This week’s DP theme for the Photo Challenge is Now.
All pictures have also in common the Star Ferry harbor crossing vessel.
The last one was taken Now.
I didn’t take the first two photos, they were downloaded from the internet. As the source cannot be ascertained, I am unable to ask the photographers for their permission to upload. The credit of these photos belong to these unknown photographers.
This week from Sue Ellen is the word Island.
Have always liked islands – I like islands which are sort of small and idyllic.
Of the recent islands I visited, they include Langkawi (Malaysia), Koh Samui (Thailand), Hvar island (Croatia). I have also visited Guam, SaiPan, Hainan island and the outlying islands of Hong Kong (China) but consider the first three islands more attractive. Some of the islands are in fact countries, like the UK and Japan, I do like their coastlines but they are so big that I rather prefer the smaller ones.
My post on Koh Samui – Island Hopping (https://retireediary.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/koh-samui-islands-hopping/ was published in April last year. Recently, there has been a big surge in the number of readers. Many of the readers like the photos of the islands showing their different shapes and environment. There is one more photo, belonging to the same family, which I would like to share – it shows four islands with different shapes and disposition. Together withe blue sky and blue sea, they look surreal.
Are we islands?
In a way, we feel we are all islands, in a common sea ( a quote by Anna Morrow Lindberg).
To many visitors, the impressions of Hong Kong is one of densely populated city where capitalism is practiced to the extreme. High rise buildings, neon signs, poor air quality and concrete jungle everywhere; people always in a hurry. The truth is that 40% of the territory is designated as Country Park. No matter where you are, within approximately 30 minutes drive you are out into green environment, some even of pristine quality (for instance, the island with white egrets in the above image).
Today is a busy and interesting day, with the Ruby Sevens, the HK Chief Executive election and horse racing all happening on the same day. It is an ideal day to be out of town, far away from the maddening crowd; leaving the hustle and bustle of the city behind.
We headed out to our “secret island “which is only 30 minutes drive from where we live; to watch the many egrets on an island and hike from Luk Keng, up the Sir Youde Pavilon and down to Nam Chung in the northern part of the New Territories.
It was a bit hazy. The sun was already out oozing a warm breeze on everyone when we made our accent from Luk Keng. Approaching the end of March, some of the leaves are still brown, which contrast sharply with a big patch of green flat land left over from an old fish pond.
After an hour of hiking, we reached the Sir Youde Pavilion where we took a rest. Looking down from the pavilion it is hard to believe that we still have fish ponds nestled within the hills and valleys. The fish ponds were bunded by an intricate network of raised footpaths. In the background, we could see the Pak Sin Range (Peaks of the Eight Fairies).
At this time of the year, some of the trees leaves look so young, fresh and green. We passed by this funny old village house, half of which was constructed 60 years ago and the adjoining half (the ugly half) was only reconstructed in recent years.
No photo would do this tree justice. Over the years, I have always tried to photograph it but have never been able to catch its form or elegance. It leans out so much to the serene waters as if it is reaching out for something.
Finally, we reached our destination, the A Chau island with many egrets. This island has always attracted us coming back; it is enjoyable to watch egrets fishing, wading in the water at low tides, resting on the island, flying alone or in a formation.
There are lots of places in HK which are unheard of by tourists but nevertheless are green and picturesque. Driving down town, we stepped back into another world. . . . . . a fast-paced city, bright lights, high-tech shops, endless boutiques and glistening skyscrapers . . . . . . . . . .