Huangshan – Sea of Clouds (4)

Many readers like the series on Huangshan, especially with the clouds partially covering the mountains. They seem floating below your feet.

The scenes look surreal,  resembling Chinese paintings will tall mountains and clouds.photo 2

But still, as I have not visited Huangshan, I have to rely on photos taken by my friend Mr. Chung Kwok Fan.

Actually, you have to be there at the right time to see the sea of clouds.

All I have left is this last photo of Mr. Chung  showing Huangshan with some pines floating down in the foreground.

Hope you enjoy it!

 

 

The Lions at Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima Island, Japan

I was thinking of posting something on the Itsukushima Shrine, but never have the time to do it.

It would be a simpler task if I just concentrate on some of the things I saw – the Lions.DSCF0338

I have taken pictures of at least three Lions

Even when we alight the ferry and walked towards the shrine, there are various statutes, including Lions (second picture) alongside the seaside walk to the shrine.DSCF0322

Right at the waterfront of the shrine is a Lion (first picture)which is quite unusual in its sculpture. This lion looks powerful and photogenic.

In the nearby courtyard of the shrine, I also found a stone lion (last picture), which seems to be playful.DSCF0354

Lions have a special meaning in the Oriental culture, something which Orientals will revere.

Ships that Pass in the Night

My previous post on Ships in the Night https://retireediary.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/ships-in-the-night/

was well received.

Readers seem to like both the photo and the text.4918905805_fb1581d9c7_o

Here is another one – photo taken by my friend CP Chan in the Victoria Harbor.

The words are from the lyrics of “Ships that Pass in the Night” by Barry Manilow:

We’re two ships that pass in the night
We both smile and we say, It’s alright
We’re still here, it’s just that we’re out of sight
Like those ships that pass in the night

Hope you like it!

Travel Theme: Edge

It is a bit late for the Travel Theme: Edge, which is the theme for last week.

However, it is better to be late than not to post at all.1731077060_33b9da061e_b

Here are a couple of photos showing a snow covered edge, taken at high altitudes in the Er Mei Mountains of China.1730194571_b7741720d7_b

In Winter, the peaks of Er Mei Shan are cladded in snow, forming a definite edge against the lower blue mountains beyond the edge.

Both photos were taken by my friend CP Chan to which credit is due.

 

Nan Lin Garden, Hong Kong

<This post contains 9 photos>

Some readers asked why I didn’t post on Chinese Gardens but posted quite a few on Japanese Gardens.

The truth is I like Chinese Gardens but I have lost most photos on the beautiful gardens, especially those in Suzhou and Hangzhou in China.

I would have liked to post on the Nam Lin gardens in Hong Kong which are modeled on the Tang Dynasty gardens.CIMG3735

However, for the several times I visited Nan Lim gardens, I was in a hurry or even have not taken my camera along with me.CIMG3743

So, you have to bear with me for the mediocre photos in this post which were taken within a half hour visit  using a palm size camera.CIMG3749

I don’t think I am able to give you a better explanation about Chinese gardens, the text in italics below are all lifted from Wikipedia, except that I have extracted the more salient parts. So, please enjoy.CIMG3750

The Chinese garden is a landscape garden style which has evolved over three thousand years. It includes both the vast gardens of the Chinese emperors and members of the Imperial Family, built for pleasure and to impress, and the more intimate gardens created by scholars, poets, former government officials, soldiers and merchants, made for reflection and escape from the outside world. They create an idealized miniature landscape, which is meant to express the harmony that should exist between man and nature.CIMG3751

A typical Chinese garden is enclosed by walls and includes one or more ponds, rock works, trees and flowers, and an assortment of halls and pavilions within the garden, connected by winding paths and zig-zag galleries. By moving from structure to structure, visitors can view a series of carefully composed scenes, unrolling like a scroll of landscape paintings.CIMG3741

