Category Archives: photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51: Unique Nara Deer Park

The theme from Amy this week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51 is: Unique. I want to post our unique experience in Japan.

Our family went to Kyoto, Japan in January 2019. While in Kyoto, we visited Nara Park.  

 

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 Nara Park is a public deer park located at the foot of Mount Wakakusa. Established in 1880, it is one of the oldest parks in Japan. The park, including the adjunct temples and gardens, is as large as 1,600 acres.

 

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Nara Park

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Kasugataisha Shrine

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Evergreen Botanical Garden

 

The wild sika deer are designated as natural treasures. They are freely roaming around the park.

 

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Visitors can purchase “deer-crackers” to feed them.

 

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Well, this deer wanted to taste the ice cream

The number of deer grew to around 1,200 in 2008 and created concerns about environmental and crop damage.

 

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During fiscal 2016, 121 people were injured by deer. In 2016 the area around Nara was designated into four different zones, with the outer zones allowing deer to be captured and killed. The culling started in 2017, with a limit of 120 deer to be culled during 2017.

As of July 2017, there were around 1,500 deer living in the park, and at least 164 people had been injured by them in fiscal 2017-2018. Most of them were tourists feeding the deer.

In April 2018 Nara city set up new signs in English, Chinese and Japanese informing tourists that the deer are wild animals and to not tease them during feeding.

I took the following video when a deer bowed to ask for food from visitors.

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51: Unique Nara Deer Park

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #48 – WILD

The challenge Tina gave us for Lens-Artists this week is: Wild

I love the quote Tina has for this post, “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” – Edward Abbey

When we went to Denali National Park, Alaska, we had a glimpse of the sheer beauty of wilderness.

There are two kinds of wilderness inside the National Park system. The original two million acres of Denali are designated wilderness. Designated wilderness has the highest level of protection offered by the Federal Government. Nearly all the other four million acres added by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) are eligible wilderness. According to National Park Service Wilderness Management Policies, eligible wilderness is managed as designated until it is either officially designated, or removed from consideration, both of which require an Act of Congress. Thus almost 6 million acres of Denali National Park and Preserve are protected as wilderness. Source

“The Denali Wilderness is a land of paradox. It is inviting and it is terrifying; accessible and remote. It is an essentially undeveloped wilderness with a road corridor through the middle that brings millions of people to its edge. It is untrammeled, yet managed. Some of the land within its boundaries is well known and studied, but much of it is full of mystery. It is a natural and intact ecosystem celebrated by scientists, writers, hunters, adventurers and artists alike.

As our world is beginning to experience dra­matic and widespread change, all wilderness is at a crossroads. Encroaching development and climate change threaten to dramatically alter these environments but also present a unique opportunity to preserve their excep­tional wilderness character and linkages to other conservation units in Alaska and Canada.” Source

Features of Denali Wilderness:

Natural – A variety of plants and animals thrive in their natural habitats.

Untrammeled – Denali strives to keep this wilderness free from intentional human intervention.

Undeveloped – Most of Denali’s wilderness lacks the imprint of man’s development.

Unconditioned Recreation – Visitors can experience the primitive recreation.

Source

 

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We were fortunate to spot several wild animals on the way to Denali from Anchorage. I took the photos through the window of the coach.

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Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) – is also known as the caribou in North America.

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Willow Ptarmigan – its color will turn completely white in winter

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Snowshoe Hare is known for the large size of its hind feet to prevent it from sinking into the snow.

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A young moose – Bull moose loses the antlers in the winter and grows back next spring.

Lens-Artists Challenge #48 – WILD

 

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Smiles

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week the topic is: Smiles.

“Feel free to use your photo archives and see what photos you have that fits the current week’s challenge, or even better yet grab you camera and take a new photo!  ENJOY and have FUN.” – Cee

Here are a few BIG smiling photos from the archives.

 

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My friend and I at the Messiah Concert

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Lynton and his best friend Randy at Disneyland

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Making a presentation

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My In-house Smiling Model

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Smiles

 

CFFC

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #47: Five Elements

The challenge Amy gave us this week is: Five elements.

Five Elements Theory is a Chinese philosophy which describes that the world changes according to the five elements’ generating or overcoming relationships.

Generating Interactions – The five generating interactions are fueling, forming, containing, carrying, and feeding:

  • Wood fuels fire
  • Fire forms earth
  • Earth contains metal
  • Metal carries water
  • Water feeds wood

Overcoming Interactions – The five overcoming interactions are melting, penetrating, separating, absorbing, and quenching:

  • Fire melts metal
  • Metal penetrates wood
  • Wood separates earth
  • Earth absorbs water
  • Water quenches fire

The interactions illustrate the relationship even though they are not necessarily in the exact order as listed above. Source

The Five Elements Theory is also related to the Chinese Zodiac and Fengshui, a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy. Source

 

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A ball of fire going down behind the silhouette of woods in my neighborhood, California

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Metal Bridge, Moulton Falls Regional Park, Washington

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Hollow wood in Silver Falls, Portland, Oregon

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One of the waterfalls in Silver Falls, Portland, Oregon

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Muddy earth after eruption in 1980, Mt St. Helen, Washington

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #47: Five Elements

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #46 – Delicate

This week, Anne-Christine invited us to look at a delicate matter, may it be soft or light – like the scent of a rose…; having a thin, attractive shape – delicate hands for example…; fragile or easily damaged – like fine china…; pleasant but not easily noticed – like a delicate floral pattern on the walls…or just being ”a delicate matter.”

