Friday, 20 November 2020


When I included three photos of the yellow flowers opposite ‘happy garden’ in Autumn Flowers #4 last week, I did mention that there were still a lot of unopened buds, but I wanted to conclude the series, even though this display was nowhere near its best when I took the photos. However, we cycled past happy garden last Saturday, and I was struck immediately by how many more flowers there were.

I didn’t stop to take more photos though—we already had more than 70km on the clock, and I wanted to get back home to have a cold beer (or two). Nevertheless, I did want to get some pictures of the improved display, so the following day I deliberately detoured this way on the route home after walking into Fanling by the usual direct path from our village, and I took the following three photos:
Unlike many of the flowers that I’ve included in my Autumn Flowers collections, which are so tiny that you wouldn’t see them unless you were looking for them, these flowers are 5–6cm in diameter, so you can imagine how arresting this display is. This is a close-up:
The flower on the right is actually about 8cm across.

The next day (Monday), Paula was working, so I decided to continue my exploration of the Tam Mei valley, which is about 20km west of Fanling. My original route through the valley was all along roads, but I’d already discovered four new narrow paths that could be incorporated into the full tour since returning to Hong Kong last month, so I didn’t expect to find any more. However, I was wrong, and I added three more paths to the tour, including one that I repeated later in the day to see whether I could remember all the twists and turns. I couldn’t! Although I did remember where to turn off the road, and I did end up at the same exit, somewhere in between I must have turned left at a junction when I should have turned right, or vice versa.

I also stopped at various points elsewhere in the valley to photograph outcrops of yellow flowers. While not quite as impressive as the happy garden display, these four photos do convey something of the sense of joy that I feel at seeing such bright manifestations of floribundance:
Having compiled the above report on Wednesday, I had intended to conclude here, but Paula and I were cycling out west yesterday, and part of our route is a circuit around the village of Lok Ma Chau. I must have come down this hill dozens of times, but because the hill is steep, I need to focus on keeping the bike under control, and I’d never noticed the flowers on my right before:
The photo doesn’t begin to convey how I couldn’t fail to notice the bright yellow despite looking straight ahead.

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