Friday, November 11, 2011

Cueva Agua y Jaguar

Last Saturday Tom, Bret and I went looking for some new-to-us caves. We started by looking for Cueva Jaguar.  We looked and asked around for an hour but had no luck.  Off we went to Bosque Rio Bajo to find Cueva Agua. Here we are in the park. Typical jungle hike. We found it by luck since the map was so bad.

There is a small stream that runs through it.  We tried to keep our feet dry. Cueva Agua was small and only took 15 minutes to go through.  After leaving the cave we took the long way back to the car.  Just a few minutes before we got to the car we found another un-known to us cave.  It was nice and filled with lots of bats.  There was a bit of graffiti in it and it was well visited because it was so close to the camp ground but it was not on the map.  I didn't get any pictures of it.  My camera was acting up. During our hike to Cueva Agua Bro called me back.  He gave us better directions to Jaguar.  So we went back to find it.  After some more searching and asking the locals we found it. It's similar to Dos Chorros which is just down the road.  But this is "dry".  Notice the mounds of sand. 

It took an hour to reach the "end".  Its a big breakdown room.  There are some small leads we didn't explore because we were out of time and energy.  There is a bit of climbing up and over then down again through some small holes and unstable rock.  This cave is not well visited and could be because of the next picture.

This is the entrance to the cave.  A big garbage pile. The reason we had a hard time finding the cave was because of the directions we were given.  They said to look for the big garbage pile.  And we did but we didn't find the cave.  That is because it was the second big garbage pile we were supposed to find!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Just 100 feet away! I should add that this is on the bank of theAreceibo river between the road and the river.  The bank is very steep so I guess the water doesn't get high enough to reach the trash. 

This is a friendly little boa I picked up in Cueva Tuna a few months back.  I was very gentle with the snake.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thinking about Art

I was in the Mayaguez Mall the other day (probably getting cat food again) when I came across a scattering of artists showing their work. A friend in my old photography group had just posted something about a guy who traveled around in a van showing different artwork as kind of a mobile artmobile-gallery-show in an effort to engage people. A flood of memories came over me about my years selling my photography at art fairs, gallery shows etc etc. As usual there were some not-so-good things (most) and some jewels. This is the first time I saw something I really liked! What made it even better is that the artist spoke English (not so common in our part of PR) and proceeded to explain that he used archival materials and things I of course used to use too. When I told him I knew all about that stuff we talked for a while about where he got his frames and acid free foam board etc. On the island there aren't any Daniel Smiths or art supply stores and shipping is super expensive. I sold my mat cutter and all my paper supplies before moving since this climate isn't good for that sort of thing. I ended up purchasing a couple pieces. The artist's name is Dennis Bracero Pabon and he lives in Cabo Rojo. When I saw this piece I at first thought of the opening of a cave. When I looked closer I saw three profiles and looking even closer I saw that they were the 3 Kings! The 3 Kings are a huge part of Puerto Rico...bigger than Christmas! Around this time of year the platforms go up in the malls and the camels and kings are having kids sit on their laps etc. Of course Santa has his rival set -up elsewhere. I like this piece because it is understated and surprised me. I really enjoy art. Whenever we travel I try to find something I think represents the area we are visiting so it was about time I got something here. The piece is a small, private piece and the Kings are not screaming out "I am here" which is part of why I like it. It is also painted on a feather, which is yet another surprise about this little piece.

A while ago I let my website disappear. I didn't know how to add to it since all my computer friends are in the states and frontpage isn't supported anymore. Also some of my external drives are corrupted I think and I have a myriad of other obstacles and lack of desire. Until now. Now I am wanting to be around artists again and may get my land camera fixed (I took my good one into a cave and now it doesn't work) and may consider getting a digital camera and housing for underwater. Here is one of my photographs of a coralimorph I took in Saint Croix. I may have Dennis frame a print for me so I can have some of my art hanging in the new house. I am picking up the other art I bought from Dennis next week and hope to continue to work on establishing a friend network here. It is always hard to make friends but when language is a barrier and there are no real ways to make connections it is even harder. Artists though always end up in the same circles eventually!

As usual I can't resist throwing a cat into the blog. Tuca, the one-who-likes-to-burrow, is under the cat beds. Hysterical!

So a big thanks to Craig for getting me thinking about art again and to Dennis for showing some pretty nice work. I am looking forward to the other piece which is a painting of a paloma (dove), and a graphic rooftop with some Taino designs on it. Think about art and surround yourself with it - it makes life better! Art can be flat (paintings, photographs, drawings etc) or can manifest itself in handcrafted jewelry, metal work, stone, bone etc. Really take some time to look at and appreciate art when you can find it!