Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy ( Fragrant Hill Park, Beijing)

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We were in Beijing three years ago and have the opportunity to visit the Fragrant Hill Park and Mountain.

It was Autumn and Beijing was , as forever, always hazy.

The haze gives a dreamy feel, but this feeling is not due to the haze alone.DSCF2742

We passed by this beautiful which has all the ingredients of a beautiful picture: colored foliage in the hills, weeping willow near the water edge, a peaceful like with lily pads, a Chines style pagoda with red columns, reflection in the water.DSCF2748

The weeping willows reminded me of the willows I saw elsewhere, like those in West Lake, China or those by the side of River Cam in Cambridge, UK. They all look like a curtain of green leaves hanging them, unveiling the tranquility in front of your eyes.DSCF2752

Also by the lake were pine trees, they look so much in harmony with the whole scene.DSCF2767

Not far from this lake was a water feature with stones specially placed in an artistic manner which is not uncommon in Chinese garden designs.

All these looked dreamy to me, the haze definitely added to it.

So we sat down by the lake and dreamed and dreamed all day.


Watching Kois in West Lake (Xihu) Hangzhou, China

Last Summer, the World Heritage Committee has inscribed the West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The inscribed landscape has inspired famous poets, scholars and artists since the 9th century. It comprises numerous temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens and ornamental trees, as well as causeways and artificial islands.  The West Lake has influenced garden design in the rest of China as well as Japan and Korea over the centuries and bears an exceptional testimony to the cultural tradition of improving landscapes to create a series of vistas reflecting an idealised fusion between humans and nature

We knew it wasn’t the best time of the year for visiting West Lake in Hangzhou China. It was November, the sky was hazy and it was cool when we landed at the airport.

Early next morning, we started our exploration of the lake which is listed by UNESCO. We strolled along the banks of the West Lake, wandering into an area which is known as “Orioles Singing in the Willows “.

The view was refreshingly green. There were willows everywhere and the place looked very tranquil; although we didn’t see or hear any orioles.

As we wandered further along the bank of the lake, the rain began to fall.

We have a good watch of wild ducks swimming in the water and the whole lake with willows on the bank looked so serene.

Strolled further along, we were awed by view with this traditional Chinese bridge standing out of the water on the other side of the lake.

Not deterred by the rain, we walked further along and crossed the  footbridge (below).

We came to a lake where schools of bright-colored kois were  swimming ; they were mainly red and orange in color.

It was a joy to watch the kois admist the rain. The sky turned dark and this imparted a blue hue on the water surface. The whole thing started looking like a painting. Rain drops shooting into the water and spreading out as  ripples.

The kois swam underneath the water and only surfaced when they spotted food on the water surface. The kois swimming in the lake were just like impressionist paintings with a blue background. The contrasting  red and orange colors were in an ever-changing pattern of different spatial dispersion and intensity.

I was entranced by their movements, sometimes swimming together, came up to the surface and compete for the food they found.

I could see the individual droplets of rain hitting the surface  of the water and the resulting ripples spreading out.

I thought I could stay here all day gazing how the kois came together against the blue background. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

For related post ” The Last Days of Autumn in West Lake, China”, please see https://retireediary.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/the-last-days-of-autumn-in-west-lake-china/