Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow (in Beijing)

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Yellow is my favorite color.CIMG2562

These photos were taken some 2 years ago in Beijing.CIMG2566

Autumn foliage was everywhere in the rural districts of Beijing.CIMG2572

This was the first time we visited the Hongluo temple – we were immediately captured by what we have seen.CIMG2554

Yellow foliage with the temple in the background.

We are already missing it. If opportunities arise, we would like to visit it again in Autumn!

Travel Theme: Golden

<This posts contains 4 photos>.DSCF3335 In our trip to South Korea, we did see a lot of fall foliage which are yellow or even golden in color.DSCF3334 Everywhere there are lots of Gingko and other trees which gave an impression of a Golden Autumn.DSCF3333 They remind me of the following poem written by a Chinese scholar and translated into English: I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its leaves are a little yellow, its tones mellower, its colors richer, and it is tinged a little with sorrow. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor of the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and is content. Lin YutangDSCF3332 I like Autumn and share the sentiment that – it knows the limitations of life and is content! On a similar note, Yoko Ono did quote : Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag (Great Wall)

Snakes zigzag across the desert, rivers zigzag across the flood plain and the Great Wall snakes across mountains!

Our trip to the Mutinyu part of the Great Wall in China a couple of years back during the fall was just memorable.DSCF2695B

In front of us was the historical great Wall which gallops up and down the mountains, snakes across the terrain on the mountain ridges.DSCF2654A

There are endless miles of walls in front and behind you. basically, you can hike / walk as long as you wish.DSCF2652A

It zigzags across the terrain like a snake, commanding the high points so that there is good visibility to the enemies and maintaining good defense.

Although not really visible from spaceships, they are clearly one of the biggest engineering feats of the world!


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Reds and Greens

This week Cee indicated we can choose Reds or Greens or Both for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Reds and Greens

While I like reds but I also like greens, however, a mixture of reds and greens will be more interesting. I have therefore chosen something with both red and green from nature.DSCF2563

The first picture was taken while travelling to HuangLuo temple, Beijing earlier this year when maple leaves hanging down from a red wall were partly green and partly red. The mix of colors remind me of the coming Christmas. . . . . . . . .  . .hope this serves as an electronic Christmas card to you all,  Happy Holidays to you!!CIMG2759

The second picture was taken in the BaiWang Shan park, Beijing at about the same time of the year when we were strolling through the narrows paths in the park. Again the leaves exhibited both colors.DSC_0209

The third picture was taken a few years ago in Shirakawa-go, Japan.  While all three photos are reds and greens, the shades of the colors are different and they convey a different atmosphere.DSCF6031

Back in Hong Kong, although winter has set in, many of the vegetation is still having a green color. This contrasts quite sharply with the red flowers which sprung up from their almost bare stems.  Reds and greens, I like both of them mashing in together!

Six Attributes Garden – Kenrokuen Garden (兼六園) in Japan

As part of our trip to Shirakawa-go, we passed through Kanazawa city and dropped by the Castle and the beautiful Six Attributes Garden, Kenroku-en. It was Autumn and the leaves have changed their colors.

Kenroku-en (兼六園, Six Attributes Garden), located in Kanazawa, Japan, is an old private garden. Along with Kairaku-en in Mito, Ibaragi and Koraku-en in Okayama , Kenroku-en is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.

Kenroku-en was developed from the 1620s to the 1840s by the Maeda clan. The garden is located outside the gates of Kanazawa Castle where it originally formed the outer garden, and covers 114,436 m² (over 25 acres). It began in 1676, the garden was, however, destroyed by fire in 1759.  Restoration begun in 1774, improvements continued in 1822, adding more streams and ponds. The garden was opened to the public on May 7, 1874.

We first passed by the Kotoji Lantern. Kotoji Lantern has two legs, which resembles the Kotoji bridge  in Koto. The lantern is for lighting up the  surface of the pond at night. The sun was setting and this photo taken against the light and  including this lantern, the surrounding old  trees with their colorful autumn foliage was the most  impressive in Kenrokuen.

There are four tea houses in Kenrokuen. We strolled around the Kasumiga-ike Pond and were impressed by the Uchihashi-tei Tea House which is supported on stone piers but looked as if it was floating out of the pond.

The garden’s name was derived from the “Chronicles of the Famous Luoyang Gardens” (洛陽名園記), an ancient book by the Chinese poet Li Gefei (李格非), and stands for the six attributes of a perfect landscape. Kenrokuen is worth visiting because the garden has balanced all six scenic attributes.

According to the chronicles:



出自中國 詩人李格非 的《洛陽名園記》




The attributes are grouped into three complementary pairs: Spaciousness & Seclusion;  Artifice & Antiquity;  Water-courses & Panoramas. As the specialists say “it is difficult enough to find a garden that is blessed with any three or four of these desirable attributes, let alone five, or even more rarely, all six”.  A delicate balance between all the pairs, for instance, between “spaciousness” and “seclusion” is required.

Kenrokuen is a monument to art, engineering, and nature.  The garden combines winding paths, meandering streams, landscaped mounds,  placid ponds,  stones, plants, and structures to create a distinctive harmony.  Every  step and turn in the garden brings a new view to stop and admire. We were particularly impressed with the tall old pine trees and the pruned round shrubs.

For centuries Japanese gardens were developed under the influence of the Chinese Gardens, but gradually Japanese garden designers began to evolve their own style, based on Japanese materials and Japanese culture.

We strolled by secluded areas with streams and finally reached the Miyoshian Restaurant on Hisago-ike Pond, which we at first couldn’t make out that it was in fact a restaurant.

Japanese gardens are places of tranquil beauty where man and nature come together as one,  places that ease the transition between the  outside and inside world. The aesthetic qualities are evident even to the most casual observer, but the gardens also provide spaces for reflection ……….. they are also for the minds . We certainly found peace and joy in this garden.