Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Making of the Amazingly beautiful Panama Hats in Manta Ecuador

One of the most fascinating things we saw on our South American cruise during SMU’s 2016 Christmas break was the demonstration of the making of “Panama” hats, which actually originate in Ecuador. The intricacy and craftsmanship that go into the making of these hats is amazing. I’m pleased to have recorded onto film, and edited with Lightroom, this most beautiful work. Below is information from Wikipedia dated 1/2/17.

“the traditional Ecuadorian toquilla hat was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists on 6 December 2012. In 1904, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt visited the construction site of the Panama Canal, and was photographed wearing a panama hat, which further increased the hats’ popularity. The best quality hats are known as Montecristis, after the town of Montecristi, where they are produced. The Montecristi Foundation has established a grading system based on a figure called the Montecristi Cuenta, calculated by measuring the horizontal and vertical rows of weave per inch. The rarest and most expensive panama hats are hand-woven with up to 3000 weaves per square inch. In February 2014, Simon Espinal, an Ecuadorian 47-year-old panama hat weaver considered to be among the best at his craft, set a world record by creating a panama hat with four thousand weaves per inch that took eight months to handcraft from beginning to end. According to popular lore, a “superfino” panama hat can hold water and, when rolled up, pass through a wedding ring.  Although the panama hat continues to provide a livelihood for thousands of Ecuadorians, fewer than a dozen weavers capable of making the finest “Montecristi superfinos” remain. Production in Ecuador is dwindling, due to economic problems in Ecuador and competition from Chinese hat producers.



Photos of the Sea from our Christmas 2016 South America Cruise

I love the Sea, I always have. Since I was a child looking at the Pacific ocean and wondering about Japan so far, far, away. 

I loved the sea as a naval officer on the USS Independence watching with awe as the airplane elevator rose and fell during quiet times and  major storms. I loved the Sea as a PACE professor on US Navy ships in the Pacific Ocean as I worked on my doctoral dissertation for 3 years. And, in recent years, I’ve loved the sea as a passenger on cruise ships (a bit better accommodations than US navy warships)!

I love the waves as far as you can see, the curve of the earth in the distance. I love  feeling so small against vastness of it all, and yet I am comforted, knowing that I am also an important part of it all (perhaps because I, too, am the eyes of God observing his beautiful works with Joy and peace and appreciation and gratitude). I love the changing colors of Sea and Sky at sunset and sunrise.

I love the light bursts on water through the clouds that sparkle that move across the ocean with brightness and contrast.

I love the power of the storm, the quiet rains, the sunsets over water, the smallness of all the ships that pass in the night.

I love it all.

These are some gorgeous art from my camera and lightroom from our Christmas cruise to South America during Christmas break 2016.

“Angel” stained glass Driehaus Gallery Navy Pier Chicago

This is another stained glass from the Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass on the Navy Pier in Chicago taken in 1986 with details from the same photograph.

I’ve always loved angels and this is such a wonderful depiction!

I start with the closest view of the angel.

Angel (I?)
by Dan Windisch 2016

The angels curly hair caresses, and rests quietly, gently, on her shoulders.
She has pensive, unfocused, thoughtful eyes.
Her left arm rests against one railing,
her left hand rests, gently, on another railing.


Her right arm is relaxed, by her side,
with her fingers caressing the tip of one iridescent, shining wing,
fingers that can only feel,
but not see,
the wings iridescent, shining beauty
as she also lifts her gown
to rise,
from one step,
to yet a higher step.

Yet her foot

One last, gentle touch of the familiar.

Before rising to the next step.

Jubilee Trail Photos

I love the 3 mile walk from my home to the beach and back in the very early morning when rabbits and squirrels are on the trail, and people aren’t. The squish squish sounds of my feet on gravel. The clop clop sound of my feet on the paved part of the path. The greens of the forest, the coolness as I enter the woods. The snags, the sounds of birds, the emptying of my mind and the gratitude I feel. I love the Madrona trees with their red peeling bark, the tall evergreens, the snags, the blackberries, even the new development that is being built next to the quiet forest.

This was once a munitions loading dock area in WWII, a time gone now, covered by trees that don’t remember, and birds that sing, and flowers that open their secret  scents in the early morning light.

Click on any photo to see its caption.

Esalen: If Buddha was sitting in the Hot Tub with you

If Buddha was sitting in the Hot Tub with you

“latest” version 032415
by Dan Windisch

If Buddha was  sitting
in the hot tub
with you.

Would you?
Could You?
Be still enough…
to Know?

And being there …
What would you learn,
from her?

And, If it was night,
and a billion stars were
and waves were crashing endlessly to the shore,
and the cool breeze caressed your face,
and chatter flowed all around.

Would you?
Could You?
Be still enough…
to Know?

And, just a thought …

Would it be?
Could it be?
WIll it be?
That Buddha is you?


earlier version
If Buddha was sitting in the Esalen Hot Tub with you

If Buddha was sitting
in the hot tub, with you.

Could you?
Would You?
Be still enough…
to Know?

And being there …
What would you learn
from her.

Dan Windisch 2015

original version:


Esalen Flowers after Rain

Esalen Flowers after Rain

It has been a long time since my last post. 4 eye surgeries (cataract surgery with new lenses for both eyes! Laser surgery for 6 bleeds in my left eye, then emergency retinal detachment surgery that involved 2 weeks for me to regain sight in that eye) make me appreciate my vision even more. Visual beauty is so precious to me.

I am now back at Esalen Institute for a Mindfulness and Loving Kindness Workshop that I plan to teach my students when I get back.

Yesterday it rained. Below are photos of the beautiful flowers here after the rain in early morning light. Hope you enjoy! All photos were taken with my iphone 5 and edited with Lightroom.


Rembrandt: The Mill

Rembrandt: The Mill

Paintings often move me deeply with their beauty, and I’ve been lucky to have been able to travel and photograph some of the greatest and most beautiful paintings in museums where photography is allowed.

This is Rembrandt’s Rembrandt’s: The Mill.



Rembrandt: Portrait of a Bearded Old Man with Beret

Rembrandt: Portrait of a Bearded Old Man with Beret

Paintings often move me deeply with their beauty, and I’ve been lucky to have been able to travel and photograph some of the greatest and most beautiful paintings in museums where photography is allowed.

This is Rembrandt’s Portrait of a Bearded Old Man with Beret from the National Gallery of Art.



My goal is sharing Beauty

My goal is sharing Beauty

* DSC_0107 Red White Rose blossom

To find posts on any particular aspects of beauty I’ve shared, just click on the categories or tags that interest you on the right.
Often you can enlarge a picture by clicking on it. Some photos, when you click on them (like the Rose above) take awhile to load because they are big files. Be patient. Enjoy Beauty!

My photos and poems are copyrighted, but the purpose of this blog is to share beauty. Because of this I’ve made it possible to download any of my photos by right clicking them and saving them to your disk. Feel free to download them and make prints or use them on your computer for personal use only . All I ask is that you let me know that you liked them and have downloaded them by emailing me at or That will make my day!

If you want to use any photo or poem for commercial use, or for use by a non-profit you will need my permission. Please email me at or requesting that permission.

Many of my original photos have much larger original files and will not blow up to large sizes well from the downloads from this blog. If you need these larger files you can again email me at or .

Enjoy! There is so much beauty in the world!