Sunday, June 29, 2014

Temple of Heaven and Wangfujing with Mom and Melanie

Monday, June 2 was a holiday in China - Dragon Boat Festival - so I had the day off. We headed off to the Temple of Heaven in the morning.

This is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests behind the trio.

This shot is inside the hall. The building has been rebuilt several times but the current form dates back to 1751. Prayers were offered the springtime for a good fall harvest.

This shot is looking north from the Circular Mound Alter toward the Imperial Vault of Heaven.

This is the inside of the East Annex building.

As I have described before there are all sorts of people out enjoying the park. This guy is engaging in a popular activity. He is using the big brush to write auspicious or famous sayings on the sidewalk. I saw a guy the other day doing this with both hands at the same time.

This guy was out using a new, old-style camera to take a picture. He is using the hood to block out light so he can see what the shot will look like on the focusing screen. Once he has it all set up he will install the film plate and expose it. He must have fussed around for 10 minutes to get it like he wanted. No surprise I guess, I imagine each film piece is pretty expensive. The film is about 8x10 inches.

Here is is subject. I spent about 2 seconds composing this shot. I am guessing that this was a photography school exercise.

I've mentioned before that this is a popular spot for wedding photography. There were 4 couples there this day. These are apparently rented dresses et al. Click and see if you can see the 3-inch safety pins holding her dress together.

Here is another woman. The helper was sort of tossing her dress train in to the air to get a sense of motion.

Same hair style, same earrings, but different woman and fiance.

Melanie NEVER takes a bad picture. She always stands there and smiles, never kibitzes about how the picture should be taken, etc.

This group was dancing for exercise and to add to the ambiance of the park.

In fifty years this little girl will be ready to join in.

Here are earlier posts about the Temple of Heaven.
Ed and Nancy at the Temple of Heaven
Tom and Misheil at the Temple of Heaven
Mike and Amanda at the Temple of Heaven
Tom at the Temple of Heaven
Work Colleagues at the Temple of Heaven

These guys were fascinated by the soccer ball tricks the guy above was performing.  Interesting buggy - not sure if it was homemade or just repaired.

The flowers in the park were pretty.

In the afternoon we headed down to Wangfujing for shopping and dinner.

Here are Serious, Happy and Sassy.

Click to enlarge.

Here is a shot of Melanie outside the the Quanjude Roast Duck restaurant.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Great Wall with Mom and Melanie

Nancy Savage, Tom Savage, Margot Savage and Melanie Wall at Mutianyu Great Wall

On Sunday, June 1 we visited the Great Wall at Mutianyu. We chose this location because Margot and I hadn't been there before and because it has a chairlift to take you up to the top.

Looking at this picture one might think that wasn't a good idea.

But all's well that ends well. It did save a lot of steps.

Here is a selfie that Melanie took.

This is the view from the chairlift station.

The mountains are pretty rugged in this part of Beijing.

Here is Melanie hiking on up to the next watch tower. The rest of us weren't so ambitious.

Where's Waldo Melanie?

This inscription on the mountain says "Committed to Chairman Mao". I understand it was inscribed on the mountain during the Cultural Revolution.

It took same patience and clever cropping to get this photo without any other visitors.

Here is a shot of some of the souvenir crap available at the foot of the chairlift.

I've posted a lot of [ictures from the cloisonne factory but there is something about this one that struck me. Perhaps it was the artisan of this old art form on a cell phone or maybe the "bring your own toilet paper" statement. Both are indicative of modern day China.

I've taken pictures of this room before but this is one of the clearer shots. The cloisonne is fired in this furnace to melt the colors onto the copper base.

These dishes are beautiful but I'm not sure they are $10,000 beautiful.

Here's a couple of the drunken sailors now.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Nancy Savage and Melanie Wall at the Summer Palace

Our last visitors during the Spring rush were Mom and Melanie. They were here for about 10 days. We had a great time showing them around Beijing.

This picture is actually at the Lama Temple. I wasn't there but Margot did take a few pictures.

It was an unusual blue sky day in Beijing. Only 5 animals on this roof.

For those of you who have visited you will know this as the tunnel between the Silk Market and the subway station. It is getting remodeled but it is still in use. They were all quite surprised to find themselves in a construction zone.

We came into a section of the Summer Palace I hadn't visited before. This is on a causeway leading to an island in Kunming Lake. That's the main part of the park in the background.

Here we rest a bit after walking up the small hill on the island.

The Tower of Buddhist Incense at the Summer Palace

We took a little ferry from the island to the main part of the Summer Palace. I took this picture from the boat.

This is the infamous Marble Boat. You can learn the full story here. Marble Boat

Nancy Savage in the Long Corridor at the Summer Palace in Beijing

Here is a Mom in the Long Corridor. There are over 14,000 paintings in the nearly 1/2 mile long walkway.

Long Corridor

Melanie Wall in the Long Corridor at the Summer Palace in Beijing

Melanie never takes a bad picture!

Tower of Buddhist Incense

This is the The Tower of Buddhist Incense.

This bridge always makes a nice picture.

I couldn't resist. Margot's first guess was Eastern Europe but I'm pretty sure she needs to go further east.

I'm pretty sure she was with the tour group following this flag. Anyone recognize it?

The flag is from Iran.

This is the Great Stage that was built in 1891. It has been recently restored and the colors are fantastic.

The stage had three levels and a series of lifts that could depict characters rising to heaven or descending into hell.

These are viewing rooms were officials could enjoy the show.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Home Leave in Rogers, Arkansas

Curious fox kits in Rogers, Ar

These pictures are from our recent home visit to Rogers, AR. There was a family of foxes down the street from my mother's home.

Young fox on a log near Beaver Lake in Rogers, AR

There were 6 of them in all. They had a den in a old brush pile on the lot.

Young fox in Rogers, AR

I took pictures of them for a couple of days but then they vanished. Maybe they were old enough that they needed to go out on their own or perhaps the mother relocated the entire group.

There was a fishing tournament on Beaver lake  on Saturday. This is the weigh in at the end of the day.

They were expecting 700 fishermen for the event. Here are some of the boats lined up along the shore.

Here are a few pictures from another day on the lake. We were out on Greg's boat. We met up with some old longtime friends, Tom and Sue Burkenpas who recently moved to Rogers. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures. Next time.

Fishing is very popular this time of year.

These young guys were catching some rays.

Their friends were paddling to join them.

Chotkowski Gardens open house on Mother's Day 2014

On Mother's Day Mom, Margot and I visited the Chotkowski Gardens in Fayetteville at Dana's invitation. Every year they hold an open house so that people can enjoy their Peonies.

You may remember that we visited a Peony garden in Luoyang, China a few weeks earlier. You can see that posting here ---> Luoyang Peony Festival

I think this is an Iris not a Peony.

These are Peonies.

You can learn more about Chotkowski Gardens at these links.

Chotkowski Gardens on Facebook
Fayetteville Flyer

Here is the view of Beaver Lake from Prairie Creek Park Road. We stopped on our way home from dinner at JJ's Grill at Prairie Creek Marina to take a couple of pictures just as the sun was setting.

This is an Iris in Mom's front yard.

These are Rhododendrons, also in her yard. Early May is a very pretty time of year in Rogers.