Travel Theme: Up

The Travel Theme…over at Where’s my backpack is “Up”

We are now into daily walking in the Country Park not far from home ( please see my earlier post: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: 2012  Outdoors and Nature ).

We have started learning to recognize the shrubs, trees, flowers and fauna around us as we walk through the park. We are also interested in spotting and recognizing the birds around us but believe that our knowledge in this area is still very limited; we will need some good binoculars.

Once in a while, we would look up towards the sky and have a good look at the trees above us. This picture was taken a couple of days ago when we looked up the sky from the trail in the woods.CIMG2962

The trees seem to be closing in from all directions; with the sky in the middle.

Although this is winter time, our subtropical climate means that some of the trees have shed their leaves and become bare while others are still green.

I am happy that the picture still makes sense even if you rotate the picture around.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: My 2012 Outdoors and Nature

2012 will be remembered as a year in which I have successfully transitioned from work to retirement. A year in which a new routine is established – among other things, weather permitting, each morning, we will go for a walk or hike after breakfast. This has now become part of our daily exercise. For the first time in my life, I have more time for outdoors and to be more in touch with nature!

Not far from where we live, there is a Country Park with a good walking trail into the forest. The walk starts off with a steep trail, passing by some resting ground for visitors (photo below),  a stream and then you are into the wooded forest.CIMG1201

The narrow trail usually have trees on both sides and with foliage on top so we are sheltered from direct sunlight.CIMG1224

Once in a year, a section of the trail is covered with pink petals fallen on the ground. Many times, we wondered whether we should walk on it as it is just so beautiful. We walked as if we were walking on a soft pink carpet. CIMG1244

Everytime, we walk past this slope which is covered with a close mesh of tree roots, we couldn’t help amazed that trees have such a strong will to survive reaching down for water.CIMG1234

We also pass by woods that have lianas (wooded vines) hanging from trees to trees. In Chinese, they are known as ” river crossing dragons” as they look like dragons which fly from one tree to another without any intermediate supports.  CIMG1202

This wood is not just about trees, shrubs and roots. It has exotic  flowers too.CIMG1231

Sometimes, we were delighted at the ordinary sight of leaves and tree trunks illuminated by sunlight.CIMG1208

When we have time, we may wander further afield, stopping by an educational farm. Here we are in close touch with nature.

We like the mix of red flowers and green plants. . . .  . .DSCF6026

as well as the ferns, trees and the shrubs, imagining that we are inside a tropical forest.DSCF6029

Every now and then we come across flowers which we do not know much about.DSCF6046

Occasionally, we stroll by the seaside, maybe just to have a good look at the rocks on the beach. . . . . . .CIMG0457

or wondering how on earth these abandoned cows have survived so many years near to the beach.CIMG2823

Other times, we would walk up to open green areas where we take a deep breath. . . . . . .CIMG2465

or have a close look at placid ponds to appreciate the delicate ecological balance.CIMG2463

Finally, we may just stop by a picturesque pond and take a good rest.CIMG0429

This is probably a snap shot of what we did when we did not travel overseas.

We are thankful that  nature has been so kind to us, revealing itself in all its beauty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

For this photo challenge, I was at a lost as to what pictures I should include. Do I pick a gallery of pictures which I have shown in 2012 or should I show pictures which were not included in my posts of last year? There are some pictures, although interesting, did not fit  the title of my posts while others relate to journeys which are still not published because of time constraints. Among the latter category, I have still not published my pictures which were taken in Inner Mongolia, various parts of Beijing and also Datong of China.

After some deliberation, I finally decided to go for the latter category, that is, to post photos taken in 2012 which  have not yet shown previously. Please enjoy.

Annecy, France was very picturesque, I don’t think I have showcased enough photos of the medieval town to do it justice.DSCF1051

I was sort of entranced by the Adriatic sea and boats in the harbor. I especially love the boats in Split, Croatia.DSCF0391

The picturesque and charming town Szentendre with its yellow colored buildings along the Budapest section of the Danube.DSCF0220

Budapest was interesting, not only in the scenery. I also like the market which is colorful, selling things which we don’t have locally.DSCF0138

I love the serenity of Geneva, Switzerland and its green view which gives me some peace of mind.DSCF0048

I was awed by the sight of the colossal buddha statues in the Datong grotto.DSCF2369

The trip to the “Resonant Desert” in Inner Mongolia was interesting but, as yet, I have not written up any post for it.DSCF2263

Of course, not to be forgotten was my trip to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China with the Autumn foliage providing a colorful background to the already stunning ancient wall.DSCF2695

Hope this is a good start for 2013 and a sincere wish to everyone for a happy, healthy and progressive new year !