This week’s Travel Theme is Glow.
Hope this photo makes some sense to you.
This is a photo taken of fireflies in the rain clinging onto leaves of a tree outside my window.
The following is a description of fireflies in the Wikipedia:
Lampyridae is a family of insects in the beetle order Coleoptera. They are winged beetles, and commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs for their conspicuous crepuscular use of bioluminescene to attract mates or prey. Fireflies produce a “cold light”, with no infrared or ultraviolet frequencies. This chemically produced light from the lower abdomen may be yellow, green, or pale red, with wavelengths from 510 to 670 nanometers.
Zooming out, you can see more of the tree – it is almost like a Christmas tree with fireflies clinging onto.
Under rain, understand fireflies wouldn’t fly but cling on to trees. But why do they hang on to this tree?
I was not able to improve on the picture as the tree swayed in the rain, increasing the exposure would not improve the contrast between the fireflies and the surrounding!
Ta Prohm’s original name was Rajavihara which means “the royal monastery”. It has a romantic atmosphere and many hidden corners.
There are two main types of trees at Ta Prohm, the silk-cotton tree, Ceiba pentandra, with huge trunks, and the strangler fig Ficus gibbosa, which draps itself around other trees with its multiple grey roots. The strangler figs and silk-cotton trees entwined among the ruins add to the eerie quality of the place.
The picture below shows how the massive roots of the silk-cotton tree frames around an opening.
Here is a picture showing the strangler fig, attaching itself to the walls.
There are many hidden corners in the monastery, many of them have sculptures of Devatas. An example is shown below.
Michael Freeman and Claude Jacques in their book “Ancient Angkor” described “….Ta Prohm has the romantic appeal of, say, a Piranesi ruin: partly overgrown and gently declining”. This reflects truly our feeling when we were there.
I was overjoyed yesterday when I accidentally discovered my Angkor Wat photos which I thought were lost for the last six years.
We took a trip to Angkor Wat in March 2007 and were totally fascinated by what we saw.
One of the places we stopped by was Ta Prohm, a beautiful temple built in Bayon style in the 12th and 13th centuries and has been left pretty much the same condition which it was found. However, this temple has been taken over by large trees and their massive roots, making it pretty dang cool looking.
The large tree shown in the photo is the silk-cotton tree. This temple has been used as a location for the film Tomb Raider. The photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor’s most popular temples with visitors.
Angkor scholar Maurice Glaize observed, “On every side, in fantastic over-scale, the trunks of the silk-cotton trees soar skywards under a shadowy green canopy, their long spreading skirts trailing the ground and their endless roots coiling more like reptiles than plants.
The image was taken using a Nikon D40 entry level DSLR camera which came to the market just a few months before the trip. I must say it is not of the best quality but it does show the temple’s details and the eerie qualities.
Based on Thai astrology, Wednesday is Green.
Have uploaded a couple of posts recently on Green as entries to Travel Theme and also Weekly Photo Challenge. Green has always given me tranquility and the color is soothing to the eyes.
Our recent trip to the mountains of Yunnan, China has brought us to some high hills where we were able to have a panoramic view of the Wan Feng Lin which is the Forest of Ten Thousand Hills.
In fact, there were 20,000 hills in the area, with some rising to 2,000m. The ones we viewed were the most picturesque.
Here we have a mix of dark green on the hills and light green / yellowish-green on the plateau. The hills seem to have soared from the flat area, giving a sharp contrast in terms of landform and colors. The more distant hills just faded out in the haze.
We were amazed even the areas wedged in between the high hills are also cultivated. Some yellow flowers have bloomed but most of the flat area was still green. We can only marvel again at how man have made use of every inch of arable land!
Continuing on with the Thai colors for each day of the week: Tuesday is Pink.
Our recent trip to Luoping filled us with colors, we didn’t only have yellow for canola / rapeseed flowers but also pink for Cherry blossoms.
Cherry blossoms was in full bloom when we were there late February / early March. We viewed many of them in botanical gardens and also in Shilin- the touristy spot for limestone column formations.
We have the opportunity of viewing them closely too. They looked lovely at a close distance.
In the gardens, all we can see was tree after tree of pink cherry blossoms.
Even along the roadside, we saw not only many cherry blossoms but also white flowers from the plum trees.
Our trip to Luoping has filled our eyes, our brains and even our souls with a variety of colors; making it an unforgettable trip!
Spring has arrived in some areas of the northern hemisphere. Certainly, it is just around the corner for many other regions.
Our recent trip to Yunnan, China to view the rapeseed flowers was just enjoyable. Wandering in the rapeseed fields of Luoping, Yunnan was like swimming in a sea of yellow.
I just couldn’t help reviewing my archive to see what other pictures with beautiful views of yellow fields.
Here is one taken on the hills of Switzerland which shows yellow flowers all over the place. In the background is also green, a very frsh green which seem to announce that Spring has arrived.
There is one photo which I have always liked, this is the one below taken in Hokkaido, Japan which shows fields of yellow color with rolling hills as background.
How enjoyable it was to be able to see endless fields of yellow color which to me represent positivism and hope. Hope you enjoy them too!
Spring has sprung, at least in subtropical regions like Hong Kong.
There is an abundance of this flower blooming, signifying that Spring has finally arrived.
This is a flower which is quite unique in Hong Kong. It is known as the Hong Kong Orchid Tree or Bauhinia blakeana . So special that this flower is adopted as a logo on the regional flag and emblem of the HK Government .
This beautiful flower was found by a father of the French Mission in HK in 1880. The flower was then cultivated by twig planting. Research has found that this tree is in fact a cross between Bauhinia purpurea and Bauhinia variegata by artificial cultivation and cannot yield seeds or propagate naturally.
The related species Bauhinia variegata is also in full bloom with their light pink and white flowers. The picture below shows a tree with light pink flowers on the left and an adjacent tree with white flowers on the right.
If Spring has arrived in the subtropics, it won’t be too far behind in the rest of the Northern hemisphere!
Love radiated out from this mother swan teaching her baby how to swim in the waters of a stream course in Annecy, France. .. . . . . .
The water was shimmering and their swim created ripples which seemed to spread in concentric circles to infinity. . . . . . . . .
The Travel Theme…over at Where’s my backpack is “Up”
We are now into daily walking in the Country Park not far from home ( please see my earlier post: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: 2012 Outdoors and Nature http://retireediary.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/cees-fun-foto-challenge-my-2012-outdoors-and-nature/ ).
We have started learning to recognize the shrubs, trees, flowers and fauna around us as we walk through the park. We are also interested in spotting and recognizing the birds around us but believe that our knowledge in this area is still very limited; we will need some good binoculars.
Once in a while, we would look up towards the sky and have a good look at the trees above us. This picture was taken a couple of days ago when we looked up the sky from the trail in the woods.
The trees seem to be closing in from all directions; with the sky in the middle.
Although this is winter time, our subtropical climate means that some of the trees have shed their leaves and become bare while others are still green.
I am happy that the picture still makes sense even if you rotate the picture around.