The Cable Car to Sugarloaf

Sugarloaf is an iconic peak bordering Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro. To get to the top of Sugarloaf, tourists must take two cable cars, the first from the station at Praia Vermelha (Red Beach), and the second from the station at Morro da Urca (Urca Hill). Urca is an acronym for Urbanização Carioca (Carioca Urbanization). The cable car ends at the top of Sugarloaf. According to my tour guide, the indigenous inhabitants called the peak Pau-nh-açuquã, and the Portuguese thought the name sounded like Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf). The cable car system was modernized by Cristovão Leite de Castro in 1972.

Praia Vermelha from Sugarloaf

Praia Vermelha from Sugarloaf

SOURCE: Praia Vermelha from Sugarloaf (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 26 February 2017.

Morro da Urca

Morro da Urca

SOURCE: Morro da Urca (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 26 February 2017.

Sugarloaf Station

Sugarloaf Station

SOURCE: Sugarloaf Station (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 26 February 2017.

Cristovão Leite de Castro

Cristovão Leite de Castro

SOURCE: Cristovão Leite de Castro (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 26 February 2017.

Copyright © 2017 by Stephen J. Danko

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Wildlife at Sugarloaf

Sugarloaf Mountain is one of the iconic sights in Rio de Janeiro. While the day continued to be overcast and the views from Sugarloaf were less than ideal, there was wildlife to be seen, including the Common Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), the Argentine Black and White Tegu (Salvator merianae), the Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus), and the Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens).

Common Marmoset

Common Marmoset

SOURCE:  Common Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus L.) (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 26 February 2017.

Argentine Black and White Tegu

Argentine Black and White Tegu

SOURCE: Argentine Black and White Tegu (Salvator merianae Dumeril & Bibron) (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 26 February 2017.

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

SOURCE: Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus Bechstein) (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 26 February 2017.

Magnificent Frigatebird (Female)

Female Magnificent Frigatebird

SOURCE: Female Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens Mathews) (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 26 February 2017.

Copyright © 2017 by Stephen J. Danko

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Copacabana Beach

Caricocas (natives of Rio de Janeiro) love their beaches, and the beaches at Copacabana and Ipanema are among the most famous beaches in the world. The one day I had to explore Rio’s beaches was overcast with a sky threatening to rain. Even the beach-loving Cariocas stayed away from Copacabana Beach when I visited.

Copacabana Beach Hillside

Copacabana Beach Hillside

SOURCE:  Copacabana Beach Hillside (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 26 February 2017.

Hillside Palms at Copacabana Beach

Hillside Palms at Copacabana Beach

SOURCE: Hillside Palms at Copacabana Beach (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 26 February 2017.

Copacabana Beach

Copacabana Beach

SOURCE: Copacabana Beach (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 26 February 2017.

Palms at Copacabana Beach

Palms at Copacabana Beach

SOURCE: Palms at Copacabana Beach (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 26 February 2017.

Copyright © 2017 by Stephen J. Danko

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Bem-vindo ao Rio! (Welcome to Rio!)

I arrived in Rio de Janeiro this morning after a very comfortable flight from San Francisco to Houston, and then from Houston to Rio de Janeiro. This is my second visit to Brazil, although it is my first visit to Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro (River of January) was named by the first Portuguese explorers who arrived at Guanabara Bay on 01 January 1502 and mistakenly thought the mouth of the harbor was a river.

Upon arriving, I immediately looked for a caixa automático (ATM) to withdraw some Brazilian currency, and then went outside to hail a taxi. One of the people organizing taxi rides asked me “Sozinho?” At first, I didn’t understand the word, but I quickly realized that she was asking if I was alone. When I nodded and answered “Sim” (Yes), she ushered me into one of the smaller taxis.

I asked the driver to take me to the Mauá Port. The diver knew where the port was, but had a difficult time finding a route there. Because I arrived on the Saturday before Carnival, many of the streets around the port were closed for Carnival preparations. The driver finally navigated the street closures and brought me to the ship.

The photos below show the view of Rio from the ship, the Oceania Regatta.

