Carnival 2014 – Cops and Robbers and Bees

March 07, 2014 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain

After my impressive performance her first year, for the last two years of Nora’s daycare, I was ordained the official daycare photographer for the Carnival parade, where all the kids and parents (from all the daycares and preschools) dress up and parade around town. Since I was out of town for last year (it rained, anyway), and Ian hadn’t yet shown his face, this was the first year that I had ties to both the local school and to the daycare. Several months ago, the daycare boss, Adela, approached me and said, “We can count on you as photographer again this year, right?” I said, well…since I’ve got Nora in school, I’m not sure which group I should participate with. She said, “But you’re dressing up with us, right?” I said, “Well, that depends…Nora’s class is dressing up as bees, which is pretty cute. What is your costume?” She explained that the kids were going to dress up as cops, and the parents as prisoners. I was sold immediately. She always has the most creative ideas, like when the grown-ups were angels and the kids demons.
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San Juan – Beans in the Park

July 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain

Drinking Wine from a Spanish BotaLast Sunday was the annual Cocido Montañes in the Park day here in Colindres. Every year, around the summer solstice, the Peña San Juan (Saint John’s Club), named after the town’s patron saint, throws a huge cookout in the local park. They make a Cantabrian specialty, known as cocido montañes, which is a white bean and spinach soup with pieces of meat in it. Each serving contains a pork rib, a piece of chorizo, and a piece of morcilla (blood sausage). Over the eight years we have been attending the festival, it has been evolving and improving. When we first went, you waited in line and then asked for as many servings as you wanted and paid 1€ each. So some groups of four would order eight servings to have leftovers later that week. But it was hard to calculate just how much to make.
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Fire on the Hill

June 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photos, Timelapse, Videos

Fuego Colindres - Junio 2013For the first time all year, we’ve had sunny weather with blue sky. Except that we’ve had a big cloud of smoke over our town for those two days. There has been a controlled burning of a forest on a nearby hill. It’s a favorite forest of mine, because it’s where the sun and moon first appear on the horizon during the winter months. Luckily the smoke has stayed high above the town, but today I noticed that all the cars were covered in a light dusting of ash.
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Preschool in Spain

May 30, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Spain

In Front of her SchoolIt’s really hard to believe, but my daughter is already finishing her first school year. Like in the States, school isn’t mandatory until age six, but study after study shows nothing but advantages of a good preschool education. For a post she’s preparing, my blogrollmate, the very popular Kaley, from Y Mucho Más, asked me for an interview about my experiences in the Spanish education system. Her questions were excellent, and it felt sort of like an exit interview after this first year.
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Tilted Boats

May 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photos, Photoshop

Tilted BoatsToday we had some wonderful weather, and I grabbed my camera as we were leaving for our usual afternoon walk around town. In May, seven o’clock in the afternoon is well before Golden Hour, but the visibility was good and I managed to capture a few good shutter clicks. A few of them just begged to be tilt-shifted, to highlight the subject of the photo. When Photoshop beckons, I go running…
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Cloud River

October 23, 2012 By: erik Category: Photography, Spain, Timelapse, Videos

River FogThe town in which I live is situated at the mouth of the river Asón, which begins way high up in the mountains and flows down into the tidal basin estuary you see in the current header image of this blog. Occasionally I have noticed a fog hanging over the river in the mornings. The fog yesterday, however, seemed more dynamic. I could see it churning with my naked eye. I’ve always been a big fan of churning and flowing clouds in timelapse videos, and the visibility above the clouds was fantastic, so I raced to set up my tripod, camera and intervalometer before leaving to walk my daughter to school.
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Sauga Folk Festival 2012

August 22, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Ireland, Music, Spain, Videos

Sauga Folk 2012 - Virgen de Palacios - VotoLast weekend, I attended the 18th annual Sauga Folk festival, held each year in my town of Colindres. The festival focuses on local, Cantabrian music and dance, as well as celtic music in general. Each year we get some pretty famous (as the celtic music scene goes) acts from Ireland and sometimes Scotland traveling here to perform. Due to collisions with August summer vacations, this is only the second year that I have been able to attend.
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San Juan Festivities in Colindres

June 26, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Complaining, Partying, Photos, Politics, Spain, Travel, Videos

San Juan SausagefestThe town where I live is celebrating its annual San Juan festival this week. Most Spanish towns have a town saint, and for many of them, that role is filled by Saint John The Baptist. There are several things that I love about this festival. It amuses me that it’s really just a thinly veiled version of the pagan bonfire solstice festivals held across Europe (the bonfire is to shoo away the witches, in case you didn’t know).

Riffing off the Valencian falles tradition of building elaborate, yet explosive, parade floats to burn, the townspeople of Colindres also make little miniature floats, usually the size of small cars, which are wheeled, by hand, around town before finding their way to the designated place to be judged, doused in gasoline, and ignited.
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El Sueño de Morfeo in Colindres

June 23, 2012 By: erik Category: Art, Colindres, Music, Photos, Videos

Sueño de Morfeo - Colindres - 2012This morning, the children at the local school were having some sort of play day outside with events and competitions (those were the best days of school, weren’t they?), and there was some pop music playing. When I was coming home with the daily groceries, there was a song playing by a group called El Sueño de Morfeo (the dream of Morpheus). The song playing was their most catchy, breakout song, Nunca Volverá. I found myself humming it as I put away the groceries, and I thought about how nice it was to see them, by complete chance, for the first time back in 2006.
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Exploring The Countryside

May 16, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Photos, Spain

San Juan Church and Sheep - Colindres de ArribaAfter surviving the more or less nonstop rain for all of April, we are starting to see some sun again in May, however we are suffering from some icy northeasterly (I love words that are their own opposites) gusts that will chill you to the bone if you’re not wearing a good sweater, the same sweater that will make you unbearably hot the moment the wind stops. As a result, it’s really not comfortable to be outside, no matter what you are wearing. On Sunday, however, we braved the elements to take a walk up to Colindres de Arriba, an older part of town, which I’ve mentioned before. I love being a short fifteen minute walk away from the green ovine-speckled countryside. Here are some photos from our walk.
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