Tag Archives: flowers

Spring explosion

Never really had the patience, all over these months, to take photos properly. Just a few minutes of playing around with snapshots, then lost interest. Even now, can’t really be bothered to choose the very best. But anyway, it took me by surprise, all over again, how quickly everything grows and changes and develops here. Everything is in constant turmoil and perpetual transformation. Forget the papayas that take over half a year to ripen, the flowers that keep blooming for weeks and weeks, the fruits whose seasons last half a year. Here, it is all out for a day, or a week, and then all gone, on to the next flower, the next fruit. Constantly in a hurry, constantly kind of “mourning” the loss of something that won’t come back for another year. It’s a very different state of mind. Very difficult for me to try to adjust. Feels like I’m losing something every single second, there is no time to get used to or get bored of anything, need to grab every moment to admire and exploit and gobble it up, before it is gone, before it is too late. I don’t even know what my favourite fruit is, never had the chance to find out, I just always devour the one that happens to be available this week. Over in Thailand, I did manage to figure out that it is mangoes and grapes. Because I had the time to figure it out….

In any case, I still did have the state of mind to contemplate how on earth it is possible that tiny seeds grow into giant plants, and they know exactly what to do and what shape of leaves to grow and when it is time to develop flowers and what kind of fruits those will transform into. I did advanced biology all right, and I know the theory, but I still have no idea how it is really possible at all in real life.

And of course, it also applies to my son, how can two people whose lives and personalities barely intersect still create something nearly perfect out of two single cells? It still baffles me. Completely.

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Dazzling whites

I believe last year I skipped whites from my colour series. In the tropics, it is really easy to overlook, put it down as a conspicuous lack of colour, but sometimes in the strong and dazzling December sun, even the whites dance and shine.

The elaborate dragon motifs on the temple roof are Chiang Rai’s famed White Temple, and most of the flower photos were taken at the New Year flower festival on the same day, among the million reds, oranges, pinks and purples – still one of my favourite events in Thailand.

Bonus photo at the very end: my sister’s snow white deaf cat (one blue eye, one yellow eye, still hoping to take a good photo of him one of these days soon).

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2011 dec chiang rai 008   2011 dec chiang rai 031  2011 dec chiang rai 037

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2011 dec chiang rai 236  2012 Feb Chiang Mai 122

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May in the garden

Nope, I haven’t been entangled into a time warp, unfortunately; these photos date back to my first spring with my first ever digital camera. All of them were taken in our garden. At the moment, in real time, it’s just the first shoots, buds and leaves, and a carpet of violets, which is pretty but doesn’t really translate to a photo, so I really wanted to remind myself what is still coming.

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Choose your Bali

Feast of the flesh at Padang Padang beach, or the roaring waves of Uluwatu – I have to admit, the baring of so much flesh reminded me of chickens roasting at roadside stalls, too many years in Asia, not used to perfect, crisp, young and smooth bodies, both male and female, available for view by all.

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Then just drive a few kilometres, and it’s the capital of package tour land, sunset tours at Uluwatu – luckily, all the guides tell the folks not to follow that trail into the woods for 3 more minutes, so if you do, oops, suddenly middle of nowhere, and the view is all yours. It’s also a fine place to experience the famous kecak dance (definitely worth looking up on youtube if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

Public view – the temple protects Bali from the spirits of the sea. Monkeys are everywhere and fierce about food, hats, and I’ve seen one scrambling down those cliffs with a roughly 2000-usd camera….

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Private view – just more cliffs and waves.

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And of course I don’t have a single photo of the maddening traffic jams of southern Bali, the shops and discos of Kuta, or the beach boys. Suffice to say even some of the old ladies greet you with “g’day mate”. It’s interesting to observe for about twenty-two minutes. Crowds also mean bookshops (being phased out, as people starting running around with kindles, a bummer for ancient specimens like me, internet cafes are already almost completely gone from the entire banana pancake trail, just sayin’).

Then a short van ride to the land of neon green rice fields, organic farms, yoga retreats (right two minutes down from high fashion street), and suddenly I can breathe, and the first rain in six months cools me down. I’m no veggie conoisseur or gastro blogger, but this must be the prettiest lunch I’ve had in a long while.

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And then a little while on a motorcycle, more rice fields on the way, and my favourite temple, where the spirits drink sprite. Still many visitors, but I already know the locals’ entrance…. and feel the chilly water on my skin even without touching it.

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It happens to be Melasti, the day of purification (I was kinda hoping something was going on at the holy springs, but nope, ordinary afternoon), the villagers go to the sea for prayers, kids giggle and point and say stuff in a language I don’t understand, which is great, as I can presume the best, and there is gamelan music and chanting and lots of flowers offered to the gods and spirits, holy waters collected, and you wish you were invisible after all, trying to take those pictures and juggling that with trying to say your own prayers.

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The English say, if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. I would say, you don’t like Bali, just turn a corner, something will startle you and it might just be your thing, no matter who you are and what you are after.

For a change, all these pictures were taken yesterday and today, all these little moments just within two days, and there is of course still so many more things out there, the beaches, the monuments, all the arts and landscapes and gorges and waterfalls. Then all the monsters coming alive on Sunday, and the day of silence on Monday. Can’t wait. I might even find something new that surprises me.

(Hopefully, more ceremony photos tomorrow, as it is an ongoing festival.)

 

Fifty shades of purple

I just tried to “channel” purple and violet, and these are some of the images which came to my mind. Actually, I haven’t found  a photo of the most common purple orchid that is sold by the kilo. Need to make up for this sometime soon. It’s interesting how usually the most often seen sights are overlooked and end up unphotographed.

2010 Jan Doi Inthanon 153Chedi on Doi Inthanon

IMG_1062Flower in the royal research station botanical garden on Doi Inthanon

IMG_2089Psychedelic coral in Raja Ampat

DSCF4095Flower festival decoration in Chiang Mai

DSCF5807Water lily in a temple garden

2010 Jan Doi Inthanon 412Flower in the botanical garden on Doi Inthanon

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Tulips at Chiang Rai flower festival

2011 loy krathong school 096Loy krathong decorations (there is that elusive orchid)

2010 Jan Doi Inthanon 117Royal pagoda on Doi Inthanon

This was the missing post from last Saturday. Purple is supposed to be my colour because  I was born on a Saturday, but I have never actually taken to it, although I used to wear a lot of purple in Yangon, somehow ended up with many purple sarongs and shirts. The dragonfly photo in the header was taken at Chiang Dao, I remember well because they also settled on my finger later on. Not sure why but it was a nice purple moment, too.