Rio de Janeiro from Port Maua -1

Rio de Janeiro from Port Maua -1

SOURCE:  Rio de Janeiro from Port Mauá – 1 (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 25 February 2017.

Rio de Janeiro from Port Mauá - 2

Rio de Janeiro from Port Mauá – 2

SOURCE:  Rio de Janeiro from Port Mauá – 2 (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 25 February 2017.

Copyright © 2017 by Stephen J. Danko

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The Camellias of Filoli – Part 3

Most people have heard of the flowering plants of the species Camellia japonicaCamellia reticulata, and the hybrid Camellia x williamsii, but even more people are familiar with another species: Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze. The leaves of Camellia sinsensis are used to make tea. I would not, however, recommend that one try to make tea from the leaves of the camillias shown here.

Camellia japonica 'Margaret McCown'

Camellia japonica ‘Margaret McCown’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Margaret McCown’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica 'Monjisu Red'

Camellia japonica ‘Monjisu Red’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Monjisu Red’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica 'Pink Perfection'

Camellia japonica ‘Pink Perfection’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Pink Perfecion’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica 'Prince Eugene Napoleon'

Camellia japonica ‘Prince Eugene Napoleon’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Prince Eugene Napoleon’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica 'Professor Charles S. Sargent'

Camellia japonica ‘Professor Charles S. Sargent’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Professor Charles S. Sargent’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica 'Purity'

Camellia japonica ‘Purity’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Purity’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Copyright © 2017 by Stephen J. Danko

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The Camellias of Filoli – Part 2

I’m not sure how many cultivars of camellias there are at Filoli, but I took photos of 30 different cultivars myself (including a few I only saw in the garden shop). Most of the camellias I saw were either around the front entrance to the mansion or in the woodland garden.

Camellia japonica 'Drama Girl'

Camellia japonica ‘Drama Girl’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Drama Girl’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica 'Ecclefield'

Camellia japonica ‘Ecclefield’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Ecclefield’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica 'Gigantea'

Camellia japonica ‘Gigantea’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Gigantea’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica 'Herme'

Camellia japonica ‘Herme’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Herme’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica 'Lady Clare'

Camellia japonica ‘Lady Clare’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Lady Clare’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica 'Lotus'

Camellia japonica ‘Lotus’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Lotus’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Copyright © 2017 by Stephen J. Danko

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The Camellias of Filoli – Part 1

The gardens at Filoli include many different varieties of camellias, including cultivars of Camellia japonica L., Camellia reticulata Lindl., and Camellia x williamsii W. W. Sm (a cross of Camellia saluenensis Staph. ex Bean with Camellia japonica L. first crossed by John Charles Williams).

Camellia japonica "Are-Jishi"

Camellia japonica ‘Are-Jishi’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Are-Jishi’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica "Captain Rawes"

Camellia japonica ‘Captain Rawes’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Captain Rawes’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica "Cara Mia"

Camellia japonica ‘Cara Mia’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Cara Mia’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica 'C.M. Hovey'

Camellia japonica ‘C.M. Hovey’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘C.M. Hovey’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica 'C.M. Wilson'

Camellia japonica ‘C.M. Wilson’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘C.M. Wilson’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Camellia japonica 'Debutante'

Camellia japonica ‘Debutante’

SOURCE:  Camellia japonica ‘Debutante’ (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Copyright © 2017 by Stephen J. Danko

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The Magnolias of Filoli in 2017

I’ve visited Filoli in Woodside, California many times. The magnolias flower in early spring, but the timing of a visit must be just right in order to see the magnolias at their finest. This year, I seemed to have timed my visit just right to see Magnolia cambellii, M. cylindrica, M. denudata, and M. kobus in bloom. The final photo in this set is of Michelia doltsopa. The michelias are closely related to the magnolias.

