Sunday, May 26: Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week is Pathways. I’ve seen many beautiful pathways in my travels around the world.
Saturday, April 6: The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is Color. Splashed on the walls of cities, in batches of flowers in gardens, in the doodles of students, and on the palettes of artists, color is everywhere: it may represent our mood, and it can affect our mood. In photography, you can use a spectrum of colors to bring a place to life, or focus on a single shade to make a bold statement. Conversely, you can shoot in black-and-white or remove color in editing mode for a different effect.
In a new post created specifically for this challenge, share a picture in which color takes center stage.
Click on any of the pictures below for a full-sized slide show.
Finally, in honor of South Korea, which is having a few problems with its bellicose northern neighbor right now, here are some colorful lanterns from a lantern festival in Seoul.
Friday, December 7: Our new travel theme challenge for this week from Ailsa of Where’s my backpack? is Circles. She writes: Circles have a similar effect to leading lines in photos – the eye can’t help but follow the line of the circle, usually tracing around it several times, which draws attention to both the circle and whatever it encloses.
Here are some circles from my travels:
Before I went to Korea, I ate my meals on one plate. Maybe two. But in Korea, they serve their meals on multiple plates and everyone eats off of them communally. Every one of their meals is like this. They do a LOT of dish washing in that country!
I’ve posted pictures of my favorite place in Korea, Suncheon Bay before, but the ones I’ve posted were taken in December, when all the grasses were brown. On this trip, taken October 2, the circles of grasses were green.
Tuesday, July 10: Now that FrizzText, who used to challenge us with the A-Z archive photo challenge, has gone through the entire alphabet, he is now challenging us to come up with a story or brief reflection about something from each letter of the alphabet. Last week, for the letter “A,” I linked up to his challenge a story about Andong, South Korea, from my catbird in korea blog: andong and the hotel california. To join in, see FrizzText’s Story Challenge: Letter B.
This week, I have just a few things to say about bicycles.
I like the old-fashioned kind, the kind with shiny metal fenders, a kickstand and a basket attached to the front handlebars. I have a memory of riding my bicycle with no hands and my eyes closed, trying to be a daredevil, and falling down, of course. A rock lodged in my knee and, scraped and bloodied, I sat in the bathroom crying as my mother pried the rock out. I still have that scar.
As a child, I loved the feel of the wind in my hair, the recklessness of speeding downhill on my bicycle.
I rode an old-fashioned bicycle in Kyoto, Japan with a Korean girl baker. These are sturdy old-fashioned bicycles with baskets and no adjustable gears, the kind I rode when I was a girl. Everyone seems to ride these kinds of bikes in Kyoto. Compact and well-dressed Japanese people pedal around on them, looking unhurried and day-dreamy, creating a simple Japanese-style Norman Rockwell-like ambiance that makes me feel a nostalgic fondness for the days when life was full of straightforward and uncomplicated pleasures.
Whenever I see a bicycle parked anywhere, I hesitate, struck by its utility and its romance. In China, there were bicycles aplenty, and I loved them all, as much as you can love something that can’t love you back.
And in Oman, I see the lone bicycle, parked alongside a struggling business, the sole means of transport for some poor Pakistani or Indian.
Tuesday, March 6: How can I sum up Japan in one picture? I have chosen four that I hope will convey something about Japan, its colorful and quirky culture, its celebration of detail, and its love of beauty and order. It’s appropriate that the A-Z Photo Challenge for this week is the letter “J” and that I came up with “Japan” as my theme. Because just one year ago, on 11 March 2011, Japan was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake that triggered a deadly 23-foot tsunami in the country’s north. I had just visited Kyoto, well south of the tsunami, in February 2011, just one month prior. At the time of the disaster, I had left Korea for good and was traveling in India.
I had fallen in love with the country and its people. My heart went out to Japan, a culture that values order and cleanliness, as they had to recover from a disaster of such proportions. A sad time for a lovely culture.
If you would like to read about my short trip to Japan, please visit my blog at catbird in kyoto.
Thursday, February 23: I am now officially hooked on the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. After looking through lots of entries in this ongoing challenge, I’ve happened upon some amazing blogs. One of my favorites is called Life in the Bogs by a talented photographer in Ohio named Robin. I am so mesmerized that now I read her blog every morning along with my coffee! Today, I found through her blog a photo challenge by someone named Karma: Karma’s When I Feel Like it Blog: February Photo Hunt. Since I have hundreds of photos from my travels, and I also went on a hike Thursday on Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain) in Oman, I decided to try to find, or take, some pictures that match her prompts. Karma’s challenge words and my photos follow.
Because Oman is a desert country, with little water, the few trees you see often look like they’re dying, or struggling to keep themselves together. I found this one Thursday on Jebel Akdar (Green Mountain), with its bark flaking off.
For bow, I’m going with the definition of “a bend or curve.” This is a pond at the Ho Chi Minh complex in Hanoi. I love the bow of this large balcony over the pond.
For this one, I looked for the closest thing I could find to a mug shot, and this is the best I could do!
I love how everything in Japan is so neat and orderly. I could have chosen so many pictures for row from Japan, I had a hard time deciding which one to use. I love the colors and the Japanese characters on these wooden fortunes. These are all over temples in Japan, but since I don’t read Japanese, I’m only assuming they’re either fortunes or wishes. I really would love to know what they actually are!
Here’s the definition of bun I found: any of a wide variety of variously shaped bread rolls, usually leavened and slightly sweetened or plain, sometimes containing spices, dried currants, etc. Ok, admittedly, dumplings are not exactly buns, but this is the closest thing I could find. They are a type of bread, right? Anyway, I make mine with Bisquick, which one also uses to make buns. A close cousin?
6) heart shapes (for the month of valentines)
Beautiful heart-shaped leaves in Daegu, South Korea. I love the color and texture of these. I feel like they can’t decide whether they’re dead or alive, or whether it’s spring or fall.
Bonus word: leap (to celebrate leap year)
This is at one of the many wadis in Oman, specifically Wadi Bani Khalid. It’s always hot in Oman, so these pools are really refreshing. This Omani boy leaps in for a swim at one of the many pools. Ahhh, sweet relief.
Happy LEAP YEAR!!