all shot in June 2016. So why not click on a link below to find a lovely desktop for the month ahead. Enjoy!

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Posted by: David Vernon | March 31, 2017

April 2017 Desktop Calendar

Month four of A Year in Paris takes you to the courtyard of a little museum – called – the Louvre.

And before it was one of the greatest art museums on the planet, it was a palace – for the kings of France. Converted from an earlier fortress on the site (still viewable in the basement), a palace took flight in 1546 under Charles V. It was the home of French kings in Paris until 1793. Some of you older folks might remember 1793 – there was something underway called the French Revolution – and needless to say the building was conceived of for a new purpose: art! But in the courtyard of the grounds sits an interesting statue, with an interesting history. And while I don’t usually digress here – I’m gonna make an exception this month. For this I am going to borrow a history from a writer named Christina who blogged about the history of this statue in 2013. My trimmed down version is here – but read her full article – it’s delightful.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598 – 1680) was an Italian sculptor who was known widely for his busts.  I now copy directly:

“I was surprised to hear the story of a Bernini sculpture that was initially rejected and therefore ultimately saved. As a stipulation in a cease-fire agreement, Bernini was coerced into leaving his beloved Rome to serve 5 months in the court of Louis XIV.  In Paris, Bernini dutifully created a portrait bust of Louis balancing his physical likeness with the grandeur that was “the Sun King”. In another piece of royal propaganda, Bernini prepared an equestrian statue of the King dressed as a Roman General.  At the last minute, Bernini decided to carve the king smiling.  Louis was furious when he saw the final piece and wanted to destroy it.  Thankfully cooler-headed advisers counseled the King against this and had the face of the rider re-carved as a Greek General to “correct” the issue.  Still a somewhat disappointing sculpture for Louis XIV, the altered statue was relegated to a far section of the gardens of Versailles, the King’s palace at the time. About a hundred years later, revolutionaries stormed Versailles destroying images of the kings.  Bernini’s statue was spared because it obviously no longer depicted Louis XIV.  However, because of its placement at a far corner of the gardens, it continued to sit unnoticed for centuries. In the mid-1980’s,  I. M. Pei was selected to re-design the courtyard of the Louvre.  To fit with his modern aesthetic and dramatic plans, he wanted all the statues and monuments removed from the palace courtyard, with one exception.  I. M. Pei loves Bernini’s work and as a tribute, asked for a copy of the altered Louis XIV equestrian statue to be placed in the courtyard.  Thus one of the few works designed by Bernini and executed in France by him could be incorporated into the greatest art museum in the country.  The original stone statue remains at Versailles, although now it is inside and protected. Already in the shadow of the Louvre’s beautiful architecture and massive art collection, many visitors probably don’t notice the Bernini in the courtyard.  Even fewer people probably realize that this beautiful piece survived an angry monarch, a violent mob and potential oblivion to come to a place of honor today.”

Obviously – I noticed. But there you go.

So enjoy month four of 12 months of Paris – still all shot in June 2016. So why not click on a link below to find a lovely desktop for the month ahead. Enjoy!

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Posted by: David Vernon | March 1, 2017

March 2017 Desktop Calendar

March 2017 Desktop Calendar

Month three of A Year in Paris takes you to a train station. An old train station.

Take a turn of the (19th) century train station, remove the trains, and fill it with some of the greatest art in the world. Do it just across the Seine from that other little French museum – what’s it called? – oh yeah – the Louvre. And presto – you’ve got one of the greatest concentrations of the greatest art ever in one small place. Relatively speaking. Relatively because the d’Orsay is gigantic as well and it is breathtaking.

But – in spite of all that – it still has a few of the touches of a train station, including two giant clocks on north side, facing the river. Behind this very clock, in the northwest corner of the building, is a very upscale cafe. We were there early in the morning and it was not yet open – which made taking pictures of the clock and the snazy artistic stuff around it – easy peasy.

So enjoy month three of 12 months of Paris – still all shot in June 2016. So why not click on a link below to find a lovely desktop for the month ahead. Enjoy!

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