The Daily Post’s challenge for this week is Horizon.
The Challenger defines horizon as: “The space or line where the sky meets the earth. So many places where the sky meets the earth around the world, and millions of interactions between two elements. It can be water, a city skyline, a forest, a wasteland, a desert, a sunset outside your bedroom window“.
The horizons in the following pictures particularly speak to me:
The New York City skyline has always been my favorite. Not that I don’t like the skyline of other places like Hong Kong which has got high hills as the background; the New York City skyline allows you to have an unobstructed view of the buildings in the horizon.
Horizons allow my eyes and my brain to relax and intrigue me as to what lies beyond. . . . . . . . . . .
I fondly remember the Summer of 1985 when I lived in London. Those were the Summers when global warming hasn’t set in, when the sky was blue and without a cloud. When the grass was green and the air was crispy clean.
One Sunday, I found myself in a park in north London – Hampstead Heath. That was an ideal Summer day I had been longing for – blue sky that could intoxicate me, well kept green lawn, white heritage building (Kenwood House) in the background, people lying on the grass enjoying the sunshine and children playing as if the whole world belonged to them.
On seeing this picture ( original slide now digitized) taken that year, my only thought is – take me back, take me back to the parks of London, take me back to 1985 when everything seemed so nice, slow and mellow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
My last post shows the gold / yellow / orange foliage at Hong Luo (Red Snail) Temple at Beijing.
A couple of blogging friends requested to view pictures showing the snail stone carving in more detail.
I rather like the stone carved snails. In this picture, you will see some carved snails, some on top of the parapet posts. In the background, again, there are foliage leaves of various colors; although they are not the main subject in focus.
Also shown above is a picture of more foliage leaves and stone carved snails at the temple.
Please enjoy !
This week, Ed’s challenge is Trees / Fall Colors.
The whole picture was filled with colored foliage, some in gold, yellow and also orange too.
The trees seemed to have dominated the whole picture. Not so noticeable in the picture are parts of the roofs of and entrance to the temple, some steps up to the temple and a stone carved snail (this explains the name of the temple – red snail temple). However, unless you were there, the details are some small to be discernible.
The Autumn leaves were indeed a feast for the eyes!
Our days in Koh Samui, Thailand have been very relaxing.
The clouds looked dramatic. Looking at how the clouds and sky change their color as the sun was setting was really memorable.
We didn’t know these were the signs of a heavy storm that night. When we were back at our hotel and were ready to sleep, thunders began to roar. With the heavy rain, there was continuous lightning too.
In the midst of all the thunders, suddenly there was an electricity blackout. The whole area, including our bungalow was pitch black – we couldn’t see a thing. There was some panic, as we tried to reach for an electric torch.
We knew there was nothing we could do except to lock our door and went back to sleep.
When morning came, it was another clear day . . . . . . . . . . . . .
There are people who like Black and White images, but also there are people who hate them.
For comparison, the colored version is also shown. It gives a more peaceful feeling. Also, the snow capped mountain can be more clearly seen.
Sometimes, I ended up liking both versions.
The weather is getting cooler and it is the right time for hiking.
Last Sunday, we went for hiking in the northern part of Hong Kong, close to the border with mainland China. While we saw some beautiful scenery, we also came across some abandoned or collapsed houses.
This abandoned house with banyan tree roots all over the walls really stunned us. For a moment, I was reminded of what I saw in Ta Prohm, Cambodia – the taking over of the temple ruins by the giant roots!
All I could see were three tree stumps on top of the roof; apparently, the trees trunks had been cut off and the roots were left to wither.
The house was built of stones before WWII and had a coat of plaster on the outside. Some of the plaster have now peeled off, leaving the inside exposed.
I couldn’t help wondering what had happened to those who lived in the house – why did they abandon the house and where had they gone; anything to do with roots???
We were stunned by the view as we approached the southern gate to Angkor Thom (the Great City), Cambodia.
While we have seen many Buddha heads in Cambodia, we have never seen one which has an opening serving as a gateway underneath. The gateway is 3.5 by 7 m, and would originally has been closed with timber doors.
We walked across the causeway (top picture) which spans the moat in front of the gateway. The causeway is lined with mythical statues on both sides.
The causeway have a row of 54 devas (guardian deities) on the right and 54 asuras (demon gods) on the left. Each row holding a naga (serpent) in the attitude of a tug-of-war. The devas pull the head of a mythical naga while the asuras on the other side push the tail of the serpent. The whipping motion of the serpent’s body was said to churn the ocean and recreate the cosmos anew. This is the popular myth in Angkor which is referred to as the “Churning of the Sea of Milk” in Hindu’s myth of creation. The temple-mountain of the Bayon, or perhaps the gate itself, would then be the pivot around which the churning takes place. The nagas may also represent the transition from the world of men to the world of the gods (the Bayon), or be guardian figures. The dancing female deities (known as “apsaras”) were the first beings to emerge from the sea of creation; see my other post https://retireediary.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/apsaras-in-angkor-wat-cambodia/ on “Apsarus in Angkor Wat”.
Of course, the Hindus has a different myth as to how the cosmos was created and renewed.
Visiting Angkor Wat is indeed a unique experience. Maybe, for the first time you see the power of the trees trying to reclaim the land; the lost and found temple ruins; the ancient myths on display and a culture which is so different to ours.