Today’s daily photo, Angkor Face, is quite obviously from Angkor in Cambodia. At this point I don’t know which temple complex this face is from as I’ve misplaced my notes but its probably one of the gates to the ancient city of Angkor Thom. I took this back in ’92. I’ve always meant to go back but not yet made the opportunity. Back then it was still fairly hazardous, Siem Reap was overseen by the United Nations (UNTAC). The agreement that ended the civil war had been hammered out just a few months earlier in Paris in 1991. Around Siem Reap the locals were regularly getting injured by land mines sown in the rice paddies and tourists were advised to stick to the well worn paths and the main roads as lots of stories were circulating of tourists being kidnapped. I actually found the place to be quiet and the people incredibly gracious.

Angkor Face - giant stone face at Angkor Thom, Cambodia

Angkor Face – giant stone face at Angkor Thom, Cambodia

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Today is Ash Wednesday, the traditional start of Lent. Many observant Christians forgo some luxury for Lent and for many, particularly Catholics, giving up meat is quite common. The English word Lent derives from Lenten which means ‘spring’. So, in a roundabout way, this photo of a deer with bluebonnets represents both meat and spring. The bluebonnet is the Texas State Flower and in a few weeks time the fields to the north-west of where I live will be full of them, and full of families trying to get cute pictures of their young children sitting in a field of bluebonnets. This deer was one of a herd roaming inside the fences of Horseshoe Bay where my wife and I got to stay when she was working on the interior design of a home there.

Deer with Bluebonnets, Horseshoe Bay, Texas

Deer with Bluebonnets, Horseshoe Bay, Texas

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So today is Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, Mardi Gras, Carnival. In 2012, Will Ferrell was the King of the Bacchus parade in New Orleans (who roll through uptown on the Sunday before Mardi Gras). This is my favorite photo of when he rolled by and I think a fitting way to celebrate the day. According to the International Business Times, Shrove comes from shrive meaning to confess while Carnival derives from ‘carne levare’ meaning ‘to take away meat’. In Poland, the article goes on to say, they celebrate Paczki Day which translates as Donut Day. In Poland, Donut Day falls on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday but here in America, every day is Donut Day! All these festivals seem to be about using up whatever food was lying around the house before the start of the Lenten season. I won’t be having pancakes today, or donuts, and I haven’t had any king cake this season either – I’m already too fat, thank you very much.

Will Ferrell - King of Bacchus 2012.

Will Ferrell – King of Bacchus 2012.

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The Krewe of Endymion parade through the streets of New Orleans on the Saturday before Mardi Gras. This year the krewe turned 50. I took this photo back in 2012 while waiting for the parade to roll. In their infinite wisdom my local school district in Texas didn’t schedule any holidays during the Mardi Gras season so no parades for us this year. To learn more about the history of Endymion you can read this article on nola.com.

Endymion Shield. Mardi Gras 2012. Krewe of Endymion

Endymion Shield. Mardi Gras 2012. Krewe of Endymion

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That 21 Pilots Song, “Stressed Out” made me think about the simpler times in my life. Upham Sunset is a view across the fields where I grew up. It hasn’t changed much. The house I lived in is off the frame to the right, behind the trees. The house was aligned east-west so I didn’t get to see the sunrise or sunset from my window. That didn’t bother my much, I spent a lot of time outdoors back then. This image is from July 2015, taken one evening when visiting my parents who still live close by.

Upham Sunset - July Sunset at Upper Upham, Wiltshire, England

Upham Sunset – July Sunset at Upper Upham, Wiltshire, England

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