Magnolia campbellii "Strybing White"

Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybing White’ (Campbell’s Magnolia)

SOURCE:  Magnolia campbellii ‘Strybing White’ (Campbell’s Magnolia) (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Magnolia cylindrica (Huangshan magnolia)

Magnolia cylindrica (Huangshan Magnolia)

SOURCE:  Magnolia cylindrica (Huangshan magnolia) (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Magnolia denudata (Yulan magnolia)

Magnolia denudata (Yulan Magnolia)

SOURCE:  Magnolia denudata (Yulan magnolia) (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Magnolia kobus "Borealis" (Kobushi Magnolia)

Magnolia kobus ‘Borealis’ (Kobushi Magnolia)

SOURCE:  Magnolia kobus ‘Borealis’ (Kobushi Magnolia) (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Magnolia x soulangeana (Saucer Magnolia)

Magnolia x soulangeana (Saucer Magnolia)

SOURCE:  Magnolia x soulangeana (Saucer Magnolia) (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Michelia doltsopa (Sweet Michelia)

Michelia doltsopa (Sweet Michelia)

SOURCE:  Michelia doltsopa (Sweet Michelia) (Woodside, San Mateo County, California); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 19 February 2017.

Copyright © 2017 by Stephen J. Danko

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Marcin Matkowski and Łukasz Kubat Win First Round at Rio Olympics!

This morning, Marcin Matkowski and Łukasz Kubat (representing Poland) won their first round men’s doubles tennis match at the 2016 Olympic Games! This is Marcin Matkowski’s 4th Olympics and Łukasz Kubat’s 1st Olympics.

Marcin Matkowski is my 6th cousin. We are both descended from Andrzej Chodkowski and Marianna Mossakowska who were married 13 February 1741 in Krasne, Ciechanów Ziemia, Masovian Voivodeship, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

My descent from Andrzej Chodkowski and Marianna Mossakowska is as follows:

  1. Andrzej Chodkowski married Marianna Mossakowska
  2. Cecylia Chodkowska married Tomasz Niedziałkowski
  3. Antoni Niedziakowski married Karolina Milewska
  4. Wojciech Niedzialkowski married Julianna Gutowska
  5. Teofil Niedziałkowski married Ksawera Zygmuntowicz
  6. Konstanty Niedziałkowski married Helena Chmielewska
  7. My parents
  8. Me

Marcin’s descent from Andrzej Chodkowski and Marianna Mossakowska is as follows:

  1. Andrzej Chodkowski married Marianna Mossakowska
  2. Jan Chodkowski married Józefata Grzybowska
  3. Mateusz Chodkowski and Teresa Bartołd
  4. Wojciech Chodkowski and Teresa Chrzanowska
  5. Władysław Chodkowski married Marianna Trętowska
  6. Teresa Chodkowska married Jan Matkowski
  7. Marcin’s parents
  8. Marcin

On Monday, 08 August 2016, Marcin and Łukasz will face Roberto Bautista Agut and David Ferrer from Spain. Congratulations on your first round victory, Marcin and Łukasz, and best of luck on Monday!

Copyright © 2016 by Stephen J. Danko

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The Polish Villages of Smoleń

Ezechiel Chodowski, my 5th cousin, 3x removed, was born in Suwino. Helena Chodkowska, my 6th cousin, 2x removed, was living in Brzęczki when she was married. Finding the locations of these two villages gave me fits because neither is listed by those names in the Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i Innych Krajów Słowiańskich (Geographical Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland and other Slavonic Countries). Neither are those two villages located under those names on the current map of Poland.

But, perseverance pays off. From the death record of Ezechiel Chodowski and the marriage record of Helena Chodkowska, I knew that these villages both belonged to the parish of Węgra. I looked for these villages in the vicinity of Węgra on the map of Poland at mapa.szukacz.pl and found them about 4 km to the northeast of Węgra. The names of the villages on the map? Smoleń-Suwino and Smoleń-Brzęczki. Interestingly, these two villages are not named on Google Maps at all.

The Słownik Geograficzny includes three main entries for Smoleń. The second entry includes descriptions of five smaller villages: Smolen-Brzęczki, Smoleń-Daćbogi, Smoleń-Poluby, Smoleń-Suwino, and Smoleń-Trzcianka. These five small villages appear on the Third Military Mapping Survey of Austria-Hungary on Sheet 39-53, Ostrołęcka, although they are collectively named Smoleń. Both Smoleń and its parish Węgra are highlighted on the map below by boxes surrounding the names of the villages.

