September 30, 2010

Hardworking Hands

Guizhou, 2006

This silversmith, creating exquisite silver accessories to be worn by Miao minority women in Guizhou, has his own clever way to "mass produce" his handiwork.

Posting at Mary's Sepia Scenes, where you will find links to other interesting sepia images.

September 29, 2010

K is for Kimono

Are these middle-aged women I saw in full traditional garments - or kimono - former geisha or are they just dressed up for a photo op on a glorious Sunday at the temple in Kyoto? I didn't care; I thought they and their rich and colorful silk attire were simply fabulous!

Kyoto, 2009

At ABC Wednesday you'll find many more takes on the letter K.

September 27, 2010


Delhi, 2010

I'm posting this photo for no better reason than that I like it and it's red. That's for Mary's Ruby Tuesday.

No need to ooh and aah if it's not your thing. I'd much rather hear your authentic reaction. Indifferent? That's fine too. Truly. It won't break my heart the way this building broke when it was abondoned. Abandoned even.

A Yellow Mop

Sort of like vintage cars and historic houses everywhere, interesting looking buildings in China have been razed to the ground to make way for the new and the modern. I lament that, sometimes. So often the new just doesn't seem to pass the tests of time or tastefulness, especially in developing countries.

The county of Kaiping is perhaps far enough south from the rich industrial belt along the Pearl River Delta of Guangdong that the bulldozers haven't found it yet. The town still has many ornate old buildings like this one...

Kaiping, 2010

Excuse me my mischief of leaving the mop yellow in this desaturated photo, but you see, I wanted to join the fun at Mellow Yellow Monday. And for those of you who prefer the original color, this is a closer view of the windows with the mop. 

Do click on the link to find many more creative images with yellow.

September 26, 2010

Just a Little Park with a Wooden Bridge

It was the dead of winter when I walked around John Daly Park on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. A tad too late to see the Coho and Chum salmon return to spawn in Anderson Creek... or to see any of the wildlife that this event attracts - raccoons, bald eagles and the occasional black bear.

Sunshine Coast, 2010

Yet it was a very pretty place to cross a bridge, watch the water flow in the creek, and walk a ways down the rugged trail through moss-covered trees.

The park is named after an eccentric fisherman who married the author Edith Iglauer. Her acclaimed memoir Fishing with John (turned into the movie Navigating the Heart starring Jaclyn Smith playing Edith) tells the story of their early years spent fishing the often harsh waters off the coast of Vancouver and living on his 41-foot salmon trawler.

Many more interesting bridges from around the world can be found at Louis' Sunday Bridges.

September 25, 2010

Reflections in an Aquarium

You've had a glimpse of the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan before on my blog, and today I show you a bit more.

The Kaiyukan sitting on the edge of the water near Osaka Bay is one of the largest public aquariums in the world.  Designed by British architect Peter Chermayeff, I think the  building has a wonderful unique style. I especially like the tiled mural. 

 Osaka, 2009

No one is sitting on the benches this morning, because it was raining... making it the perfect day to explore inside. There were a good number of school groups here this day.

And parents with their young. "Look ma, the manta ray is smiling at me!"

As well as other photography enthusiasts. Who's lookin' at who?

Interesting facts borrowed from Wikipedia: The walk-through aquarium displays marine life in several habitats comprising 27 tanks in 16 main exhibits with a total volume of 10,941 tons of water. The habitats are from the Ring of Fire area of the Pacific Ocean. The largest tank is 9 metres (30 ft) deep and holds 5,400 cubic metres (190,699 cu ft) of water and a variety of fish including manta rays and a pair of whale sharks.

I watched the sardines going round and round and round endlessly and couldn't help but reflect upon the human condition.

Back to the wiki: The tanks used in the aquarium are made of 314 tonnes (346 tons) of acrylic glass - roughly 1.5 times the world's annual production. The largest single pane measures six meters by five meters by thirty centimeters and weighs roughly 10 tons. At the thicknesses used, regular glass would be unwieldy and would not have the desired transparency.

I've linked my post to Weekend Reflections where you'll find others from around the world sharing their reflections.

September 24, 2010

[SkyWatch] Spirit in the Sky

I'm on a roll. Rock and roll. Well... maybe just old classics.

Yesterday while posting my King of the Road it was the song I had in mind. Fellow blogger Louis gave the link to the original 1964 Roger Miller version. Yay! 

I was out on my late afternoon walk when I saw this action in our sky and I was compelled to step up my pace to the beat in my brain of Spirit in the Sky (Norman Greenbaum circa 1970).

