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Photographer's Note

PUFFING LIGHTLY July 7, 2007

Taormina in Eastern Sicily is perched on high hills, and features the ruins of a 6th century BC Greek Theater. In this magical view, the backdrop to the amphitheater is provided by the Mediterranean along with Mt. Etna, puffing lightly. The volcano is the highest of all of the volcanic mountains in a country known to have the highest density of volcanoes in the world. I have visited the site before, on cruise ships on which I was serving as a guest lecturer. In each of my visits I have seen the mountain presenting a different face - sometimes completely hidden in the clouds, other times covered in snow, and other times spewing toxic gases as it is here - but never allowing itself to be taken for granted. This particular visit took place on 7 July 2007. The ship, the Crystal Serenity, is seen on the far left in the present photograph. In a photograph I posted on 21 September 2007, Serenity on Stage, I had framed the Crystal Serenity in one of the arches of the ancient theater. The ship holds the top ranking in the medium and large cruise ship categories.

In 1996 the amphitheater had served as the site for the filming of the Woody Allen film, 'Mighty Aphrodite.' Archimedes (287-212 BC) lived in nearby Syracusa, and was killed during the Second Punic War between the Romans and the Carthaginians. He was slain by a Roman soldier who had not received word that the life of the great scientist-mathematician was to be spared. Three centuries earlier, in the 6th century BC, the natural philosopher Empedocles from Agrigento jumped into the crater of Mt. Etna during one of the volcano's eruptions - with the misbegotten notion that he would become immortal by doing so. Now, perhaps Empedocles knows whether it worked.

Nikon D70, 18-70 mm zoom lens, ISO: 200, circular polarizing filter, tripod.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 470 N: 12149] (41261)
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