Third Military Mapping Survey of Austria-Hungary for Milewo

Third Military Mapping Survey of Austria-Hungary for Smoleń

SOURCE: Third Military Mapping Survey of Austria-Hungary, 39-53, Ostrołęcka. Onlinehttp://lazarus.elte.hu/hun/digkonyv/topo/200e/39-53.jpg; downloaded 26 July 2016.

The places called Smoleń where my ancestors lived are described in subentry 2 and includes the descriptions of 5 different small villages.

Słownik Geograficzny Entry for Smoleń

Słownik Geograficzny Entry for Smoleń

SOURCE: Sulimierski, Filip, Bronisław Chlebowski, and Władysław Walewski, eds., Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i Innych Krajów Słowiańskich (Geographical Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland and other Slavonic Countries) – Warsaw 1889, Volume X, page 897, digital images, University of Warsaw ICM (http://dir.icm.edu.pl/pl/Slownik_geograficzny/Tom_X/897) : accessed 04 July 2016). Text in Polish, translated by Stephen J. Danko, 04 July 2016.

Click on the link for a PDF copy of the Słownik Geograficzny Entry for Smoleń. The record, translated from the Polish, states:

Smoleń 1) village, folwark [a large manorial farmstead], and castle ruins, Olkusz powiat [district], Pilica gmina [community], Strzegowa parish, it lies on the road from Pilica to Wolbromia, in a high position; the nearby mountain is 1540 feet high. There are castle ruins, a beautiful garden, and a scenic location, 40 settlements, 293 residents. In 1827, there were 32 homes, 194 residents. In 1876, the area of the folwark was 691 mórgs [in the Russian partition, 1 mórg = 1.388 acres], 248 mórgs of arable land and gardens, 2 mórgs of pastures, 396 mórgs of forests, 45 mórgs unused; 1 brick building, 6 wooden buildings, unimproved forest, deposits of limestone. The village of Smoleń has 40 settlements, 409 mórgs. In 1877, leon Epstein purchased the folwark here (from Hubicki) and he contributed to the goods of Pilica. Smoleń reportedly entered the goods into Ogrodzieniec (see that entry) where the owner Seweryn Bonar had erected (or perhaps had only rebuilt) the local castle. It consisted of three parts: the lower two parts stopping at a rocky mountain wall were built on a slope, and the third was located above, at the very top. According to the registers of nearby Krków powiat, in 1490, the village of Smoleń had 4 fields. In 1581, the village of Smoleń in Pilica parish, the property of the Padniowskiegos, had 9 peasant fields, ½ agricultural, 1 enclosure with animals. (Pawiński, Małop., 81, 434). In the second half of the eighteenth century, there was a gravel factory here. There is a cave called The Clock. Therefore, the people say that, therein, “at Christmas midnight the clock hour tolls”. A description and image are provided in Tyg. Illustr. (1877 r., t. IV, 263).

2) Smoleń, an area of nobles, Przasnysz powiat, Chojnowo gmina, Węgra parish, 7 versts [1 verst = 0.663 miles] from Pułtusk. Within this are:
a) Smolen-Brzęczki, a village with 3 homes, 22 residents, and 68 mórgs. In 1827, there were 5 homes and 31 residents;
b) Smoleń-Daćbogi, a village with 3 homes, 26 residents, and 44 mórgs.
In 1827, there were 3 homes and 18 residents;
c) Smoleń-Poluby, a village with 13 homes, 127 residents, and 450 mórgs (120 mórgs unused). In 1827, there were 13 homes and 79 residents;
d) Smoleń-Suwino, a village with 12 homes, 25 residents, and 70 mórgs.
e) Smoleń-Trzcianka, a village with 12 homes, 188 residents, and 123 mórgs cultivated and 290 mórgs uncultivated.
Br[onisław] Ch[lebowski]

Smoleń, a folwark in the Przewrotne area, Rzesów powiat, not far from the Młynówka River, a tributary of the Zyzogi.
Br[onisław] G[ustawicz]

Copyright © 2016 by Stephen J. Danko

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