Life does that to me... connects me to music, I mean. You too?

 Manila, 2010

There are many more interesting and beautiful skies from around the world at SkyWatch Friday.

September 23, 2010

King of the Road

 Mindoro, 2010

One thing we can say with certitude about Mindoro Oriental after our little trip a few weeks ago, if not about the rest of the Philippine Islands, is that dogs rule the road. Time and again our car had to slow down to a crawl to circumnavigate a local country mutt lazing on the roadway, giving no sign of fear nor making a move. My friend thought it was hysterical and finally asked our driver to stop for me to take this souvenir for her.

I link it to Mary's Sepia Scenes where you'll find other interesting sepia images.

September 22, 2010

J is for Jewelry

Diamonds may be Carol Channing's best friend, but I'm not one of her girls. I'm not a big jewelry fan at all, really, much preferring a trip around the world to a bauble or a trinket.

Yet a few years ago I got an eyeful of stunning jewelry in Xiahe, aka Labrang, a town built around the most important Tibetan Buddhist monastery outside of Lhasa. This town on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau in Gansu province is busy hosting a steady stream of handsome pilgrims from Tibet, most , both female and male, wearing their distinctive clothing and the traditional red coral and/or turquoise necklaces and earrings. Let me share some with you. You'll see the belts are very unique and special too. [Click images to enlarge for better view.]

Xiahe/Labrang, 2007

And it's the local Muslim or Chinese vendors who sell the jewelry to the visitors. I'm no expert in coral or turquoise, but I do know that at least some of what was in the stores were polyresin reproductions.

This is my J for Jewelry for ABC Wednesday. The link will take you to many other creative takes on the letter J.

September 21, 2010

Sadhu in Kathmandu

A sadhu is a Hindu man (and the very occasional woman) who has chosen to forgo the physical pleasures of life in order to further their spiritual discipline to obtain "moksha" (liberation).  This ascetic - or holy man - I met in Durbar Square in Kathmandu willingly posed for my camera.

Kathmandu, 2010

His ochre-colored outfit symbolizes his renunciation. Yet I thought there was enough red here to qualify for Mary's Ruby Tuesday... don't you agree?

September 20, 2010

Lotus or Water Lily?

Until today I thought that lotus and water lily were interchangeable words. Silly me. Of course it's not that simple.

Both are aquatic plants that grow in shallow calm fresh (ie. unsalted) water and love lots of sunshine. Yet there is a botanical distinction; and the water lily is a Western plant, while the lotus is Eastern. To confuse things, now, of course, you can find either wherever the climate is suitable.

I saw this white beauty today at a garden center. Which is it, a lotus or water lily?

Philippines, 2010

Let me give you clue: The most telling difference is that the petals of the water lily sit on the water, while the lotus rises above it.

Easy, right?

Since I saw this fabulous specimen today, I though I'd also show you a lotus seed head. The seeds are used in Chinese cooking; I love both the soup and dessert made with lotus seeds.

If you are interested to learn more about this fabulous flower, this web page looked interesting, explaining not only the botany, but its appearance in history, literature and sacred lore.

This post is linked to Today's Flower and Mellow Yellow Monday.

September 19, 2010

Glass House Bridge

One would cross this glass house bridge I captured at twilight to get to a tiny island in the middle of a small, probably man-made, lake. The bridge can be found in a pretty park in Guilin, a city most famous for its location among the picturesque karst hills you see in the distance (and better seen here, here and here).

Guilin, 2007

Many more bridges from around the world can be found at the links hosted at Louis' Sunday Bridges

September 18, 2010

White Deer

Right across from the entrance to our residential village (subdivision) gate is a large parcel of undeveloped land. When I walk or drive past it, I can sometimes see or hear interesting fowl, either flying freely or in their cages. I'd really like to go in and see this private zoo, but that seems unlikely to happen; I am told, but cannot verify, that the owner of this land is somewhat eccentric and quite solitary, not interested in sharing his live little treasures.

A few days ago, I drove past and was delighted to spot a group of deer. Not only that, but after stopping the car, I saw that they were white and I couldn't recall ever seeing white deer before.  I can't be sure, of course, but a little internet research makes me think this is a rare breed of Seneca White Deer from Seneca County, NY, (although perhaps not purebreds) and I can only wonder how - or why - they ever got to the outskirts of Manila!

Postscript: Thank you to visitor Coy who probably correctly identified these animals as fallow deer (Dama dama). White is a real color variety, not albino.

Manila, 2010

For more Camera Critters around the world, click on the link.