The artificial mountain (jiashan) or rock garden is an integral element of Chinese classical gardens. The mountain peak was a symbol of virtue, stability and endurance in the philosophy, of Confucius and in the I Ching. A mountain peak on an island was also a central part of the legend of the Isles of the Immortals, and thus became a central element in many classical gardens.CIMG3757

The first rock garden appeared in Chinese garden history in Tu Yuan (literally the Rabbit Garden), built during the Western Han Dynasty period (206 BCE – 9 CE). During the Tang Dynasty, the rock was elevated to the status of an art object, judged by its form (xing), substance (zhi), color (se), and texture (wen), as well as by its softness, transparency, and other factors. The poet Bo Juvi (772-846) wrote a catalog of the famous rocks of Lake Taihu, called Taihu Shiji. These rocks, of limestone sculpted by erosion, became the most highly prized for gardens.

A pond or lake is the central element of a Chinese garden. The main buildings are usually placed beside it, and pavilions surround the lake to see it from different points of view. The garden usually has a pond for lotus flowers, with special pavilion for viewing them. There are usually goldfish in the pond, with pavilions over the water for viewing them.CIMG3760

The lake or pond has an important symbolic role in the garden. In the Book of Transformations (I Ching) water represents lightness and communication, and carried the food of life on its journey through the valleys and plains. It also is the complement to the mountain, the other central element of the garden, and represents dreams and the infinity of spaces. The shape of the garden pond often hides the edges of the pond from viewers on the other side, giving the illusion that the pond goes on to infinity. The softness of the water contrasts with the solidity of the rocks. The water reflects the sky, and therefore is constantly changing, but even a gentle wind can soften or erase the reflections.CIMG3746

Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure (Eye to Eye)

<This post contain 7 photos>

This week’s challenge is Adventure.DSCF3002

My sister-law- law should be the one who present her photos here after having been to an adventure in Botswana and nearby countries.DSCF2526

People who like to adventure may not necessary like to write and, of course, vice versa.DSCF2460

Here are some photos which will give you some idea of real adventures when you meet these animals eye to eye in a natural environment.DSCF1959

These wild animals and their eyes may just make you shiver.DSCF1476

I am glad that I didn’t take these pictures.DSCF0305

But equally, I feel that I have lost the opportunities to be in close proximity to these interesting animals.DSCF0909

Anyway, my thanks to all the images provided by Jennie!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure ( Real vs Visual)

Here are two black and white photos.

One taken by my friend CP Chan at an exhibition.IMG_1874

While the other one was taken by my sister-in-law Jennie in Botswana, Africa.DSCF1103

They represent a different type of adventure.

One stationery and the other in motion. One showing a single zebra and the other a group of zebras in the wilderness.

Do you just want a visual challenge or a real challenge in Africa?.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette (Okinawa)

This perhaps is my most liked image on Silhouette.

The image was taken in the aquarium in Okinawa, Japan.DSC_0211

The objects of the photos are not just the fishes swimming happily in the aquarium but also the visitors who appear as silhouettes against the blue aquarium waters.

Just from the silhouettes, it is clear that the visitors were having an enjoyable moment – pointing fingers at the passing stingrays or getting the fishes photographed with their mobiles or cameras.

I also had an enjoyable moment there getting both the fishes and the visitors photographed.

Well, everybody was preoccupied and having fun!

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue (between Photos)

It’s not easy to make connection between photos which depict different subjects.

I have two photos here which have similar geometry, showing reflections of insect / bird in the water.

The one showing the head / neck part of the flamingo has a somewhat disturbed reflection as it plunged its beak into water.3058366645_d6591d2647_o

You would have seen my other picture yesterday of the dragonfly and its reflection.IMG_4756

Would you agree that there is a dialogue between the two pictures?

Both pictures the courtesy of my friend CP Chan for which credit is due.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue (Dragon Fly)

Can a dragon fly has a dialogue with its own image?

I don’t really know but this dragon fly has a perfect image in the water.IMG_4756

It looks as if it is actually in dialogue with its own reflection.

My friend CP Chan has captured this precious moment.

Please enjoy!