Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces of Nature ( Trees )

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The following three pictures will convince you that trees, or more precisely, tree roots, can exert powerful forces in nature.DSC_0284

All three photos were taken in Angkor Wat, Cambodia.DSC_0261

Walls seem cannot deter trees from mounting over them.DSC_0212

Or are they just forming one system of integrating both organic and inorganic?

Travel Theme: Glow (Fireflies)

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.CIMG3888

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.DSCF6098

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!

Rediscovered Memories – Ta Prohm, Cambodia (2)

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.DSC_0228

Here is a picture showing the strangler fig, attaching itself to the walls.DSC_0240

There are many hidden corners in the monastery, many of them have sculptures of Devatas. An example is shown below.DSC_0243

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.

Rediscovered Memories – Ta Prohm, Cambodia

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.DSC_0220

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.

Green Wednesday (1)

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.DSCF3081

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!