There are many bird egg stories in my garden. The incubation seems like a delicate situation for birds.

In the summer of 2018 when we came home from a trip, I found a nest hanging on the Date Palm branches with an abandoned egg. There were three different sizes of nests on the ground and one broken egg. My neighbor said there was windstorm while we were gone and caused the disasters for the birds’ motherhood.

The House Finches built a nest on the top layer of the trellis in my front porch in 2015. The three eggs disappeared after several days. I was sad and went online to ask an expert of what happened to the eggs. The answer was it happened all the time because animals could climb up to steal the eggs. I took a while to get over with the sadness.

A pair of House Finches rebuilt the nest in the same location in 2016. The female bird laid three eggs and hatched four birds. I watched and took photos during the entire incubation and hatching period. The female bird would fly away if I came close to the nest. I tried to be slow when walking in front of the nest until the babies were hatched, matured and flown away.

 

 

Similar stories happened to the Mourning Doves. In 2016, a female dove found a location in a tree and sat there. The male dove brought twigs to build a nest around her. She laid eggs but came down from the tree after a few days. The female dove was sitting on the grass, motionless for an hour as if she was mourning for the loss. The male dove was standing a couple feet away, also in a still position. He only adjusted his head when she stood up. I was hiding under the patio table watching and taking photos. I didn’t know what happened to the eggs.

Then the Mourning Doves built a nest under our eaves and laid two eggs in 2017. Male and female doves took turns to incubate the eggs. When the babies were hatched, they watched them close by until the babies flew away.

 

 

When I found three nests on the ground in the summer of 2018 after a windstorm, I saved a better shaped one. I placed it on the top layer of the trellis, supported it with chicken wire, hoping some birds might use it. I didn’t look at the nest a just a few days. On May 9 this year, I found a mourning dove occupied the nest. It looked like they built a nest with twigs on top of the existing nest.  I only saw one dove there and I worried that she might be hungry. I put some bird seeds on the ground a few feet from the trellis. At first, she didn’t seem to come down to eat. The last few days, she came down briefly to eat.

 

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May 2019

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May 2019

I did a research today and found out that, the male and female doves look alike. The male may incubate during daytime and the female does it at night. It takes 14-15 days for incubation and the young will leave the nest in 12-14 days.

I hope that the doves will be successful in hatching their babies this year.

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #46 – Delicate

 

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Feathers

This week the topic is  Feathers.

Feel free to use your photo archives and see what photos you have that fits the current week’s challenge, or even better yet grab you camera and take a new photo!  ENJOY and have FUN. – Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

 

I had seen peacocks in a zoo but hadn’t seen them up close roaming freely until my trip to Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia. The local historian traced back to a few peacocks Elias J. Baldwin picked up on a trip to India around 1880. He brought them back to his 8,000 acres of land then known as Rancho Santa Anita in Los Angeles.

After Baldwin’s death in 1909 at age 81, his daughter Anita sold off parcels of the ranch. In 1947, the state and the County of Los Angeles jointly purchased 111 acres to create an arboretum around the heart of the old ranch. Later the county purchased additional parcels, bringing the Arboretum’s total acreage to today’s 127.

In the 1880s, there were some 50 of the peacocks on the ranch. In the early 1960s, there were around 350. The Arboretum got tired of having so many and auctioned off down to 200. The peacocks could find food and plenty of places to lay eggs and continue to multiply. Since the Arboretum isn’t totally fenced in, today, they are a regular sight on city streets. – Source

 

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Click the link to join the fun and challenge:

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Feathers

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #45 – Street Art

When I go places near my home or travel abroad, I’m attracted to the sculptures, wall paintings, and different art forms. I included samples of these art forms in this post.

 

The MGM Lion Statue is the largest bronze statue in the Western Hemisphere.  It is 45 feet tall and 50 feet long. It weighs 50 tons and is made up of 1660 pieces of bronze welded together. The sculptor was Snell Johnson, and the designer was M. Smeaton. The statue was installed on February 15, 1997. http://www.lionlamb.us/lion/lvlions.html

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The Walk of Fame was created by E.M. Stuart, its volunteer president of Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in 1953. By March 1956, the final design and coral-and-charcoal color scheme had been approved, and between the spring of 1956 and the fall of 1957, 1,558 honorees were selected by committees representing the four major branches of the entertainment industry at that time: motion pictures, television, audio recording, and radio. Official groundbreaking took place on February 8, 1960. As of 2018, the Walk of Fame comprises over 2,600 stars. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Walk_of_Fame

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The Navy sailor kissing a nurse is 25 feet tall, weighs 6,000 pounds statue called “Unconditional Surrender,” by J. Seward Johnson, although the city of San Diego has officially labeled it the “Embracing Peace” statue. The original image of the moment was captured by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt on August 14, 1945 at the end of WWII. https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/20274

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This Marilyn Monroe life-like statue is in front of the Tropic Cinema in Key West, Florida. The famous picture of Marilyn Monroe laughing as her skirt is blown up by the blast from a subway vent was shot on September 15th, 1954 filming The Seven Year Itch. https://shoestringweekends.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/marilyn

 

The Berlin Wall was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989.  The Wall cut off West Berlin from virtually all of surrounding  East Germany and East Berlin until government officials opened it in November 1989. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on November 9, 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the Wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, euphoric people and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the Wall.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Wall

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The following two are the sculptures we saw in Sydney next to a park we passed by.

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The next two sculptures are among the sculptures, murals and other street art we see at Laguna Beach, California where we often go for a half day walk.

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #45 – Street Art

 

 

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