Monday, October 27, 2014

Autumn out my front door

I believe I have posted similar shots of my view out the front door before, but in winter or spring. It is autumn and I need to get back to making new pictures rather than processing and posting photos from China. Fall is really a great time of year here in Western New York and it does't last that long, so I need to take advantage.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Stairway to the second level of an upscale shop in Beijing. I don't remember which top designer, but the name and store would be right at home on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Light in the window

I said I was done with my pictures from China, but as I wade through the many photos captured, I have found a few more to share. No stories, just pictures.

Well, there may be some stories too.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

South of Seneca

South of Seneca Lake is Montour Falls. I took a look at the high rock face cascade but found the view across the street more interesting. The pillars on both buildings are round but made of brick, which is unusual.The larger building is the Montour Falls municipal offices and the smaller was originally a bank but now serves are the public library.

Also south of the lake but closer to shore is Watkins Glen, which my previous post addressed. The autumnal picture below is another view from the park trail.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Glen

Watkins Glen State Park is said to be the most popular state park in New York... and I guess it is for good reason. Walking the glen is pretty easy and also pretty rewarding.

There are 19 water falls within the couple of miles of trail. But also more than 800 stone steps... each way. And also a lot of eroded rock.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Farewell China

This marks the end of my China posts (OK, there may be a few more at some point) but this is number 17 in the series... more than I anticipated at the start.

At the beginning of this series I promised to not include the typical tourist photos, but I am not sure I have succeeded.  Undertaking a trip like this means focusing your time on the "must see" sites, which does not allow a lot of time for more interesting, beyond the obvious, picture taking.

It was a fantastic experience, a once in a lifetime, that I will forever remember,

Monday, October 13, 2014


The Forbidden City is no longer forbidden, you just need to pay the entrance fee.

It is a fascinating place... a few facts:
  • The world's biggest ancient palace
  • China's most popular tourist attraction
  • Almost 600 years old
  • A UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Contains the largest collection of ancient wooden structures in the world
  • It has 9,999 rooms (only heaven has more... was thought to have 10,000 rooms)
There were crowds of tourists (many of them Chinese) but I was lucky enough to capture these images with only a hint of the throng.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Great Wall

The challenge of photographing well known, iconic places, is finding a unique perspective. In the end perhaps it is not worth trying. Maybe it is best just to open your eyes and enjoy being in the moment

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fresh fish

Grocery shopping is a bit different in the everyday markets of Beijing. Perhaps the fish are fresh, but there seemed to be an absence of refrigeration, which seems troubling. But it does not seem to bother the neighborhood shoppers.

Friday, October 10, 2014


I guess no trip to China is complete without a visit with the giant pandas.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tang Dynasty Show

Our travels in China included a few shows that were really quite spectacular. At times I though that perhaps we are gone though a black hole and ended up in Disney World EPCOT. It is interesting that Disney has done such a marvelous job of imitating the exotic world that the world now seems to be an imitation of Disney.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Terracotta Army

The story of the terracotta warriors are pretty well known, but I was surprised to learn that these ancient relics were discovered less that forty years ago after being buried well over two thousand years. A farmer was digging a well and came upon a terracotta head. Chinese archaeologists began to investigate ultimately finding many thousands of sculptures at the site. That farmer is still alive and spends his days at the museum signing books for tourists (yes, we bought one).

The scale is impressive as was the number of visitors viewing the ruins as archaeologists continue to (literally) put the pieces together. The picture below is of only one "pit"... there are three others, but they are smaller.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Curious burial

There is mystery around the hanging coffins that can be found along the rivers in China. No one seems to know exactly how old they are, and even more perplexing, how they were placed in such precipitous locations hundreds or even thousands of years ago.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

New towns

As a result of the higher water level caused by the Three Gorges Dam, about one and half million people had to be relocated to higher ground. In many cases this meant families giving up land that had been farmed for many generations. The government provided high-rise apartments, which of course meant giving up farming. This has resulted in many leaving the rural life and instead working in manufacturing.

Being forced to make this change would seem to be greatly resented by the people, but we were told it was accepted for the common good... a central premise of Communism.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

More power

The Three Gorges Dam serves several purposes, but the main function is to generate power. Lots of power. It is the world's largest power station in terms of capacity... 22,500 MW to be precise.

It also increases the navigation capacity of the Yangtze above the dam, and controls flooding below the dam.

The project was completed only a few years ago, although there are still some features that are under construction.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Big dam project

When traveling up the twisting Yangtze River you eventually encounter the Three Gorges Dam. This means the water level rises over 500 feet from one side of the dam to the other, requiring a multi-step lock system of five levels. The process requires about four hours to complete.

We entered the first lock at the end of the day so most of the process happened under cover of night.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

One da-la

Where ever there are tourists, there are hucksters, ready to take their money. That is just is true in China as anywhere else in the world.

The hawkers all seemed to be saying "one dollar" indicating they will take good old American dollars. It was never obvious what the dollar would buy, and our experience was it that it is best not to ask. If you show the slightest interest they are very difficult to shake.

But I guess they are just trying to make it in life, just like the rest of us.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Life on the river

We spent five days on the Yangtze River during our travels in China. Over those days we did not see one pleasure craft. There were a few other cruise ships but mostly we encountered many dozens of freighters and barges. This is the super highway of southern China.

The barges were burdened with stone and gravel and coal. A few were loaded with bright yellow sulfur. There were cranes and loaders and payload transfers between ships.

The weather was dark overcast and moist, which added the the feeling of this being a peculiar means of travel.