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Google Earth has sent ‘congratulations’ notices to say that a few of my images – like this one of Poza Honda – were very popular.

Poza Honda/ManabiProvince Ecuador – Have any of you ever added images to Google Earth-Maps?   It’s always been interesting to peruse those images and explore areas that we know well or to ‘cyber travel’ to new destinations without leaving home!  The Satellite Image option helped me fine-tune my search for a new place to live, and reference images were very helpful.

This past week on Google Earth, I entered some GPS points for where I live –  before passing them along for scientific reasons; almost immediately I hit a glitch.  I could not find a place to type the coordinates.  Perhaps that option is somewhere on the page, but I did not find it.     Next I looked for my pinned images, and they were gone!  In fact, there were no pinned images to anything on the map.  Towns and places of interest were marked by name only.  The letters were small and difficult to see – and my laptop has a large screen!

Google Chrome browser… note how tiny the bottom right options appear. That’s where one finds the photo options.

Eventually I found the image option, which on my windows browser showed in a long horizontal strip at the bottom of the page.   There were photos from different areas, and mine could not be accessed until scrolling east on the map, leaving the house site out of view.  After I selected and enlarged one of my ‘popular’ images, a little arrow-type bar zipped from the photo and pointed into the middle of the lake!  Ha, I had to laugh – it was several kilometers from the right location and was obviously submerged at the bottom of the reservoir!

Opera browser provided slightly-easier to view options.

The Dec 3rd earthquake, which rattled the house for almost a minute, must have nudged this particular GPS point into the lake!

Unable to drag it back in place via the old system that worked well, I opened a new window and did a search which took me to a Google Earth/Maps forum.  Oh my, demons must have firmly attached themselves to those who make decisions for Google Earth/Maps, and they have made a lovely mess of what was once a well-managed site.

I moved to another quadrant that I know well – the area around Jama, and I remembered that someone had posted a picture of a Royal Poinciana/Flamboyant.  I was curious to see if it still marked the correct spot.  In real life, the tree was within view of where I once lived near the mouth of Rio Jama.

Royal Poinciana (Delonix regia)still stands, though the nearby farmhouse was destroyed in the April 16, 2016 earthquake.

Flamboyant/Royal Poinciana paired with the Green Kingfisher for a great photo op –  The rear balcony of Casa Loca. 2013

There were zero photos of that area, but there were new ones from 2018 of the community of La Division.   Checking various photos in the town a few kilometers inland, I discovered that the lovely flaming Poinciana tree had been magically transplanted to Jama!  (Jama, still recovering from the earthquake, could actually use several dozen of those lovely trees!)

Check out the Google-maps forum thread and be prepared to be amused at some of the comments.  Most of the comments are in good taste with proper respect – just stating what a shame it is – and a loss to all – that these images are no longer available to use as tools for travel plans.   I did not see one comment in support of this new system!  “WHAT HAPPENED TO GOOGLE EARTH…THAT USERS UPLOADED?”

I was consulting Google Maps to review images I’d uploaded of the Poza Honda area to be sure that the pins were still in the right place.  This was to share that GPS location with Keith Willmott, whose title is “Associate Curator of Lepidoptera – McGuire Center  for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity Florida Museum of Natural History”   His bio on the website mentions, “Our research includes field work throughout the Neotropics with a focus on the tropical Ande… ” 

He has very kindly offered to help with identification of butterfly species that are presently decorating the landscape around Poza Honda.   This was the butterfly that prompted my identification search that led me to the museum’s webpage:

Start with one dead buttefly… but oh! look at those amazing colors that change according to the light!

His feedback?  “…The brown species is Marpesia berania (female), the other (dead one) is a species of Archaeoprepona, I’d need to see the underside to identify it to species. I’d be happy to help identify any butterfly photos, especially if you can give me the approximate latitude and longitude (e.g., from Google Earth) where they were taken, so I can include the locality information in our books on butterflies of Ecuador “

Here are some of those lovely butterflies that often distract me from watching the birds!

See those lovely spots of blue? Ah, I wonder what it’s name will be!

I keep forgetting to mention to all of you that the Portoviejo Museum will feature my paintings of ‘Birds, Butterflies and Botanicals’ in October of this year.  You’ve earned another peek:

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* I’ll be with ‘the family’ when this goes out but will be online late tonight. The patient shows slight improvement, and they are hopeful he will pull through this. Thanks again for your prayers and concerns.

For more information about my art, go here: LISA BRUNETTI ART – you’ll find a few new items in Flora and in Fauna!