A-Z Archive: M is for Mountain Pass, Morning Tea and Mandarava

Traveling in Bhutan a few years ago we left the capital Thimphu to climb westwards through the mountains. The first high mountain pass is Dochula, at an altitude of about 3000m, roughly 45 minutes drive from Thimphu, on the way to Punakha. From Dochula, if you have clear sky, you can see all of the Bhutanese high peaks except Chomolhari.

The beauty of this place is further enhanced by the Druk Wangyal Chortens – 108 stupa built by the eldest Queen Mother Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. The chortens were built in memory of the war between India and Bhutanese militants. Chortens are “spiritual monuments” and they symbolize Buddha’s mind, body and soul.

Prayer flags flutter in the constant breezes, and travelers beat a hasty retreat into the Dochula Resort where the stoves are alight and tea is brewing.

The Bhutanese guides in traditional dress cluster together around the fire, helping themselves to morning tea, while we politely sit at tables and are served.

I was thrilled to find a huge silk thangka depicting Guru Padmasambhava with his two consorts, Mandarava and Yeshe Tsogyal. I had been doing a Mandarava practice, so I particularly photographed this beautiful artwork, holding it dear as I journeyed.

Isn’t She beautiful, just like you! Can you feel that divine sweetness emanating from you? I love doing these archive trawls with frizztext, digging out old favourite images and remembering the fun of traveling. You can join in too:

at http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/gallery/

Sunday Post: Light

These are my favourite images of light, taken late in the afternoon when the sun was almost set. I think the low angle of the light created these interesting deflections in the reflected images of the stems and leaves.

late afternoon light reflections

and here is another of the same waterlily

light bending

You can join in too at http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/sunday-post-light/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Through

Attending a festival in Bhutan, the Buddhist monks had their own dedicated viewing space. They sat apart in peaceful comfort looking directly over the dancing and feasting below. I could see them through the open doorway of their rustic shelter.

This photo is my entry in the Weekly Photo Challenge, you can join in too!

Sunday Post: Recipe

This has been such a busy time with our SE Harvest Festival that I thought I might miss the Recipe post …. but I kept thinking about it, and this is what I came up with. A recipe for a healthy life! This is how we make lunch, and usually breakfast and dinner as well. We go out into the garden and see what there is to eat … so come with me on a little trip …you would get bored if I showed you everything out there.

Healthy fresh-grown food creates healthy bodies and minds, so stimulate your creativity and go fresh! That is our recipe for a healthy life.

Check out Jakesprinter Sunday Post to join in the Recipe challenge this week.

A-Z Archive: L is for Life

One of the most enjoyable museums we have visited is Kelvingrove in Glasgow. This is the entry space, and the banner reads Life!

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum featuring their LIFE exhibit

Thanks to Frizz for his A-Z Archive photography challenge, so we can troll through the archives and dig out interesting pictures! Join in at http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/l-the-photo-challenge/


A-Z Archive: K is for Kathmandu

A few years ago we went to Nepal to work with a charity organisation for three weeks. We were based in PepsiCola Town Planning, a suburb on the fringes of Kathmandu, where large houses are built on prime market garden land along the river. Families generally live in one or two rooms and rent the others. The hustle of the city was very close, and thick smog lay over the whole valley which is surrounded by the peaks of the Himalayas. Rubbish was burnt in the street, adding to the fumes of cheap petrol, and almost everyone had respiratory problems.

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The city has beautiful Buddhist temples, fascinating old architecture, and marvelous markets where artisans display their wares. However the crowding, rubbish and smog make it quite unpleasant now. We were very glad to fly away to Pokara for a short break, where the air was clear and you could see the surrounding mountains!

Check out the other “K” photos here, and join in with your own “K” image http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/a-z-archive-k-challenge/

Sunday Post: Design

All over India women paint the threshold of their homes with traditional decorative patterns. We were fasciated by the beauty of the designs we saw in the Thar desert, halfway between Jaisalmer and Bikaner. The desert people lived simply in round huts made from natural materials, yet they were radiantly happy hospitable families. Here the art of the local women is displayed on the courtyard and around the walls of the grain store and dwelling.

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You can learn more about this kind of folk art from: http://www.tarabooks.com/

This post is part of Jakesprinters Sunday Post photo challenge …you can join in too … check it out at http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/sunday-post-design/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

contrast between old and new buildings in sydney nsw australia

My city, Sydney, in which I had lived for most of my life until moving away to the south coast twelve years ago. When I was young the buildings were all gracious old ones, built of brick and stone, but in my teenage years the first tall glass and steel buildings appeared. Later still the tall towers and fluid shapes of current buildings … the skyline always changing. Looking up in Pitt Street you can’t miss the contrast between old and new!

Would you like to join in the Weekly Photo Challenge?

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS


A-Z Archive: J is for Jaisalmer

My last post was about Jodphur, which is not far from Jaisalmer, so journey with me again for the “J” challenge! Join in yourself at Frizztext.

Jaisalmer Hill Fort

The narrow streets are colourful in the brilliant way of Rajasthani people, crowded with tourists, inhabitants, salespeople, cows and other animals, camels and their carts, and market stalls with vivid produce, mirror-encrusted clothing and textiles, and billboards offering internet, memory cards, meals and accommodation etc.

So there is the bustle of Jaisalmer, hope you enjoyed the busy streets!