Monday, 31 May 2021

lots more lotus

Earlier this month, I posted an account of a location near the western end of San Tin Tsuen Road that offered quite an impressive display of lotus flowers. We didn’t pass that way again until Saturday, and as we approached, I suggested that we see whether the display was still as vibrant as it had been on that initial occasion. It was!

In fact, the display was even more spectacular than it had been two weeks earlier. Here are two photos looking up the small stream, which as you can see is choked with lotus plants:
Naturally, I wanted to scramble down to the bank to see whether I could get some closer shots. Here is a selection:
The red colour near the top of the previous photo is from a large bougainvillea on the other side of the road:
As you can see, even though it was before 10 o’clock, quite a few other people were also there taking photos. Some were ‘serious’ photographers armed with tripods and 400mm telephoto lenses.

I finished by taking a couple of photos from the side, looking down from the road:
This is an enlarged version of part of the last photo:
We shall be heading off to the UK for the summer in a couple of weeks, and I don’t expect to pass this way again during that period, but we shall be looking out again for this lotus garden next year.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

lots o’ lotus

I often invoke the old Cumbrian saying: ‘Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight; red sky at morning, shepherd’s warning’, which is why Paula took this photo from our balcony last Friday, before I got up:
We went out cycling later anyway, as planned.

Although a new cycle track between Sheung Shui, in the north central New Territories, and Yuen Long, in the west, was opened last September, we follow just a few sections, mainly because despite extravagant praise in the local press, it is poorly designed and is a pain in the arse (literally) to ride.

In particular, we always follow San Tin Tsuen Road (see map), which loops around the north and west of the historic village of San Tin. It is exceptionally scenic, it’s flat, and it carries almost no motor traffic, so it’s an extremely relaxing segment to cycle along, unlike the bike track, which runs alongside the busy traffic artery of Castle Peak Road.
There is a small stream that runs alongside the most westerly section of this road, and although I didn’t stop last Monday when I cycled past, I did happen to notice that there had been quite a proliferation of lotus leaves in the part of the stream marked by the red circle on the map. However, I wasn’t prepared for the transformation that greeted our eyes as Paula and I cycled past on Friday. This is a general view of the location, which I took using my GoPro video camera:
There doesn’t appear to be much to get excited about, but Paula took several photos, and you can see immediately what attracted our attention:
These flowers are around 15cm across!

I came this way by myself yesterday, and I shot a short video to illustrate that this location has also attracted the attention of other people. This is a still from that video:
Incidentally, the ‘red sky at morning’ warning on Friday was prescient. Having experienced light rain on and off as we cycled west, we were forced to take shelter from much heavier rain on three separate occasions in the Yuen Long area. It did brighten up in the afternoon though.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

another surprise: update

The week before last, I posted an account of a mural in the network of alleyways that I’ve designated ‘the outer limits: path #2’. In that account, I suggested that the mural was ‘unfinished’, and a few days later, while cycling along this path, we encountered the artist responsible, who was busy adding to his work. We didn’t stop, because we didn’t want to disturb or distract the artist, but we passed this way again two days ago, and we stopped to see what had changed.

This is a general view of the mural, as seen from the direction we approach it:
The section featuring two youths riding broomsticks has definitely been added to. The right-hand figure was incomplete when we last stopped here, and both have been given clothes and admittedly crude facial features:
There is also a crude representation of a village house behind the right-hand figure’s broomstick. Actually, it has just occurred to me that they are not riding broomsticks. They are in fact riding personal rocket sticks, and what I’d taken to be the brush ends of broomsticks are actually representations of rocket exhausts!

In my earlier photographs, there was a stylized rock formation on the right of the Simpsons segment of the mural, similar to that on the left, but it has now been replaced by a tree trunk:
There doesn’t seem to be any kind of overall theme to the various segments of the mural. This is the section immediately to the right of the rocket riders:
The left-hand section is an incongruous abstract design of coloured triangles, but the central section is a lifelike portrait of a civet, a species of wild cat that has become increasingly rare in Hong Kong in recent decades. I suspect that the outline picture of flowers on the right will be coloured in, and if that does turn out to be the case, I shall post a photograph in due course. I also wonder whether the rocket riders segment is complete. What, for example, is the significance of the black geometric shapes? I hope to find out the next time we come this way.